I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! Oh my goodness, it's so amazing to finally be here at the MTC. It's so weird though because it seems like I've been here for weeks already even though it's only been 5 days! Each day seems like it's a week long, and when I get to my room at night I can barely remember what happened in the morning. I guess it's good I feel like I've been here for so long though because I found out that I'll only be here for 4 weeks after all... I leave on November 16th. Crazy, huh?
The first time I walked into my room I already felt SO loved by my companions because they had left notes on the door and another trail of notes on the floor and all sorts of treats on my bed, including a little surprise box! I was in such a hurry I didn't get to open it right away though. When I met my companions later they asked me (laughing) if I like their present and I was telling them how I loved their notes and treats so much! I found out later why they were laughing when I opened the box and found two little locks of their hair, one brown and one blonde that they had given me to show how much they loved me! Hahaha it was really funny, and we laughed a long time about how I didn't even know what they were talking about when they asked me if I liked it. :)
I spent most of the first two days with Sister Fleming, another sister who got bumped into the accelerated program. We bonded almost instantly and the more I got to know her the more I found out we were basically twins! We both have a passion for the language (she taught English in China with ILP) and we have very similar personalities. We had the greatest time going to all the orientation meetings together. On that first night we were walking past a class room and heard some missionaries singing (in their own language) "There Is Sunshine in my Soul Today" and I turned to her and said, "That's exactly how I feel!!" I wanted to burst into song, but I restrained myself and asked if we could sing hymns that night as we were getting ready for bed. When we got back to the dorm she handed me a Chinese hymn book and said, "song gei ni" which means "this is a gift for you." That totally made my day!
Now Sister Fleming and I are split up into different districts with our own companions so we can get some experience from the older missionaries. We each have a 3-some. I love my new companions as well (the ones who gave me the locks of hair), although I really hope that Sister Fleming and I get to be companions again someday!
I also love my district and the other Elders and Sisters in my Branch. We have 22 new missionaries, most of which are going to Taiwan, and 1/3 of which are Sisters! They're really packing Taiwan with Sisters! I have been absolutely blown away at how the Elders treat the Sisters here. They respect us so much. They hold open doors, take our trays, and the meal lines even stop till the Sisters go through--it's amazing. I feel like a princess here!
We also have a lot of fun and laugh a ton. One time when we were in the classroom and speaking a little more English than we should've been, one of the teachers walked past (in fact, it was Jeremy Perkins!) and said, "Waaa, ni de ying wen tai bang le!!" (Your English is amazing!) We all burst out laughing... and then got back to work. It sent the message.
I LOVE speaking the language all the time here. It's something I've always wanted to do but never had the confidence for. Now I feel like I can do it as much as I want and never feel like an idiot :) I have felt my language skills improving more than I ever have in my life. All the promises that were made to me in Priesthood Blessings about learning the language quickly are already being fulfilled, even though it's only been 5 days. It's incredible, and I honestly didn't expect to learn so quickly. I can see how much Heavenly Father is helping... and whenever another missionary compliments me on how well I speak I always say, "It's not me!"
I had an incredible experience on Friday when we were doing a contacting/teaching activity. We were simulating the TRC and practicing shopping for clothes and then inviting people to learn more about the gospel while we were shopping. I didn't think I'd be able to participate much in the lesson portion because I didn't know many gospel words (I could go shopping just fine!), but as thoughts came to my mind of things I should say I just tried to say them and the words just flowed out of my mouth. I really couldn't believe how I knew how to say the things I did. So yes, Heavenly Father is helping me a lot.
I also learned something neat this week. My companions and I started having a conversation about the difference between having enough faith for something to happen vs. other people's agency limiting the outcome. Later another sister joined the conversation and said that in the Christlike Attribute test is asks you to rate yourself: "I have the faith necessary to help make good things happen in my life or the lives of others" which shows that no, your faith is not limited by other people's agency. (Ether 12:12-18) If you have faith that means you have hope in Christ and correct principles. I know that's true. Just have faith.
I love you all so much and I'm grateful for your prayers. I keep praying for you too :)
Love, Sister Morey