Thursday, November 20, 2014

losing my English, newbies, habanero jelly, first snow, our army coming over the hill, cool analogies, be ready always

First snow!

November 17, 2014

On Wednesday I begin my 6th week! All the new missionaries come in and think we're sooo experienced but we still feel new and like we don't know a ton of Chinese. But I'm already losing my English. I anticipated that this would happen months from now in the field when I'm fluent in Chinese, but it's happening already! Right now I don't even have a language--I'm not fluent in English or Chinese!

But we are becoming pros at the MTC -- we basically have this place down to a science. This week we got called into the travel office and we knew it would be something about our visas. All the districts ahead of us called to Taiwan have been re-assigned to the states because apparently Taiwan changed the number of missionaries they're accepting.  So basically we have to wait until missionaries go home for new ones to go over. 

But, we heard that things are going better and that they're optimistic things will be figured out by the time it's time for us to leave the MTC. So we had all of this in mind when we walked over to the travel office, wondering if we would open up letters saying the state we were re-assigned to... or wondering if they would tell us everything was fine with our visas to go to Taiwan. But it turns out they just needed us to sign a couple of papers and that there was no news :(  Talk about anti-climactic.

But it was a fun week-- time went by the fastest ever so far here.


On Wednesday we had the opportunity to host new missionaries. This was exciting for us to welcome and meet all the newbies.  It brought me back to the day I got dropped off by Dad and Mama and had a smiling sister come welcome me and help me bring my luggage to my residence. It was sad to see all the missionaries have to say goodbye to their families, but it was good to be able to empathize with how overwhelmed they were and tell them everything would be okay here. 

Habanero jelly!
Deep thinker + Habanero Jelly
Elder Millet (the one who looks sort of Russian with his crazy hat on in all the photos) is awesome! He is such a cool person. He's an extremely deep thinker and each time we have district testimony meeting or sharing time or anything, he always has some sort of speech prepared with all sorts of crazy symbolism. In the past he has related Beatles songs to the Gospel, explained to us the entire first half of Les Miserables then explained how the merciful obtain mercy, etc. This week his family sent us some of their habanero jelly. I had never heard of it. It's spicy and a little bit sweet and you eat it over wheat thins. Seriously amazing! I single-handedly ate half of the jar!

First Snow!
It's freezing here now! Because we're all going to Taiwan, we don't have super warm clothes so we've been bundled up all week. It snowed for the first time and it was gorgeous! Everyone went crazy.

Can all Mormons sing?
I'm getting excited for Thanksgiving :)  Apparently it's awesome here. There's a Thanksgiving program and I heard there might even be show tunes! Many times throughout my life I've been asked "Can all Mormons sing?" But it's sort of true. For some reason, most Mormons are decently musical! And in the MTC people are so talented. I've heard some of the best voices in my entire life here. Way better than many celebrity voices, so it's always exciting to hear the special musical performances.

Our Army Coming Over the Hill
Last night at our devotional, Sister Nally (the MTC President's wife) led us in a cool musical number. We all sang "Called to Serve" but she told us to picture ourselves as part of an army, hiding behind a hill. 

Called to serve
So we sang the first verse as quietly as we could: "Called to serve Him, heav'nly King of glory, Chosen e'er to witness for his name, Far and wide we tell the Father's story, Far and wide his love proclaim".  

Then we got a little louder on the chorus and sang the second verse medium volume:

"Called to know the richness of his blessing--Sons and daughters, children of a King--Glad of heart, his holy name confessing, Praises unto him we bring."

Then the last chorus forte: "Onward, every onward, as we glory in his name; Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing..."

For the last 2 lines, we stood up and sang as loud as we could, picturing our army coming over the hill: "God our strength will be; press forward ever, called to serve our King."

It was so cool! Just picture 2000 missionaries in one room singing those words as loudly as we can.

Cool Analogies
One of Elder Millet's cool analogies this week was about a car. He's into cars and he told us about how after the car is created and completely assembled, it's a beautiful masterpiece. But what they do with it then is run it into a wall. Many people wonder why they would do that to such a fine invention, but that's a necessary process in order to improve the car. After running it into the wall, they see the car's weak spots and then they know what to change in order to make it better. 

He said this is like the Atonement in our lives. Many people wonder why God would give or allow His children trials and hard times if we are His greatest creations and He loves us. But we are given trials so we can improve as people and learn what we can change to become better. Even though it's painful to go through this process, we always come out stronger afterwards and we have Christ to help us.

Be Ready Always to Give an Answer
My scripture for this week is 1 Peter 3:15:15
" Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you...."
I like this because I've had so much time here to think about what I really believe. I have so many hours each day to further study my beliefs and ask many big questions in pondering as I think about these beliefs. I know that I need reasons for my beliefs and that I need to be ready to share them with others when they ask. 

I hope everyone has a great week! Love and miss you all!

Sister Sinclaire Hancock

Sometimes we're just exhausted
With my BYU roommate, Sister Megan Brown called to serve in Brazil!

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