Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feb. 25, 2013

Leih sik jauh faan maih a?
Ngoh heimong sik jauh!
How is everyone back in the world? This week was a great week filled with a lot of different experiences. I will do my best to convey them all in the 27 minutes I have left to email... haha
Well this may sound like a small thing, but I heard the bells from the BYU bell tower earlier this week. All is Well, All is Well. I miss BYU and it is hard looking out and seeing the campus, my old office, the dorms. everything. That was my life prior to this experience so it is crazy to see that all behind me. I will be back there soon enough. But you learn to cherish little things here and those bells are one of those things for me.
Next, we set a baptismal date for one of our progressing investigators, March 11. She is a convert that our teacher, Fung Ji Muih had. She is awesome. We struggle to communicate our message sometimes, especially the small little details that we can just say in a quick second in English, but take minutes to figure out how to say in Cantonese. Teaching is one of the most stressful, rewarding, fun, crazy experiences missionaries have while at the MTC. On that note, my companionship had the opportunity to teach a real investigator from HK in the TRC this week. She is an exchange student and wanted to hear about the gospel in her native language. So we are the only Cantonese elders in the whole state of Utah so she came to us! We gave an awesome lesson all in Cantonese and it seemed like she really was feeling what we had to say is true. She said that she will continue to come back, so Saturdays we have real lessons with her! Awesome, huh? It really lit a fire under Fok Jeung Louh and I when it comes to teaching and that we will be doing it for the next couple years in HK.
Remember how I said we missionaries enjoy the little things? Well, Sundays we see church films and this weeks was the Testaments. That was the movie we watched my first Sunday here at the MTC. which means two things:
1. I have been here long enough that we are beginning to cycle through things at the MTC and
2. The Testaments is my new favorite movie. It made me so happy watching it four weeks ago, and it made me equally as happy last night. The message is powerful, but the movie is great too! So many quotes that the Canto elders just recite during the day. These wont mean much to you if you haven't seen the movie recently, but I suggest you watch it! "You are a spector from the Gods! Walk with me!" or "Is the place of records far from here?" HAHAHA. I love me my movie quotes...
On a more serious note, I was assigned to be the new Zone Leader this week. It should be fun because I will have the opportunity to show the incoming missionaries around the MTC and how to really get by. I feel like an MTC expert and now this is my opportunity to share my expertise. My ZL's were awesome and I am excited to carry on that type of reputation. This new assignment also eliminates any "free time" I had before. The time I used to use to do extra personal or language study is now replaced with meetings... It isn't so bad because I get to work closely with our Branch President, President Larkin. He used to be mission president in Taiwan and speaks great Chinese (Mandarin though...). He was a Air Force Chaplain back in the day and I love talking with him. 78 missionaries in our zone with 21 more coming in in 2 weeks. That is a lot to manage!

The older Cantonese district leaves in a week. I am going to miss them. They have really been like brothers to use younger elders. But they are off to bigger and better things in HK, and soon, we will be joining them in the work! Big shout out to them, Pihng tuhng maih Bou Jeung Louh!
I see Elders Evett and Williams all the time, usually at meals. My teacher loves elder Williams because I told her my conversion story and how we cam to the MTC together! haha
Well I am running out of time so I will close with a few things I learned this week. Read the first three verses in the Book of Omni which is in the Book of Mormon. What does Omni teach us? Well he taught me that sometimes we wont feel up to par. We will feel like we are inadequate in all walks of life. That we can try our hardest, but still come up short. He calls himself wicked. But he goes on the say that he has kept the commandments of his fathers. Jarom was his Father, a very righteous man! By keeping the commandments of his father regarding the record, he kept our Heavenly Fathers commandment. Without his efforts we wouldn't have the Book of Mormon. So it is my testimony that we may feel weak, lowly, or just plain inadequate at times. But we must press on. Try your best. Great things will be brought to pass through your efforts. God blesses those who put forth the effort, even when it is not enough. He is the Great Finisher.
Wuh Jeung Louh

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 18, 2013

Ngohge gatihng tuhng maih puhng yauh!

That means, My family and friends! How is everything back in the world? I am sure everything is going great. The same can be said for here at the MTC. Something funny happened just yesterday that reminded me just how removed we are from the world while here at the MTC. Our branch consists of the 3 Cantonese districts and 4 districts heading to the Philippines. Our Branch President casually brought up an earthquake that hit the Philippines just a few days ago. We were all just in awe! Things like that are the sort of thing you just don't hear about while at the MTC. It is especially crazy because how relevant the news was to those 4 other districts. It made me think that HK could get hit with fire and brimstone or something and I wouldn't even know the difference. Just a thought... Haha.

