WAAAAAA!!!!! Holy cow!! I got like 20 emails this week from friends and fellow missionaries serving all around the world, so I'm super excited right now!! PLUS, this week has been so amazing.
I have to tell you all. The first week here was hard, but now I feel like the time is going faster and faster every second. My mission life is filled with so much JOY right now, and I am living every second to its fullest.
Alright. So, This week was full of miracles. TOO MANY MIRACLES. I don't think I have enough time to explain all of them, but I guess I'll try.
First miracle: This week, my bike lock was super rusty, and after a lesson with an investigator, I tried to open it up, but the key hand broke off, and I was like, "Zou Gou Le"! (OH MAN!) WAIT, but first, that morning, I had been reading in 1 Nephi and read about all the visions that Lehi and Nephi got to see, so I said a prayer asking the Lord to let me know sometime that day if my faith was sufficient to work miracles. So, when the bike lock wouldn't open, I was like, "Great!! I'm going to say a prayer, and it's going to open like butter!" - So, Sister Lai and I said a prayer right then and there, on the road next to our bikes, and after the prayer, guess what?! - IT WOULDN'T OPEN. So, I thought to myself, "Why isn't God helping me open my bike lock?! Is my faith not strong enough!?" - So then, Sis. Lai walked around the corner, and guess what we found... A key smith!! - A lock smith! * I don't even know what they're called because I can't read Chinese characters, and even if I did, I wouldn't know how to translate it to English... Anyway, I lugged my bike right around the corner, and the man helped me crank my bike lock open with some pliers. Anyway, he didn't even charge us a dime, and it took me some time later to realize the full meaning of this small but meaningful miracle.
The bike lock is like our investigators, recent converts, and less actives. We as missionaries hold the keys and have the authority to preach God's gospel and soften their hearts... Likewise, sometimes the hearts/locks of these people are hardened and too hard for us to unlock/soften by ourselves alone. Here comes the role of the lock smith. The lock smith is like Christ. He's the one who actually softens the hearts of the people, who helps them listen to and receive the gospel. Without Him, we are nothing! BUT, before He opens their hearts, we must try our best, work our hardest to help these people, and it's not easy. We must pray and we must search, and we must put all of our heart, might, mind, and strength within the work. Only then will He soften the hearts of the people in HIS OWN WAY and in HIS OWN TIME, and how much does this all cost?! - NOTHING. Through the Atonement of Christ, we can all be partakers of divine exaltation and eternal life for FREE. All He asks is for us to be open, to humbly and sincerely desire to open our hearts and do according to HIS WILL and not our own.
Anyway, that little event answered my prayers this week. I know that God loves us and knows us. He knows me so well to know that such a small event would help me realize something even greater. He knows me well enough to know that I pay attention to little things, little details, and He knows me well enough to answer my prayers in His own way.
So, this week, my faith has grown. It's bigger than a mountain, and I am happier than ever. I know that the gospel brings people together. It's power is unfathomable and unconquerable. If we have the faith to follow Christ and His example, study the scriptures, pray, and be diligent in service, love, and compassion, He will bless us with uncountable blessings.
I don't have too much time left because I still have to email Pres. Bishop, but I know that my testimony is enough!! I hope you feel my love for you all! The church is true, it's growing, and we all are so important to the work.
REMEMBER ALMA 31: 6-7
THROUGH SMALL AND SIMPLE THINGS ARE GREAT THINGS BROUGHT TO PASS.
Also, on a lighter note, I curled Sis. Lai's hair today and made breakfast. We are going to see the sea later with some recent converts today and are taking the MRT. I can't wait!!
PS I'm so much better at contacting now! I went on an exchange with the sister leader trainer in Nanzi, and we contacted a lot. I feel completely comfortable now and talk to everyone. I love you all and think/pray for you everyday.
If there is anything I can do to help, let me know!! I'll write you a letter! :)
Love you all so much,
Sister Verina Chen
Sorry no pictures this week, my camera is out of batteries... I forgot to charge it!!
It's ok. That means more pictures next week: There's a picture of me eating the yam honey stuff ("Mai ya Tang") that Mom and Dad used to feed us when we were little kids. It's so good.
Then, there's a picture of me in my yellow poncho. It rained a lot this week. It's so much fun. Sister Lai and I love singing hymns while riding our bikes every night on our way home/to places. We love it. :)
We also met an amazing prepared man on the street that self-contacted. He asked us about repentance and forgiveness. We give a lot of referrals like this to the Zuoying Elders. We're still working on finding new investigators!!
Shalin is a new investigator. She's 10 and comes to English class and church every week by herself. She's amazing.
We laminate dried flowers we pick over here and give them to investigators. Sister Lai and I are experts at making little cards/gifts for the members/investigators.
Sorry for all these little notes!! If I had more time, I'd elaborate, but you know I don't!! :) LOVE YOU ALL!!