Monday, July 28, 2014

Hi From The MTC

Hey, how is everyone doing? Or should I say ni hao ma. Things have been pretty crazy so far at the mtc. As soon as I walked into the door of my classroom everyone was speaking some crazy Chinese. Apparently the majority of the people in my district have been taking Chinese for like 3 years already so I have some catching up to do. All of the older elders say that I'll cover the gap very quickly though. I have a really good companion. He's taken Chinese for a while and is probably the most fluent in our district so he has been helping me to learn, which is good because I have the least experience with the language lol. My roommates are fine too and none of them snore for which I'm very happy haha. Oh and I'm sorry to say that I haven't seen Dallin at all yet. Apparently he's in another mtc area than me so he rarely comes over to this campus. Hopefully we'll find each other at some point and take a picture together. I have seen Emily Hoskins in the dining hall so I've said hi to her. My district is pretty cool. They're all really smart and are picking up the language really quickly. Two of the elders and I have played some basketball together and I'm basically like a weightlifting trainer for the district lol. The weights are nice but I was a little disappointed. I was expecting some really nice equipment but they aren't all that great and they don't have heavy enough weights. It's still fine for just a little workout tho. This pday has been a real relief from the go go go schedule that we've had up until now. I don't know how Eric was able to send as many letters as he did while in the mtc but i'm glad he did. Hopefully I'll be able to write a lot too. We had a great devotional yesterday from like the mtc manager and watched the Character of Christ talk by Elder Bednar. Both of them were very good! For Grandma Stevens, yes I did go to the first choir practice! I was surprised by how many people actually wanted to sing in choir. They had to really pack everyone in the seats. Thanks btw for the letters you sent and for the cinnamon rolls. I shared them with my district and they all really appreciated it. We took a nice break from the studying to eat them lol. We've started teaching an investigator and it's very challenging (idk if they're actually real or not cuz I've heard both...) I can't understand anything that he says and I can hardly get my point across. Luckily my companion is able to hold his own and have a decent conversation with the guy. We've gotten him to read some of the Book of Mormon and we've taught him to pray. We have to use a completely different approach then we do with people from the US cuz he's from Taiwan and is a Buddhist and doesn't believe in God. We had to start with the very basics haha. I think that I'm getting a little better and speaking with each lesson and I'm able to pray fairly decently without even looking at a script! Hopefully that's a sign of what's to come. Well that's pretty much everything that's been happening around here. The days are very long but I feel like we get a lot of learning out of them. I hope that everything has been going well back home and that everyone's having a good time on vacation. I love you lots!

Wen Zhanglao
(Elder Stevens)
(Wen with a fourth tone on the e is my name. It doesn't translate to Stevens but it means a scholar I think)

My District

My Companion Is Elder Osborne In The Yellow Shirt

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm Finally Here!

Hey guys I just wanted to send a quick note home to let you know that I'm still alive even if just barely and that things are going well at the MTC. Trying to learn everything in the MTC certainly is like trying to drink water from a fire hose because there is just so much to learn and so much information being thrown at you. It's really difficult to try and understand it all but since it's only the second day I'd say there's hope for me yet lol. Well my prep day is monday so I can send you a longer email then so expect to hear from me again. I love you lots and am excited to help spread the Lord's message with the world. 
Last Night With The Family

MTC Goodbyes