Hope everything is going well for all of you outside of the MTC, or as we jokingly call it, "Babilun" (the Chinese translation for Babylon)! Things have been busy since I last wrote. Our zone has a new batch of missionaries who will eventually be heading of to Taizhong, Taiwan. Among them is the most amazing sister. I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my last post, but she's from Korea and hardly speaks any English. But she is still managing to learn Chinese with the rest of us. I really look up to Sister Park and her hard work. If she's able to learn two languages at once, I can at least learn one! She really is an inspiration.
With the influx of new missionaries, the oldest "generation" in our zone headed out to the field. It was sad to say goodbye to many good friends I've made over the past few weeks who I won't see for another couple years, but I am so excited for them and the work they are headed of to do! It really is strange to realize that my generation is moving up in seniority here though. Getting old!
This past Saturday my companion and I taught for our first time at the TRC (I'm forgetting what the acroynm stands for), which is an area where people from "the real world" come in and volunteer for us to teach to them. For the most part, they are students at Brigham Young University. Because of this, I saw three of my good friends who speak Chinese who had come in to help out us Chinese speakers. It was so good to see Daniel, Jasmine, and Vince. I sometimes forget how close I am to my usual stomping grounds and many of my friends. The MTC really is a world of its own.
During our teaching at the TRC, we taught two sets of people. The first were members, one a returned missionary who served in Taiwan, and the other a convert from Taiwan who joined the church when she was 18. Both of the girls are students at BYU. Our second set of volunteers also consisted of two girls who go to BYU, both of who were RM's who served in Taiwan, and one of which who was native to Taiwan. However, with them was the girl from Taiwan's cousin who is not a member. I have offically taught my first real investigator! It was a lot less scary than I expected, but I still have a lot of room to improve. Constant progress!
My friend Ryan who was working with the Chinese zone has now left. We said goodbye to him yesterday. It really was a tender mercy having him here for the first few weeks. I had been missing so many friends for so long that it was good to see him.
Last Tuesday for our devotional, Elder Richard G. Scott came and talked to us. The spirit was so strong here and it was amazing to hear an apostle of the Lord speaking to us in person. He spoke about prayer and its importance. Always a good reminder to know that our Heavenly Father is waiting and eager to hear from each and every one of us.
On a less spiritual note, I hurt my jaw this week and have been taking Aleve to keep the TMJ pain down. I think this may be why I managed to run between 5 and 6 miles on Saturday. I'm now working on being able to run that far without the use of painkillers to make me forget how sore I am. But, either way, thanks to running, weight training, and the occasional game of volleyball, gym time is now one of my favorite times of the week. I'm just excited that they have now opened up the outdoor fields and I can play soccer. Yay exercise!
A thing I've realized in the past few months. The world is small. It's even smaller within the Church. And it's absolutely tiny when you speak Chinese as well. A girl just entered our zone this week who was in my branch in Nanjing and another girl entered who is good friends with one of my classmates from China, Andrew. It's always fun to see the way people can connect.
All my love!
Sister Makena Bauss