So the title of my email translates to "Carry On, Snow, and Other Cantonese Good Stuff." I don't have much time to write this week, so my email will be shorter this week, but I want share some fun things about my week here at the MTC!
So my district has 7 sisters and 2 elders, and they are the BEST! They are so much fun to be around, and we are all so different, but our purpose and goals are what bring us together and it has been so fun to get to know them and work with them!
My zone is made up of now 8 districts, since one of the Thai districts left just this morning. In my district, we have missionaries learning to speak Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian, Cantonese, Thai, and Vietnamese! One of my roommates calls our zone "The Zone of Obscure SE Asian Languages." And it's so true! I love being in a zone where we are going to all kinds of different places in the world where you couldn't even imagine the gospel having a presence in. But nonetheless, the Lord's work keeps rolling forward and to more and more nations. It's so awesome!!!
Okay, some fun facts about Gwongdungwa (Cantonese)!
1. So "kaisih" means revelation. But "keisih" with a slightly different tone means racism. It actually slightly terrifies me that I could unintentionally tell someone "If you come to church, you will receive racism." So I pay extra special attention to that word.
2. So we sang a hymn earlier this week called "Carry On." Here in the MTC, we sing in our mission language, so "Carry On" translates over to "Wong Chihn Chong," which is about the most stereotypical Chinese thing you'll hear in Cantonese. Anyways, while we were singing it, we were getting all the words wrong and we started laughing because of how horribly we were singing it, and then once we got to "wong chihn chong," we all just about died. Way to bring the spirit to our classroom, right? I love Cantonese.
3. So "yauh" means to have, and if you put "jo" at the end of a few verbs, you can make it past tense. Well, if you but "yauhjo" together with the same tones, it actually means pregnancy. It's a good thing we learned that now instead of in the field, because that would be a very confusing lesson talking about Jesus Christ and His Gospel and pregnancy.
4. Cantonese has 6 tones, while Mandarin only has 4. It's hard remembering the right tones sometimes, but you don't have to conjugate anything in Cantonese, so I'll take that over conjugating anytime.
Okay, so it snowed this week! It didn't stick, but this Floridian thought it was pretty cool. Also, there's a girl from Burma in the Thai district that just left that had never seen snow before and probably never would have the chance again, so her district was praying so hard for snow and it came just a few days before they left for Thailand! She was SO cute when she saw the snow!
Our teaching skills are coming along too! My companion and I can teach lessons almost entirely without reading anything! Our sentences are simple, but we are able to teach more from the heart, and that is the most important thing about missionary lessons! I just love how familiar this language feels to me! It's so hard and it doesn't necessarily come naturally to me, but it feels so familiar to me and the Lord constantly reminds me when I get down on myself about not learning the language as quickly as I want to or about not understanding things that he wants me to go to HK to teach people the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that he wants me to work hard in learning Cantonese and if I do, the atonement of Jesus Christ will make up for the rest. It's been such an awesome experience teaching our investigators and seeing the Lord' s hand in those lessons, even if the teachers playing the investigators like to make it harder for us. But I guess that's their job.... Hahahaha! But as I put my trust on and total focus in the Lord, the language comes so much quicker and that is such a blessing!!
Anyways, that's all I have time for this week. I love you all!! Keep doing houyeh (good stuff) and remember how much the Savior loves you and how desperately he wants you to come closer to Him.
Until next week,
Sister Leonard/ Leiuh Ji Muih
Stripey Tuesday with the sisters of our zone!