Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year, 2012!

Happy New Year!! It was soooo good to talk to each of my family members last week. I loved getting caught up and hearing a few more details that I might not have otherwise known. Sounds like this week has been fun for the family, especially with Varena and Jairon over for New Years. I got to "kwa nian" in my dreams, peacefully sleeping and getting rested for the next day! :P It was actually pretty fun because the ward had a New Year's party Saturday night and right before it ended they turned the clock to 2 minutes before midnight and we all counted down... so I still got to do a countdown, even if it wasn't the real one! Haha, oh it's so fun to be a missionary :D
Ok, so first I have to tell you a little more about Christmas since last weeks letter was so short. Even though it was really crazy going to zuo ying with the other sisters for 2 days, it made Christmas extra exciting. I already told you that I only got to bring some of my presents with me, so I got to open up the rest when I got home. I thought it was crazy that I had chosen the presents exactly right so that the last 2 big ones left were the exercise clothes, which I LOVE :) Thank you thank you! And the straightener is coming in handy :) I still want to know how to use it to curl my hair, if you can find the instructions for that (probably searching "how to curl your hair using a ceramic straightener" would do the trick). I've seen people do it before and it looks really simple, but obviously there's a trick to it cuz I haven't figured it out yet, haha :)
Although it was really fun to get all those presents, the best part for me was giving some away. Since I had some extra hand sanitizers from previous packages I gave them to my previous companions and Sister Bishop and Sister Liston (the senior couple sister in the office) at the Christmas activity. I loved to see their faces. It's also been fun because now I have an abundance of reallygood chocolate to share. The Elders espeically appreciate that! I also gave Sister Chu one of the pairs of fuzzy socks and she loves them! It's fun for both of us to wear our pairs at the same time :) Oh yeah, and those CDs!!! AHHHH!!! I was SOOO happy to get those yesterday and I've already been starting to send them out today. Oh my goodness, what a precious gift both to me and to my recent converts. Thank you SO much. That was so incredibly thoughtful, especially to include my song, and one of the most motivating, comforting talks of a servant of the Lord that so many people need to hear these days. Thank you, thank you.
Last week was also way fun because we got to go to the beach for a little bit. We mostly enjoyed taking fun pictures... which I can't figure out how to upload at this new internet cafe... I'll keep trying to figure it out though! I just LOVE serving with the sisters in this mission! I look up to them all SOOO much and wish I could be even just a fraction of what they are. But then it always surprises me when the other sisters say that about me! I guess we all have strengths that we admire about each other. Which reminds me of yesterday's Relief Society lesson when someone reminded us all not to compare. She said "Some of us are like forks, some like spoons and some like knives. The fork of course can try to scoop the soup but will it ever be as good as the spoon? And maybe the spoon thinks she's not good enough because she can't cut the meat as cleanly like the knife can." Of course all of our weaknesses will eventually be turned into strengths as we become perfected throughout our eternal progression. But in this life we must not compare our weaknesses with other people's strengths. It was a good reminder for me because I tend to do that sometimes... but I forget that other people are looking up to me in different ways. The Lord calls each of us for who we are. He knows our strengths and He will put them to use where they are needed most. He also knows our weaknesses, but He's also accounted for that through the Atonement. It's all about the Atonement. I've been learning more and more of that truth throughout my mission.
You've asked about my companion and her dad's passing. Her mom and dad got divorced when she was little so she hasn't had much opportunity to develop a close relationship with him. He had been sick for about a year previously so when she got the call it wasn't completely unexpected. But still, I will never forget the first thing she said in response to the news: "It's ok because I know the Plan of Salvation." She's really been able to focus a lot, and we've been so blessed this week. It really is true that the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation take the sting out of death, brings consolation and peace. It's been incredible over the past few weeks as I've seen them bear Lin DiXiong up though the passing of his wife. We got to attend her funeral, which was so beautiful. It really reminded me of Grandpa Green's funeral and the feelings that I felt surrounding his death. Sadness, of course, but lots of comfort, peace, hope, and renewed determination to be faithful and reach exhaltation with those I love so much! That's how it's motivated my dear companion and Lin DiXiong. He's even more committed to going to the temple now.
Something President Bishop said in his last letter to us missionaries means a lot to me. He said, "Because Jesus came into the world, everything is different.  We can overcome all of the problems of this world.  Every sickness, every injustice, every problem, every mistake, and every pain, all will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." I've loved sharing that message with people this week.
Well, now for the miracle of the week... we had a baptism!! It was such a miracle because it's the daughter of one of the Elders' investigators and she was always around when they were teaching him but she would never sit and learn when they were there. She's attended church several times with her dad so when the Elders referred her to us as a potential person to be baptized this month it was really a tender mercy. At first she wouldn't really stay focused and talk to us either, but after we leared that she loves to play games, she quickly progressed, she started to love us, and we had a lot of fun teaching her :) We med with her enough to help her learn the basics of the gospel, she passed her interview this week, and got baptized with her dad on Saturday. Xu baba and Xu meimei are so great and really humble. What a miracle!! I really wish I could send you a picture of her!!!
Anyway, my time is up, but I wanted you all to know that I LOVE being a missionary! Don't worry, I'm not letting up just because the time is drawing nearer... although I wish it would stop! We've been working so hard here white-washing gangshan and the Lord has helped us see so many miracles! I know the gospel is true, with all my heart.
I love each of you so much :) Thanks Mom and Dad for your special care and encouraging words of love and support. They mean the world to me.
All my love,
Sister Morey <3

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