Well, the time has finally come where I feel like a real missionary. I love it! The spirit is so strong! Leih hou in Canto means hello. I can definitely tell the difference between Mandarin & Cantonese. They look the same but sound completely different. Weird how that works.
My name in Cantonese is Tong Jimuih with an accent like this – above the o. Tong is my last name & Jimuih means Sister. I did not get to choose my Canto name. It is given to me by a Chinese person or someone who speaks the language. I honestly think there is a process to choose but I haven’t figured it out. Tong in English means soup. So yes my name is Sister Soup. Which is a plus because soup is one of my favorite foods. How did they know!?
Actually there are 6 Elder & 6 Sisters in my district so 12 all together. They are awesome! I already feel like we are family. My companions were originally Sister De Ocampo(Philippines) & Sister Allison(England) but one of the other Sister’s companion didn’t come so I lost Sister Allison. My companion as of now is Sister De Ocampo. She is the sweetest, quietest, cutest little Philippine. She has an awesome accent and her testimony is so strong. I already love her to death!
Our room has 6 bunks but we only take up 4. The other two Sisters have a room to their own. Our floor in our building is almost our whole Zone. Let me just tell you my zone is awesome! I love them all. My zone consists of Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Hmong, Laotian, Cambodian and I think one more. Most of us are Thai & Canto. We get Cambos next week and some Hmong & Laotians the week after. Each night we have Zone prayer for the Sisters and each night is a different language. So I get to hear every language in my zone in a prayer. I have yet to say the prayer but my time will come. One of my Sister Training Leaders is just like me and Emma combined! We are like the same person but not. She is so sweet! Her name is Sister Smith. She is from Queencreek, AZ and is super funny. So I love my zone a LOT!
This week we learned how to bear our testimony and say our prayers in Cantonese. So awesome! It is pretty hard but a way beautiful language. My teacher only speaks Canto to us so sometimes we get frustrated. I feel like I am also learning a lot about how to read someones facial expressions and movements. Kind of funny how that works. I’ll write you a letter with my testimony later:) Also, we taught our first investigator in Canto on Thursday. Really stressful because I couldn’t understand anything she was saying and I didn’t know how to respond. Since then though, we have taught her again & I understand it more. We teach her again tonight. Her name is Yihp Jimuih.
The spirit at the MTC is sooooooo strong! I love it. There is no way someone can deny the spirit here. It is at every turn. The time I most felt the spirit was on Sunday when we had lots of devotionals. I could definitely feel the spirit as all 2100 of us missionaries came together. SO AWESOME! I love this work and I can’t wait to go spread the gospel to the Chinese & Hong Kongers.
I have seen lots of friends at the MTC. Did I mention that Elder Dallin Magill (Thailand) is in my Zone?! IT is so awesome to have a great friend there! I am going to list all the missionaries that I have seen over the past little bit so bear with me….. Elder Tanner Pace(Alaska); Elder Jake Layland(Boston); Sydney Crowell(Taiwan); Matt Jasperson(Indonesia) saw him on the first day!; Matt Dillon (Mexico); Brandt Vavrika(Ecuador) and so many more.
In talking about people that I have seen here at the MTC I got to see a great friend that I literally hunted down here. Elysee Allman is a German teacher here at the MTC. We went in almost every building looking for her. Then we finally decided we would go ask which room she taught in. Then finally on Friday we went to her room. I didn’t know if she was there or not so I went and asked some German students if she was here. Sure enough she was the last classroom and she could hear someone saying “Do you know if Sister Allman is here?” She peaked around the door and literally stood up and gave me the biggest hug!!! I LOVE HER TO DEATH!!!! It was so great to have an amazing hug from someone I know(since I can’t hug Elders and Sister give weak hugs, her hugs are kind of like Tara’s hugs) Anyways, I totally love her and she added to my excitement! I was literally shaking because I hadn’t seen her in 2 years. So that was awesome. She is hoping to eat lunch with me & Sister De Ocampo sometime before I leave. Also, we are going to go say hi to Alyssa Stromberg tonight after we teach Yihp Jimuih.
Anyways, I love being here at the MTC. I am learning lots and I totally love it here! The temple is beautiful and Monday’s & Sunday’s are my favorite day. Also, PLEASE use DearElder.com and spread the word so then I can answer sooner because once a week is too long. Love you lots, I’ll make you proud as I learn Cantonese. Love you all!!!!!!!! Peace & blessings….
Tong Jimuih – Sister Stromberg