It's the last week!!! Man, it's weird to think I've been here for 10 whole weeks. The best way I can put it is that the days are super long, but the time flies by very, very fast.
I've been keeping a running list of nicknames/accidental names that I've been called since I've been here at the MTC:
-Ammon (due to my "Team Ammon" T-shirt)
-The Music Man
-Elder Chang Ge ("Ge" is my Chinese name, but "Chang Ge" means "sing a song")
-Dr. Seuss (I have a tie that reminds Elder Deal of The Cat in the Hat)
It seems to get longer every day... Most of them are purely accidental, but the "Jorgie-bear" one is just plain weird. But the guy who calls me that calls everyone that.
Yesterday I was sitting in the corner of the classroom studying, when I just glanced up for a moment and saw my teacher Sister Weinheimer watching me. I just treated it as a funny, awkward moment and went back to studying. It was clear to me, however, that she was getting some sort of prompting from the Spirit, because she pulled up a chair and asked me how I was doing. She then asked me what I was most worried about for when I left to Taiwan, and the thing that I told her that has been worrying me for a while is that I don't want to be a burden to my companion. I told her that I've been learning the language at a slower pace than most (I've had to have Zone Resource, or private tutors, help me), and that I don't want my companion to feel compelled to do all the work and me just sit there like a big dead-weight. She then said that she wanted to talk with me because "people with [my] personality type tend to be unnecessarily hard on themselves." She asked me why I was so concerned about my ability as a missionary, and my mind was immediately flooded with all the people I know and love in my life. I told her that I came on this mission expecting that somehow my work here would help those I love back home, and that I was very worried that I wasn't doing enough. She told me that someone she loved very much was inactive in the church and jobless before she left on her own mission, and that while she was gone he got a job and became active. However, when she returned, he was inactive again. She said that everyone has their agency, and that I do not have any power to make someone do the right choice. She then told me that it is too easy to set our standards higher than the Lord's standards. He doesn't expect us to be perfect. In fact, he expects us to make mistakes. That's part of the purpose of life. We learn through our mistakes. She told me not to measure my success by how many people I help. I need to measure my success by who I become through this mission. There's only one convert that the Lord expects us to make, and that is ourselves.
I saw a fantastic video this week on "Mormon Messages", and I wanted to share it. The man who's speaking is Apostle David A. Bednar. It explains really well what a conscience is, and the process in which we all receive revelation.
And one other video, that I think all would enjoy, illustrates just what kind of world I will be immersed in, in the very near future:
Translation of the first segment: "I live in Taiwan. I know Taiwan personally. I know Taiwan has given me many blessings. Therefore, I love Taiwan."
And so I go so soon... I'm very excited! I love you all, you are in my prayers.