The MTC is such an AMAZING place! I don't even understand how I walked past it and didn't even feel the spirit that I feel now. Everywhere you go, we feel such an amazing sense of God's love for us! I love it. I'm becoming a little bit less enthusiastic about leaving the MTC for Australia now :P haha, just kidding. I love the teachers, the Elders and our branch presidency. They're all so wonderful and helpful. Our Branch President served in Taiwan when he was younger, and served as a president later when he was 38! What an amazing sacrificing person! He put his whole career on hold and because of that he's still working even though he should be retired. He's such an example of dedication to the Lord. You can tell he loved his mission and the people he served because he continually talks about the chinese people in a very respectful manner. He said that because the church has dealt clearly with China, they have been very friendly to us, and as a result, they have been blessed. Because he does international banking, he could keep track of money and value between different nations and he said that when China re-absorbed Hong Kong, their economy started to do AMAZING! It is because they recieved a mission and a temple with Hong Kong.
Our teachers here are awesome as well. Pres. Uchtdorf's son is one of the funniest teachers I have ever had haha. Most of the time, he'll grin at us as if he's waiting for us to say something, (even though we usually don't cuz we don't know how to say a lot of things in chinese) then he'll yell: Hao! and then look at his notes for a bit then continue on with his lecture. He's also one of our investigators at the same time and he is the WORST investigator ever! haha. When we teach, we're never extremely confident that what we're saying makes sense, but he'll sit there with a blank look on his face the whole 20 minutes. Sometimes he'll yawn and blink a lot, but that doesn't really help our confidence. Other times he'll just rub his eye and then his face while we're talking. We always come out so frustrated, but then when he comes in to teach, he always makes us laugh and class goes by SO fast!
I can't believe I've been here for 20 days already! it felt like a week! Oh, heads up to vicky: The first four days in the MTC are THE slowest days you will ever have in your life, but after the first Sunday, time flies and you wish you had cherished those first few days. Oh, and bring lots of work-out clothes/ socks. :) haha. OK! Jeff was definitely right. You try to stay up and talk about the day and what you learned... it doesn't work. My roommates tried that one night, but as soon as they lay down, they were OUT. haha, We're all SUPER tired here. We took a fun picture of our district. Everybody was sleeping except for sister Kang, Elder Brown, and I. I thought it was hilarious. So we took pictures of all of them. You'll often see missionaries walking around with little stripes down their faces because they fell asleep on Preach My Gospel. It ALWAYS happens to the chinese elders because we're here for SO long and we have 6 hrs of class, 2 hours of Language study, 1 hr personal study, district study, companion inventory, and daily planning. It's a lot of fun until you realize that the tank has been empty and that sudden burst of energy that you get every now and the starts getting shorter and shorter. BUT NO RESTING! We're all on the Lord's time!
The mission has definitely helped me learn things I should have learned A LONG time ago. I don't even know where to start, but I'm running out of time for this week. Just live it and love! Go back and read Uchtdorf's talk! Slow down, take a breath and take it all in! Life is WONDERFUL! We're all so blessed to be alive at this time! in His Last dispensation! The fullness of times!!!! We have it all within our own little city! I never realized it before my mission and I wish I had. When mom told me to the temple, I would do it with a little unwillingness, but now, I wish I had gone more often to feel the spirit more. You never know what you're missing till you feel it! But no regrets! and now, no excuses!
I wish I had more time than just half-an-hour, but I'll try to take notes throughout the week so that I can be more productive when writing you all :).
I love you all, and thank you all for your support! I pray for you all at least 8 times a day (we pray a lot here and every prayer contains: Women qiqiu nin zhufu women de jia ting) hahahaha
Till we meet again!!!!!!! (soon!!! two years isn't long at ALL)
I'll see you soon!
Elder Joseph Chen!