Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 13, 2012

So the MTC is still as fun as ever. Constantly in a classroom learning something new, getting way to excited to play futbol everyday, and being just as excited to get to bed. The MTC is pretty exhausting like I said before. You see so many people come and go it kind of makes you sad. The language can be very difficult on certain days and it feels like you aren't learning anything. Teaching our "investigator" and seeing no progression is so frustrating. It seems like there is a lot more failure than success here. Then on the other hand the moment when you have those little successes like your investigator going to church, understanding the language or getting that little nap in feels SO amazing. It really is the small things that keep you a live here.

I only have 35 more days left in the MTC. It feels so close but I know its pretty far away. I am really stoked to go but at the same time I know I am NO where ready to teach in Hong Kong due to the my level of language skills. So it will really be interesting to see where I will be at in the next couple of weeks! On a side note we get some new baby Canto's this Wednesday, one elder and one sister. So that should be a confidence boost to see how much I have improved since getting here hahah.

My favorite things at the MTC are playing futbol when ever I can, learning grammar for Cantonese, wearing shorts on Pdays and not getting food poisoning :)!

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

I will share the small bits of information about my mission that I've learned since being there. There are 6 zones in my mission, about 100 missionaries, 3 languages are spoken in my mission Mandrin, Cantonese and English and it has the highest baptismal rate in Asia (the Phillipense are not included). There is an area in Hong Kong called the International Zone/District and that part of the mission is in pure English! The Hong Kong Mission gets to stay out later than everyone else, we can be out until 11:00pm! Our name tags are cooler than everyone elses because no one has one like ours. They are a little bit bigger than a normal tag, it has the church and my name in english on the right side and in Chinese on the left side. As a bonus we get to have our favorite scripture engraved into the back of it! So by the end of my mission I will have four different tags!

The MTC life is hard and not just because I speak another language. I think its because I finally hit the rut of the MTC. I do everything over and over again and its starting to take a toll. It also doesnt help seeing so many friends I have made here and friends from BYU come and go while I still have 42 more days... Although I know being here is worth it, it still can be hard. I am not homesick, I'm not depressed, I am not scared but I am constantly exhausted. Honestly the only thing that holds me up are quick naps when people arent looking and seeing the small successes everyday. That moment when you teach a lesson and you can just talk without pauses in full Cantonese is what really keeps my "alive" here. I now understand why people dont like the MTC. It is not because it is a bad place because trust me it is an amazing place but you get stuck in a rut and see A LOT more failure than success here. I honestly do apprietate my time here so far but I am so ready to go to Hong Kong and teach there.
As for the language I can really see a change in it from where I have come from. I am starting to slow converting from writing lines to read in lessons to just speaking to them from my head. Although those lines may not be long or complicated I can deffinetly see an improvement. My reading and writing skills in romanized Cantonese is improving as well, writing statements or learning new words is much easier now since I can "sound out" what I am trying to say. I am really thankful for my amazing teachers Fu Hingdiah (Hingdiah means brother) and Gu Hingdiah who are really patient with me and the entire class. Although they arent school teachers I honestly learn more from them than any "professional" teacher I have met. I am really thankful for their work and efforts.

The older group of Hong Kong missionaries left and I hung out with them a lot during study time and gym so its kind of sad to see them go.

In Hong Kong I get to go to the temple every transfer since the mission is so small. Also I found out on Hong Kong Island (pretty sure its there) there is a church building its three church buildings built on top of each other. It is the second most expensive property the church owns because its in the city and its so hard to get a good spot there and apparently they did. (The most expensive is the conference center.)

July 20, 2012

So today 23/7/2012 is the beginning of my 4th week at the MTC and a pretty popular quote at the MTC comes to mind, "Days may feel like weeks but weeks begin to feel like days." Its weird to say but that quote really is true here at the MTC, each day feels like FOREVER but then you look back at the end of the week and I'm like "Where did all the time go?" Its crazy. The food here isnt that bad but its exactly like the Cannon Center by Helaman halls soooo I basically know all of the food they serve here. AlsoSTAY AWAY FROM THE ORANGE JUICE! Seriously people have been like DYING from this drink hahah, just a warning to the next group of MTC goers.
The weird thing for me so far is to see so many people come and go. I have seen tons of friends here from BYU and made some close ones to but I have already said goodbye to 3 districts here, I have come to know in my 4 weeks of being here. Its weird to see kids come in and complain about being here for three weeks or eight weeks while I sit there and realize I still have eight more weeks to go and I have been here 4 already... Its funny just to see how people live here at the MTC and complain about the different things. One thing I noticed (and I went through) was for a while most forgien speaking missionaries are jealous of English speaking missionaries. They get to be here for three weeks and leave! They don't have to worry about going to the mission Field and not understanding a thing, they dont have to worry about new cultures and they dont have to work about having to stay here for 12 whole weeks... I literally have never been more tired in my whole entire life, its like a battle everyday to stay awake around 1 or 2pm. I spend anywhere from 3 to 10 hours a day just working on Cantonese, it is beyond exhausting... Im brain dead by the end of everyday.
On a positive note my Cantonese is improving. I can now construct my own sentences and read romanzied Cantonese with about 80% accuracy. Also just to let everyone know I wont learn ANY characters in the MTC I learn them on the streets of HK and an average missionary learns anywhere between 1500 to 3000 characters (you need like 1800 to literate in HK). I also am teaching two investigators (returned missionaries acting as people they taught from their mission) one man named Ahei he is 41 witha 5 year old boy and a 18 yearold teenager named Vincent. They are both reading the Book of Mormon right now and Vincent just went to church. We have been teaching them every other day for the last two weeks. Vincent is really considering baptism and might actually receive it soon and AHei is still thinking about it. All our lessons have been in 100% Cantonese since day one and its finally starting to get a little bit easier. We are now teaching full 30 - 40minute lessons instead of out 10 - 15minute lessons from the first weeks. Hopefully I can keep progressing at such a quick pace and ask for everyone to pray for me to understand this langauge because it is really intense.