Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 2: Loving Life

Leih Hou!

     So one hour to write weekly emails and blog is not enough time! I could go on for hours about the MTC and being a missionary, but I will try my best to consolidate!

     Being in the MTC is one of the best experiences of my life and I think one of the main reasons for it is because of my district. In the short time we've been here, we have truly become a district family! We get along really well. We can be totally crazy and slap happy, but we can also be SO spiritual and I absolutely love it! We are a pretty musical group so we like to sing hymns in Cantonese just for fun and have "jam sessions." I am so blessed to have my district in my life! I must've done something right for the Lord to put me with them! 

     My companion Sister Leonard has been sick the past few days and even lost her voice for a couple days! And when you're learning a tonal language and have to teach an investigator, that's rough! I give her major props for sticking it out this past week and diligently being an awesome missionary and companion! I am so blessed to have her and I hope we end up in the field together!

     It's hard to believe I've learned so much in the less than 2 weeks that I've been here! There are definitely highs and lows with the language and teaching in Cantonese, but the Lord is with me every step of the way! The language is coming along pretty well. I can piece together simple sentences, and I am working on my weakness of understanding people when they talk to me. My brain can't process Cantonese fast enough. I can talk in Cantonese for a while but the minute someone speaks to me I go blank, even on some of the simplest words I use on a daily basis. Maybe I need to start praying and asking for the gift of the interpretation of tongues! Haha! I'm constantly surrounded by the Spirit which is a very good thing! I feel it in my scripture study, language class, and most importantly when my companion and I are teaching an investigator. 

     So, fun news! The Tuesday Night MTC Devotional is going to be broadcast to all the MTC's around the world tomorrow night at 7pm MST! Since I'm in the MTC Choir, our performance of a beautiful arrangement of "More Holiness Give Me" will be broadcasted during it. I don't know if it will be on BYUTV orlds.org at any point, but if you can find it, you should watch it! Since this is a worldwide event, everyone is speculating that an apostle will be speaking which would be so cool! I will let you know next week who speaks! :)

     We had a discussion in class one day about the fundamentals of teaching investigators and being a missionary and it was one of the most spiritual things! Elder Love made a good point that when teaching others, we have to be careful not to firehose them. It's hard to do because there is so much we know and want to share, but we just have to remember to share a little at a time so we don't overwhelm the investigator. We watched a clip from Elder Holland and he said, "You are your first convert. You are the Lord's investigator. You have to do and be what you want your investigator to do and be." I loved that! It is so true!

Scripture of the week: John 15:5 - Read it positively. With the Lord, we can do everything.
Quote of the week: No matter how intense the darkness of doubt, we choose how long and to what extent we allow it to influence us (Elder Vern P. Stanfill). 
Mormon Message of the week: You Never Know 

I love all of you so much and can't wait to post again next week!  

Sister Maggie Shiffert

 Literally 10 lbs. worth of books! That should be fun finding room for in my suitcase!

My district with our teacher Jong Hing Daih (the one in the middle of the elders)

Sister Maggie Shiffert and her MTC Companion, Lauren Leonard

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Monday, October 19, 2015


Everyone going on the China Hong Kong mission

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Week #1

Leih hou leihdeih! Hello everyone!

     First let me say I absolutely LOVE being in the MTC and being a missionary! The Spirit is so strong and the people here are amazing! I love my district (basically my class). We have 7 sisters and 2 elders and about 20 heading to Hong Kong in December. My companion is Sister Leonard and she is super awesome! I actually talked to her via Facebook before coming here and I know it's not a coincidence we were put together as companions for the next 9 weeks. The Lord has his hand in that and I'm glad he did! We work well together and think alike and she is just great!

     When I arrived to the MTC, I was in class learning Cantonese within minutes! All I can say is that THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS SO REAL. I have been here for 6 days and have learned so much more than I could've imagined. Day 3 I was saying my prayers and teaching a lesson to an investigator in Cantonese. Day 4 I was bearing a simple testimony in Canotnese. Some may say I'm just really good at languages, but having learned Mandarin, I know it's the Spirit helping me along and I'm not alone in this. However, all the Mandarin I thought I had lost is coming back with is annoying since I'm speaking Cantonese, but I know it will go away and I will get the Cantonese in no time! FYI my name in Cantonese is Si Ji Muih (see gee moy (like boy but with an m)).

     Tuesday through Saturday is like a normal day. It starts at 6:30am and we have personal scripture study, companion study, language study, and class a couple times a day. Obviously meals are included somewhere in there and our day ends at 10:30. It's long but I learn so much! Also, my teacher Jong Hingdaih starts class by singing a hymn in Cantonese. Surprisingly, we get our pronunciations mostly right (I think!) when singing but not so much when speaking. The power of music! Monday is Preparation Day (PDay) which I kind of like our day off. And Sunday is our day off to refocus spiritually. 

     Yesterday was SO spiritual. I didn't think there was one time where I didn't feel the Spirit! Sacrament meeting's topic was on obedience and the "old" Cantonese speaking elders and sisters (they left for Hong Kong this morning) sang a special arrangement of Come Thou Fount and We'll Bring the World His Truth. It's common here to say when singing We'll Bring the World His Truth, "And we ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth." I get chills every time I sing that. Relief Society's lesson was on enduring to the end and how it applies to the tree of life story. At the end we watched "Mountains to Climb" by President Henry B. Eyring and it brought tears to my eyes. Go watch this video and I promise you won't regret it! The Spirit was so strong and it touched my heart to watch it. 

     A bonus about the MTC: I get to have chorus back in my life! I am SO happy about that! I joined the MTC Choir and yesterday was our first rehearsal. We are singing a 7-part harmony version of "I Feel the Savior's Love" and I am so happy I get to be a part of that. Chorus and singing is my comfort from home so that was a blessing for me to have while here for the next 9 weeks. 

     After choir practice we had a devotional given my Chad Lewis who was a tight-end for BYU and went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. He gave a great message about enjoying being a missionary and even when times get hard, count your blessing! Following this, we watched a movie by Elder David A. Bednar entitled Character of Christ. Elder Bednar is my favorite and his talk was amazing. It was truly given by the Spirit. In this talked, he reminded missionaries that the Lord has called us to our specific missions for a reason. It just really touched me and made me cry. I know I am where I need to be and that the Lord called me to the China Hong Kong mission for a reason. Being here has brought me so much happiness and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. 

     I love all of you and I miss you! Have a great week!
Quote of the week: "I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen - patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn't appear instantly or without effort" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

Sister Maggie Shiffert

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mission Ready!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Almost Time!

And the single digit countdown begins! Only 9 days left! I will be posting weekly updates on this blog so you can see what's going on and how I'm doing :)
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