Monday, January 9, 2012
I LOVE being a missionary!
This week has been great! I caught a little cold though. Luckily the On Guard has kept it at bay and it hasn't affected my work at all. It should leave quickly now, and I hope I won't catch anything else! There's something really contageous going around and just about everyone is sick. It's crazy. We're trying to stay healthy though!
This week has also been fun because it was Sister Exchanges, and guess who got to serve with me for a day? Sister Celestine Yeung! Oh my goodness, she is such an incredible missionary and I was so touched by her faith, diligence and testimony. It was fun to catch up as well and get to know each other better since we didn't know much of each other before. And guess what? She's being trained by my MTC companion, Sister DeMordaunt! How fun is that?! Anyway, I just love being a Sister Missionary here because all of the sisters are so incredible and I learn so much from them. I'm so glad I get to have them as friends for the rest of my life!
I had a really funny experience at the beginning of the week that really reminded me especially of dad... his humor :P It was really cold one evening and as the Elders and us were leaving the chapel after correlation meeting my companion and I noticed that one of the Elders was not wearing a coat! He had forgotten to bring one that day but was claiming that he wasn't cold... you know, trying to be tough about it. I was going to call him out on it and say, "Come on, we all know you're cold. You're just trying to be too manly." But I thought, "No, I can't say 'manly' to an Elder..." so in effort to find a more suitable term I said, "You're just trying to be too 'Elder'ly!" Of course I didn't realize immediately that "elderly" actually means old! The District Leader then said, "Oh, no, we've gotta go. Sister Morey is trying to make punns..." Hahaha :) We all got a big kick out of that one.
This week has been such a blessing as we've been able to meet with some awesome new investigators and really help some progress. Oh my goodness, we have a miracle story for one of them that is always so amazing to me every time I think of it. One day a few weeks ago as we were leaving a recent convert's house we were driving down a little alley and as we passed a gutter between two buildings and out of the corner of my eye I saw a person there. It happened so fast but there was a distinct impression in my mind, "There's a person there. Go talk to them." Turns out there was a little doorway entering into the back of one of the buildings and one of the shop's employees was sitting out taking a smoking break. She was a young girl, in her 20s, and as I started talking to her I found out that she used to go to church when she was little but she hadn't gone in a long time because she's been busy. I also sensed it had been a long time since she had prayed and when I asked her about it she confirmed my impression. I felt a prompting to invite her to start praying again and to invite her to start learning the restored gospel. She readily accepted. She is now one of our most progressing investigators. She loves reading the Book of Mormon and is starting to make arrangements at work so she can attend Sabbath Day meetings. I love her so much! It truly is a miracle.
I've also been learning a lot about the importance of hope. This month's Christlike Attribute for the mission is Hope (see Preach My Gospel). I've enjoyed so much studying and pondering this attribute and have reflected on the role hope has played in my life, particularly on my mission. At one point that's all I could hold on to. I took the time to re-read some of the Priesthood Blessings that have been given me and reflecting on the hope that I have that the promised blessings contained therein will be fulfilled. This motivates me to act in faith. In fact, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much work I still have left to do before I'm done here and I know I've got to have more faith and diligence, to work in that hope of receiving those promised blessings. It's also been a tender mercy to see that many of the blessings have already been coming to pass in miraculous ways, which feeds my hope, faith and trust even more that all of them will eventually be fulfilled.
Hope has also come to mean more to me as I've seen others live without it. Yesterday we went to visit one of the Elders' recent convert's mom. It was heartbreaking to hear her recount the struggles of her life and that she feels she has nothing to live for except to care for her son. My heart ached for her as I could hear the helplessness and hopelessness in her voice. Sister Zhu and I assured her that she is a precious daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, that she can take her burdens to Him in prayer, and that her life could be healed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and living the principles of the Restored Gospel. She started sobbing during our visit and I set my Book of Mormon down, knelt by her side and put my arm around her to try and comfort her. I told her to not worry because we would be there by her side and would help her. There was so much peace in that room and I was so grateful in that moment to be able to comfort a sister whose soul had been battered and broken by the battle of mortality and assure her that there was hope, healing and help available. When we knelt in prayer, she pleaded with Heavenly Father for peace and help. I know Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, and when anyone goes to Him in hope and faith willI receive the blessings of peace and comfort that Heavenly Father wants to extend. I know that with all my heart.
Things are going well here in GangShan. I love being a missioanry. I love the Gospel! I'm so glad I get to share this passion with other people. It's brought so much joy as others have accepted it and have changed their lives because of it. My testimony has been strengthened so much.
I love each of you with all my heart :)