Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Half Way There and Livin on A Prayer- July 29

Hey all! 

Thank you thank you thank you for writing me and sending me stuff. So awesome. I love you guys. 

 I'm halfway there! Crazy right (the question mark button is not working on this keyboard so just pretend that I put a question mark there). 

Well I don't have a lot of time to write this week. We are skyping a family in Taiwan tonight and teaching them about finding revelation through the Gospel. And they are real investigators too! Crazy right! I need to prepare and make it an awesome lesson so I'm gonna get off soon and do that. 

Okay i apologize this letter is going to be very scatter brained. Here is my stream of consciousness... 

The older generation is leaving tomorrow which means I will be the new older generation! whoa! weird.  And I am really going to miss the girls who are leaving. They rock my socks. 

 was just called as the new music coordinator. Best calling ever! All I do is pick hymns for church and ask people to do musical numbers and play the piano and conduct. Can i have this calling forever.( pretend there is a question mark there.) 

My roommates get a lot of food sent to them so we have like 100,000 snacks. It's sweet! 

I memorized the First Vision and Moroni 10:3-5 in Mandarin this week! It takes me like 10 minutes to say them both but I can do it! 

We get to clean the temple on Aug 15! Kind weird how that works right? (Dad added that question mark for me) The temple is like the cleanest place in the world already! I hope I get to clean the chandeliers. 

Our investigators  committed to baptism this week and TRC was amazing! I talked to the grandma again and she says she's gonna come every week to see me and she said she would bring me cookies next time! can I please have every investigator be like her (question mark) 

I got in trouble yesterday for dancing in the rain. I was really excited because it felt a lot like Seattle yesterday. But apparently I was being unprofessional and unmissionary like. We're not allowed to dance as missionaries. 

Well I gotta go. But I just wanna leave you all with a quick thought. This week has been awesome but also really hard. I've faced trials that I never thought i would have to face. But I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father lives. He loves us. I have never felt more close to Him anywhere or any other time in my life. I am so thankful for the little mercies He has put into my life. I am so thankful for the people I know in my life. I know that if we pray he will answer. I know this. 

Love you all, 

Sister Tracy

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stuff is good and worth it- July 22

Nimen Hao!

Alrighty lets see what I have to say about this week...


Happy birthday mommy! Or as my Taiwanese Brothas and Sistas would say, "Zhu ni sheng ri kuai le!" Directly translated that means "Wish you birthday happy!" Oh fun Chinese grammar... Well anyways, every body should wish wo de mama a happy birthday because she is one of the strongest most awesome ladies I know and I love her dearly!


Thanks for the dearelders and letters and stuff! Shout out to Kohler cuz when he sent me a copy of his farewell talk I got 5 separate dearelders with that one talk and it was awesome to go back to class with all of those letters! And mommy thank you for the package. I LOVE MY COLOR PENS. All of my notes and letters will be a lot more rainbowy from here on out. Also thank you for the goodies. :) My roomies say thank you too


Stuff is good! Really! I am loving it here! I love teaching so so so so much. And the language is shooting up! It is still really challanging a lot of the time but as I look past those moments I realize that I have learned a lot and am getting more and more prepared which is good cuz I leave in about 4.5 weeks (SHENME??--WHAT??) So crazy!!!! I have already completed half of my training! AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Chinese is becoming natural. I told you last week that I was talking naturally in Chinese in my sleep at night, well now I am talking naturally in my awakedness during the day! I never say "Thank you" or "Its okay" or "Excuse me" more. Its always, "Xiexie" "Mei guan xi" "Dui bu qi." I know these arent extensive phrases but the fact that I automatically think to speak Chinese at all means that I am progressing. When I write in my journal at night I am starting to write in Chinese. I had better keep up learning the language after my mish otherwise I will have no idea what I wrote about. 


