Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013 - Sunshine and Cantonese

Ngohge Mamma, Babba, gatihing, puhngyauh! Leih sik jauh faan meihaa? Ngoh faiseung ho!
It is weird writing in the pingyam of Chinese (the romanized sounds) because what I wrote isn't even a real language. A Chinese person could not understand that! But as Americans we need some sort of way to learn the sounds that are applicable to us. Thus we have the pingyam. Anyways.... How is everyone doing today? It has been one of the best weeks of the MTC so far. First off, it is officially springtime in Provo. The nicer weather is a boost to everyones moral. We haven't seen the sun much these past seven weeks, so we have been taking advantage of it now that it is back! We do our language study outside as we walk around the MTC, or personal study sitting beneath a nice tree or on a bench. It has been so great being outside. One of those little things that can brighten your day. I feel like a real missionary because I have a wicked tan line from my watch! Haha. Reminds me of the greats, Elders Tommy Stockard, SpecialK, Hadley Faught, and Miles Adams. All laboring in the vineyard.
We also got new missionaries in our zone this week! All of them are going to the Phillipines. It was a cool experience seeing them come and know that we would leave before they would! Don't get me wrong, the MTC is an awesome place, but we have been called to serve in Hong Kong. Elder Falk and I got to show them around and get them acquainted with the MTC. They seemed lost, but in a week, they will know this place as well as anyone. It was a little tough showing some of the elders around, because most of them are from Tonga or Samoa and they don't speak English a ton. They seem to be settling in ok though. They are hilarious. They randomly did the haka after class and the MTC staff cut them off in the middle. They were way upset about it, culturally I guess you don't do that. But we just had to explain the MTC isn't the place to be doing that stuff. It was way cool, but obedience is more important than "cool". There is another new elder from Australia and he is so great. Elder Muir. He has the thickest accent I have ever heard. He has these weird sayings that I guess are an Australia thing. "Its wild in here, like a frog in a sock!" or "Me and my mates were going to Maccies (Mcdonalds) and we met a couple of sheilas." Don't know what he said or meant? Join the club. haha. Regardless, we all love Elder Muir.
I have learned a ton from President Capik. He is so direct and straightforward. Not in a bad way, but he is clear about expectations and how we should meet our goals. We have some of the best leaders in the MTC. I'm sure of that.
I was so exctited to get many letters from you all this week! I heard from Madame Guisti, she sounds great. She has turned into a true world traveler since stepping away from our French class. At first it was sort of sad for me to see that when a missionary leaves, their friends and families lives go on. But now, nothing makes me happier to hear how people are moving on and succeeding in all their endeavors. I think of you all often and pray for your success. Keep up the good work! I love you all so much.
This week I finished up the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. There is so much to be learned from that book! What I really took notice of was the kind of people in that book and what great examples they are to me and to the rest of us. I think of the people of Ammon. They are the epitome of change. They accepted the Lord, Jesus Christ, and became one of the most charitable people I have ever heard of. I think of Captain Moroni. He knew what was right and for what he stood for. Never did he deviate from his convictions. I think of Pahoran and what a great leader he was to the people and in government. Moral of the story is, the Book of Mormon was written for us. If you read it, you will grow closer to Christ. A life close to Christ is a happy one. If you haven't read or heard of these people before, read about them. Their examples have helped shape me into a better person. They can do the same for you.
Another thing I noticed is the continual use of the term rock or stone in the scriptures. Spend some time studying these verses talking about rocks. I know Christ is our Rock, our Redeemer. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As people, we need to be rocks, firm and immovable in good things. Be a boulder, being bold in how you live and represent yourself, family, and Heavenly Father. He loves you. I know this is true.
Well, I have two weeks left in the MTC and it is just flying by. I spend the days preparing the best I can. Try your best, it is enough.
I love you all!
Ngoh ngoi leihdeih!
Elder Woodburn
Wuh Jeung Louh

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