Monday, September 29, 2014

My Heart Has Grown 7 Sizes!!!

True blue thru and thru!!!
Dear Family & Friends,
Ok there is absolutely no way that it is almost October. How did the time fly by so fast?! This is our 6th P-day. So we've almost been here at the MTC for a full transfer. Shenme Dongxi?! This has been the craziest ride of my entire life but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Tan JM asked me today if I thought we had changed very much on our missions. Oh heavens yes! I definitely feel like if my mission were to end right now, I would be such a different person. My choices, my thoughts, and the way I live my life would all be so different. And I've only been out here for 6 weeks. The mission is a crazy ride.

Getting to see our cute friends the Veenkers:)
So this week was amazing. I feel like my hearts grown 7 sizes. Elder Ballard spoke to us on Tuesday and it was amazing. We've been so spoiled! We had 2 apostles in a row! I truly feel so blessed. But the best part about Elder Ballard's talk was that he started it by saying, "Now I'm going to talk to you just how I would talk to my grandkids." I really felt like I was adopted in the Ballard family and it was the best feeling in the world. Being here in the MTC can get lonely sometimes, but it was a sweet reminder to me that my family loves me and are praying for me.

Speaking of which! I would just like to have a small interlude of gratitude right now because I have had very strong feelings this week about my family. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the prayers that have been said in my behalf. I know that I could not do this without the help of my Heavenly Father and it gives me such great peace to know that I am not the only one petitioning for help. Thank you thank you thank you. I have literally felt the prayers of my friends and family pushing me forward. It has been an amazing blessing. So thank you!

This week I had an incredible experience with the Atonement. I had been having a really rough couple of days towards the beginning of this week. I had all of these negative thoughts and feelings. I just was sulking and it was terrible. I felt heavy and incapable and just gross. On Thursday, I think, I decided I was done. I didn't want these feelings anymore. I wanted them to be gone. I was so exhausted and worn down. So I prayed for a really long time that night. I told my Heavenly Father that I didn't want these feelings. I wanted to feel like myself again. I needed Him to take this away. But it didn't happen. The next morning I woke up and I still had this pain. It was very frustrating. So I prayed again. Afterwards, I wrote out my feelings. I wrote a (fake) letter to my mom and expressed my frustrations and negative thoughts and all of my pain. I knew that I couldn't do this. So I told Heavenly Father the things that I would give up in order to have these feelings taken away. (I felt a lot like Russel in UP when he throws his Wilderness Explorer badges on the ground and says "Here. I don't want this anymore.")  It was amazing the peace I felt after that. It was like Heavenly Father gave me a shield for the rest of the day. I was able to love others so much more fully and I was able to see people the way my Heavenly Father sees them. Giving up my pride has changed my mission. I'm so thankful for the protection of the Lord. I know that He has been helping me to combat Satan so much more these past few days. 

It's weird to think that I'm a missionary now. Because I'm still Maddie Mad-dog Giles. Putting on a badge didn't give me super powers. It didn't help me memorize all of the scriptures. It didn't make me fluent in Chinese. The only thing that it gave me that I didn't have before was the Savior's name. I have His name written on my heart (literally) every single day. The world will know that I am his representative because of this little black piece of plastic. But that doesn't change what's inside of me. I change what's inside of me. It's what I do that makes me a missionary. He loves us and wants us to do our best. So he helps us... but we must act. We must move. We must not relent. 

So I just love the TRC. So much. It's the best ever. The young man we taught this week was the same one we taught last week! Which is a miracle because it's completely randomized. So we walked in and he remembered us which was super cool. We asked him how he was and he told us he was tired and hungry. By some miracle, I had brought fruit snacks with me to the TRC. I NEVER DO THAT. So I gave him some and he was so delighted! haha. As we started our conversation we were talking about God's love and we asked him what he thought about God's love. He said he wasn't completely sure. So I told him that I knew God loved him because God gave him those fruit snacks. I told him that I've never brought them to class or anything before, but this morning I brought them. He laughed, but it was such a sweet and simple testimony to me that God really does love us. He's in the details of our lives :) 

Once again I love you all. Thank you for the love and support that I have felt. Nothing is better than receiving a letter or a package from my friends and family. I feel so much love here. I know that I am not alone and that is the biggest blessing. thank you once again for all of the support and prayers. 
I love the packages and letters:)
Funny things of this week:

So the word Feichang=very and xingfen=excited. So we often say that we are feichang xingfen when we teach. Tan JM was looking in the Dictionary the other day for the word crazy and guess what she found listed under the word crazed? feichang xingfen. So basically we've been telling our investigators that we're crazed to teach them. Golden. hahaha :) 

Also My laundry bag got stolen. It's the worst! haha So We went back to pick up our laundry and we had nothing to carry all of my stuff in. So I took off my skirt, put on some pants, and stuffed all of my clothing into this flowy skirt I had and carried it like a small child. So there I was wearing my pirate shirt (flowy) not tucked in, pants, my nice shoes, and holding a black mysterious body-looking bag. I'm the sketchiest.... hahaha :) 

Alright well thank you again. I love you all! :)

Gu Jiemei
Getting to see Elder Miner from my home ward:)
My sewing skills have come in handy. One of the Elders ripped his pants:)

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