Greetings from the MTC! For the last time
Hey there everybody! I really can't believe another week has gone by. The last week at the MTC, no less. It's kinda funny; I think when I first entered the MTC my brain didn't really believe that I'd ever be leaving. But here it is! I'm so excited. I can't wait to see people's lives change as a result of this gospel. I've been truly blessed to have this opportunity to learn and grow at the MTC. I've been blessed to meet lots of wonderful people.
You wanted me to share whatever cultural things I learned, and I will doubtless learn a whole lot in the weeks and months to come, but Brother Hodges, one of our teachers, did tell us a little about Taiwan's weather. He said yes, the summers are sweltering hot because of the humidity. We already knew that. He said we'll be drinking lots of bingsha, which is like a shaved ice drink with real fruit and stuff. In short, he called it Gaorong Guodu (Celestial Kingdom). But what we didn't know is that Taiwan in the winter is also incredibly super cold, again because of the humidity. Sure, it might be fifty degrees Fahrenheit, but you swim in fifty degree water for awhile and it's freaking cold. He said maybe if we're down way south it won't be so bad, but up around Taizhong city and Taibei area, it can get incredibly cold.
So yesterday we had a real treat. It was our last Sunday Night Fireside, and while we were singing the prelude everyone stood up and Dallin H Oaks walked in the room. He actually didn't speak to us (I mean, he just did so a couple weeks ago). Instead, he was there to hear his daughter Jenny Oaks Baker speak and perform for us. And if you look up her name, you'll find out she's one of America's most accomplished violinists. It was so cool. She played five or six numbers for us and gave short speaking segments in between to introduce why the next song had so much meaning to her. The Spirit was very strong, and it was a real privilege to hear her perform for us.
What you heard about the Taizhong mission is correct. It is indeed an awesome mission. It's incredible to hear Brother Hodges talk about all he did on his mission--stuff like talking to a guy on a motorcycle at a stop light who pulled over to hear his message and committed to baptism right then and there. He was baptized three weeks later. There are countless other stories like it. I'm really convinced that the Chinese are "white already to harvest." England had its time, now it's South America. I'm betting China and other far Eastern countries are next. Dill, I get the feeling you'll be going Chinese speaking, because it really seems to run in families. :o) Brother Hodges has a twin brother who went to Taibei. Just saying, it's a possibility. Especially if mainland China opens its doors soon.
Well, I think that's just about everything. I've got just a little bit of time left. I'm all packed up and barely within the luggage weight limits. Remember that the church is true, and don't ever let anything or anyone be more important to you than the gospel. Our Savior loves each of us and stands with open arms to help us overcome anything at all, including our sadnesses and trials. When you feel like something's too much to bear, pray to God in Christ's name to strengthen you. I love you all!