“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
November 26, 2013
WOW!!! I loved the package that Sister Garry sent me for Christmas!! haha I know it's not Christmas, but I opened it right when I got it! I LOVE that pillow case with all the notes from our ward members. I also loved reading the Chinese notes from Mom and Dad!! I am proud to say that I could read ALL of the characters that they wrote to me!! I love that pillow case, and I will use it this week!! ( I put it in the wash this morning so that I could put it on my pillow for tonight. )
Alright, this week in Yuanlin was amazing. Guess how many investigators we had come to church yesterday?! - SIX!!! WAAAHHH!!! Isn't that the best number ever?! - We totally hit our mission standard in basically all the key indicators with three awesome new investigators and twenty lessons. It was really humbling to see how much the Lord has blessed me especially at this time in my mission.
Honestly, right now has been the easiest and happiest time I have had on my mission so far. I have to remind myself every night to never take any of these blessings for granted. So, I've been really good at updating the area book and keeping good records. Something that one of my friends suggested me doing this Thanksgiving season is keeping a gratitude journal. I think that's a wonderful idea, and so I'm going to start one tonight.;)
Although it's already November, it doesn't really feel like Thanksgiving over here in Taiwan especially since no one over here really celebrates it. However, I still remember and am excited to celebrate it in our own way. Sister Anderson and I have like a million packets of mashed potato mix and muffins and everything. We are going to have a little celebration of our own, and I can't wait for it!! haha Also, we've been really good recently about watching our weight. I'm back down to 46 kg's instead of 51 kg's!! haha Isn't that awesome?!
We figure that when we FEEL healthy/skinny, we are both happier, so we've been really good about eating healthy foods and exercising. Sister Anderson is really awesome at motivating me to be the best I CAN be.
Alright, here are some journal entries from last week:
TUESDAY: 1 Nephi 11:17 "I know that God loveth His children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."
It's amazing to me how much faith Nephi ha in his father Lehi and in the Lord when the only thing he really WAS sure of was that God loves His children. When we believe the words of the prophets without having to see the visions they've seen, we are like Nephi and can first have faith and believe that God DOES love us. It is definitely comforting to know that no matter what or who questions about our God, I at least know that God DOES love His children. I know that from the bottom of my heart, and if that knowledge/faith was good enough for someone as great as Nephi, it is DEFINITELY good enough for me.
Some people here think the purpose of life is to be happy, and it is, but they don't know how to obtain that fullness of joy - that HAPPINESS - that fruit of the tree of life. When we read the scriptures, we learn of the deep questions of the soul, and through analogies and comparisons, prophets of old are able to touch our hearts and enlighten our understandings. The words found in the scriptures apply to every single person here on the earth. Sometimes, all that is needed to find that most yearned for/searched for joy is an extra effort to FIND, SEARCH, and PRAY (just like Nephi and his father did.)
There are so many people that I meet here who aren't willing to make an extra/little effort and just TRY reading the Book of Mormon or TRY making it to church. They aren't willing to accept this gospel because of the fear that they allow Satan to strike in their hearts. Satan uses that same fear to hinder us from growing each day/each week. However, if we can just get past that powerless and pathetic grasp of the devil, we discover the key to unlock the door to faith. Sometimes I just want to yell at my investigators and say, "JUST TAKE THE BOOK AND READ IT!! DOES THAT REALLY HURT SO MUCH?! WILL THAT REALLY BE SO HARD?! ANYONE CAN READ A BOOK."
I definitely know that the Book of Mormon and the simple truths and revelations it contains within its pages is true. As missionaries, our purpose is to INVITE others, and their decision whether or not to accept or reject the Lord's invitation is ALL up to them and their way of using their free agency. When we are trusting God and are aware of His powers and blessings, our faith is strengthened and we know ho to overcome all fears.
Tonight's miracle: Tonight, Sister Anderson went "LA -hunting" for all the less actives that the bishop wanted us to go find. There are a bunch of less-actives who didn't have phone numbers, so we were in charge of finding them through going to their homes and leaving notes/doing anything we can to find out where they are and what they are doing.
Anyway, we found a lot of LA's who had moved or were not living where the ward list said they were living. Anyway, the miracle was finding this new investigator when we got lost looking for an LA. As we were looking for this LA's address and couldn't find it for a long time, we decided to knock on a door and ask for help. The woman who answered the door was shocked that we were out so late in the dark and decided to walk us to this LA's home. We found out that this woman has three young children and has had the Catholic missionaries over to her house every week. Before we left her, she told us that we could come by her house anytime and offered us her number. Of course, we were enthusiastic and took her number. We are going to go pay her a visit sometime this week. Something we learned tonight was the whenever your plans fall through, it's because God wants you to run into/do/be somewhere else. He's totally watching over all of us!!!
WEDNESDAY: (PERSONAL STUDY NOTES)
1 Nephi 9:6 "The Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, He prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men, for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his works."
God DOES have all power. He prepares a way for all of us, ?His children to accomplish what He needs and desires to be done. It is so comforting to know that God will always provide a way for us to do His work even when our plans cancel or are changed.
This week, Sister Anderson and I are studying about having Charity and Love:
Expressions of love: being kind, listening, mourning with those that mourn, comforting those who need comfort, praying for others, sharing the gospel with others, and being others' friends.
"Our love for those around us increases when we remember that we are all Spirit brothers and sisters. THe love that results from this realization has the power to transcend all boundaries of nation, creed, and color." - True to the Faith
Something that I will always remember is the fact that "charity never faileth." Let's all work on having that kind of pure, Christlike charity!!!
Today was another crazy day - I just was really tired in the morning because all of our plans fell through, and our LA that we scheduled with totally didn't show up on purpose!!!
Good news is I've really realized how God works recently, or I think so at least... Today, Sister Anderson and I got on our knees and just pleaded with God to help us know where to go/what to do today when all of our plans fell through. We told God that we would just go and do as we planned, and we would trust that if we needed to be doing something else, He'd give us a clear, definite answer/response/request when the right time came into place.
1 Nephi 13:37 - I ran into my mission scripture again!
I can't believe it's already Saturday.
1 Ne 14:14 "And I Nephi beheld the power of the Lamb of God that it descended upon the Saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant peoples of the Lord who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory."
I love that we can be "armed" with this power of God and His "great glory". When we are on God's side and doing the right things, the things we SHOULD be doing, we need not fear because God will protect us and arm us with His glory.
We had SIX investigators at church today:
Wang Ya Li: English referral - REALLY REALLY GOLDEN. She stayed all three hours of church and wants to come/learn more in the future. She wants a copy of the Liahona and the scriptures.
Chen Shi Xuen: Comes to church all on her own. She asked for a copy of the doctrine and covenants. She always asks the greatest questions.
Iris: Stayed all three hours plus more to hear us rehearse for the Christmas program. She's the cutest. DEFINITELY getting baptized.
Wu Qi Cun: She's getting baptized in two weeks and is wonderful. We are so blessed to have such perfect investigators!!
FUN: I am teaching piano lessons to Li Jia Xuen, the bishop's daughter.
FUN: Arranging "Jingle Bells", "Silent Night", and "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" for violin/French horn/piano.
I really feel like now is the happiest, most fulfilling time I have ever had on my mission. I love all these people so much. I love my mission. I love God. He's too good to me. TOO GOOD TO ME.
During sacrament meeting, it was the primary program, and the accompanist wasn't there in the beggining, so I had to accompany the kids on the spot. It was awesome.
SO MANY THINGS, SO MANY PEOPLE, SO MANY THINGS I WISH I COULD WRITE ABOUT, BUT NOT ENOUGH TIME.