Shiqing Shi Zheyang de — The Way It Is

I’m terribly sorry for being so far behind. This email was received two weeks ago. –Lisette

ELDER HOLLAND came to speak last Tuesday. (and rumor has been confirmed someone you ming (to have a name = famous) will be here tonight as well) It was wonderful and intense and exactly what I needed to hear. Some quotes (and paraphrases, forgive me!) are included in this week’s tweets. I know that man is an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is incredibly in tune with the Spirit and the needs of not only Church members but all of God’s children on the Earth right now.

Several other miracles happened this week —

Bai Laoshi and Fan Laoshi (new teacher — bendiren from Gaoxiong and hen bang!) demonstrated teaching the Plan of Salvation in Chinese. Each teacher and our mudaoyou had their individual scriptures in front of them. For Bai Laoshi, they were in English. For Fan Laoshi, they were in traditional Chinese characters. For our mudaoyou, it was the three-column Missionary study edition. As they taught, they incorporated scriptures from the Book of Mormon and not a single word was lost in translation. That is a miracle, and a true testament to the divinity of that book. Not only was it translated by Joseph Smith once, but it continues to be translated into all the languages of the world with no loss of content integrity. Show me any corporate document that can do that.

Our gaoji left this morning, which was bitter sweet. We all have a love/hate relationship with the MTC — all at once, we love the Spirit of this place, and the wonderful people…. but we know it’s not the Field. So while I’m sad I won’t see them at gym or in the cafeteria, I know they are headed out to change lives and that is good. That did lead to some interesting changes in our Branch, though. We got an entirely new slate of leaders (assignments more than callings… because we’ve all been officially called as missionaries), and I *drum roll* have a new companion!!

Her name is AiJieMei and she has zui hao de zhongwen (forgive my Chinglish, Li!). She came in the same day as I did, but was in the advanced program. Her visa was delayed and it was looking like she’d get reassigned (bu hao!), but instead she is getting surgery on her ankle and staying at the MTC for the two month recovery. It’s a long story and I’m sure you’ll get details as time goes on… but the important part is this: she’s fluent and she’s mine. It’s a little crazy because I have to go with her to pre-op (that was today), surgery (that’s tomorrow), and any post-op appointments, which will cut into class time. However, she brought that up first as a concern and we’ve already sorted out how to work our day so that she’s not hindering my Chinese. More than our plan, though, just her recognizing that as a possible concernt (ie, being aware of those around her) is so comforting and such a change. After the mere 12 hours we’ve been companions, I already love and appreciate her. That, and the Health Clinic is giving me a pager so while she’s in these first few days of intense recovery, I can be in class but still be available. Can we talk about how excited I am for a PAGER!? While the world hunts down the iPhone5 thief, I’m over the moon about a one-way, monochrome carrier pigeon… ahhh, the joys of the MTC. 😉

So…. one of our first devotional speakers challenged us to make a list of “things I’ve come to know for myself.” Well, in true Oler / Sister Missionary form, I’ve taken it upon myself to go above and beyond… I’ve made two: a serious, spiritual one and a quite ridiculous one. This week, I’ve gained a testimony of tones. Here’s the story: In the course of conversation with Elder Sabey, I asked “ni liaojie wo de xin, ma?” … xin with a fourth tone is letter or news. Unfortunately, I said xin with a first tone which is definitely “heart.” Elder Gong, listening in, got really concerned look on his face and started asking some pointed questions. Finally, he broke into English: “Elders and Sisters should not be understanding eachother’s hearts!!” We all lost it laughing and have now strenthened our testimony of the need for constant dilligence in tone excercises!

Ok. Gotta run. Love ya!!

Sister Oler

Ps — the photo machine is FINALLY up and running again. So expect some photos soon.