I have started to understand how obtaining the gift of tongues works. It requires 3 things: Diligence, Prayer, and Obedience. With diligence I was talking to my laoshi and she said "You need to write down numberic goals and make a plan everyday. When you do all that you can to fulfill your part the Lord will take you even further." At first I thought, "Nahhh i can just think of what i wanna do in my head." But I never obtained my goals when I didnt make a written out numrical plan. Laoshi compared goalmaking to the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. "If there wasnt a number (5000) to that story then where is the miracle?" By making a plan Ive been able to better obtain my goals. Also prayer and obedience are super important and I know this because Ive experiemented with it. When I dont pray and when I am not doing the things I am supposed to, my chinese suffers. I am glad that this gift of tongues is available to all. It is not always easy to be supr diligent, prayerful, or obedient..but boy does it pay off when I make an honest attempt! Hen hao!


TRC was definitely the highlight of my week. I realized that TRC is a lot like Monsters Inc. You go into a hallway with your district and they just put you in front of a door with your companion and you just go in and do work! Haha. But anyways, my experience with TRC this time around was awesome. We taught Liu Jie Mei. Super awesome 19 yr old girl and shes already a member. I understod about 90% of what she said! and my companion understood her too! We taught about bearing testimony and I invited her to bear testimony to a friend. She said, "I am so happy I came in to volunteer today because I needed to hear this message. I am going to LA this weekend and I felt impressed to bear my testimony to my friend but now I feel like I should do it." Sweet! After we taught her we went into the hallway to wait for my district to get out. In the hall were a few volunteers and I decided to pratice some Chinese. I talked with a 13 yr old boy, his mom, and grandma. We had a really pleasant convo and I understood about 85% of what they all said. We talked a lot about missions and Christ. The grandma was really interested in talking about Christ and asked if I would be here next Saturday! I tld her "For sure! Come find me!" When they left, the TRC instructor told me that the grandma was an actual investigator! Wow i hope I can see her next week!


I have learned a lot about effective teaching this week. I decided that in order to have a successful lesson I need to listen to 3 things: My companion, the investigator, and the spirit. Before I would just focus on mostly what I needed to say and the lesson always ended up not too good. But as I make an effort to listen to others I am able to be better involved and the lesson just always goes better. The spirit has been so strong this past week! We taught an investigator about commandments and I cant really explain it but as I was bearing testimony about the importance of keeping commandments I just felt an overwhelming sense of "This is so true!" cool beans :)


I met another Sister Tracy in the bathroom last week! She said her dad was adopted and he grew up in Elba or Almo Idaho...long lost relative maybe??


Well it turns out I am not the only that misses music. My distict is going crazy. We found a solution though. Yesterday we went on LDS.org and made a playlist. Thank goodness. The silence in that room during studytime can be eerie. 

Hey Prez Hinclkeys oldest son came and spoke to us last week! If you close you eyes it sounds JUST LIKE Prez Hinckley! Trippy


Well I really dont have much else to report on. Stuff is good though. There are a lot of things that are hard out here but as I reflect like this I realize that those hard experiences were worth it because the lessons that I learned were worth it and this whole mission thing is so worth it. 


Next week is gonna be weird. My roomies and I will be the only girls and the oldest generation in my zone. Shenme??? Cool things ahead!

Zaijian wo ai nimen!
Zhong Jie Mei

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Getting better and better- July 15

Well first thing´s first...dui bu qi--sorry but I accidentally sent the wrong address...again. But I finally took care of things and went to the mail room and asked which address was correct and here it is... 

Sister McKenna Dawn Tracy 
2007 N 900 E UNIT 84 
PROVO, UT 84602 

I forgot to put the Unit 84 part on the last email. If you have already sent me mail, I probably already have or will get it soon, it just takes a little longer. 

Thank you everyone so much for sending me things! Especially in the ward! It is awesome to know that people support and care about me! I got a lot of dearelders and letters last week. 

