MOM I got your package FINALLY. I got the package slip on Saturday but the mailroom closed so Ive had to wait all weekend to get it. But it is awesome because I have so much food now YAY.
KARAZAY WEEK for the following reasons
1. I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS!!!!!!!!!!! We leave August 27. I believe our plane departs at 11:20 am. We land around 12:30 pm in LAX. Then we have a 4 hour layover in LAX. Then we depart for Taiwan at 4:50 pm. we land in Taiwan the next day at 9:20 pm. AMAZING! IMPORTANT - Mom and Dad, I am allowed to call home at some point during this time. I'm planning on calling you during the layover. PLEASE be by the phone all day on Aug 27 just in case. Let me know which phone to call too.
2. We got our Chinese nametags!!!!!! I'll send some pics. So crazy! We aren't allowed to wear them in the MTC though because not everyone knows Chinese.
3. I am super sick! I have laryngitis and I cannot talk which stinks because I need to practice speaking Chinese as much as I can until we leave but I can barely say a word. The nice thing is my Branch President let me go back to the dorm yesterday and sleep. And people brought me my favorite foods from the MTC cafeteria...pb and j, crackers, carrots, and granola. (Clearly, I don't like a lot of the MTC food). Good day of rest for me!
We skyped a boy in Taiwan on Monday. It was the weirdest conversation of my life. The boy learned English from a British teacher so he has an Asian English accent. He really wanted to practice his English on us so he spoke a mix of English-British-Chinese to us and we spoke Kindergarten-level Chinese back to him. Thank goodness the lesson went well (gift of tongues).
5. At devotional, guess who came to speak....ELDER SCOTT!!!!!!!!! It was incredible! And I got to sing in the choir for him. Oh, and it was broadcasted to the MTCs around the world and apparently I was on camera twice! Elder Scott talked about prayer and revelation. Wonderful insights! I will write you guys about it later because I have zero time to type today. But what I really liked was his comment that when we don't get an answer to our prayers it means the Lord is wanting us to exercise our faith...that's when the answer comes. Everyone remember that! Also, right when he walked in the room I felt very strongly that his wife was present. Midway through the talk, Elder Scott broke down a little and said, "Sorry that I am so emotional. I feel my wife's presence in the room." WOW the Spirit speaks!
6. This week my district is observing Consecration Week (i.e., we are speaking no English). If we don't know a word we are forcing ourselves to look it up and spell it out till we know the Chinese. It's a great motivator and will push us before we end arrive in Taiwan. Hopefully, I'll be able to get my voice back soon so I can participate.
7. Cool experience. We were listening to a Chinese translation of an Elder Bednar talk as a listening exercise. . At first, we had no idea what was going on. Our teacher stopped the talk and told us a personal experience he had with using the Spirit to translate Chinese. He told us to listen to the spirit harder, to be more open. We knelt down as a district and said a prayer. Immediately afterwards...we could understand...maybe not everything. but we understood what he was saying. Our teacher was so excited, "GIFT OF TONGUES, MISSIONARIES!!! YOU ARE DOING IT!" It was incredible.
8. My new address. You do not need to write out the characters-thank goodness-cuz that would be really hard for all of my non-Chinese family and friends. If you write the characters it gets delivered faster...but if you do the following, it just mails a little slower. SOOOOOO write me at the following address
Sister McKenna Dawn Tracy
Taiwan Taipei Mission
4FL, #24, Lane 183 Jin-hua ST
Taipei, TAIWAN, ROC
9. Spiritual thought of the week. God knows us. We are numbered and He knows us personally. I know that if we rely on Him and His spirit, He will help us know where we need to be and what we need to do. I know for a surety that Taiwan is the place for me. Even though I often think, I wish I was speaking English...it would be so much easier, I know that this is not my path. I realized this week that I am so so so thankful to be learning this difficult language because it forces me to be simple and teach the gospel simply and plainly. If I were to be in an English speaking mission I know I would focus way to too much on HOW I was teaching rather than WHAT I was teaching. I would overcomplicate things with a language I know. Chinese allows me to speak as simple, gospel truths. It takes a really special person to serve an English speaking mission because they have the patience to teach the gospel simply. I would probably have a hard time with that.
Well, last week in America for the next 16 months of my life. Last week before its go time for real. Let's do this!!
Wo ai nimen!
Zhong Jie Mei