Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The One Where We Need to Open Our Mouths

Another amazing email from Sister Mindy Mint this week! :) She is such an amazing missionary already! Here is Week 2! Enjoy :)

This is Sister Adams and her Language training class at the MTC :)

"Open Your Mouth" MTC Week 2

Leih hou Everyone!

Thank you so much for your sweet emails, letters and Dear Elders! I'm so sorry if I don't have time to reply to you all, Mom comes first. ;) My MTC address was actually changed from the one that I put on Facebook so it took be about a week before I started getting letters and things that weren't sent to me, but I did get everything. My real address is:

Sister Mindy Lynn Adams
2009 N 900 E Unit 164 (which is the unit used in Dear Elder)
Provo UT 84602

Hopefully this helps make it so that I receive letters sooner than a week after you all send them to me. I really do enjoy hearing about life outside of the MTC so keep me updated, I don't have a lot of time to respond but I still love to hear from you. 

My brain has been a jumbled mess this week. The more Cantonese I learn, the worse my English gets (and it wasn't that great to begin with). The language is starting to come along better now though. It's not great, or even good but it is better and that's an improvement. I'm definitely better at understand what is being said than I am at speaking it. We added another 3-hour language class to our days so now we are in pure Cantonese mode for about 7 hours during the day, with a small break for dinner which I spend in a daze with Cantonese words running through my head anyway. I go to bed mentally exhausted from translating in my head all day long but I am learning a lot and the language is getting better!

I'm in love with my district and my zone. We all get along so well! The languages that are included in my zone are Cantonese, Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese. We're all from such different places, speaking different languages, and heading ALL over the world but we still have a connection that feels like a family. I don't know what it is like is other zones but I love being in my zone where people are welcoming, sweet and fun to be around, I'm honestly not surprised they were all called to Asian missions just based on how their personalities are. 

Sis McNeely and I finished teaching out first "investigator" last week (He's actually my teacher now sometimes too... it was so weird to hear him speak English). We committed him to be "baptized" on November 21. Having the Holy Ghost as the third companion in our lessons, helping us teach and helping the investigator understand, is CRUCIAL to successful lessons. I'm learning more and more just how much of a gift the Holy Ghost is to me and how grateful I am to Heavenly Father for giving all of us such a powerful too that we can use in our lives. I really hope and pray that all of you understand how important having the Holy Ghost in your life is. He is a member of the GODHEAD that gets to walk with you in your daily life if you allow Him to. If you don't understand this gift, I encourage you to buy a blank Book of Mormon and write down your question about Him in the front. Read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and highlight anytime the Holy Ghost is mentioned, then go back and write a small summary for yourself. I've been doing this with how I can become more personally converted in my life and it is incredible to me how much I've learned in just a week of studying, Go to the Book of Mormon with your questions. It really does relate to your lives, I gain new insights every time I study it. 

We're teaching two new investigators this week. I'm excited to see what having more than one investigator is like and how similar (if at all) the lessons will be. It'll be hard to juggle learning all the vocabulary for all the lessons, on top of stuff learned in class but it'll be good to know all of these new words. Sis. McNeely and I are getting better at teaching and planning with unity to that lessons are going a lot smoother. Unity is so important in a companionship. 

All of my Sunday lessons, personal study and devotionals have been about how I need to align my will with God's, how I need to have more sincere prayer and how I need to be more personally converted in order to help others be more personally converted. Obviously Heavenly Father is trying to tell me something ;). "Not as I will but as thou wilt..." has been something that has stuck out to me the most though these last two weeks. Heavenly Father ALWAYS has something better for us than we could ever imagine. We think we have these big dreams and things that we can accomplish but God's dreams for us are bigger, they're better and the accomplishments we gain from following God's plan for us will be so much sweeter than anything we could imagine. Don't be afraid to give it all to the Lord. EVERYTHING. Have hope, faith and trust that He'll take care of you. 

The Devotional I watched last night was by Jeffery R. Holland. It's called "Open Your Mouth". He talks about how obedience is the first law for everything and how this church is God's church, not ours. We don't get to choose who we talk to, who we share with and what rules we follow. God chooses who He needs us to teach. He's been prepping someones heart for a long time, waiting for us to be in the right place to teach them, or help them. SO OPEN YOUR MOUTH! He talks about how the "sword of spirit" and our words are the only thing that we have offensively in our Armor of God and how we need to use that or Satan has won. Satan wants us to be shy, he wants us to keep our mouth shut, he wants us to hold back the words that we know could save someones life. Don't let him win. Be BOLD. Share with others this gospel that means so much to you. That's the real show of love. If you truly love someone, you tell them the truth, even if it isn't something they want to hear, it's something they need to hear. (Just be tactful and kind about it :P) 

I love you all. I hope you all are doing well and I'm sorry I write such novels every week! 

Sister Mindy Adams

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The One Where She Writes Her First Email

Hey Everyone!
Mindy is officially a Sister Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!! yay!! She is currently in the Provo MTC until December 2015 then she will be off to Hong Kong to serve and teach those wonderful people! We're extremely proud of her and so excited to see how her mission goes! Mindy asked me to keep her blog up to date with things and to post her emails.
She was able to write us yesterday and here is what she wrote:

"...God Loves Chinese People" MTC Week 1

Leih Houh! (I haven't figured out how to type accents and stuff yet.)