One annoying thing is that I don't get any mail after Thursday night until Monday evening. And since at the MTC Monday is the only time I can respond to letters it's a little hard to respond to people right away unless I happen to get their letters or dearelders during lunch. Also, since there is so much mail coming in and out of this place my letters usually take like 5 days to get to Orem and 6 to Seattle. I usually write all letters on Monday and mail them by Monday or Tuesday...just so you guys don't think I'm ignoring you. I hear that in Taiwan it will take 4 weeks to receive mail or send it! 

Things are getting better here at the MTC. I am starting to adjust to this life. I wake up every morning like its a regular new day. I don´t get a YIKES I'M AT THE MTC feeling anymore. I've been making lots of friends here at the MTC too. I love it! And I keep running into my BYU ward friends. We all decided to all meet up last Monday night and take pics. I sent you some. 

Did you know we spend over 60 hours sitting in class studying per week? NO WONDER I feel like I am learning so much! I loveeeeee love the teachers here. They make class so productive and such a positive learning environment. I will never forget Wen and Chen Laoshi. Those are my teachers. 

PU TONG HUA--Chinese Language 
The language is coming. I have been doing a lot of studying this week. I have developed some diligent study tactics. Like for instance, I have about 200 flash cards now. I try to learn about 25 to 50 words a day. I usually go outside and pace around and repeat words till they click. I put them all on a ring and I carry them around on my belt. Some elder said I looked like a janitor with a huge ring of keys lol. The language is sticking. In class we did a role play and I got called on the spot to teach the first lesson. I did it! It was my first time teaching the First Vision and the Book of Mormon in Chinese! Awesome. Also, my district has been really gung ho about SYL. SYL means speak your language...where you speak as much of your mission language during the day as you can. On Saturday we decided to take an English fast. We didn't speak any English at all. It was soooooo beneficial. I carried around my pocket dictionary all day and learned a lot of words I didn't know. Lol our pocket dictionaries are huge! They are more like pocket dictionaries for Kangaroos. I sent a pic of me tucking it in my belt. The sisters in my branch started doing it too. We looked like and felt like kangaroos haha 
I love love love Chinese. The more and more I learn the more I realize...this language is beautiful! It's so cool. I found out that the character for God when split in half means you ask and the other half means he answers. So cool! And the word for grace is en dian, and the word for gift is en ci. They both carry the same root en. Grace is a gift. The evidence of the gospel truth is in their own language! It's awesome! I love the language so much that I am starting to talk Chinese in my sleep! My roommates said they heard me speaking it in my sleep last night! Awesome! gift of tongues is kicking in! 

I got called as the ward chorister. I love it! We sing hymns in Chinese and they are so beautiful. Mom you were right...I miss music. I find myself singing all the time. On Sunday they have this thing called Music and the Spoken Word where we listen to the Mo Tab sing for 30 minutes. I love love love it. And for Sunday devotional these two people played a sax duet which made me miss band. I miss it so so much! But singing out loud helps a lot. 

1. Love your companion. No matter what. My companion had a hard time this week. I felt like I could do more as a companion so I decided to pray for ways to serve her all week. It is so worth loving your companion and just being nice at all times. It brightens everyone's mood and the Lord's work gets done a lot faster. I've learned a lot about service this week. 

2. Teach people, not lessons. We had our first TRC this week. This is when real investigators come in and we have to teach them. So scary! They told us beforehand to not worry and to just really focus on getting to know them. When we went in we met our investigator Sister Lu. She was a college student in the area. It was really hard to understand her because she spoke fast and said a lot of words I didn't know. After asking her to slow down and trying to listen harder it got a little easier but I felt bad because I felt like she thought she wasn't being listened to. I heard her ask a question about faith. Our lesson plan wasn't about faith at all, but we decided to go with her questions and throw out the lesson plan. Afterwards my companion and I felt like we did a really bad job with not being able to understand her completely and throwing out our lesson plan. But afterwards she came up to us and said that she really really appreciated us teaching her. She said though we didn't know a lot of what she was saying she felt loved because we always kept eye contact and made an effort to really listen to her. She also said our message was just what she needed to hear. WOW! Language is not a barrier for God's love and I'm glad we were able to teach HER...not the lesson we had. 

