Monday, June 17, 2013

Hello friends and familia!
Another week has gone by here at the good ole MTC :) This past week has been one of renewed effort to study Chinese and to improve in my attitude towards that there language. It's been a struggle at times, but positivity is so key! I'm so thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which allows us to pick ourselves up from the pitfalls of despair and rise to the heights of hope :) I've also had the joy this past week of getting sick--not hard-core, malaria/smallpox sick, but a congested nose and headache can at times feel just as bad as the two other diseases aforementioned. One of the teachers here made the comment that when we are sick, that is when the adversary will try to mentally bombard us with thoughts of homesickness and a longing to leave. I am thankful to say that I haven't had to deal with anything of that nature to that sort of degree they talked about. I hope that that means the Spirit has been protecting me.
Another goal of our companionship's for this week is EXACT OBEDIENCE. On Tuesday night's devo, one of the speakers spoke about a cow that would poke its head over a fence and eat the wheat on the other side. For those who don't know, when cows eat wheat they bloat. Big time. Eventually, if they eat enough of the stuff, it could be a fatal and permanent mistake. That being said, she (the speaker) addressed the fact that when we spiritually and physically don't obey even the smallest of rules--even if the cow just barely nibbles on the wheat--it could potentially create sickness. Spiritual sickness. I've felt that before whilst being here, and it is certainly not worth the disobedience in the small things. In fact, it is the small things that will make or break our testimonies. Reading our scriptures daily, praying morning and night with sincerity, thinking good and kind thoughts towards others, ourselves, and God, and being of service to our fellow beings in small and simple acts of random kindness--these are the things that will determine our destinies. They'll be the determing factors in what make our days happy or not, and they'll certainly be the deciding agents in the grand eternities. When we are exactly obedient to the little things, the Lord can bless us with so much more than we ever thought of or dreamed. I'm excited to work on exact obedience this week, and I hope that it will make a difference in my life and in the lives of my investigators :)
This past week I really fell in love with Helaman 3:27. We've been trying to get our investigators really 'rooted' in the Gospel--not just to think that our teachings are good, but to actually BELIEVE that those teachings will help to improve their lives. It's been a struggle, but Helaman 3:27 has brought a lot of encouragement and conviction in the quest to help our investigators feel even more of the love of God than they already have. It's pretty great :)
I've been here a month!!! Just four more weeks from tomorrow, and I will be on a plane to Singapore (or, in the Mandarin, Xinjiapo! :) ) I'm mucho excited, but also really nervous. I've learned a LOT of Chinese here, but certainly not as much as I want. I guess that's why we have two months of our mission here--to help prepare us to properly teach the people who need to hear our message :)
I hope that you'll all tune in on June 23rd to the broadcast from the Marriott Center--the MTC Choir is going to be great (trust me, I'll be in it ;) ) and the speakers--including members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve--are going to be phenomenal! :)
For now I bid you all a fond farewell; may God be with you till we meet again :)
Mai Zhanglao/Elder Mitchell :)

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