Yes. This week WAS another week full of miracles!! - SO MANY. Seriously, it must be my companion Sister Packard or something, because everything we do together somehow just turns into miracles! This week was wonderfully full of experiences and adventures that I wouldn't exchange for the world!
At the beginning of the week, we were able to sit down together to set some really solid goals and to set our solid vision for this move call. Sister Packard and I are excited for this wonderful adventure and this time to serve with one another here in Dakeng. We felt it this first few days and again just this morning a really special feeling: The feeling that this move call is going to be amazing - that this move call, we are going to do/accomplish something extraordinary, and it's not US. It's going to be GOD and FAITH and PRAYER.
Man, there are so many feelings that I have had this week that cannot be expressed with words!!! Here is part of our vision that we decided to set this transfer:
1. Be happy
2. Be good communicators
3. Be 50/50
4. Be Humble
5. Be unified (with love)
6. Be charitable
7. Be fun (especially on P-days!)
8. Hit the mission standards
9. Follow the Spirit
10. Be diligent
-Pray A LOT
-Be purified (Project Purification!!!)
-Read/apply the stress handbook
-Treat your companion like she's your sister
-Talk to everyone
-Ask for referrals
-Go to bed on time and wake up on time
-Have the faith to obey
-Love the members
-Listen to the Spirit
So, the really big thing we want to work on with our zone this: to cleanse and purify ourselves!
Sister Packard and have already started fasting every week, and throughout the week, we pray like CRAZY!! Seriously, I feel like we're praying every time we go anywhere and see anyone and make any changes in our plans.
Anyway, we got three new investigators this week, and they were all definitely miracles that really came at the most unexpected moments! Everything we do is for God, and we are working so hard to truly just do His will and not our own - a LOT easier said than done.
I think the biggest thing I've been trying to work on lately is overcoming my natural man. Sister Packard is out of this world, and I feel like she's on a whole different plant/level from the rest of us. Everything she says and does is holy, and it's a really humbling experience being her companion. I know that God put us together so that I could learn from her and become more Christ-like and more refined.
However, I'm mostly grateful that God allows me to be part of the lives of all these wonderful people here.
Here's a fun story: but, first some background: Dakeng is famous for its mountains, okay?! - So, the missionaries before us haven't really venture out for more than 20 minutes up Dongshan road, which goes up and up forever and ever, basically. Anyway, Sister Packard and I are a different story. We LOVE running and we LOVE exercising, and we LOVE challenges. So, this week, we have several promptings that have come from all sorts of different sources to go visit this family that lives in the very farthest part of our area. They live in the mountains, and where in the mountains?! At the very top of the mountains, so yes, that means we have to bike uphill for an hour AT LEAST in order to get to our destination. So anyway, Sister Packard and I have never been up to this family's home, and we tried getting there yesterday right after church. On top of that, yesterday was a super hot day, and we were fasting, so riding up that road was not the most delightful thing ever. Anyway, we were out for about an hour when we decided that we must have missed something because we ended up on a wrong road. Of course, we decided to stop and say a prayer. Guess what happened after the prayer?! - NOTHING. Right, so this was a little different miracle story. We were out of breath, but we still had pretty good humor and were laughing at ourselves, especially because both of our faces were bright red, and we looked like we had just hopped out of a pool. haha. For a while, we tried flagging some of the passing cars so that we could ask for directions, and guess what happened when we did that? - NOTHING. No one stopped. No one even slowed down to see what we were up to... They must have thought we were some crazy foreigners.
Anyway, after we got lost, we decided to go back down because we had an appointment later that day. So, we headed back down like lightning fast because it was ALL down hill from our point of no return. haha
SO, what's the point of me telling you this story if there really wasn't something substantially miraculous about it?!
The point is this: This story, as miserable and lame as it sounds, is actually a ginormous miracle. IT's a Miracle in disguise!
Why?! - Just think about it. Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac?! Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son. So, Abraham, as sad and reluctant to sacrifice his only one and precious son, still made preparations to sacrifice Isaac. What happened in the end?! - God sent an angel to tell Abraham to stop making the sacrifice, and Abraham ends up not killing his son Isaac.
So, why did God do that?! Why did God let two little sister missionaries ride up a humongous mountain in scorching weather on a fast Sunday in a city all the way over in Taiwan?! - Maybe He did it to test our faith. Maybe He did it to see if we would obey Him. Maybe He's seeing if He can grant us with more responsibility in the future - maybe He's testing our faith and seeing if we really can rely and trust in Him no matter what.
I think I learned more from this miracle than I have from other miracles that would seem outwardly more successful.
This week, we had plenty of miracles. We found a family that we were praying for, we tracted into many miracle lessons, our investigators started reading the scriptures on their own, etc.
So, why did I choose to share with you all the one and only miracle that seemed like a weakness - that seemed like a failure?! - Because I know this: I know that God is aware of each and every one of us. He makes our weaknesses become strong, and all we need to do is to rely on Him and serve Him with all our efforts.
I love this gospel so much, and I love you all!!!
Keep up that faith, you hear?!
-Sister Verina Chen