I hope this E-mail will be as good as my one last week, but I'm not sure if it will be because it was a pretty similar week. Highlights were seeing Elder Eli Nelson enter on Wednesday, devotional speakers, studying the Gospel and Chinese, and of course the 4th of July.
Tuesday through Friday were all pretty similar, filled with A LOT of language and other study. We continued to teach our investigator, who turned out to actually become our teacher at the end of the week. I know I have a long way to go in the language, but its really fun to see myself progress and become better at it each day. I've really learned during my time here that there's no point in comparing yourself to any other missionaries. All you can compare yourself with is what you were the previous day, if its an improvement, we're doing exactly what the Lord wants and that's really all that matters. In Tuesday's devotional, we had Elder Sitati ( I think that's how to spell it) come, he was inspiring and great to hear from. Wednesday was really exciting, as we got to see all the new missionaries enter the MTC. I feel so much older than them, and its nice to not feel like a new Elder anymore. I loved seeing Nelson (When I finally found him on Tuesday) I would've taken a picture, but I didn't have my camera on me. I'll send one next time I see him. We got fast track missionaries (native speakers that are only here for 2 weeks) in our branch that are going to Taiwan, and they are SO good at the language. If I ever need to be humbled a little bit, all I have to do is start a Chinese conversation with them. They speak so fast!
Saturday was the coolest day! there had been rumors floating around that they were going to let us see the fireworks outside, but that seemed like something they wouldn't let us do here. I thought it for sure wasn't going to happen when they took us into the gym at 8 and we had a really long devotional. The speaker was great, he was some professor from BYU that spoke about our country, but I was disappointed because I really wanted to see the fireworks. Then as we were leaving, they told us we could go out into the parking lot and watch stadium of fire until it was over! It was so crazy! It was hard to see because of all the trees, but a few of us found this really good spot at the edge of the MTC grounds by our residence where we were pretty close and could see them well. If we were quiet we could just barely hear journey playing and the crowd cheering :) It was weird, because the show didn't end until way past bedtime, but I guess its ok on holidays in the MTC. Sunday, as always was the best day here. I especially liked hearing the devotional, which was given by Jenny Oakes Baker and her family. Her and all here kids also did a few musical numbers which was fun. Later that night when we got to watch Meet the Mormons, and it actually made me cry when the part of the missionary leaving was on.. It was the first time I felt a little homesick, but I'm fine so don't worry about me:)
This week I learned a really cool lesson from Preach My Gospel. Elder Trotter and I had just had a pretty tough lesson and I was really frustrated with how little of the language I was comprehending. I studied the learn your language section in PMG and read that strengthening your own testimony in English will help your mission language to improve. From that point on I've studied much more in the scriptures and about the Gospel during personal and companionship study where I was previously doing Chinese. The ironic thing is that since I've started doing this, I feel like I've been learning faster than ever! I know its because I'm learning new things and obtaining more power from the spirit because of it. I know that there will be more bumps in the road, but its been cool to have a testimony builder.
I was sad to hear of President Packer's passing this week, we watched his final conference talk as a district yesterday. I'm going to miss his sweet spirit and powerful lessons, but know he is in a much better place and am happy for him. I think that's it from my weekly report. Hopefully my letters don't began to sound too similar as I continue to write here in the MTC.
Love and miss you all! Keep giving me updates from home, it gets lonely here sometimes and its good hearing about the outside world every once and a while.
All my best,