Tuesday, November 4, 2014

the little things, His help, a beautiful dream, getting better each time we teach, a great example, clashtastic

Monday,  November 3, 2014

It's the little things
our schedule
Life is starting to get a bit routine here. For the most part, we have the same schedule every day (see picture). So anytime there is a slight change in the schedule I get very excited! 

The days are enjoyable still, but I look forward to them even more when there's something coming up like a devotional, or when we teach new investigators, or finding out that my roommate is getting here in 2 days!! 

But the little things brighten my day and are a nice break from the hard study all the time. Here are a few examples of these kinds of moments that make me happy:

-While teaching a lesson and trying to teach our investigator that we know God loves her, my companion accidentally messing up the Chinese said "We all know God loves me." The investigator kind of stared at us for a second but then kept nodding her head. Eventually my companion realized what she had said and then the investigator just laughed at us. 

"little things brighten my day"
-Volleyball every morning! This week's injury -- as I was getting out of the shower, I noticed my wrist had a ton of purple dots all over it. Turns out I bruised from playing volleyball one of the days because this one elder on the other team had super hard serves and all of them were to me :(
volleyball or vaccination?

But I found that pretty funny because a few people in my district needed some immunizations before they get to Taiwan and one of them asked how my shot went. Even though I didn't get any shots, I thought I'd go along with it.

I pointed to my creepy looking purple wrist and said "I think something went wrong... do you think I should go talk to them?" They were super scared for a while but then I told them I was kidding and it was from volleyball :)

-Mormon messages! It's nice being able to watch a short uplifting video every once in a while for a study break. So we usually watch one together as a district and we even came up with a saying to justify it: "A Mormon message a day keeps the devil away."

-We came up with another funny saying describing our experience after every meal in the cafeteria. "My mouth says hen hao but my stomach says bu hao" (in Chinese meaning my mouth says "very good", but stomach says "not good")

-While the elders were giving a lesson, one of them on accident said "God loves all Americans" (Shen ai meiguoren) which was also pretty awkward until they corrected it to "God loves everyone" (Shen ai meigeren). 

Now to answer your questions:

I've felt His help
1) Something that touched my heart this week:

 I came across D&C 11:21 and it was exactly what I needed to hear: "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men". 

Chinese is hard! By the end of the day, in our last class we all start to lose focus. It's hard to not want to give up and just beg the teacher to say it in English after 20 minutes of him playing charades in Chinese.
But this scripture is comforting to me because I do not need to be worried. 

Right now I can focus on studying the Gospel first, and then Heavenly Father will help me with the language and I know this is true. I've felt His help already as I've been here. 

"they were watching up above"
A beautiful dream
2) How I felt God's love this week:

Something I've been working on is trying to stay patient. It's easy to get frustrated at times here because everything we do is with a companion. Oftentimes we have different ideas for how we want to teach our lessons or spend our time and it can be difficult to agree.

But when I pray for help to be patient and kind and to have charity, I receive that extra help every time I ask for it. It's as if my attitude transforms completely. I'm able to see my companion differently and love her even more than I did before. 

One night in particular as I was going to bed I was feeling a little bit sad. I prayed for an increased desire to serve my mission so that it would be easier for me to make it through the hard parts.

That night I had a beautiful dream that is difficult to describe what I saw, but I'll try. The dream was like one of those shots that you see in science documentaries or something. A completely zoomed out picture of the Earth, from up above thousands of feet. I was seeing from that angle tiny little dots below. It turns out that I was one of those tiny dots on Earth, and that this was the view my ancestors could see.

They were watching up above and cheering me on and rooting for me and encouraging me to move forward because they knew how important my work was. 

We're getting better each time we teach
tons of flashcards
3) What we're learning in Chinese class right now:

Most recently we've been working on how to teach the Plan of Salvation. Those who know what this is know it's hard enough in English to teach this religious doctrine to someone who has never heard of it! Chinese has been interesting learning to say very specific words such as mortal, eternity, star, lowest, highest, moon, sun, sin, resurrection, forgiveness, mortal, to separate, agency, temptation, evil, perfect...

But we've already practiced one lesson and we'll teach another tomorrow so we're getting better each time we teach! I have tons of flashcards I go through everyday to help me memorize all these words.

A great example
This week was sad for us because one of the elders in our district went home. We were all super bummed about that and miss him a ton but hope that he's doing okay and will be able to come back later when he's ready. No more movie voice at the end of each day :(

But on the bright side, I am continually inspired by the people in my district! Elder Marcelo is from the Philippines, and this was his first time to another country. He flew about 30 hours to get here and is learning Chinese and English basically at the same time! He says he translates between 3 languages every time we learn something new in class. It must be so hard because our teacher always writes up the translation in English but a lot of times he doesn't even know that word so it's exhausting for him translating from tagalog to English, then to Chinese. And all he eats in the cafeteria is rice and chicken, the poor guy.

But he's so cheerful all the time and I love it! He's a great example to me. 

Halloween was a fun day this week!

We always laugh because some of the sisters here wear the funniest things. I think because everyone was only to able to pack a few outfits, people try to mix and match things that frankly, should not be mixed and matched.

We've seen all sorts of combinations like floral & polka dots, stripes on stripes, plaid with stripes... so for Halloween we thought we'd join in so here are our clashtastic outfits for their first debut!

Happy birthday Mom
Happy Birthday

I'm not sure you were able to get my letter in time but here's a photo of me thinking of you on your day. love you so much!!!!!

Love you!!! praying for you everyday!!!

Sister Hancock

p.s. Also you can use Dear Elder and maybe tell my friends because it's free while I'm in the MTC and it prints off letters and delivers them to me the same day, so it would be quicker than mail :)

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