Ni men hao!!
Wow this has been such a crazy week. I don't even know where to begin! Every day here is so long and so busy. The first few days here were an emotional roller coaster. On Wednesday, I met my District and my companion, Sister Good. I love all of them! I'm pretty convinced we have the best district. We all got along so well right off the bat. Also, Mom and Dad, remember Sister Oviatt that we met at Brickoven? She's one of my roommates! As well as Sister Kirkham. We all like each other, so that's good.
It was really overwhelming getting there and only speaking Chinese. I realized very soon just how much I don't know about this language. Luckily, my companion knows the language really well, and she helps me out a lot. But, two and a half days is not enough time to teach a successful lesson to our first investigator. On Friday, we met Luo Yang. He's from China and moved to Provo and obviously heard so much about our church. So in our lesson, we asked him what he knew about Jesus Christ. I honestly couldn't understand a word he said, it was so frustrating. At one point, he asked me something, and I didn't understand so I looked at Sister Good and she said to tell him about Jesus. I told him I believe in Jesus Christ, and I know He lives. I told Him that Jesus loves him, and He loves me, and He loves Sister Good. That was about all I could say in Chinese. After that, Sister Good talked with him. She's basically conversational. It was good I guess, but I was really discouraged after we left because I felt like I just missed our first lesson because I didn't understand what was going on.
After he left, I felt soo discouraged and disappointed in myself. I thought "the gift of tongues" would overwhelm me. I guess I just need to spend a little more time studying Chinese.
This weekend however, was a much needed General Conference. Our District Leader, Chen Zhang Lao (Elder Tan), told us to think of some questions/feelings/concerns we had before conference, and to pray that we could receive an answer. I thought about my discouragement and how I had already considered coming home and giving up.
I couldn't have asked for a better conference. D. Todd Christofferson was my favorite talk. He said "We can trust in God, because He is perfectly trustworthy. CHOOSE GOD in everything you do! HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU. After he spoke, I heard similar quotes from several other authorities. I hope you all watched conference. If I had the time, I would watch it again.
One thing I have learned this week so far, that has stuck with me since the day I was dropped off at the MTC, is to ENDURE TO THE END (Which was also in Uchtdorf's talk). I feel like my prayers are being so obviously answered this week. I feel like the Lord is blessing me in so many ways. I never thought a mission would be so hard, yet so rewarding- and I haven't even been here a whole week, so I can't even imagine how much I will continue to learn and grow.
One more thing: On sunday, after General Conference, we sisters had the opportunity to listen to the Women's Conference again. My favorite talk was by Sister Marriot. "We NEED our Redeemer. He is our only hope. It is ONLY through the Atonement of Christ that we can change. ACCEPT the Lord's plan for you."
It's so weird how much my life has changed in these past few days. Everything from having a companion with you at all times, to learning a new language, waking up at 6:30am every morning, and basically adjusting to the missionary lifestyle overall. But I can tell you all without a doubt in my mind that this work is true. I hope everyone heard Elder Bednar's talk on Sunday Afternoon, he really hit it home.
I wish I had more time to email and write letters. I miss you all so much, and I hope you're doing so well. I'd love to hear from you all! Send me emails, letters, Dear Elders, anything! I'd love it and really appreciate it. Hope to hear from you all soon!!
I'll send pictures in a separate email!