Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Week 6

Hi Family!!!
Well guess what! I've been in the MTC for six weeks!!!! I just realized that! that means that I'm half-way through my MTC stay and in about six weeks I'll be off to Australia!! it's kinda bitter sweet thought.  We had a hump day celebration the other day and it was a lot of fun.  We're going to be inviting in the new mandarin elders tomorrow! Right now we only have 43 Missionaries in our zone and they said only 21 new missionaries will be coming in.  It's a lot less than the usual I heard, but I think it'll be good to get to know them better.  :)
Well, Maybe you've heard, but they're moving the mailroom in the MTC which means no dear elders or stuff for a bit :).  I've written fewer letters to people now.  I haven't even written anybody in the past while, I should probably write them. how crazy! I just got sucked into the work I guess.  Maybe I'll start writing more often.  Oh, And I'll be sending pictures soon. Since I can't email pictures, I'm going to have to print them out, so it might be a bit, but expect a letter in a bit.  Hopefully within the next week, I'll have to find time to go and get that done.
And I might have seen someone this morning! I was heading back to the Residence Halls fromt he temple at 8:20-ish and I think I saw the prius! I got super excited! haha.  Don't worry, i'm not home-sick or anything, though I do love you all and miss you all.  I've learned that I'm in the right place right now! I think the biggest realization that helped me was because of the TRC! Well, once a week, we get to go to the TRC and teach a volunteer.  Most of the time they're members, but sometimes they're not and they come to practice either their chinese or english depending on what they're learning as their second language.  Well, this last week, we had an investigator come in.  It was the WEIRDEST THING!!!!!! I have no idea, I guess you really do learn to love the people you teach.  Half-way through, we were testifying that the gospel blesses and strengthens families and we were telling him how it blessed OUR families.  Well, he paused then he told us that he could see that we loved our families and that there was a different kind of love there and he wanted to know how he could get that.  I was kinda caught off my guard and paused because I don't think I realized that our family is SO blessed! At that moment, I just wanted to jump up, over the table between us, and give him a hug and then tell him EVERYTHING!!! Fortunately, my companion restrained me or that would have gotten weird.  So I didn't actually end up giving him a hug, I just bore my testimony and promised him that the gospel could bless his family.  It was the weirdest feeling.  I just wanted to explode! I love it here! The MTC is such a great place! haha.
Our zone suddenly got super excited about playing soccer, and we're all getting pretty good at it.  Last time, we played the english elders.  If we had been keeping score, the score would have been 4-1 Chinese elders, but since we're not supposed to keep score I don't know the score ;). haha.  and if I were counting, all the goals were from our district.  but we're not so... I don't know who won, and I don't know who scored them :).  But don't worry, I'm not getting too fat.  I think I've found my pre-earth-life-long-lost-twin!!!! Anyway.  yep :)  We're all trying to decide what our chinese names will be so we can tell our Mission Presidents, and he decided that his name was going to be: Ding Xong Long or something.  I'm not actually too sure what he was trying to say.  Evidently it means Thumbtack Fierce Dragon... His last name is Staples so our teacher decided to literally translate that I guess.  Now he introduces himself as Elder Fierce Dragon Thumbtack.  He is going to do wonders in Australia.  hahaha.
Did you know that TONS of people have gone to Australia Mandarin Speaking?! I had no idea! I've met a ton here! it's crazy! They all said that the amount of mandarin missionaries in a mission in australia ranges from 6-10.  Crazy huh? So I'll be 10% of the Mandarin Missionaries in Brisbane! BIG responsibility! Also, I keep running into people that know you Jeff.  they are EVERYWHERE! I'm known for a few things in my district.  One of which is: "Do you have an older brother?".  That has been said to me at least 20 times here.  Mostly in the TRC, but in the temple, teachers... yeah.  Anyway, I've got big shoes to fill.  Fortunately I'm not going to Hong Kong or it would've been much worse ;).  Just kidding.  I love it.  I look like my model older brother.  Definitely makes my day sometimes.
Not much has actually happened this past week... it's been pretty slow with so few elders in our zone, so I'm not sure what else to tell you all about.  I love it here, the cafeteria is clogging everybody up except for me and Elder Fierce Dragon Thumbtack because we just have salad wraps and salads.  My Companion has now learned the word fengpi because he does it so much.  He's cleared out the computer lab twice and our classroom once.  It's hilarious.  As soon as he gets this little sly grin on his face I know he's done it.  Within ten seconds EVERYBODY is covering their face.  Fortunately the sisters are on the other side of the room so I don't think they notice it at all.  Our teacher smelled it once and started laughing in the middle of the lecture.  that was interesting.  Anyway.  I promise we're all very mature here.  Sometimes the cafeteria food does magic on some people.  I've just learned to stop him from eating those potatoes.  hahahaha.
Ok.  :) Well, Vicky! Sister Fitzpatrick is in my district now! She misses you even though she hasn't seen you for two years.  but that's ok.  She's going to Taizhong... is that how you spell it? I have no idea.  Anyway, she has an extra bone in her foot that she needed to get taken out, so she had a surgery last week.  The branch president decided that we should do an annointing and sealing with oil and had her choose whoshe wanted to bless her.  Well, she chose me to do the anointing and help with the sealing.  It was really cool.  Because of that, one of the elders in my district gave me a case for consecrated oil, I bought some oil and consecrated it.  It was a neat experience.  I've never done that before, but after doing that, I can promise you that there is power in consecrated oil.  There is power in the preisthood, and there is power in faith.  I could feel it and everybody in the room could feel its effects.  Sister Fitzpatrick is doing great! she's recovering well from the surgery and has been attending class for a while. The church is so incredibly true.  I don't even know how to convey that over email, but I hope you can feel it!  I love this church!
Well, my time is up so I'll bid you all adieu.  Love you all and thank you all for the support!
Elder Chen
Ps. Because of the visa thing, I might possibly maybe be kinda able to maybe glance Vicky when she comes in :)
See ya'll soon! two years isn't that much! :)

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