Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Trial by Fire"

My name tag. Isn't it so cool?

My companion Sister Villasin. She does great origami.

My district- all going to Hong Kong!

Leih houh, everyone! (hello, everyone!)

Wow, it has been quite a week!! One of the best but longest and most exhausting weeks of my life haha! The MTC is incredible and I am loving it! :) Some days are better than others but overall I think it's been a good week.

My companion is Sister Villasin from the Phillipines! She is amazing! She is a convert of two years, her parents aren't members, and she has a great testimony. We've gotten along great so far! There are 8 people in my district and we are all going to Hong Kong and will fly over there together. Sister Villasin (my companion) and I are the only girls. We've all gotten along really well and we have fun! My zone is big, 59 people! It consists of people going to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. And I am convinced that the nicest, most hardworking people get called to Asia because they have all been so welcoming and helpful and we are all so close already.

Saying goodbye to my family was rough!! But as soon as I walked into the MTC I felt so happy and at peace because this is exactly where I need to be right now, timing and everything :) The first day is pretty cruel if you ask me haha! After you get the sad curb drop off, they put all you in a room together for a devotional and you start by singing "Called to Serve." Yes, I cried the entire time haha! Truly one of my favorite songs! Afterwards we also sang, "We Will Bring the World His Truth" and there's a line that says "We will be the Lord's missionaries" but they changed it to "We are NOW the Lord's missionaries" and wow the Spirit was so strong! I just got goosebumps! I am so thankful I have chosen to serve a mission because it's already been one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Cantonese is insane! We have two teachers, Sister Chan and Brother Johnson and we've never heard them say one word in English!! All our lessons are in straight Cantonese! The first day, right after we got dropped off we went to class and they were speaking Cantonese and this one elder is like, "Talk about trial by fire!" And we all just started laughing because that's a perfect way to explain it :P But I can testify that the gift of tongues is VERY real! We were asked to teach an investigator in Cantonese on our third morning here and there is no way I would've been able to do it without the Spirit. Our investigator is Willy (he's an actor) but he's from China going to school in Hong Kong. Our first lesson was frustrating because we hardly understood anything and he said no to praying what we had taught him. But we taught him the next day and he was way happier and more receptive! We teach him again today. Cantonese is really hard espeically with the weird sounds and tones but I can now have a conversation, bear my testimony, and pray all in Cantonese and I've been here for 5 days! It's truly amazing! 

The Chinese name they gave me is "Ngaaih Ji Muih" pronounced Ni-Gee-Moo and it literally translates into Sister Beautiful so that was cool haha ;) Everyone else got lame ones like Elder Plum and Elder Gwok. 

Everyone loves Sundays at the MTC! They are great! It was extra special because our district did a 24 hour fast for the gift of tongues and that really brought a spirit. We had a mission conference since it was fast Sunday and it was fantastic, I took so many notes! The speakers were amazing. Our sacrament meeting was really good too! Sunday nights are fun because they have ice cream in the cafeteria and then we get to watch an approved church movie. My companion and I saw "Meet the Mormons" and it was so good! I recommend seeing it if you havent :) This morning (P-day) we got to go the temple! Sister Villasin didn't have the chance to be endowed before coming so I got to be her escort for that. It was a great experience! 

I have only been here for five days but my relationship with my Savior has already grown so much. It's amazing to see His love and tender mercies for me everyday! I thought it would be hard to get used to wearing a nametag but it is my favorite thing to put it on every morning and see Jesus Christ' name next to mine. I feel so honored that He trusts me enough to take the gospel to His children in Hong Kong. I found a scripture during personal study that has been my theme for the week. I forgot to bring my scriptures so I can't type it out, but it's Moroni 7:26 and 33. It talks about asking in sincere faith and desire and God will help you so that's been a comfort with learning Cantonese. Some days I really miss my family and want to be done with class but I just remember why I am here and that helps a lot. 

Do jie!!! ("thank you" pronounced doe-jzay) for the letters and emails! It is seriously the BEST thing getting mail!! And it makes me less homesick so thank you! I'll try to send pictures but it might not work haha. I will talk to you all next Monday! Remember to always put the Lord first! Have a great week!

Love, Sister Escher

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