Friday, January 30, 2009

Second Letter from MTC: Using Correct Language


And welcome to preparation day! Yes, preparation day, not p-day. Our zone is kind of strict about the most random words. Like guys . ..the sisters really get on me about that one. Personally though, I don't care too much because I am not learning the slang in Chinese, so if I say "Hey guys lets go do this" instead of "Hey Elders" I'm not going to cry about it. But if I remember and I go ahead and use the "Elders and Sisters" term.

My companion like I said before is Sister Ackerson, but I call her Sun jiemei. The U in Chinese is pronounced a little like a w. sunjiemei is pretty much the most awesome person in my zone. So how lucky that I'm her companion huh? Remember the girl who contacted me before the mission? Sister MacIsaac? Well since all the Chinese sisters room with me, she and I have met. She is a nice girl with a sweet testimony. Her blood family disowned her for joining the church 3 years ago. However, she is less peppy than she seemed. Personally, I think she is struggling with something, but I can't really blame her, I have a struggle mom won't love as well.

I have this teacher Brother Hutchings or Hanlaoshi. He addressed me about my wardrobe yesterday. The White Handbook says skirts need to be mid calf. I guess all mine are upper calf. Even mom's dress is too short according to his standards. So I only have 9 things ... and one is pushing it acceptable for class. That long brown dress would have worked but it wasn't in my luggage. So mom make that black skirt super long. I'll wear it under everything. And if you can make a brown or white one to wear that's plain, I'll wear a skirt under my skirts. Oh, and send me my brown dress!

Han laoshi is a nice guy but me and my companion agree when he offers criticism he has a bad teaching habit of blowing things out of proportion. He makes us feel way bad about something that could have been solved in a nicer way. With the skirts thing, he had the whole district stand up and said he saw something wrong with "all of us' so instead of saying what was wrong he made us all read the dress standards. After refusing to tell us in "the circle." After we read he rolled his chair up to sun jienei and I asked if we found anything wrong. We said no. I was wearing mom's dress that day. I was wearing an undershirt to cover my cleavage. . . But he said it was upper calf and I need skirts like sun jiemie's. Hers go to the ankles. He said I'd have to go through whatever means necessary to get longer skirts because mine don't cut it. So yeah he singled me out after pretending it was a class/district issue. It definitely escaladed the situation. I'm pretty sure I teared up and couldn't stand to be in the same room as him and his way of "handling" things, so yeah, I just dealt with it I guess. I feel awful though. I don't want to break the rules. But something Sun jiemi and I said that he was wrong in . . . he was like "Yeah the skirt you are wearing now is fine when you are sitting...but not standing!" In my experience they seem longer. But I can seeit Is my upper calf. I just didn't know its a big deal even though they don't show my knee.

But whatever about that . . . a weird thing with clothes. My pantyhose haven't run yet but I have gotten awful knee highs. They run every time I wear a pair. They sell those here at the bookstore though so I'm not worried about that. I just hate hose! Haha.

On a thing more fun to talk about note, My companion and I have been having fun. I sit next to the 7-week Chinese Elders at meals and talk to them if they are SYLing (Speak Your Language). But actually most of them are bad at it. They just prefer to speak English at mealtime because they do Chinese all day every day and mealtime they take a break from class...which means most of them take a break from speaking Chinese too. Too bad.

So far, I haven't learned much language wise. It's hard to because the teachers teach things I already know and during MDLS (missionary directive language study) the Elders (Zhanglao) in my district are loud and always asking me questions since the teachers aren't there. Well, plus it's hard to focus when everyone is talking around you. I have a study plan for this next week though, so I think I'll get a lot more done. Song laoshi, my other teacher, told me Saturday that from now on if we learn something I know, while he is teaching I can focus on something else. So I'm grateful for that.

Also, there is one Elder, Elder Rowley (li zhanglao) that lived in Taiwan for 3 years in my district. He just doesn't know gospel words. Plus, he doesn't know pinyin, the American way to learn Chinese. He knows characters, I'm impressed by his knowledge. Yesterday was my first opportunity to talk to him and we SYLed together. It was way helpful for both of us, for now since neither of our companions have more than a 30 word vocabulary if that. And no grammar structure at all yet. All our classes essentially have been English. We've only learned to pray and testify about a select few things at all. I'll be excited for more language focus. They are focusing in teaching us the lessons in English for now. They say though that in 2 weeks the class will be at Li Zhanglao level. So I hope that's true so I can SYL more like our teacher asked us to.

Sun jiemei is smart though! She just graduated from BYU in Middle Eastern studies, so she is well versed in Arabic. She's picking up Chinese fast. Sometimes if she only hears something once she will know it. On other sister is graduated as well with Philosophy. So half of the Chinese speaking sister are graduated.

The solo sister Tai jiemie is Sister Tedjumuli a (sp?) and she was in Gen & Annika's ward at BYU So she was excited to hear Gen and Stuart got married. She said Annika was very funny and quite the character. Haha.

Yesterday we had a talk about only being 2 good reasons to go home and Brother Allen said that it's good to want to go home, it means home was a good place, but to stop thinking about yourself. He said he didn't plan on sharing all that but then felt inspired to, so that was interesting. Well, I'll try to set up email today. You get 30 minutes...But we'll see. Thanks mom for the letter! I got it on day 2 printed out on Dear Elder on the same paper as Matt's haha. You talked about each other. It's nice to get letters cuz some weeks you don't have time. Well that's all I have to say for now.


Fu Jiemei

No comments: