Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First Letter from MTC

December 21, 2009

Dear Family!

Merry Christmas!How are you? Ne hou!? :) Haha, life is great--I love the MTC! Preparation days are on Monday so I will be able to check my mail for 30 minutes every week. So.... you can write me emails but I will only be able to read them and respond back in that whole time frame. :) I love letters....So, I have two companions, Ma jiame (Sister Malmorse, or something along those lines) and Ka jiame (Sister Colleyer). They are honestly fantastic and perfect companions for me. I was so worried about companions but it has been so wonderful and so great to have companions who understand the language and still are so sweet. Ma jiame has taken a couple years of Chinese in college so she knows a lot and has fabulous pronounciation. I am finding that pronounciation is hard, but I am able to hear it and make the sounds--the hardest part is the pinyin! It's the romanized version of Mandarin and is really helpful, but is so hard to know what sounds each different letter makes. For example, whenever a word is written and starts with the letter c, you say it with a -ts sound. :) Cool, huh? I also have NOT had dessert at all, well, except for every night when we come back to our su she and eat the brownies and cookies :) hehe, Ka jiame already mentioned that she wouldn't be able to take naps because she was wired on the cookies and treats I kept feeding her.

But, do you know what is really fantastic about this place? The spirit! I can't get over how wonderful it is and how strongly the spirit is here. Constantly! I guess when you pray all the time and ask for it, it will be here--but honestly, yes, it is so fabulous. I've never had this kind of experience before where I can feel the spirit all day long and feel strengthened by it. I love it. Oh! By the way, I learned how to pray in Mandarin yesterday! I am still very much at a very elemental level of praying, but I am trying. The hard part is that as much as I practice it and can prununciate it when i practice, I fall all over my words and can't remember how to say things when i get to it. Please pray for me. Family, I really need your help at this time. I am having difficulties with the language and remembering what I have learned.

I am very thankful for my wonderful teachers though. They are really amazing. I don't think I've ever met such understanding and patient people which makes learning so much nicer. They are also so concerned with each of us and our progress. I am so thankful for them and their efforts with me, and also my companions. Wow, oh yeah, they are so wonderful! I can't believe how supportive and how complimentary they are with my chinese no matter how much I forget or how I can't pronounce anything :) Haha, I can't believe how fantastic they are.

The hard thing is that, I know that I need more time to study but I can't find as much time as I feel I need. Before, in school I would be able to stay up later or study on weekends to get caught up with others or to do studying, but all my time is already scheduled out :) So, it's hard for me right now. I love you all so much--you are fantastic! I am going to miss you all this week and especially Friday, but I want you to know that I love you and that I love this gospel. As often as I get frustrated with the language and don't know what to do, I have those wonderful moments during personal study or companion study that are so great. My companions and I have been talking about it, and have found that here in the MTC and with the spirit here we've been able to read the Book of Mormon in a different light and have so many more ah-ha moments :) We have a goal to read the Book of Mormon by the time we leave the MTC. We are on track so far! But, I just want to tell you that I know this gospel is true, and the spirit really has been a comforter for me these past couple days. It's a little overwhelming, but it has been wonderful. Thank you so much for your support and I love you all!-Sister Ko

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