This week has been great as usual!
Dad sent me a quote that I loved that exemplifies the missionary mindset:
"No one could tell me where my soul might be, I searched for God, but he eluded me, I sought my brother out and found all three." -Ernest H. Crosby
I love that because as you seek to help others as contrary as it seems you find yourself.
Me and my companion were up to 4 investigators this week. We teach up to 4 lessons a day. And then two of them didn't show up at the times we scheduled so we are back to two. Even though they are all members it is still kind of heartbreaking to lose an investigator around here. They make it seem like the real world pretty well.
We even got kicked out by one of our investigators this week because we were 7 minutes late. She told us to "Take a hike!"-- as my companion would say. He says a lot of funny things like "Have a good nnnnnnn" and "Cooooooooooooool", "Giiiiiiiiiit", "Gooooooo nnnnnnnnn", "I dunnnnn told yeeeeh." Then he'll grab his belt buckle and dance around like he's on a bull. He really is the true cowboy if I have ever seen one.
We have a lot of fun together because the more he talks like that the more I like to mess with him and talk like I'm from the hood. He always thinks this is weird which I find the hilarious. And then we realize that we are missionaries and need to act like it.
P-days are always the most rushed days. There just isn't enough time in the day to get things done.
Oh and I forgot to mention that last week I blessed the Sacrament in Mandarin. That was actually really hard because not only do you have to pronounce everything right, you have to yell it because there is no microphone and also if you don't get every single tone right then you have to do it again. Somehow I got them all mostly right so I didn't have to do it again. No idea how I did that.
That is one of the hardest things about Mandarin is the tones. There are 5 of them and listening to native speakers I swear I am tone deaf. For example, the word "ma" means 5 different things depending on the tone. It's kind of like singing which as some of you know is not one of the strengths to say the least. But it is coming along. Lucky for me I am not speaking Cantonese which has 9 tones even though only 6 are useful.
Another weird thing about Chinese is that they don't teach you how to read or write. Basically it's too hard so they made up a fake letter system to take the place of characters and we read with that but no other Chinese speaker would have any idea what it means. They have told us not to worry about characters until we get out into the mission field.
Oh! So this week I finished the Book of Mormon! I read it cover to cover of a paperback. I wrote a question I had in the front and then marked it up and then at the end went back and wrote down what I learned about my question. It really is a great experience. Everyone should try this with a question that they have. I started when I got here. The Book of Mormon really truly is God's word and I would urge with all of my heart that anyone who is reading this should read the book and decide for themselves through asking God through prayer if the book is true. No 25 year old man could have written it. I witness that.
Also, I don't think I mentioned this but two weeks ago in the temple I got to do sealings which was an awesome new experience.
I would to say one more thing this week that has really hit me. Everything that we give to Lord, time, money, effort, our skills, and talents. It is all just giving back to the Lord what we already have. The only thing that we can truly give to the Lord is our will. That is the only thing that we have to give that he does not have. I encourage you all as I do to align your will with the Father so that you can give him the one true gift back that we can truly give. This is ourselves.
I love you all. Wo ai nimen. Wo zai MTC shi hen kuaile.
-Elder Pierce (Ping Zhang Lao)
P.S. 6 weeks down and 3 weeks to go in here. It's flying by.
P.S.S. We got are all-Mandarin tags this week. I'll try and send a picture. I apologize with struggling with amount of pictures I am sending. I will try and do better.