3. A little kindness goes a long way. On temple walk yesterday there were a few protestors at the temple. A few missionaries were taking pictures of them. I thought at first that it would be funny to get a picture but then suddenly a thought BE POLITE popped into my head. When we walked past them, I stopped and smiled and wished them to have a nice day. They didn't say anything. After walking around the temple we walked past them again and one of the protestors stopped me. He said, Thank you Sister for being polite. We don't believe in a lot of the stuff you Mormons believe but that was very Christlike. I am so glad that I didn't take a picture. A little kindness goes a long way. Everyone remember that throughout the week. I will remember that too because there are plenty of times where I could be kinder or nicer or care more about others. You never know. 

The older generation in our zone leaves tomorrow!!! And by next weekend I will be halfway done with my time at the MTC! WOW! The MTC is booming. We had 800+ new missionaries come in last week. We got a new district in our zone. They are all elders. After the older generation leaves tomorrow there will only be 6 girls left in our zone. Me and my roomies, haha. And we don't get new sisters 'till after we leave. Weird. 

Wo ai nimen! I love you all! Keep on writing because I want to know about your lives. And your letters are tender mercies! Love you all! 

Sister Tracy 
Zhong Jie Mei 

P.S. Shout out to Elder Dickson´s parents for reading my blog! Your son is my District leader! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tender Mercies- July 9

WOW Where to begin...

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the people who sent me letters, dearelders, and emails. They all came at the right time when I needed them most. THANK YOU! It means a lot that people are thinking of me and looking out for me. I am humbled. I had a lot of free time today and was able to respond to everyone that wrote me. I even had time to write a few letters to some other friends! Hope the mail gets there safe and sound. 

Okay sorry about this but it turns out the original address I had was correct. 

Sister McKenna Dawn Tracy 
Aug28 Taiw-Tai 
2007 N 900 E 
Provo, UT 84602 

If you have already sent a letter with the other address I gave you last time, it's okay. It still gets to me; it just takes longer. So yeah, use that address from now on just to be safe! 

Hope everyone had a lovely Independence Day! It was hard not to be home and celebrate but it's okay. We got to celebrate here too. I sent out some photos of the fun we got to have here at the MTC. I dressed up as super duper patriotic as I could. I also realized that USA colors are Taiwan colors! Double benefit!! At the end of the day they prepared a special devotional for us and we watched this movie about the Pioneers called 17 Miracles. Way sad. but awesome. It was weird to watch TV again though. Then we went outside and got treats and watched the Ring of Fire fireworks from inside the MTC fence. You couldn't see much with all the trees in the way but it was still cool and I ran into my BYU buddies. And we got to stay up till 11 but it actually backfired because the next day I was Sister Zombie. 


This week was hard. I'm still adjusting to mish life...it's just very different. But I cannot even fathom how much I have learned from the Spirit this week. It is incredible. This is no ordinary place. The Lord had answered a lot of my prayers through small and simple ways. They are the best "tender mercies."

One of the challenges this week was exhaustion. I have been so worn out by the learning and studying. I get enough sleep and go to bed right when we get home and arise before 6:30 am yet I always find myself to be exhausted. I said a prayer and got the impression to go outside and study with my companion. We went out to the grass and I decided to lay down and meditate for a bit. I looked up at the sky and I was overcome with this beautiful spirit. The sun rays were peaking  through a couple of tree branches and these humming birds-my favorite birds-few by. The wind blew and some flowers flew onto my skirt. I took a moment to realize how beautiful this world is. I suddenly felt awake. I don't know why but being outside woke me up and motivated me to study. I was in the proper spirit to continue with my work. 

