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
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!
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
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."
TENDER MERCY #1
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.
TENDER MERCY #2
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.
TENDER MERCY #3
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.
TENDER MERCY #4
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:
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