Monday, October 3, 2011

The Race is Not to the Swift

This week was great, especially since we got all fired up from Zone Conference, and then us sisters with the Women's Conference. They had an English session prepared for any foreigners, but because one of our investigators showed up that we absolutely needed to sit by, my sweet trainee made the sacrifice to listen to the Chinese session. I was surprised that I understood 90% of it! And General Conference is supposed to be "gao ji" (advanced) Chinese. :) I was pretty happy about that! I helped Sister Gibson out by giving her clues about the topics and she tried to see how much she could catch from that. It was a wonderful meeting, and President Uchtdorf's talk was exactly what I needed. Every time he talks I feel like Heavenly Father is talking to me, reminding of how much He loves me and no matter how hard it gets that I'm not forgotten. He does such a good job at speaking to Sisters' hearts, providing encouragement and hope. What a comfort, and a blessing, to be able to hear what Christ would say if He were in our midst.
I'm SUPER excited for Conference (no fair you already got to hear all of it!)!! And not only because we get to hear (and then put into action) amazing counsel, but because one of my most favorite people in Taiwan is getting baptized!!!! It was such a miracle. Huang jie mei had an original goal to be baptized on October 15th, but because she's been progressing so quickly, she's getting baptized a week earlier instead, which also just so happens to be my companion's birthday!! It's going to be such a wonderful weekend!!! It was really funny because we invited Huang jie mei to the Women's Conference, and then to the baptism that night because we were singing at it, and as she was talking to one of the other Elders at the baptism she said, "I'm getting baptized next week." I think she got a little confused because it was actually supposed to be the week after, but we told our District Leader after the baptism that she had made that comment and he said, "I can do her baptismal interview right now if you want to." Our eyes got HUGE and immediately ran after Huang jie mei who had already gotten to the parking lot to propose the idea to her. After explaining the situation to her she surprisingly said, "OK," and walked back into the chapel with us!! Sister Gibson and I were absolutely ecstatic the rest of the night :) Huang jie mei is such a sweet, humble woman, and I feel so blessed to be her "fu yin jie mei."
This week in Zone Conference we read a scripture that was particularly meaningful to me, and from the emails I read it sounds like you guys could use it too. It was in Ephesians, but since I didn't bring my notes with me, I can't remember the reference, but I'm pretty sure it's in the last chapter. One of the lines says, "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." President Bishop, when we discussed this scripture, summarized it to say, "Life 'aint fair--deal with it!" But when he asked for our insights as missionaries he made the comment that my insight was far more wise than his. I shared that the Lord doesn't necessarily test you on your strengths. Of course He'll provide you opportunities to use them, but He also knows the weaknesses we need to develop into strengths, thus the battle is not for the strong, but it's to make those who are weak stronger.
I reflected on my mission as we read the scripture and saw how that was true. I thought I would be able to come here and have rocket success because of the years of preparation I've put into it and the experiences the Lord has given me to prepare for this time in my life. And although those experiences and that preparation has blessed me greatly (and perhaps given me the strength needed to overcome the hard times) the Lord didn't send me here to run the race in that way. Instead He tested me in ways that I never thought I'd be tested and my weaknesses became very apparent. My theme scripture became Ether 12:27. But because of it all, I've been able to overcome those severely difficult challenges, and I can run the race of life faster now, because of the Lord training the weaker parts of me. I KNOW that life isn't fair, that sometimes it looks like we're failing during times of our lives where we thought we'd be cruising. But that's all the purpose of life, is to grow and be tested, to be trained for Eternal Life. I KNOW that the Atonement is real, and it's the only way that we can get through this life without getting scarred from the battle. The Atonement has healed me, and I know it can heal anyone who is willing to humble themselves and turn to Him with a repentant heart.
I love the Gospel. I love Taiwan. I love the people here, and I love being able to serve them as the Lord's representative. I know that the gospel is true with all my heart!! I'm so grateful that we have living prophets to teach us the truth and that we get to hear them this special weekend! I'm so excited to apply their counsel because I know that's what brings the most happiness in life.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your love, letters, and Halloween cards! :)
<3 Sister Morey

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