“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
November 3, 2013
This week in Yuanlin was wonderful. Sister Anderson and I have been getting along so well together, and we laugh/talk about everything. I especially love her because of her wonderful optimism and desire to be a successful, obedient missionary. One of the things that stood out to me was her OPTIMISM this week. She has expressed to me that her biggest concern out here in the mission field is learning/speaking the language. We have made a language study plan, and I have allowed her to lead in some of the lessons this week. Her Chinese is getting better and better every day! I know that it's hard for her to not be able to understand everyone, but she doesn't show it. She's always willing to try new things and just SMILE. I've been doing my best to be sensitive to her needs this week, and although I might not be able to be the best companion, I can try!!
One of the ideas that Sister Anderson suggested that we do every night before going to bed is to express our gratitude for one another. We also decided to work on one Christlike attribute every week, like our family is doing!! Last week's attibute was faith. We set goals and made plans to help develop our faith last week, and we saw the blessings come from hitting our mission goal standards. Sister Anderson and I were able to have 8 lessons with members present, 5 others, and 12 RCLA's. It was wonderful!!
Although I was really nervous about leading the area, I know that Lord blessed me with sufficient capabilities to make it to all of our appointments on time without getting lost!! Sister Anderson and I have both fallen in love with this area. We love the people, the opportunities, the wards, and our CLEAN apartment!
We also saw a lot of miracles this week. I love that when there are two people working hard together, more and more blessings just start to come! We even have the same obsession over being very clean with the apartment, and we have set some goals to make our environment cleaner, organized, and more efficient.
One of the miracles that Sister Anderson and I were blessed to have this week was this past Sunday. On Sunday, one of our "eternal investigators" came to church for the first time in YEARS. Her name is Lin Cuen Hua, and she is about 76 years old. The missionaries have been meeting with her all these years, and she hasn't progressed in a long time. This week, Sister Anderson taught lesson three as simply and clearly as possible. We saw the blessings of "half-and-half" teaching that came when our investigator came to church on Sunday. Every week, Sister Anderson and I have decided to work on one Christlike attribute. We saw the results of our faith in our key indicators this week. Isn't it wonderful?! We hit all of our goals AND the mission standards. We are working hard to help our investigators progress and prepare for baptism. :)
On Sunday, Sister Anderson was awesome and totally attended the 1st ward correlation meeting while I taught our investigator Wu Qi Cun the plan of salvation. Wu Jiemei is 11 years old, and she is getting baptized on December 8th, the last day of this transfer!! :) Can you believe it's already November?! Time is going by too fast, and I just want to stay here forever just serving the Lord.
This last week, Sister Anderson and I found a beautiful, young family who owns a restaurant. Some events happened, allowing us to go to their restaurant for a quick bite to eat. (We've been so busy, and our schedules have been filled with member referrals... It's amazing!) Anyway, when we ordered our food, I got talking to this couple who were preparing our food. They noticed that we were missionaries. Apparently, they have come to the free English class in the past, and they have an interest in our church. They aren't able to come to church on Sundays because of their work, but they are more than willing for us to come and visit them at their restaurant whenever we have time. They have two cute girls, one age 10, one age 6. Last time, we were able to sit down with them and give them "The Family Proclamation" pamphlet. Although we weren't able to go too much into the content of the pamphlet, we hope that they will read and study it sometime this week.
Isn't it wonderful, the way the Lord prepares people and then places you in their paths?! I know that being worthy of His guidance is VITAL to our salvation and our success as children of God.
One of my favorite scriptures that I ran into this week during personal study is in Moroni7:45 - "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, and endureth all things."
After I read this scripture, I took a step back to analyze myself and ask myself if I was doing these things. I can definitely say that I have many parts to work on. If you know me, you know that I can be a little of a perfectionist, and I am very self-critical. I've realized the importance of balance in our lives. If we are constantly telling ourselves that we aren't ever good enough, then we will actually end up limiting ourselves. When we tear ourselves down too much, we end up being unable to reach out to others. I know that when we have charity, we must treat ourselves with charity. Every person is precious in the sight of God. Life is not to be mis-managed. We must respect and love everyone else as much as God loves us. - MUCH easier said than done.
To say the least, I have made it a goal for myself to develop charity. Last week, Sister Anderson and I were able to visit many less active families. One of these less actives is the Ye family. They have one daughter who is 11 years old and hasn't been baptized yet. What a miracle it was to finally be able to meet this wonderful family. I am so grateful to God for allowing us to catch this family right before they were heading out to dinner. I didn't mention this in the past few weeks, but Sister Cole and I had gone over to their house a couple of times, and they were never home. Last week, however, we were able to catch them and sit down with them. This family seems to love the missionaries, and they are willing to meet with us everyweek now!! :) What a tender mercy of the Lord! I love these miracles!
Sister Cole went home this past Monday and wrote me an email today. She expressed how much she loves/misses Taiwan already. It just made me realize how valuable and precious the time I have here to serve is. I know that my mission was shaped and planned specifically for me. I know that I have so much to learn and grow. I never want to stop learning or allow myself to become too prideful or selfish to stop my growth. I know that God loves all of us individually. He loves us regardless of our weaknesses and our mistakes. His Atonement is the most powerful event that allows us to repent and start over everyday.
One night after planning, Sister Anderson and I started talking about how much we feel we have changed from being on the mission. I don't know if you can see my change when you read these emails, but I really do feel like I have changed a lot - and I'd like to say I've changed for the better. - At least, I hope so!! All I know is that this mission is wonderful. I have learned to trust more and more in the Lord. He is always there, and that is why I need to be constantly worthy. When we are worthy, the Lord is able to work through us to bless our own lives and the lives of others. I have to constantly remind myself that when it comes to this work, it's ALL about the Lord. It's not about me. It's not about my companion. It's not about anything BUT God and HIS glory. I think you could say that about everything in life.
I love this work. I love my companion, and I love the Lord.