Monday, November 28, 2011

The Joys Overshadow the Heartbreaks‏

I'm grateful for YOU!!!
This week was really crazy, and we almost forgot that is was Thanksgiving, except that we had purchased some canned pumpkin a few weeks ago to make pumkin cookies. I'd really been looking forward to that, and every time I opened the cupboard I was reminded that "shi jian kuai dao le!" to make the cookies! I started making the batter Wednesday night and Thursday morning we cooked them in our toaster oven (I'm getting to be an expert at that!) so we could give them out to everyone we met with that day :). They were a big hit, especially among the Elders! They were shocked that it was even possible for us to have made them, haha!
We also celebrated the day by eating turkey rice (little bits of turkey over a bowl of rice---really yummy!), pumpkin (which is a fairly normal dish here) and apple pies and vanilla ice cream from McDonalds, Sister Gibson's brilliant idea :P They were pretty good, except for we had a lesson before we could eat them so by the time we were done, the ice cream was melted so we dunked our apple pies in the vanilla ice cream instead :) I was just laughing the whole time picturing your reactions to us having McDonalds apple pies for Thanksgiving dinner, and here I am laughing again. If anything, it was worth the memory!
Other than that, Thanksgiving day was pretty much a normal missionary day, but to give you some hope that we still got some sort of celebration, one of the wards threw a Thanksgiving party Sunday night. It was a great success with lots of non-member family and friends. Of course, most of the food was chinese, but there WERE apple and pumpkin pies, as well as 3 big turkeys that had been roasted in a bonfire on the empty "temple" lot across from the chapel. (I put temple in quotations because everyone believes that there will be a temple built there in the future--there just hasn't been any official statements yet. The church owns the property and everything, plus the chapel is a stake center with huge windows facing the empty lot. Just sayin'...) Anyway, it's funny to think how they roasted the turkeys. Needless to say, it was pretty good! We ate a lot of delicious food and got some great referrals from it, too :)
As far as the work went this week, it was harder than normal. We're not exactly sure why, but it just seemed like a lot of things went wrong. One of our most precious and solid investigators said she had to take a break from meeting and coming to church because her family said they'd disown her if she refused to worship the Chinese gods with them. It's so interesting to me that idol worship really is such a huge issue. In western culture that isn't even a problem, and in my mind I always thought it was just something the ancient Israelites got called out on--but it's very real and very deep rooted here. Another one of our investigators also had a run-in with her mom about it. Luckily that one wasn't as severe. Although I've had to deal with family opposition with other investigators, it's never been as severe as it was this week and it was very frustrating and disheartening for us. But we're not giving up. These people are too precious! And we love them too much. We're determined to have a "white christmas" whatever faith it costs. 
Even though it's hard at times, the joys overshadow the heartbreaks. We were watching a training video segment about some missionaries in the States and one of the testimonies really stuck out to me. One of the Elders said that of course there were many hard and challenging times, but he couldn't remember any of the specifics of them. But the joys he remembers in vivid detail. That's how I feel. It's such a blessing to be helping others come unto Christ because it truly is the most rewarding work.
I love you all so much!
Lots of gratitude for all your love and support,
Sister Morey :)

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