I miss you all immensely! There are always exciting things happening here on the mission. First off, it has been soooo cold here! Not suprised huh? I think my nose is slightly forst bitten! hahaha
and Second, I am now with my new companion Sister Huang!
Sister Huang is from Chia Yi Taiwan. She is 23 years old, and this is her second transfer. It has been intimidating being her trainer for the second half of her training process, and I must say, this week has probably been the most challening week on my mission. She has a cute cute small family. She has a younger sister who is 20, my age! Sister Huang and I are speaking a whole lot of CHINGLISH these days. Its funny because neither of us can transition, and we exclaim so many times throughout the day that our minds are just a jumbled mess. (She came out here on her mission expecting to learn and practice a whole lot of English, and now out of nowhere, she is thrown back into speaking Chinese). I can't imagine how hard that is for her as well.
The Lord truly is humbling me. We have been moved back into the apartment closer to campus because neither of us can drive. However, we are now in the Elders old apartment, and since I have seen all three of the apartments, I must say that we got the unlucky end of the straw. haha But luckily! We don't spend much time in our apartments. I am still very much grateful for what we have because it could be much worse in Africa or in the Phillippines or something! So thank you to all those faithful tithe payers of the church, we are blessed with a VERY WARM EVEN HOT apartment. haha anything is better than the freeezing cold.
The biggest lesson I've learnt this week is to not compare, but to take on whatever the Lord wants me to learn. "Never take counsel from fear" - President Gordon B. Hinckley once said. This might be my biggest weakness. I need to drive this fear out of my heart and move forward in faith. I have been blessed with so many wonderful people who support the missionary work here in Dinkytown. So many loving members who treat us so well!
Have I told you all about Ekitzel Wood? If not, shame on me, because she is the best ever! It's like we've know each other since forever ago because she knows a ton of people that I know! We call her Kitz. Kitz served her mission many years ago in Russia. When she got back, her family was living in China, so that's where she lived for a longgg time. She knows people from the Songshan ward, (Phoebe) and she also knows the Christiansens (Ian and Joel Christiansen). Anyhow, she caters to all my needs when I am missing good Chinese food. She cooks us food all the time! Curry fish balls, and hot pot, and Russian Borskte (don't know how to spell that but it's Russian Beet soup), and she's even going to make us 叉燒包！ She's amazing. And she helps us joint teach all the time. Good thing she understands Chinese and can speak some too, otherwise, teaching now all in Chinese is such a struggle without many Chinese speaking joint teachers. I always feel so bad for the English ward members in the ward when they have to come teach with us...Hopefully they'll get use to it!
Now that I am teaching complete lessons in Chinese, it feels like I am learning how to teach all over again. I never knew how much I relied on Sister Smith until this transfer. I am excited to gain new experiences and new strengths as I come to overcome the struggles and weaknesses that I have now! I love what Lehi says to his son Jacob, the first born in the wilderness in the beginning of 2 Nephi chapter 2. Jacob has suffered a lot throughout his childhood. Being born in the wilderness and having to deal with all the complaining and rudeness of his older brothers. But Lehi says to Jacob : "Nevertheless, Jacob, my first born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain."
I know the greatness of God. I have seen it in my personal life. I have seen His hand blessing my family's lives through the pictures you send home to me each week. We owe it all to this Gospel and to our Savior and Father in heaven. I know the greatness of God and I know that He will consecrate my afflictions for my own good and benefit. I am infitely grateful for these experiences and I will be tough! All is well my ohana! I love you all tons, and thank you for blessing my life with all the beautiful photos and smiles that you send my way. Stay happy and strong! I love you! Until next week! You are all my rock and support! I LOVED THE U OF M FAMILY PHOTO! MADE MY LIFE!
|Thanks for the PJ pants mom!|
|Apes. We went to the zoo. Yup!|
|Squirrels: the state animal...not really, but they're seriously everywhere!|
|Steve's baptism two saturdays ago!|
|Sister Smith's birfday|
|My fam bam in U of M gear!|