July 17, 2012
Ni hoa wode Jiating!
Ni Jintian hoa ma?
Things here at the MTC are great this week! it has started to get cooler (or I am getting used to no AC? I'm not sure which it is...) But i try to stay postivie! So yesterday just as Everyone is finally getting used to our rooms all the chinese elders get a note on their doors that they will be receiving new bunks and new elders.... so starting tomorrow we are going to have 6 Elders in our room and two of us are going to have to share closets and desks with them....Awesome.... :) anyway everyone always looks forward to Wednesdays because we all love greeting the new Elders......and Sisters.... ;) who come in! ITs awesome! We are maxing out this week at 2900 Elders and Sisters.
So it is crazy crowded here.
Anywho! The Chinese is coming along...It's so tough, though. I am learning more everyday, but some days it feels like I am banging my head against a brick wall....But I do my best to stay positive! and my 260 lb [Tongan] Companion always gets me to smile so I am very grateful for him!
So the MTC only carries 4 Mandarin Chinese books.....A Book of Mormon in all characters (which I can't read), A Joseph Smith Pamphlet in Characters (which I can't read), A primary picture book in Characters (which I can't read), And A Jesus the Christ in Characters (which I can't read), So the reading options are very limited here. But it is okay! Hopefully one day I will be able to read characers one day with a little bit of work.
This week we taught an Investigator who we were supposed to teach at 2 yesterday. Well me and my Comp showed up at 2 but what we didn't know was that we were supposed to be practing our door approaches. So not only did we not not know how to say we have a lesson for you we also didn't know how to make small talk which doesn't sound like a big deal but it is when you are talking to a stranger. So we had 20 minutes to start off with and I worked for 2 days every free chance I got to translate a lesson that would be good. and by the time we got everything sorted out we had 3 minutes to teach. So I opened up my PMG (Preach My Gospel, which is the missionary manual.) and read from the 5 minute lesson sections and It was horrible. When you are trying to speak the things of your heart, things that are most sacred unto you, and you cannot express the desires of your heart, it's like banging your head against a wall. So that was very discouraging. But I am doing my best. I know that I have places I can improve but We all have things like that. I know there is a reason the Lord has asked me to preach in Chinese and I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the Children of Men save he shall provide a way for them to accomplish the thing which he commandeth them to do.
After a bad lesson this week I was feeling so frustrated and so angry at my inability to communicate and understand what our investigator was saying and I came back and during personal study I read from1 Nephi 3 and From 1 Nephi 8. About the going and doing the things the Lord commandeth and about the tree of life. I Love these scriptures and in the moment I read them it was just what I needed to hear. I was given comfort when I needed it most and I cannot explain what that was like. Truly it was a tender mercy of the Lord (But behold I [Elder Zavala] will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen because of their faith to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance 1 Nephi 1:20) knowing this is what gives me drive some days. I know all I need to do is do my best and the Lord will take care of the rest. the Work here is very hard but I know with time I will Master this Language...because hey..its me? Was there ever any doubt?
I also wanted to tell you about the Gift of Tongues. I have gained such a strong testimony of this! Honestly it is so much easier to work when I feel that i have the spirit with me. When I was teaching one of my investigators last week I had just finished language study before the lesson and While I was bearing my testmony I felt the words that my investigator needed to hear slowly floating to the top of my head. I knew then that I was speaking what the Lord wanted this Lady to hear and not what I wanted to say. I testify that spirit has no Language barriers. That even though I am some 19 year old punk from Ogden that with faith in the lord I can become an instrument in his hands. Miracles happen here everyday I testify of this. That they can throw a group of 19 year olds into a classroom for 12 weeks and teach them a language thats older than time itself is truly a miracle. There is no other way to describe it.
So in other news.....Things That would be helpful here at the MTC a Tide to Go pen! Some dryer sheets! To do Laundry with! and Cookies and Candy! To comfort my soul on those tuff days and whatnot! and that's all that I can think of right now...I might be sending my Camera's SD card home so that y'all can see my pictures and stuff! there was supposed to be a photo kiosk here but there isnt! And yeah! oh btw YANDARY!!! You said there would be hangers here! there wasnt! I had to go buy some! it was silly.
ahh I am trying not to eat so much here because I have no desire to gain any weight while here (or anywhere for that matter....) but it's hard. haha. The ice cream on sundays and wednesdays is soo goooooood! and yeah! I've lost 2 lbs here but we'll see if the trends continue!
In other news, MTC basketball is everything and more I hoped it would be!
I played 3 games this week and I went:
3/8 FG 3 Assists 2 Blocks 3 Reb
1/11FG 2 Assists 4 Reb
5/9 FG 4 Assists 3 Reb
So I am getting better some days and some days I am getting worse...haha. They gym is closed because they are redoing the floors, so I won't be able to play for 9 days! awful! But I have been biking! Yesterday I rode 12 Miles on a stationary on "Cross Country" setting it was crazy. I have never sweat so much haha!
Anywho! My time is up! and I must go! Because I have to take a nap still (it's Pday) and thats about it!
I love you all sooo very much! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep those letters coming! I love to hear from all of you!
with much love
-Elder Zavala I
What a dork! I just noticed he wrote Elder Zavala I (as in, "the First!" LOL.)
Also, for those who want to write to Jason, you can send snail mail (and packages) to:
Elder Jason S. Zavala
MTC Box # 106-0918
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604
Or you can e-mail him at email@example.com