The week really did fly by. Maybe the fastest yet. Our Cantonese is far from good, or even ok, but it is at the point where we can communicate. At 3 weeks??? Miracles happen here, like I have said before. Tomorrow we are doing an English fast, so only Cantonese (We will see how it goes... haha). The hard part of the week is seeing all these missionaries come and go. English missionaries are here for 12 days. Is that not insane? 2 new Tagalog districts came this week and still leave 2 weeks before we do. I guess that is just how the story goes for missionaries who are speaking Asian languages. I am not going to complain though. I know that I am going to need every minute of my stay here so I can be as prepared as possible. We watched a video about 2 girls from HK and their conversion. It is all in Cantonese and they speak incredibly fast. Listening to them is a humbling experience. I could only pick up one or two words a sentence, but that is more than I could last week so that is progress. The MTC is the best thing to happen to missionaries learning a new language. I am taking #SpecialK's advice with TALL time. It is a computer program to help us with vocab and it is so awesome. A huge tool in learning this language.

If I had to put a theme to the week, it would definitely be love. Seems fitting since it was just Valentines. I got thinking that we need to show love everyday, even as the Savior showed love unto the world. That love is manifested through His Atonement. We ALL can feel of that love. What a gift, the true gift of love.

I forget what I put in each email home, so be patient with me if I am repetitive... Haha. The Cantonese districts have the best teachers in all the MTC. Never have I felt so much love from a relative a stranger, day in and day out, they are so great. They are so patient with us in speaking and listening, as well as with teaching fundamentals of missionary work. They do so much good each and every week.

Thank you for all the prayers, love, and support. I couldn't be the person I am without it. Know that I have a testimony of missionary work and that is why I am here. This gospel is happiness, it is love. The love of God. We all can feel of that love. Until next week!

Ngoi (love),

Wuh Jeung Louh

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 2, Already??

Family and Friends,

I am going to echo the words of my bro Elder Stockard when I say this, but has another week already gone by? It really does go by so fast. I think this is because I have a great companion and district, an awesome support network back on the home front, and a wonderful teachers and instructors here at the MTC! I wanna thank everyone for the mail that I have gotten so far. There is nothing better than seeing letters with your name on them. I am doing my best to respond to everyone, but Mondays are the only days that I really have to write. I especially want to thank the ward for sending me that big ole' valentines heart! It is nice to know people are thinking of you.

I want to send a big shout out to the girls across the way at Liberty Square! The Baltics, Portugal, and Guatemala are so blessed to have you serve in those areas! I am proud of you guys. Missionary work is something that I hold very dear, and it makes me so happy to hear you are answering the Lord's call.

This week has been crazy! We have really gotten to know all the Cantonese districts and I love them so much. I think that there are about 3000 missionaries here at the MTC, and only 18 (including myself) are learning that awesome language. What a blessing it is to know all of these great sisters and elders who will all be serving in HK! Just to tell you about a few of those great missionaries. Two sisters are from the Philippines and they are so funny. We joke with them a ton, and they just give me a funny look. I haven't really figured out if I'm just not funny or that they don't get the humor. I am probably going to guess door number 1... haha. Another missionary that I love is Elder Townsend. He is from Utah and was just a freshman at BYU. Easily the funniest kid I have met who can lighten any mood, but he also knows how to work and to bring the spirit. I am convinced I work with the best missionaries in the world and am taught by some of the best as well. I love our teacher, Sister Farr (Fung Ji Muih), she loves and cares about us and teaches us so well. I attribute all that I have learned to her and her conviction to the Lord. She was a great missionary in HK 6 months ago and I can't wait to pick up where she left off. We also got a new teacher, Sister Tai (Dai Ji Muih). She is a native of HK. Her English isn't the greatest, but I have never heard a stronger testimony than hers while at the MTC. It gives me hope that even with my simple Cantonese, my testimony will shine forth. She has been an awesome resource when it comes to pronunciations and tones. I have learned that there are 9 different ways to say seurng (along with many other words) with 9 different meanings. Yes, that is my life for the next 24 months. Frustrating, but nothing has made me more excited in my life.

