Hello everyone! It is good to hear from you all! Thank you for the love and support! I'll just start from the beginning and tell you everything! I'm sorry.. I wrote a letter home but didn't get an opportunity to send it until today! So it will be coming! But Monday's are Pdays!
So on Wednesday I got my name tag dropped my stuff in my room and went straight to class! Then we went to a little welcome thing and dinner and I saw Matt and Tanner Willes! It was a long long afternoon! When I got here they told me that my companion would be Elder Yang and that he would be in the advanced class so I wouldn't be with him in class. He never showed up though so I am in a trio with Elder Facer and Elder Hawkes. They are both awesome!
So Thursday through Saturday we pretty much just sat in our classroom all day! We have personal study, then companionship study, then language study. Then lunch and additional study and then a three hour instruction from a teacher and then dinner and then another three hours in the classroom studying or preparing a lesson or with the teacher some more. I am already so tired of sitting in these desks.. My legs hurt and stuff but other than that it's been good! The first few days felt super super long. It feels like I've been here for like a month. But someone told us yesterday that the first third of your mission is the first three days the second third is the rest of your time at the MTC and the last third is out in the field. So hopefully the next few weeks go by more quickly! The Chinese comes slowly and I don't know very much yet, but I am able to understand a lot of what our teacher says! I can tell that having taken the three years already is really helping and that the gift of tongues is real! Even though it will still take forever and a lot of studying. I know how to say a pretty simple prayer in Chinese already! I pray for all of you in Chinese;) Hmm.. It turns out that two of the guys that I saw in my session at the temple last Monday are both Elders in my district! So that is pretty cool! Sunday we kind of took a break from studying. We have sacrament meeting in Chinese! Well two talks given by us and the sacrament prayer.. the other talks by the branch presidency are in English! It was nice to take a break from the study, but we didn't take a break from sitting. haha it was hard. But last night I went to choir and the director was pretty funny and then in the devotional after we heard a great talk about prayer! After that we were able to watch a special devotional Elder Bednar gave here a few years ago called the character of Christ! It was absolutely amazing! To summarize Christ turned outward and helped others even in His times of trial and we need to do the same. If we are here for ourselves we won't find what we are looking for! But if we lose ourselves in the service of others and love the people we are around we will receive blessings and find ourselves in the process. I decided to try to forget about my legs and being tired and not wanting to study and stuff and just focus on the people I am going to serve! Also we got to walk to the temple after District meeting yesterday and we sang a bunch of hymns there and it was a really cool experience. Today is my first P-day and we went to the temple and now working on laundry and emails! Let me know if there are other questions you want answered! I hope I got most of them.. and thank you for the emails! I have been worried about how everyone was doing and I felt like a weight lifted off of me when I saw what you all had to say! I know there will be hard times but the Lord will bless us! Hopefully the Chinese goes well this week! There are 6 people in our district that have been here for 4 weeks and their Chinese is a lot better than hours so that's promising! Love and miss you all! Be safe! Have a great week!
P.S. not sure how to send pictures yet.. I'll work on that! Oh! My name is Jian Zhanglao. Zhanglao means Elder!