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
AUG 27 TAIW-TAI
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 WO AI ZHONGWEN
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 MISS MUSIC
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.
LESSONS LEARNED THIS WEEK
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.
TIME IS FLYING
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!
Zhong Jie Mei
P.S. Shout out to Elder Dickson´s parents for reading my blog! Your son is my District leader!