Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 6 in the MTC, Over halfway through training.

Week 6 is over and I only have three left in the MTC.  It's weird that once I'm out of the MTC 1/12 of my mission will already be over.  That seems way too fast.  But I'm excited to get to Hong Kong and not be able to understand anybody.  It's going to be great.  Here's some fun news:  I got my full Chinese name!  So my full name is Bei (rising tone) Wihng (low rising tone) Ban (high flat tone).  Bei is my surname.  It doesn't mean anything really it is just a name.  It's interesting how the surname goes first in Chinese.  My first name is Wihng which means eternal so it's a pretty cool name.  My middle name is Ban which means intelligent, gentle, or refined.  I wish I could put the Characters up so you could see.

So this week was pretty fast like usual.  I've been thinking about when I'll be in Hong Kong doing missionary work and I keep hoping that the Lord will guide me.  I think it was Joseph Smith who said that missionary work without revelation is pointless. 

I have been singing in the MTC choir and our director is a pretty funny guy.  He told us a great story about a song we were singing though.  We were singing the hymn: Nearer, my God to Thee.  It's already one of my favorites hymns.  Not because it was featured in the movie Titanic, but because I've always loved the words.  So I finally heard where the words came from.  It's about Jacob who was the grandson of Abraham in the Old Testament.  He got the birthright from his older brother and his brother planned to kill him, so their mother warned Jacob to leave until the brother had calmed down.  So the story is in Genesis 27-28 but I'll try to summarize it.  Jacob went out into the wilderness when the sun was down.  (Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down).  He laid down and pulled a stone to his head to rest.  (Darkness be over me, my rest a stone).  But he had a dream that angels lowered a ladder to him that lead to heaven.  (Angels to beckon me, steps unto heav'n).  Then he woke up and realized the place he had slept was a holy place because of the dream he'd had, so he built an altar to praise God and called it Beth-el which means literally house of God.  (Then with my waking thoughts, bright with thy Praise.  Out of my stony griefs, Bethel I'll raise).  The song is just about why God gives us pain and suffering.  Why we have sorrow.  (So by my woes to be, nearer my God to thee). It's a huge theme in the Bible and Book of Mormon.  There is not one story where the good guy doesn't suffer because of something that was not their fault.  The thing is that when our minds and souls are stretched to the deepest, darkest hell they are later lifted to a greater and brighter joy than we've experienced before.  Everyone must go through this process.  Jesus went through it.  He suffered the pains, guilt, loneliness, and weaknesses of every single person.  But when he had suffered all those things, he after was received the greatest glory in heaven.  I'm sure we all feel like we are getting crapped on for no reason sometimes. I sure do.  But this song really touched me.  We sing it at the devotional on Tuesday.

I'm just getting so excited to get to Hong Kong.  I feel like I've become much more grateful for things since I've been out here.  I bet going to Hong Kong will only make me more grateful for what I have.  I have a lot of thoughts go through my head here and not a lot of experiences, so sorry if these seems like a journal entry.  I will surely have a lot more to share once I'm teaching people in Hong Kong, but for now I hope this is enough.

Elder Phillips
Bei Jeung Louh

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