Well, Hello from the MTC! Thanks for all of your emails - I haven't read any of them yet because I only have 1/2 hour to read and email back, so I will try to print them. I PREFER THAT YOU EMAIL ME VIA DEAR ELDER. That means that I will get the letter the day you send it, which gives me more time on P-day to write you. It also means that my mail is spread throughout the week, which is nice. You have no idea how important mail is to a missionary. I didn't either.
Well, I love you all. And I also have an upper respiratory infection I think. My companion got sick on Thursday and that is what the nurse told her she had. But the nurse just said "everyone is sick and the virus is everywhere, so go to class, don't wear a mask, etc" so of course me and our other companion are also sick. Blagh. It's not the worst ever, but it is pretty stupid. Two Elders in my Mandarin Branch have been quarantined for H1N1 virus, so pray that I get well and pray I don't get swine flu (especially since my immune system is already weakened!) That being said, I already love being a missionary.
This week I was thinking how happiness comes from knowing that we are doing what God wants us to be doing, in the right place at the right time. Happiness is a lot less dependent on the pleasures that advertizing tells us that we need to be happy, because I have no "me time" or any entertainment. Every night I am so happy I am singing in the shower (haha) and skipping to my sushi (dormitory) because it makes me so happy. Though I don't have the other comforts or even family or friends, I am happier because I am doing what I need to. I hope that makes sense.
ALSO. The gift of tongues is totally legitimate. This week our companionship decided develop the Christlike attribute of faith, and to do it we decided to memorize 100 new words on the day of our week anniversary of coming to the MTC. We did it. And keep in mind it had taken us a day and a half just to memorize about 40 words that were in Our Purpose the week before. Also, we had testimony meeting yesterday (the one meeting we were allowed to attend because we are sick) and I understood about 90% of the testimonies. Granted, most of them said the same thing and we had learned a lot of the vocabulary when we learned to pray, but still it was pretty miraculous. Neither of my companions understood very much, but they will catch on soon. I think I just have developed the skill of inferring what I don't understand.
Keep praying for me; I'm doing my best. We do about 2 hours a day with the teachers, and a lot of it is on our own. I'm trying to learn vocabulary for the parts of speech this week and how they are used so I can start making my own sentences.
Okay, well the emails didn't print properly so I have to go speed read what everyone said in my remaining couple minutes.
FML Zhan jie mei(my Chinese name.)