The MTC has been getting really wild lately.. They've managed to keep us on our toes. My subject translates to "When will we go??" Yeah, no one has any idea when we're going to Taiwan.
I'll start with the bad stuff. As all of us Mandarin speakers were sitting in on our Infield Orientation, it got to the very end where they put on a cute little play for us when they stopped it and announced all those who were headed to Taipei were to report straight to the Travel Office. Of course we all knew what this meant but it still stung hearing it from them. All of our Visas are apparently delayed. We no longer know if we're leaving on the 5th or not. But here's the thing!! They said our visas are still possibly coming before the 5th so there's a chance we'll still leave this week.. So you know you're in trouble when not even the friggin Travel Office has any idea what's going on. That has been fun.
Even after hearing our visas are delayed we still went to our Sunday departure devotional last night. No one is allowed to say we are leaving after the 5th hahah we are all so set on leaving this week. And I mean God parted the Red Sea for *heaven's* sake ;-) So what is a couple visas in comparison?? Honestly.
My tongban has made considerable progress towards becoming an 18 yrold so that has been very nice for me. However, he still has his episodes. The best of this week was when Heaps and I decided to hide his chair while he was on the John. So we put it on my top bunk under a blanket, super obvious but.. Didn't notice. Went to gym. Came back. Freaks out thinking its a person under the blanket so I book it out of there before he has another melt down. After showering I come back to see Heaps' bed thrown across my top bunk where tongban's chair had been and a complete mess made of it. Heaps comes back in the room to see his bed destroyed but mine untouched hahaha so Heaps decides to respond in a similar manner and I helped out. We WRECKED tongbans corner of the room, absolutely destroyed it and moved his mattress in front of the door so he couldn't get back in! It felt so good to stoop down to tongban's level for a moment I'll be honest. maybe I've been the one who is missing out lately, it's fun acting 10yrsold every once in a while hahahah!!
Another funny thing about Tongban. I wonder if he just doesn't think before he speaks? We sat in our lesson with our Goldtag, who actually committed to baptism for us a long while back, and she told us how a different set of missionaries had been teaching her, not really addressing her concerns but more focusing on getting her baptized. She told those missionaries she wasn't sure about it until she could find more answers. So those missionaries told her if that's the case then there's nothing more they could do for her and dropped her. And she told us that actually really hurt her feelings. And that it wasn't a good way for missionaries to communicate with their investigators. When we got out of the room my tongban pipes in that he really agreed with those other missionaries, that if any of his investigators weren't willing to get baptized and weren't making much progress then to keep meeting with them would be "such a waste of time." I actually snapped at him. I told him I thought that was super shallow. This is role play, these lessons are for us to learn what works well and what doesn't from the investigators perspective. And our investigator told us right up that doing what those missionaries did was a really dumb thing. Maybe tongban just didn't pick up on it. But here's the best part. I repeat what happened to other missionaries in our district later and use tongbans exact words and he flipped out when I retold this story because "when I repeat exactly what he says then I make it sound like he's a really bad person." So when someone else says what tongban says then he understands how awful it sounds but when he says it he must just not hear himself because its totally fine in his mind. He's since told me he doesn't want me ever repeating what he says hahahaha I'm such a bad tongban because I still do anyways!
Elder Huntsman is such a stud. He was a paige for the Senate for like 6 months and knows everything and everyone in our government. The past couple nights we've all just been sitting around telling stories and listening about how all the Senators are nuts haha. It's been interesting for me though, during story time I pretty much just sit quietly. I'm not used to being around so many kids who have so many better life stories than I do. So mostly I just don't even try to one up them and listen quietly. But I love hearing all about it, it's way sick.
Tuesday night this past week was such a sweet night for me. We have devotional reviews on Tuesday nights where we usually just bear testimony of something and whatnot. But I wasn't feeling that. I went around the room and just shared a reason why I thought everyone was great. It was really moving for me to watch some of these people that really are so awesome but don't hear it enough, to watch them perk up and brighten up a little was rewarding. The love you feel for everyone while doing this work is crazy. We're all in it together.
I came across Alma 5:45-46 in my reading. "How do you suppose I know these things for myself? Because I've given myself to much prayer and fasting." I have hardly any traditional, ultra orthodox views of the church and life around here. I question everything. My tongban and I don't get along a lot of days because he hates the way I look at the world and how my faith works. But there are a surprising amount of other elders around here who also don't always just take things for granted because a church leader said so. A lot have told me they really appreciate that I'm not afraid to bring up the tough questions and address the uncomfortable subjects. That has meant a lot to know other elders respect my questions. But the important thing is I know what I know. And I have given myself to much prayer and fasting like Alma to know what I know. I cannot and will not forget my secluded and fervent prayer on the Mount of Beatitudes after finding out my best friend had just died hours before. Christ didn't show himself to me there, didn't speak to me, but I sobbed as I felt overcome by the most unique spirit I had ever felt. He's there for me. I have been carried in his arms so to speak before and I can't deny it. So as many questions as I may have had and will continue to have doesn't matter too much to me because I know beyond a doubt the only thing that truly matters. Jesus Christ is my Savior. And I'm so excited to share this message with other people out there who are in despair just like I was.
Wow the mission is a life changer. There's already been so much about it that I won't forget. I love it. Thanks for support out there. You'll all just wonderful hahaha hope you know it.