After you dropped me off it was a bit of a rush. Sister Piepper helped me get checked in, get my tag, and find my housing. Then she took me to the bookstore to pick up 17 pounds- my Chinese language materials! No joke. Then she dropped me off in the classroom where I've basically been ever since! I met our teacher (Laoshi) and she only spoke Chinese to us! I also met my companion, Mu Jiemei. She is super great! I lover her! She like to sing too (and alto no less!) and she is dedicated, but doesn't get super stressed out. I learned more Chinese in that first half day than I did in 2 years at the high school!
ok, my district has 9 missionaries. My companion and me, a trio companionship of sisters, and 2 companionships of Elders. I totally love our district. We have fun and study well too. Another thing, all 9 of us are headed to Taipei! How great is that?!?
Food here is just like the Cannon Center at BYU so I'm used to that. I'll write later about more day to day things. Here's something interesting: We taught our first investigator on Friday. FRIDAY! After only 2 1/2 days of learning Chinese! It went better than we expected. We pretty much just said over and over that Heavenly Father loves us. We are His children. Etc. But it was OK. He only spoke Chinese so I was intimidated, but the Spirit was strong. It was awesome because we would ask him a question in broken Chinese and as he would answer, sometimes I could tell what he was saying. But when I had no clue, my companion would nod so I knew at least one of us understood. It was superb! Our next lesson was Saturday! It did not go very well. I don't know if it was our lack of vocabulary but I also think we were trying to answer his questions rather than straight testifying. Monday's lesson was better. We taught about scriptures and prophets (He was an atheist but his roommate made him start thinking about maybe there is a God, so that's why he wanted to meet with us). We testified of Christ an prophets and that was good. Our lesson yesterday was eh, not bad by any means, but certainly not our best. All in all it is so good to get this practice teaching by the Spirit and learning how to work together as a companionship and prepare lessons with the guidance of the Spirit. The better lessons always happen when we each pray and do personal study, then afterward we discover we studied about the same thing.
Sundays are a blessing here. An oasis of peace in the desert of studying. When I said I haven't left the classroom, I'm serious! We spend literally all day everyday in this small brick walled room. But at least we have great people to spend the time with! I'm out of time, but know I am alive, I am well, I am studying and it's hard but I feel so so good after studying and know I've worked hard. Being tired is the norm here, but somehow we make it through everyday! I love it here, but letters are so nice to geT! So please write letters to my physical address if you can! I can't read every email outside my parents' and brothers'. Pictures coming soon! Love you all! -Sima Jiemei (Sister Smith)