~No I don't run in the morning. Sometimes sister Lin and I will go out and jog around. She hates running. But because we just run around our complex I sprint ahead sometimes and then come back. Kinda what dad and I did up in Idaho during Christmas! So no not really. But I have found ways to stay "in shape". I am actually SO out of shape but that's ok. I exercise in the morning to get my body moving and have energy. We have this "drop 10" workout that I really like. Sister Harkness and I do a lot of DXC abs and I will do some burpies here or there. We actually had a 5K this morning with another zone. That was SOOoOOOO much fun! Did I die? Yes. Was it worth it? Duh! It was a pretty relaxed race actually. I got 3rd place behind Elder Janice and Elder Furhman. Don't even know my time. Oh well.
~Yes I got the Easter package! Thanks! It is better to just send the mail to the mission home. The zone leaders will give it to me. We never really check the mail at our apartment.
And thanks Aunt Lynn and Bishop for the letter! Loved hearing about the fam :) and
Bishop Hansen: I absolutely LOVED what you shared win me. Thank you so much for taking the time.
~My companion is amazing :) she is a total child. She is 26 years old and the youngest in her family. She acts like she is a 16 year old though. It's great! We have so much fun. What I laugh the most about is her fear of birds and men with no shirt on. We share the apartment with Sister Davies and Sister Harkness (the other VISA waiter) we all have so much fun together.
~Chinese is....coming. Not there yet. When we have a lesson with a person from China they feel like they have to speak English so that I can understand. We have to tell them that it's ok. I'll be able to speak ONLY Chinese in Taiwan. Gotta get the practice! And sister Lin is great about giving me opportunities to participate in the lessons. If I say something that they don't understand then she just repeats it and explains. But at least I try. And everyone is so patient with me learning. I've been frustrated a couple of times because of the language. Why? I don't know. I mean I'm not even in Taiwan yet! But I know that it will come. I am still working hard to learn. And looking back I have come a long way!
~Teaching is getting so much easier. I am shy. Like terribly shy. But I am really getting out of my shell. Actually the other day we were tracting on campus (which is so dang hard because EVERYBODY has headphones in or on bikes or late to class. You can't talk to anyone!). And well... Tried something new. Went up to people and asked, "Are you and honest seeker of truth?" It's a yes or no question. You don't have to fluff anything up. None of that small talk business. Don't need to waste time. Well...that actually didn't work. But it was a fun experience. :) I am getting better at getting to know a person and then applying the Gospel to their life. Really, that is the joy that I have found coming here on a mission. You know in the scriptures where it says, "you will find joy in crying repentance into this people"? I can definitely see that. I love getting to know people, hear there stories and help them come unto Christ. And testifying! Oh my goodness I love telling people what I know to be true. May be awkward to them but I love it. And I find love for those people that I serve and teach. It's God's love actually. I can really feel it. Hard to explain but I could not love the people on my own. There's no way. But I see them as God sees them. And that is one of the biggest miracles I have found. Like there is this one less active member that agreed to read the Book of Mormon with us everyday. Her name is Brienne. And she is so cute! Really, my favorite part of the day is reading the Book of Mormon with her. Probably also because I love the Book of Mormon so much. I have a strong testimony about the Book of Mormon. it is SO true! I mean how could it not? There is truth and light in the Book of Mormon. And the more I read it the more I can apply it to my life. I realize that things are happening in the world today happened back then and we can definitely learn from others mistakes and successes. It's so cool! I could really go on on about the Book of Mormon.
So I think that answers all of them?
Oh thanks dad for the religion list :) and I'm so glad that you are feeling better.
Woah everyone is just growing up! So happy for Dru, Sarah, Kate, Erin, Cole and Mitch! Ya'll are awesome!!!
Dru: I am so glad that you chose to serve a mission! And New Zealand!? Ahhhhhh! I am so excited for you! My teacher in the MTC went to New Zealand, Chinese speaking. You'll see a lot of Asians there ;) I would give you advice on how to prepare. But really there isn't much that you can do. You don't really know what you are getting yourself into until you get out here. Best advice: increase your testimony. A testimony is pretty much all you have to share the Gospel and it is the most powerful.
Sarah: what happened to coming to Taiwan?!?! Both?? I think YES!
Kate and Erin: love you both so much and I have always looked up to you. I am so happy for you and I hope the dudes you are marrying are everything on your list - plus more!
Cole and Mitch: CONGRATS on graduations!!!!!
Oh and hey did I see Kelly in the Choir at the General Sisters Conference???
So what I was planning on this email being more of "what I like about my mission". I did take up a lot of time answers questions. And you know what! We have to send emails on the iPad and not a computer so things are going really slow and rough right now.... But anyhow I really don't know if I explained the joy I feel and what I really experience out here in Arizona.
So I guess I'll just mention some things.
Holy cow Arizona has the best sunsets around. The weather is PERFECT for walking out. I love seeing the black palm trees against a blue sheet of sky.
I love the members in our Ward. They refuse to let us go a night without someone paying for dinner. So sweet :) and really into missionary work....well some of them. Because we are working with YSA we have a lot of kids about to go on missions and those who just returned. It's the perfect crowd.
My bishops are amazing! I really don't get how they know everybody, are happy all the time and full of energy. They are really inspiring :)
The Chinese group in the McClintock Ward are just phenomenal! They make fun of my Chinese and help me out. We really just have so much fun together! And with the new converts we read he BOM together in English. Well, they don't know English that well so I kinda have to explain what the passage is even saying. But yeah it's fun. I love them all to death!
We have a huge throw down about pornography in Relief Society. I would really like to thank my parents for protecting me. I remember always wanting a laptop in my room where I could do my homework and listen to my music. I was so mad that my parents wouldn't let me get one. Pornography is so addictive and secretive. I'm grateful that my parents wouldn't let me be secret. "Things can happen with a closed door" Also for having a great relationship with me. When I have seen porn in the past I was comfortable enough to go and talk to them.
So I was taking selfies with some other missionaries this morning at the 5K. And I noticed something. My complexion is totally different. Sister Davies says that you lose your "sparkle". Did I lose my sparkle? Don't quite feel that way. I'm still me. Just really tired. Anywho what I saw was different. And I feel different. It is a good different. I feel like a true messenger of Christ. It's an amazing feeling.
Well I would share my pictures with ya'll but since I'm on the iPad today I can't really do that.... Next week maybe.
VISA? So President Toone was supposed to call us and let us know about calling home. Yes, I will be able to call before leaving. My flight is at 10:30 on Tuesday 21st. So be by the phone that morning!! Probably call home or moms cell.
"Godly fear is the beginning of knowledge" - David a bednar
"We learn the dance steps in our mind and we listen to the music in our hearts." - D Todd Christofferson.
"A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying."
"'Twas I but Tis not I." -Renlund.
"Don't let something you don't understand unfoil the things you do know"- Kevin W. Pearson
These were the "quotes" that I noticed the most from conference. :)
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!! Love love love you all!!
-Sister Graham 桂姐妹。 (婷玉)