The MTC in one word, busy! Sometimes I feel like I barely have time to breathe, let alone think. I keep telling people that I wouldn't have time to be homesick even if I wanted to! My companion is Sister McNeeley, she's seriously a sweetheart and we have quite a bit in common. It's been really fun and frustrating getting to know her and learning how to serve her/with her. I'm definitely learning about my weaknesses and areas in need of improvement already. I feel like Sister McNeeley and I are forever running from one activity to the next, literally running. I'm so tired all the time but so happy too. The spirit is incredibly strong here. I feel like my heart and soul are in a crockpot on low heat all the time, but in a peaceful, pleasant way. 

The first day at the MTC was madness. After I was ushered away from the car, I was led into a maze of "WELCOME! WHERE ARE YOU SERVING?!?" and "Here! Take this, and this, and this and this and this..." They aren't kidding when they tell you you'll get 15 pounds worth of books. I was sweaty and overwhelmed by the time I reached the dorms. When I finally took one step into my classroom, my teacher spoke to me in Cantonese and only Cantonese. I have yet to hear him speak in English (apparently he does sometime this week though).

My cantonese is better now than it was that first day but it's still not very good. My cantonese name is Lahm Ji Muih. Ji Muih means sister and Lahm apparently means forest. I don't know how to make up the names here, because none of them really make sense. I taught my first "investigator" on Friday, entirely in Cantonese. It was literally the worst, most embarrassing experience of my life. my face was red for two hours after that lesson. I'm not kidding either. I wanted the ground to swallow me. I was having some serious doubts at that point but the "old cantos" (the group of cantonese missionaries that left for Hong Kong this morning) came in to our class later that night and just gave us words of love and support. They told us about their own horror stories and about some crappy lessons that they still give today. They've been really loving, supportive and silly since we got here and I'm going to miss having them around. 

All of the missionaries heading to Hong Kong in my zone are Sisters, expect for two Elders in my district. It's funny because it's the complete opposite with the group of Canto missionaries. That group is all Elders, except for two Sisters. It's crazy to me how quickly I can grow to love people here. I already love my district and my companion so much and I haven't even been here a week. i get sad thinking about how we'll be split up when we reach Hong Kong. 

The second lesson I taught was much better than the first (THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL, just not really for me...) The Spirit was more present and the investigators was actually understanding what we were trying to say this time, My companion is good at the language, which is good because I'm struggling a lot. It's been a little hard because I feel like all the other missionaries are catching onto the language really well, and I'm still suffering through it (though my man voice is really coming in handy with the low tones). The language is a lot like singing(because of the tones), which makes me happy because you all (KELSEY) know how much I love to sing, even though I'm not very good at it. There's a phrase in Canto that means willing or not willing (yuhn mh yuhnyi) and because of the tones is sounds exactly like "Come on Eileen" (the song) I laugh every time I have to say it. Also, when we practice symbol sounds and vowel sounds it starts to sound a lot like we're singing the "Apples and Bananas" song. I feel like I just giggle my way through language class but I really am learning a lot and these little things help me to remember the sounds better. 

The food and I don't get along here. I know I was worried about gaining weight here, but I'm actually more worried about not getting enough protein and stuff now. I eat A LOT of salad, soup and wraps. The wraps, the salad and fruit are literally heaven sent. Every time I try to eat something from the main foodline, I suffer through the rest of the day/night with a stomachache. So, I've just been avoiding that now. There's my MTC advice of the week, EAT FRESH OR YOU'LL REGRET IT. Daily exercise has become a must for me now too. We sit so much during the day that I take every opportunity I can to get moving. I actually wake up at 6 AM most morning to go to the extra workout classes. They are a lifesaver. 

Sunday was my favorite day BY FAR. We had an incredible devotional that night by Chad Lewis (BYU Tight End, played for the NFL Eagles). He was so awesome, very humble and very loving. He talked about not hiding your gifts and to play up your strengths when you are teaching and learning. My favorite thing he said is when he quoted Elder Oaks, who said; "I know The Lord loves Chinese people because He made A LOT of them!" How can you not love them though? I'm so excited to serve them, even though I can barely say a prayer in their language! 
Tayson Hill (BYU Quarterback) also stood(hobbled) his way up and bore his testimony. I really enjoyed what he said when he was talking about meeting one the apostles at the BYU game after he'd been injured. The apostle told him, "If the Lord wanted you on the football field, you'd be on the football field. But you're not. So, figure out where He needs you". I need to figure out why I'm here. I need to figure out why He needed me in Hong Kong, or the MTC, at this specific time in my life. I challenge you all to find out why you are where you are also. 

I watched "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar for my first Sunday movie. I really encourage you to watch it or read it if you can find it. It was really incredible. It talks about how Christ turns outward when most of us would turn inward in selfishness. I truly feel like I'm the cookie monster that he talks about and I need to change that. My favorite quote from him in that talk was, " You cannot live on bottled light". We need to constantly be working on being more and more converted. CONVERTED, not just having a testimony but being converted. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts of love this week. I've really been able to feel you lifting me up (the power of prayer for missionaries is very real). I hope that you all have a fantastic week and that you TURN OUTWARD and strive to be more like the Savior. 

Lots of love, 

Sister Adams

P.S. No pics this week because I only get an hour and I talked too much. Oops.