Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week 1

Hi guys! I've been here for about a week now. Six days exactly! I love it here! thank you all for all your love and support! Jeff was right when he told me that I'd be the most loved missionary ever! I've been here for six days and have already received so many letters! Thank you ALL for the wonderful support! I can see how the lack of support has made the MTC harder for some of the other elders in my district. I get to see which Elders in our district are having the hardest time, because the District Leader picks up and hands out the mail. Fortunately I've had a letter every-time, but I could see that one of the elders was really struggling, so I've been trying to give him a hand, give him support while learning and be positive.
After you dropped me off, I went into the main building to pick up my tags, meal card, and companion information. We dropped my stuff off in my Residence hall, and then went for the orientation/first class meeting where I met my district for the first time. They're all really cool people. My companion, Elder Bellingham played golf for BYU so he's REALLY good! He's from North Carolina, but came to BYU for a year. He has no Chinese background so I have to help him out a bit. I was thinking of moving to the accelerated group for a bit earlier, but I decided that the Lord knows where I need to be. My teacher told me the first few days that I'm here to help the other Elders out with their chinese and so far, our district is much farther along than any other of the new chinese districts. Sister Kang and I have been helping everybody learn new vocabulary during class and we have helped the teacher explain some concepts. The Lord knows what he is doing! We just need to have faith in Him and stick through whatever trial or situation we find ourselves in.
The MTC is definitely the most spiritual place ever! I love it! Since my first Sunday here was a Fast and Testimony meeting, I went up and bore my testimony in front of the Branch. There's no better way to learn than to practice right? Well, the older Elders said that they never have new elders bear their testimonies on their first fast Sunday and the branch presidency doesn't expect any of the elders to talk during sacrament meeting until they're six weeks in. It was definitely a new experience. I should have practiced more chinese while I was at home :). The branch president can actually speak chinese and he's very picky with the tones so taht was very scary.
We practiced on an "investigator" in the TRC! His chinese is REALLY good and nobody but Sorah and i could understand what he's saying half the time. We've been teaching him every two days and probably will commit him to baptism. It's really difficult to speak chinese while teaching the gospel. SO MUCH NEW VOCAB!!!! haha. But it became easier because he's actually a teacher. We weren't supposed to know that but he accidentally walked into our class. He opened the door, saw our faces and then there was kinda a look of horror on his face before he just turned around and left. Our whole districted started laughing. Definitely a bright spot in our week! haha.
The other day, we were assigned to vacuum the walls... for our cleaning. Jeff was definitely right. We get the WEIRDEST jobs here. We just threw the vacuums on our back and started vacuuming the walls. I guess they really do have SO many missionaries who need to clean that they start making up things. So our district just went around like the ghost-busters with the extensions and ran around the building. we definitely have a lot of fun.
I think we frustrate the sisters sometimes though haha. They're all so mature about everything but we're just 19 year old guys, growing up and having fun! Fortunately, the Branch president comes around every now and then into our rooms to make sure we're not commiting iniquity and visiting us. It's really good.

Elder Chen

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