Hello Family and Others
So this week has been really rather boring but I will try to keep you entertained as I go
So I think that the crowning thing that happened this week was just the fact that we got our travel plans as well as our fully chinese nametags, meaning that as you may have seen before where my name tag says "Elder Heaton 耶稣基督ect..." Sorry I dont really want to try to spell it all out because I'm really rather bad at typing chinese believe it or not. Anyway so if any of you are interested we will be leaving the MTC atfor the SLC airport or to the front runner, i'm not really sure what their plan is for that but after that we will take Delta plain to San Fran and we will be there from where we will take a plain from there to Tokyo and chill there for about 2 hours where we will have our final trip which will be from Tokyo to Taiwan taking some ammount of time... Sorry I dont really have my travel plan's in front of me but thats roughly the jist of what we will be doing, also we will be arriving in Taiwan Taipei at about Their time and from their there will be a 3 hour bus ride to the mission home in Taichung so theres really all there is to that.
So beyond that we got a call to serve in the "investigator experience" for the new missionaries. So what that is, is when the new missionaries arrive they have a meeting that night called the investigator experience where they have these actors or such who are either acting as themselves before they joined the church or just a profile that they have been given, so what happens is that they put a portion of the new missionaries in a room and they give a quick introduction to the investigator while at the front of the room is a mock living room where the investigator is acting how they would act right before meeting with the missionaries. So they have some of the older missionaries (me and my companion) knock at the door and just start the introductions to the investigator and once it has progressed to a certain point they turn the floor to the newbies to just discuss with the investigator. It was really cool when we did it but now that I have to be the missionary I begin thinking "Can I really teach someone in English?!" Because I dont think I've done that since I got here on the first day so we will have to see how that goes.
I have begun to realize that I start like every paragraph off with "So..." if you want a good laugh you should just go back to my other missonary letters and see how many paragraphs start with the "so" I'll have to try to not do that now. I think that's just bad english or something, but then again I dont have to know english anymore because I'll be speaking chinese woo!!!
Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE ROB!!! Hope that you dont feel too old and things and that now that you are in an empty house you just are able to enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with that =).
The Chinsese is slowly coming along, its getting really hard to stay focused here when I know that I will be leaving to Taiwan and trying not to daydream about all of that and just keep studying but it is slowly coming. As a chinese missionary you acutally really need 3 PMG's to really get along first is the english one because lets face it I just plain out cant really effectively speak chinese, next of course is the character PMG which is as you might guess totally filled with characters, and seeing as how the teachers and everyone doesn't really have a focus on characters or anything like that it doesn't really have much use other than to look really really cool, and finally there is the Pinyin one which is the rominazation of Chinese so that is probably the 2nd most useful one other than the English one so theres that, so why am I going into this well ill tell you... in just a sec, they also gave us a "Pocket" dictionary which would take a beast of a pocket if you ever wanted to try to fit it in one, but the thing about chinese is the fact that they only have about 250ish sounds (I cant actually remember the number but its aroud that) that you can make in the chinese language and four tones with each one to the total is about 1000 "words" that you would say in the chinese language but there are a good 50000 characters each with a unique meaning so the dictionary makes it hard to look up words you dont know if you are just looking at the pinyin one because if you find the word shi in there which is pronounces shr or shur there are a TON of words that have that very sound and so what I have taken to doing is just writing down the character and looking up the character with that sound (the dictionary is sorted by pinyin followed by tone and then character stroke order) to find the meaning to any individual word so that's always a real fun thing for me to do
Well that's about all I have to say for this week, but I would like to just say that I am really enjoying my time here, there have been times that I have really wanted to go home and have honestly concidered doing so but as I think of the work I am doing and the people that I will meet I am always happy that I am here and willing to serve the people here. I hope that I will be able to be a good influence on the lives of others and be able to make others happy through the message that I bring to them, I know that what I have learned here will bless me throughout my life and that it can bless anyone as long as they are willing and believe in the saving power of Christ and God, in the name of 耶稣基督 or Jesus Christ Amen
He Zhang Lao