This is your friendly neighborhood Elder Councill aka Wu Zhang Lao.
So first off, the MTC is super great. I am having an absolute blast! Seriously though, the other day I was having so much fun and laughing so hard all the other elders in my district thought I was crazy. Which I suppose is true, but whatever ya know. So the moment I walked into class for the first time last Wednesday I started learning Chinese. Our teacher doesn’t speak any English to us, like EVER. If we want to know what she’s saying we have to ask her (in Chinese) and then she writes down a translation on the chalk board. So that’s been way fun. (and no I’m not being sarcastic here, surprisingly) Already I’ve made 200 flash cards to try to memorize a bunch of Chinese words. But I can successfully pray in Chinese and give my testimony! Most of the words I know are religious, but it only makes sense because that’s why I’m here.
My district is made up of 8 Elders. A district is just the group that I have class with and who I’ll be with for 8 more weeks. We have the exact same schedule so we have class together, eat together, work out together, study together.. You get the idea. They’re all just out of high school, which is kinda weird since I’m the old one. I’m not used to being the old one. But it is fun! I finally can say “kids these days” and actually be the older one in the room for a change. My companion’s name is Elder Brooks, or Lu Zhang Lao. He’s pretty chill. We get along. Actually our whole district does. We’re already really good friends.
This entire week has been super busy so there’s no way I could type up everything I’ve done. Basically, I’ve had a ton of Chinese class, tons of scripture study, a little bit of personal/work out time, and then meals and sleep. Wednesdays and Sundays are a bit different. Wednesdays are my p-days (preparation day) which is when I get to email home, do laundry, chill, take naps, relax, and still go to class. Sundays are different because we have church meetings like Sunday school and sacrament meetings, as well as a huge devotional. This Sunday we got to watch a talk given by Elder Bednar (one of the 12 apostles) titled the Character of Christ. It was seriously one of the best discourses on Jesus Christ I’ve ever heard. Absolutely fantastic. I’m pretty sure I cried at more than one point and I felt the Spirit more powerfully then than I had in a while. To sum it up, Christ’s character is turning outward when the rest of us would turn inward. Basically, whenever we have hard times, face temptations and trials, etc, we tend to turn in. We expect pity, we expect help from others, we expect people to help us because we have a rough life. If you read the scriptures, each time when Christ was in a situation like that, he turned outward. He helped others, taught others, blessed others. Not once did he ever turn inwards. Even after his suffering the garden of Gethsemane, when Peter sliced off the ear of one of the Roman guards, Christ just healed it. Just like that. After everything he went through he still had the character to turn outwards and help other people.
After the talk ended the CRAZIEST THING HAPPENED. None other than Elder Bednar walked into the room! Apparently sometimes he just shows up unannounced when he knows the MTC is showing his movie and teaches us. He did a whole Q&A for the entire MTC! All 2400 missionaries!! I raised my hand each time, but he never called on me. I wasn’t disappointed though because each and every one of the questions I had were answered when he was answering someone else’s question. And our questions weren’t even similar. It’s amazing how the Spirit of God works.
I hope everyone is doing well, I sure am. Life is absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to get out and teach the people of Taiwan.
– Wu Zhang Lao (Elder Councill)