|We forgot our laundry and had to go back to get it and everyone was gone, so we had to JUMP!!!|
Dear Family & Friends,
IT'S MY SEVENTH P-DAY. Shenme Dongxi?! I don't know if I can handle that. In a little less than 3 weeks we will be heading to Taiwan. What an incomprehensible statement.
So this week has been incredible and filled with so many building experiences.
1. So we had another language fastand I realized that I have not been using the grammar we learn very well. So I set myself a little goal. I made myself a score card and assigned each grammar principle a number of points. I then set a goal for the total number of points I wanted to get in the day (500). I was super excited about my goal because it was going to be something that would push me and something that I thought was so fun. So after breakfast I had racked up 100 points and I realized that maybe 500 was shooting a little low... so I tripled it. Yes. 1,500 points was my goal. There were times during the day were I was definitely more focused than others, but I stuck to it. I tallied that little score-card with my whole heart. At the end of the day I added up my points (Which was exceptionally difficult with a brain that hasn't even thought about math in a very long time... and no calculator) and I had 765. Which was significantly less than 1,500. At first I was disappointed, but then I thought back to my original goal of 500 points. I had 265 more points than my original goal. That was awesome! We had a speaker at devotional a few weeks ago that spoke about how sometimes we don't need to set goals to reach them, but to stretch ourselves. It was super cool to see that in my little scorecard :)
2. This last week we did our first Skype TRC. Oh my heavens. What this means is that we Skype someone in Taiwan and teach them a lesson. Usually it's a member, but sometimes they invite friends. We're not allowed to speak any English. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. We called our investigator (that skype call noise will never be the same to me) and it didn't work for the first 3 times. When we finally got through we saw a very beautiful Taiwanese young woman. We found out that she was actually in Australia studying for college. We had a plan, but as so often happens, we didn't really use it. The point of our lesson ended up being how we are Children of God. We sang "I am a Child of God" in Chinese with her. We had asked her about her family earlier and discovered that neither of her parents are members. But they are in our mission! So we might have an opportunity to find them :) Anyway, we asked her if she would be willing to watch some of General conference with her parents. She said that would be very difficult. We then challenged her to sing I am a child of God with her parents. We told her that her knowledge of God would help her parents come to know God. She became very emotional. It was such a sweet experience and reminder for me that we all need to be reminded of this sweet truth.
3. Seeing Marina has definitely been one of the best parts of this week. She's just the best. It's amazing to be able to joke and laugh just like we used to. I love her. She's adorable and is going to be such an amazing missionary.
4. This week has been one that stretched me for sure. I reached a point one morning where I was praying and I simply told my Heavenly Father that I didn't know what to pray for anymore. I had asked for so many things, but I still felt that I was struggling and I didn't know what to do. I told Heavenly Father, "I don't know what I need to feel better. But you know what I need. Please help me find that." Oh how the Heavens were opened. There were so many little tender mercies that day that probably wouldn't have made any sense to anyone else... but meant the whole world to me. For example, that morning our roommates all just hopped on the bed together and talked. Also, I got to play 4-square with one of the sweetest Sisters ever. I found out that my example had been helping one of the Elders in my District. To someone else, these experiences might seem silly or insignificant, but to me it was an answer to a sincere prayer. Heavenly Father knows us. He loves us infinitely and perfectly. He knows what we need and wants nothing more than our happiness and growth.
I loved it. My district almost exploded when that Chinese Elders name was announced and we heard he would be speaking in his native language. Then we found out it was Cantonese and we were a little less excited :) haha But still... that opportunity for those speakers was so amazing. The church is amazing.
I had a really weird experience this time listening to conference as they announced the statistics... they said there were 15 million members of the church... and normally I'm so amazed at how large we are! But this time, I realized that is a TINY amount of people. Maybe it's because I'm a missionary now... but that is not nearly as many members as there ought to be. We as a church MUST be sharing it more. Vai Sikahema came and spoke to us last night at devotional (I figured Dad would know who he was :) It was absolutely amazing) and he shared a bunch of missionary experiences he's had since his mission. WE ARE ALL MISSIONARIES. If you do not wake up in the morning excited to share the gospel with someone... pray for a desire. Pray for help. Pray for someone else. 15 million is tiny. I encourage everyone to share with someone. It does not have to be a sermon from a soapbox, it does not have to be one of the missionary discussions, it does not have to be a lengthy testimony during your lunch break. But please share this good news. God will bless you and God will bless them.
We have an amazing ability in our day and age to reach MANY many different people and places. This is not an exclusive club. Invite everyone to this party! :) Because it's the best.
Alright I will now step down from my own soapbox :) haha sorry about that! I just get a little fired up when I think about it.
Well I want everyone to know how grateful I am for the support and love I have felt. I know that I am not alone on this mission and that is mostly thanks to the prayers of those around me. Thank you thank you thank you. I know this gospel is true. I do not have a perfect understanding of it. I used to think that I did :) haha But now that I study it every day and almost every hour, I am learning just how much it encompasses. These truths are eternal and infinite. I love that. We can always rely on our Heavenly Father and on Jesus Christ's atonement.
Thank you once again for your support and love.