I'm getting pretty excited to head out into the field and things are getting really close. We got our new name tags (Full Chinese, Chinese and English, etc.) today (I haven't seen them yet, but they are apparently waiting for us in our classrooms!!) and I'm really excited. Travel plans come this week too!
Before I get too far into the week's details, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! It was a great week and I felt so much love. Love you all so much!
One of the highlights of the week was running into so many of my good friends! My roommate from freshman year, Sister Kelly Smith, is now living on my floor of our residence and will be heading out this week for Denver Colorado. My good friend Sister Whitney Bang, who I grew up with in Michigan, just entered the Mandarin zone here and is preparing to leave for Taipei, Taiwan in eight weeks. I also saw Sister Nicole Richards who I knew from freshman year, Sister Heidi Lewis from Michigan as well, and Sister Megan Beaudette, who I know from Boston. I also ran into Jamie, a girl who lived across the hall from me my freshman year while visiting the temple. Such a fun week!
One of the highlights of seeing old friends was finding out that people do read my blog! Thank you so much! I wonder sometimes how effective my writing is when I don't get to see the results, or the actual posts for that matter. But just so you all know, I appreciate it!
The Chinese is really starting to sink in, since the other night I was unable to fall asleep for over an hour and then continued waking up throughout the night because my mind kept automatically translating every thought I had. While I'm glad the Chinese is really coming, I'm glad to be back to sleeping normally. At least I'm not as bad as one of my roommates who wakes up her companion almost every night as she starts teaching lessons in Chinese in her sleep. Needless to say, it's fairly entertaining and we're all getting a kick out of it.
This past week Elder Russel M. Nelson came and gave a devotional for all of us. I am proud to say that I was the first missionary (as far as I've been able to deduce) to find out since I say the teleprompter being written in the tech booth. Thank you TV News training! One of my favorite quotes of his was "this life isn't a time to rest, it's a time to progress." It really is important to know that we have been blessed with the time that we have and that we should always be striving to make the most of it and better ourselves.
We also had an amazing devotional by Sister Mary Ellen Edmunds last night. She's served as a leader in the Relief Society (the Church's women's organization) General Board, never married, and has served an amazing number of missions. If I can grow to be even half of an amazing person as she is, I'll be thrilled with my progress in life. Her sense of humor and faith are inspiring. A thought of hers I loved went something like this: Each and every one of us has been hired by the perfect boss. And because he is the perfect boss, he hires the perfect person for the job. God has chosen each and everyone of us to fulfill the role that we have been given in life. He is our loving Heavenly Father who knows us perfectly. Because of us he knows our abilities, strengths, and weakness; most of all, he knows that we are up to the job. If we ever feel insufficient or like we can't handle the challenges that have been placed in our life, we can take hope from the fact that God has faith in us, and that if we have faith in Him, we can accomplish anything.
I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had to teach this week. I've seen investigators realize that God answers their prayers and express excitement for baptism. I learn so much from them that I often wonder who the teacher really is. And then I remember that it's the Holy Ghost. It is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the greatest knowledge is gained.