Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Hey, what you listening to?" "Tab Choir" "Yeah, right!" *cue music that isn't the Tabernacle Choir*

Happy Wednesday, everyone!! This week was a great week! I cannot even believe that I have been at the MTC for an entire month....where has the time gone?!

The subject for this week's email comes from something that happened during'll have to keep reading to find out, because I'm not going to tell you yet!

I am LOVING Chinese! Yes, loving it! It is tricky, but it is an amazing language. When I was taking French in HS, I always said that one day, I was going to create a language in which you didn't have to conjugate verbs. Well, guess what?!?! It's already been's Chinese! I cannot even describe how much I love being able to learn a verb and not having to learn 12 different conjugations of it. It's amazingly wonderful. Even though the tones are tricky, Chinese grammar is really quite simple. There aren't exceptions to the rules, like in English. Once you learn a grammar principle, you've got it. Also, I am convinced that the Chinese people have had the gospel already...they just don't know it yet! The word for 'week' is libai, which literally translates to 'worship'. The Chinese call the days of the week by saying the word for week and then the number of the day (Monday is 1, Tuesday is 2, etc). But Sunday is different- it doesn't have a number, you just say libai tian, which means worship day. Amazing! No one even worships on Sunday- they have certain days of the month according to their calendar that are worship days, and they use Sunday as the best day for business. My teacher Xiao Laoshi said that once you start studying characters, the relation to the gospel is even more apparent. The character for the word garden looks like two people with a tree full of fruit (Garden of Eden, anyone?). Who knows, Chinese could be the Adamic language. Another thing I love about Chinese is that it is very literal. Most words are two syllables long, and each syllable corresponds to a character. The word for 'distort' is niuqu (3rd tone, 1st tone). Niu means to turn around, and qu means to bend and make crooked. The way Chinese works is that each character has a few different pronunciations and several meanings and they are combined to make words. The pinyin tells us how to pronounce them. 

The name of the church literally translates to "Jesus Christ latter-day holy follower church"

This week, I have really seen my Chinese improve. When we first got here and started teaching, we had to write out a script of everything we wanted to say and then just read from it, but now we are able to write down words we want to use and speak mostly from our brains and our hearts. It's no longer weird for me to hear Chinese coming from my mouth or the mouths of others. We are by no means perfect, and there is still SO SO SO much to learn, but looking back, I can see the progress I've made, and it makes me feel encouraged.

Time to talk about TRC! I was not looking forward to it this week, because last week's just didn't go as well as I had hoped. But both of our TRC appointments went really well! We got to teach a girl who we also taught last week. She is actually from China, and was baptized 2 or 3 months ago. All of her family is still in China and she only gets to see them occasionally. She told us that our Chinese was much better than last week, so that was good! She has so much faith- she reminds me of Hannah Barnes, actually! I hope we get to see her again tomorrow, because she comes every week.

Here’s the part that related to my title for this week. After we came out of our TRC lesson, Elder Hughes and Elder Dethloff were still teaching a couple from China whose son is a member of our church. Suddenly, we hear the Elders start beatboxing. Yes, beatboxing. Apparently, the sisters had sung for them, so they asked if the Elders would sing for them too. They said no, but said they had another talent to share. So they beatboxed for this Chinese couple who knows zero English. They LOVED it, though! Afterward, our teacher told them that as a teacher, he needed to say that that probably wasn't the best way to bring the Spirit, but that as a former missionary, sometimes you have to do unconventional things to build a relationship.

Nicole's favorite cafeteria worker-the wonderful Paige, her roommate from last semester

I love you all! Thank you for the letters and emails and dear elders. They really do make my day!! If you want to send me an email about something this week but don't know what to write, tell me about your testimony of Jesus Christ and how it has blessed your life. I have loved hearing about all of your favorite scriptures and how you've seen the hand of the Lord.

Mu Jiemei/ Sis Murri

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