Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Monday, August 17, 2015

One week left!

Dear Family and Friends,

One week from today I'll probably be putting the finishing touches on my packing (Hopefully) and getting ready to leave the next morning at 4:30 AM! Can't believe it has come, I feel like I've lived my entire life at the MTC, and have no idea what its going to be like to leave. We got our travel plans on Friday, and also had a pretty sweet devotional last night.

Class has been different this week, as we've basically completed all the course material. We spend most of our time practicing teaching, or learning/reviewing complicated grammar. It starting to feel like I can hold my own in the language, although I know I'm about to get wrecked when I get to the country. I'm excited for the experience! I love the opportunities the language provides for me to work on humility and reliance on the spirit, (Chinese gives you a lot). SO ya, class is getting better and better, and its fun to finally be able to understand our Laoshi's when they go off on the language. Its also cool to see how much better my study habits are, and how much faster I can learn, especially vocab, its starting to just flow right into my brain! Me and Elder Trotter were amazed as we attempted to memorize 3 Nephi 5:13 in Chinese. We did it faster than we even thought it would be possible in English! Pretty cool stuff. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not trying to brag at all. To (sort of) paraphrase Ammon's words in Alma 26, I know its not me, I could barely learn anything in a whole year of Chinese class back home! The Lord has empowered me to do this and its amazing to see! It's awesome to see what can be accomplished with a righteous purpose and the Spirit on your side.

Tuesday we had a devotional from Elder C. Scott Grow of the 70. You already know he was awesome because his name is a sentence. He talked about how we can serve with our our heart might mind and strength as a missionary. I loved that he said we should strive to hit the bed absolutely exhausted every night, and I really hope that what its going to be like when I get out in thew field., It's kind of hard to do it in the MTC, as we are sitting at a desk 9+ hours a day, but I'm trying my hardest. 

We got our travel plans on Friday, and everyone went nuts! We go SLC to seattle, then Tokyo, then Taipei. We meet at the travel office at 4:30 tuesday, and arrive wednersday late at night! Its going to be crazy, and bring back some fun memories from last summer of being in the Tokyo Narita Airport. I'll be sure to get some really good curry for the Gilbert Sisters :) SO after that, everyone has just been buzzing with excitement and it feels super real. Still don't know if all the visas have come through, but we'll keep our fingers crossed that everyone makes it! 

Highlight of the week (and one of the best of the MTC) was having the Nashville Tribute Band perform for us at devotional last night. If you don't know, they're a bluegrass/country LDS band. If you know me, I absolutely hate country music... Despite that, I LOVED the devotional. We even got to back them up in a few songs. It was so unlike anything else we'e done at the MTC, and kind of fun to get a little less formal music going. Very fun, and a lot different than most of the things we've done. I had a blast! Haha it felt like we were southern baptists or something, I don't know how the MTC allowed it, but it was super sweet :)

Excited to push through this last week! So fun to hear about summer wrapping up. It's funny, usually this time isn't too exciting for me because of school and everything, but now I'm more excited than I've ever been in my life to get to Taiwan! I'm loving it here, and glad I have a little more time to grow. I definitely need it! I love this gospel, I love being a missionary, and I've never been happier in my life! I love you all so much and miss you like crazy!!

-Elder Gilbert
Yellow tie day

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