Can you believe that this is my last week in America?! Next week at this time, I'll be in Asia! A few times a day, it just hits me that I'm actually going to be living in Asia for the next 16 months...crazy. I am completely terrified and at the same time, incredibly excited! It's definitely a strange mix of emotions!
Last Thursday was the most exciting day I've had in a few weeks! We got our travel plans!!!!!!!!! WE ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO TAIWAN!! We report to the travel office at 4:35 am next Tues morning and fly to LA, and then on to Taiwan, arriving at 9 pm on Wed, Taiwan time! We definitely all had focus issues for the rest of the day! We also got our full character nametags on Thurs! My tag actually has a different character on it for Mu than what they told me at the beginning of the MTC. It's still pronounced the same way, but this one means to admire or respect. The final exciting thing that happened on Thursday was as we were getting ready for bed. The fire alarm went off, so we got to hang out in the gym for a half hour! I guess someone burned popcorn or something....I was so glad I wasn't in the shower! All of the sisters in my zone just hung out and practiced reciting the First Vision in Mandarin.
I've decided that going on a mission is a lot like our life here on earth. Before we came to earth, Heavenly Father presented us with a plan. We chose to accept it, and were excited to come. Even though we knew that it would be challenging, and that there would be many difficulties, we knew that it would allow us to learn and grow and prepare for eternity. Earth life is not easy, but when we focus on the Lord, he helps us and blesses us to become like Him. We know that Heavenly Father has sent us to earth in our specific circumstances so that we can learn and also bless others. Our missions are very similar. The call to serve a mission has been extended, and we have accepted the call. We knew that it would not be easy and that we would need the help of the Lord to become the kind of servant that He was on earth. We have been called to a place and at a time that is very specific to us, and which will help us to bless the lives of many, as well as to prepare us for our work in eternity.
Sister Smith and I will be doing a teaching demonstration for the new missionaries tonight! On the evening of the day they arrive, all new missionaries attend a teaching experience- "older" missionaries start the lesson and then the new missionaries as a group take over. I am excited but it will definitely be weird to teach in English (hence the title of the email this week!).
I have had many sweet and spiritual moments this week that have helped me feel how much the Lord loves me and that he knows me individually and personally. I am incredibly grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord that bless my life.
Like I said earlier, it's still not real to me yet that this is my last p-day here! I think it probably won't hit me until I'm getting off the plane in Taipei! Ahhh! I am so ready- my language isn't, but I DEFINITELY am! I really cannot wait!
I love you all....and I'll talk to you from Taiwan next week!