All throughout the week I've been giving myself a hard time, just with everything. During gym time I felt impressed to run the whole time outside. My companions and I went to the field and they played games while I ran by myself. It felt so good. I said a prayer of thanks in my head that Heavenly Father gave me this way to work out my frustration. Seconds after I said amen a thunderstorm came and warm rain started to beat down. My favorite running weather. It was perfect. 

I know I shouldn't be, but sometimes I still get super disappointed in myself for not knowing the language better. There were times this week when I would stare at flash cards and repeat the word over and over and over and then Id just forget it all completely moments later. Before going in to a lesson to meet up with my investigator I said a prayer that the spirit would be there no matter how wrong I said things. Our lesson was centered on the Plan of Salvation. Towards the end I was baring my testimony and all I said was 'I know that you are a daughter of Heavenly Father and I know that He loves you.' And I started crying in the middle of the testimony because suddenly the spirit was just so powerful and I knew that what I was saying was true. I just felt it. I knew it. The spirit filled the room. I learned from that lesson that language is not a barrier for God's love. There is no need to be disappointed anymore. 

Early this week I was feeling really down about just being a missionary in general. A thought just keep creeping into my mind that I wasn't fit for this job. I was sitting in the classroom hallway waiting for my companion to use the bathroom. Suddenly the MTC president walked through the hall and he was giving his family a tour. This little boy was walking with his grandma and he stared at me and smiled and said to his grandma, 'Is that a REAL missionary?' I was so overcome with a feeling that said, "YES, I am a real missionary." I am here for a reason. It was powerful! I will never forget that moment. All doubt washed away!
Obviously, the MTC is very up and down. One moment Ill be really down then something amazing will happen and I'll be as high as a spiritual kite! I love the MTC for this. 

I love that the Lord sends small tender mercies like letters, a smile, beautilful weather, and so many other things to remind me that there is a purpose for this work. 

Lately, in my mind its been all about me and my frustrations and my wants. Its time for me to get over myself. I've made a goal that in all of my prayers from now on I will pray to not be selfish and to focus on others. Focus on the work. I don't know why but this talk just really struck me and I want to try harder! Yesterday I watched a devotional by Elder Bednar called The Character of Christ. I'd ask you all to watch it asap but apparently its an MTC only video. Well if you're going to the MTC anytime soon WATCH IT. It was life changing. He said 'The difference between the natural man and the Savior is that while the natural man always turns inward, Christ always turns outward...'

Missionaries, it's time to get over yourselves.

Well, thats my week. So much learned. I wonder all the time, how have I only been here for 2 weeks? I have learned so much already! What more can I possibly learn?? Then I remember oh yeah...chinese duh. Still more to come. 

To answer some questions, yeah I am on the main campus, not the west campus. This week is supposed to be the peak influx of missionaries in Church history. So many Mormons in one place! wowzahhh. 

Also I think mom asked what i do here daily. here is my schedule for most days: 

Wake up 
personal study 
study language 
study language 
prepare to teach again 
go to bed asap 

Its busyyyyyy but it is preparing me tons!!!! 

I love teaching investigators. I love love love them. We got 2 new investigators this week and I am so stoked. I love the Chinese/Taiwanese people. They are so kind. So sweet. I know the Lord loves them too. 

Well wo de jia ting and pengyou men this had been a far too long email. Know that I am happy when I am guided by the spirit. Know that you will be happy if you let the Lord guide your life too. You guys rock! Keep writing please! I love you guys! 

Zhong Jie Mei 
Sister Tracy 

Monday, July 1, 2013

First week at the MTC - July 1st

Ni hao wo de jia ting he pengyou! (Hello family and friends!)