I don't remember if I included this in my last email, but my name, Wuh, means reckless or wildly stupid... I have to admit it fits to an extent. The sisters in my district think it is hilarious.

I see a ton of missionaries I know from Fallon or from BYU. Elder Alonzo Williams and I see one another a ton at lunch and dinner. I also see Elder Cuseneau which is awesome. It brings me back to freshman year. I have also seen Hermanas Hamilton and Furimann which is great too. One thing I have learned about the MTC is to meet everyone. It is a good feeling walking around this place and seeing old friends or new ones you make while here. I have more time than anyone to make friends here at the MTC. 9 weeks! I am loving the MTC, but I am so glad we aren't on the old 12 week schedule.

If you have questions about my stay here at the MTC, Please send me a dearelder! It is a really fast way to get a hold of me and to ask questions. Emailing is awesome, but it is hard to get everything typed out and organized in 30 minutes.

I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I wouldn't have left everything and everyone I love behind if I didn't know it was true. This gospel makes me happy, it can make you happy as well. Come to know Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer. I see miracles everyday here. We really just need to have our eyes open to see and recognize them. I miss you all, but there is no place I would rather be (well except for Hong Kong itself... haha).


Wuh Jeung Louh 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb. 4, 2013

I have made it through my first week at the MTC! I honestly can say that I love it. People have said the days feel like weeks, but then the weeks feel like days. I can attest to that principle. We wake up early, work until late, without any empty time in between. But now it is a P-Day! Our district kind of has a "weekend" because of Sundays in the MTC are very relaxing and refreshing (no classes), then we have Monday to prepare. It has been a welcome break to the week.

First day is such a blur to me now. I got dropped off, walked into the MTC with Alonzo, then got my name badge. Dropped my bags at my residence then went to class, didn't even get to unpack. We had a Cantonese class right away which was so scary. Our teacher, Fung ji muih (Sister Farr) only speaks to us in Cantonese. It was intimidating and confusing to say the least. After that class, we had some introductions to the MTC presidency, then back for another class. After that we got to unpack, then bed! Days are just full of teaching methods then Cantonese. I have only been here 5 days and we have already taught 2 lessons all in Cantonese, with another one tonight. Our investigators are teachers here at the MTC and act like investigators they taught on their missions. Our investigator is named Pauline. We have taught her about prayer and the Book of Mormon already and have committed her to read the book and pray. We will see how well she has kept her commitments tonight.

My companion is Fok jeung louh (Elder Falk) and he is from Salt Lake and is 18. He is awesome to work with. We get along really well and have been a huge help to each other learning Cantonese. We live with Tong tuhng maih Lee Jeung Louhs (Elders Townsend and Lee). They are in the other district, but are learning Cantonese and are going to Hong Kong as well (Both of them are 18 as well so I am the old man). They are awesome. I was made our district leader, so I have to get the mail, be sensitive to others needs, be a good example, and coordinate our service projects. I was surprised that they entrusted me with that responsibility, but I am so happy I have another outlet to serve others while here at the MTC!

The first couple days were difficult, but so rewarding. I haven't even been here a whole week and I know so much Chinese, well, relatively speaking. We have already taught lessons all in Cantonese. That is a miracle. The spirit here is strong, and it keeps things rolling along well. I can honestly say that I love the MTC and I am going to love every minute of it. It is an experience I will only get to do once so I am going to enjoy it. It doesn't make sense not to. Letters and packages have been so nice to get, knowing people are there for me. I have the greatest support network and it is because of your help, that I can be a successful missionary.

Things I have learned at the MTC: Practice your free throws. To get into a game here, you must make a free throw. Something I cant always do... so I play four square a lot. Elder Special K was right, it is the way to go. Get to know your zone leaders. They have been here longer than you and know the ins and outs of the MTC. They are a great source of knowledge and friendship. Enjoy the little things. The sun is such a blessing and just the sight and feel of it can lift anyones' spirits.

Know that I love you all and that I do miss and think of you. But I have committed myself to the Lord and His work, so that is what I am going to do, work. The Lord loves us all, I know that is true. I know that the Savior lives. He is in our devotionals, our meetings, our classroom. Come to know that His love is offered to all! Obedience is key in coming to feel that love. I have seen His hand so much this week.

ngoi (love),

Wuh Jeung Louh
(Elder Woodburn)