Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 5 - March 4, 2013

Ngohge gatihng tuhng maih puhngyauh, leihdeih ho ma?

All is well at the MTC this week. This week can be summed up in one word: Change. The older Cantonese district left for HK today. So weird to think that they are gone. Since my first day, I looked up to them so much. They always helped us in the language, teaching, and other class stuff. But they were more than that. They were some of my closest friends here. It is bittersweet. They were the last 12 week Cantonese district at the MTC. To put that in perspective, think about Christmas. What were you doing that day? Well that older district had already been here for a week doing their thing. So when I think about it that way, they really needed to get out of here and start serving the people of HK. They will be missed, but not forgotten... haha

Yesterday we got a new branch president. President Larkin was released and our new president is President Capik. I'll miss Larkin, but he has been serving here as branch president for over 4 years! That is crazy. He was the epitome of love. He was very inspired in his words to us missionaries. President Capik is a retired Marine, so I feel right at home, literally. Haha. He is very stern, but he cares deeply for us. He just wants to make us into the missionaries the Lord wants us to be and he does it through high expectations. I like his style and his personality. I am very lucky because we get to talk to him a lot as zone leaders. I'll keep you up dated on him and the great things he brings as branch president.

Tuesday we had the opportunity to hear from an apostle of the Lord, M. Russel Ballard. He gave a fantastic talk that really gave me the energy to get through the week. What an opportunity it is to get to hear from someone with such authority.

TRC was crazy this week because we taught a bundai (native) of HK. She is a 20 year old preparing to serve a mission. I thought the lesson went well, at times we were at a loss for vocab, but other than that it was good, or so I thought. We get reviews from our lessons in TRC and she had some not very nice things to say about my teaching and language. I was surprised because negative feedback is almost nonexistent in those reviews. At first I was mad. I am really trying my best and to be told that you did a bad job hurts. But the Lord gives us people and experiences to grow. So I got to thinking. A lot of people won't want to hear our message. They might be rude or offensive, but we love them anyway. The girl we taught, I love her. And I am glad that she loves me enough to tear me down. Maybe it was what I needed.

I think the hardest part of being a long timer in the MTC isn't the time, but watching people come and go while you are still here. Next week the Filipinos leave and our Canotonese districts will be the only ones left from when we came in January. We will have seen off 8 districts. I am a little envious of them getting to go, but it is more than that. We make friends here, lifelong friends. We do everything here together and to see them go is sad. I am just glad we have the perspective we have. I am so happy for them because they are getting to go do the thing they are preparing here to do. Teach. Soon enough it will be us that leave and that will be a happy day. It is what we prepare for, each and every day.

The nice thing about being here so long is we really make friends with the MTC staff. They recognize we are here so long so they talk to us a bunch. Just today I stopped by the dry cleaners to drop off a suit. Tom and Janet are always working there. Tom is the type of guy you want your daughter to marry. And Janet, well she is the bee's knees. haha. But really the staff love us and talk to us all the time. One thing I am learning here in the MTC is make friends with everyone. The people here are great and they want you to succeed. That atmospehere is awesome, unique to this place.

Our teachers are doing great, really helping us out. Dai Ji Muih had a birthday on Friday. So we made her a card and I bought her a Sprite. Not a whole lot of options on gifts to give in the MTC. Fung Ji Muih is on the modern dance company at BYU and it is so fun talking about dance and things. We just found that out because I guess I don't come off as a ballroom dancer...haha

This week I finished the Book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. There is so much power in those words. What comes to mind is the story of Alma the older and his people. They kept the commandments of God, yet they were still oppressed by the Lamanites. The Lord did strengthen them and they were soon delivered. Know that sometimes we may make the right choice, but there may be negative consequences. We would be naive to believe that if we do good, no bad will come upon us. Sometimes we make bad choices, but the consequences aren't bad. The world isn't as simple as doing good means an easy life and a bad one is one of misery and hardship. We need to make the right choices because the Lord will lift our burdens. He will make them light. How is this done? Through the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He has descended below it all, so He can lift us higher. Remember that in times of trial or hardship. He loves us more than we can comprehend. I know this is true.

I pray for you all everyday. I think of you often. the Lord has blessed me tremendously, and I know He blesses you as well. You can come to know His love through prayer and reading, especially the Book of Mormon. That book has changed my life and it has the power to change yours as well.

Ngoh ngoi leihdeih!
I love you all!

Wuh Jeung Louh
Elder Woodburn

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