WOW where to even begin...I have 30 mins aiurgbaeuiprgb

The MTC is crazy. It is literally the most exhausting, enlightening, draining, insane, beautiful environment that I have ever experienced. Day 1 was extremely overwhelming with all of the new info thrown at me and such. And this place is a maze. Why do they not color code the buildings?? My emotions are on a roller coaster. This life style is a huge adjustment. You are always busy. Almost every moment is planned out. It's different. There are times when I say to myself, "What have I gotten myself into..." And I get down...But then there are always times when something MIRACULOUS will happen and I will immediately be uplifted and be reminded that I am here for a reason. 

Is sooooooo adorable! Her name is Sister Beazer (Bi Jie Mei) and she is this sweet girl from West Valley UT. She is into a lot of the same things as me. We get along so well and we are great at communicating. Love her! And I loveeee my other roomies too!

Is the best district I could ask for. The district is basically your classmates. There are 10 of us. 4 sisters (Yao and Ni Jie Mei from UT and TX, we are all 19) and 6 elders ( 5 of them are 18 and 1 is 23). We are all so different yet we all clicked from day one. We are all about unity. We have a compliment/pengyou circle at the end of each lesson and compliment each other and share stories. It is cheesy but VERY uplifting. We communicate very well and always meet our goals. Love them all!

My zone is awesome. Most of us are going to Taiwan. A few to England, Austrailia, Cali, and Scotland. Some people have been here for 9 weeks already and leave tomorrow. They are amazing at Chinese! (to us noobs anyways). My branch Prez is Prez Baker. HE IS A BOSS. His philosophy is to take one day at a time and chill out. He tells us all the time, "It's a joke," you're not all perfect but everything WILL be okay. He served in Taiwan. His winks make you feel like you can climb Mt Everest. He is the perfect Branch Prez for a Mandarin speaking nervous bunch of kids. He always says that Madarin missionaries hold themselves to a higher standard. Its awesome.  

The gift of tongues is real. Not going to lie, I always was very skeptical when missionaries and RMs talked about the gift of tongues. Its real. If you're skeptical too, stop it. I was really intimidated with language study at first. EVERYTHING is Chinese. you are completely immersed. The lessons are taught in Chinese--completely. You talk to everyone in the best Chinese you can all day ere day. BUT it is SOOOOO HELPFUL. I have already taught 2 lessons in Chinese!

The investigators here are members acting as volunteers, BUT they are all converts and their stories are very really. So teaching them feels very very real. We are teaching a girl right now named Dong Jie Mei. She had a son when she was 15 and she wants the gospel to help her family. The first lesson I was soooo nervous. I was so afraid that my Chinese would suck and that I wouldn't be able to communicate well. It went okay. I was able to communicate somewhat but I was not satisfied. I realized later that it was because I had not focused on her, all I cared about was how well I could speak Chinese. Also, because I was frustrated the spirit was not there. I made a goal that next time we met with her I would study some Chinese vocab words but then completely focus on the spirit and focus on listening to her the best I could. All i did before the lesson was read scriptures and pray. We went in to meet her and the first thing we did was pray that the spirit would be there. And it was. It was incredible. That's when the gift of tongues works. I asked her questions about her life and focused on listening. I could understand her. I can't explain it but I could. And when I talked words that I had previously studied in high school or in class flooded my head. I'm happy to say that we committed her to come to church with us. The spirit is real, the church is true. This was the most miraculous moment of my life and Ill never forget it. Focus on others. Rely on Heavenly Father. Miracles can happen.

I love you all and there is so much more to say but I really dont have the time. 

I dont ask for too much except for when it comes to letters. Emails are wonderful too, but I can only see them and respond on Mondays (P Day). I can recieve letters and Dear Elder letters anytime of the week. It would be nice to recieve those during the week and reflect upon them because the weeks are very difficult. Also my address is wrong, it is:

Sister McKenna Dawn Tracy
2007 N 900 E UNIT 84
PROVO, UT 84602

Just the AUG 27 is new, before it was AUG 28. 

Please write me :) I miss you all. The work is good, there is still much to learn! Wo ai nimen! ( I LOVE YOU ALL)

Sister Tracy