Da Jia Hao!! (Hello everyone!)
Wow! I can't believe I'm already done with week 3 of the MTC!! Its so crazy! This week went by super fast and I hope the weeks keep going fast because I can't wait to get to Taiwan! But once I'm there, they can feel free to slow down =]
I have tons to talk about today so hopefully I'll be able to get through all or most all of it!
We'll start with conference! I hope you all watched it! If you didn't I highly suggest you go back and watch it because it was all amazing! Especially Saturday Afternoon, because, you know, some really awesome missionaries, me in particular, sang =] For those of you who missed it or couldn't find me, go to LDS.org and click on the Conference section, then click to watch all of Saturday afternoon. We sing at 1 minute, 30 minutes and the very end. As for where I am, when you are looking at the whole choir, I am in the middle section, on the left aisle, 6th row up, second in from the aisle. I'm inbetween a sister with a bright pink cardigan on and a sister in a bright yellow shirt, and in front of a sister in a white blouse. The sister to the right of me was my freshman roommate, Sister Doying, and the sister right behind me in the white blouse is one of my companions, Sister Walbrecht. I am most seen in the first number (Glory to God on High). I'm in the first three shots of the sisters singing, so look for me!!!
My mom had some questions about conference that I forgot to bring, but here is a little about the behind the scenes of us singing. We had 8 rehersals, not including the day of. They were all at 7 AM every morning the week before conference. To be in it, you filled out a paper with your experience and it was pure luck if you got in. They didn't have time for auditions. If you missed rehersal, you lost your spot, so it was super important to be at rehersals. The morning of we met at 9 AM for a dress and grooming check and then left at 9:45. We were all bused up (7 or 8 busses) and went directly to the little theater to rehearse and have a snack. After that we were lined up to go to the choir loft! I've been to the conference center many times, and so I know how huge it is, but it is a wild experience being behind the prophet and looking out at everyone instead of being in front of him watching the choir =] We didn't get to meet the prophet (which was sad) and he didn't even speak in our session, which was also sad, but it was still a marvelous and once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget!!!
So that was conference. Another exciting thing this week that many of you may or may not have heard about was that David Archuleta came into the MTC! I knew he was coming in last Wednesday so I was looking for him. I didn't see him till the next morning in Choir. I figured he'd be singing with us, and I walked right past him. The following morning I saw him and his companion, said good morning and he said good morning back. I've seen him several times a day since. Mostly at meals. I've been told he is going to Chile, but I know for sure he's going to some spanish speaking mission. I do feel bad for him though because a lot of people have been very intrusive. We just have to remember that he is here for the same reason we all are: to serve the Lord. I admire him for his choice to serve the Lord! If you watch the end of the last song we sang in conference, Praise to the Man, he is zoomed in on at the last shot, so you can see that he really is a missionary =]
This last week my companion and I and our elders that are going to our mission got a letter from our Mission President, President Bishop (we all got individual letters =] ) It was a letter asking for the character for our last name. Mine in peng (second tone). This computer doesn't have chinese on it, so I'll have to write it out next week. We were all so excited! We even took a picture together with all our letters =]
Conference in the MTC was great! We watched the Sunday sessions, and inbetween we got to go on a temple walk! My companions and I hadn't been yet since we had been going to choir, so this was our first time. We went with our zhang lao men (elders) and it was so fun! We finally got to get some good district pictures, so I'll have to print them and mail them home. (I really wish we could attach pictures...can't wait till the field, then I can!). I also can't wait to do another temple walk =] I love it!
So today the older generation of Chinese speaking missionaries left =[ It is like 30 missionaries! Over half our branch!!! We don't know when we are getting new missionaries, but we don't expect it for another 3 weeks or so =[ So we are now technically the "older" generation, even though we've only been here 3 weeks! So crazy! Two of the elders in my district are the new zone leaders, and I'm the new coordinating sister. Our district is just so awesome and I love them all!
Chinese is going really well! I forgot to tell last week that we finished teaching Cai4 Pei4 Fen1. We had a big surprise with that one, but since I know there are some future missionaries reading this, I won't spoil the surprise, since all new missionaries have this same experience. I'll just say that after teaching Cai4 Pei4 Fen1, we got a new teacher =] We have two new investigators, played by our teachers. Wei4 Di4 Xiong1 is a 24 year old college student who thinks its interesting that we speak Chinese, and Zhang1 Jie3 Mei4 is a 36 year old married mother of two boys. We have had 3 lessons with Wei4 Di4 Xiong1 and 4 lessons with Zhang1 Jie3 Mei4. Both have "come" to church and are reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Zhang Jie Mei is really progressing and we plan to invite her to be baptized tomorrow! I'll let you know how that goes!
Well, I know that was a super long letter, but this past week was just super amazing!
I want to sincerely thank ALL of you for your letters and Dear Elders! I am absolutely amazed at the love and support I have from my amazing family and friends. I sometimes feel a little guilty when the District leader is passing out mail, because I always have the most (which I NEVER expected to be the case) but I am truly, truly grateful for every single piece of mail! I am blessed to have such wonderful friends and family! So thank you all!!!!!
Don't forget to keep Dear Eldering/Writing me! Because I do appreciate it, even if I'm not able to individually thank each and every one of you =]
With that, I just want to share with you my favorite conference talk, which was by Elder Scott in the Saturday Afternoon Session about the Holy Ghost. We weren't able to take paper with us on the stand, so I don't have any notes about it, but it is the one talk that I felt was so amazing! The Holy Ghost is such an amazing gift, and I am so grateful to have it! The MTC is just filled with the Spirit, and I'm so grateful to be surrounded by it all the time! It is also amazing the power that the Holy Ghost has in teaching investigators and truly converting them to the gospel. I know that without the Holy Ghost, I wouldn't be able to teach people the way I am able to!
I hope you all are having a wonderful week! I love each and every single one of you and I think of you all often!
Thank you for your love, support and prayers!!
Lots of love,
MTC Mailbox #107
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
Here are all of the books she has to use and carry around.
And here is Andrea with our good friend Drew Austin.
Here is Andrea with the people in her district.
Andrea with her companion and roommates.