June 10, 2014


Alright, this week was another jam-packed week!! Sister Packard and I are getting so much done over here, and it's crazy.  We're really taking the purification process to the extreme!! - Purifying not only ourselves, but also our companionship, our district, our zone, our ward, etc.  It's been a really exhausting process, but it feels SOOO GOODD!!  It's like taking a long run and feeling like you're dying, but when it's all over, you feel like you're flying above the clouds!!! :)

We've kind of coordinated all the weeks of this transfer and our vision with the days of the creation.  This week was getting all the nitty gritty done.  We cleaned our pool of investigators, established whether or not our members we were visiting were really less actives or were just members that the missionaries just counted in the past.  We also gave our ward an updated version of the map, and we work with the relief society president regularly to update that visiting teaching!! It's a lot of tedious work, but we're doing it!

PLUS, we have a new pool of investigators.  Every day, we saw miracles!!! Even when we went on exchanges with the Fengyuan and the Donghai sisters, we saw miracles in our area!! On Tuesday and Friday, I served in Dakeng with Sister Eliason and Sister Chang.  They are both wonderful sisters who served with me to find a lot of great new investigators!

We found a family!!! :)  Actually, the sisters found this mother a while back, and they've kept in touch with her, but this mother (let's call her Selena) has never been available til now.  Sister Packard were able to pick her back up and teach her four children.  She has an 11 year old daughter and a set of triplets, all just turned 8 this year.  It's been such a blessing working with the family.  They are already Christian, but the triplets haven't been baptized.  Next Sunday will be the first time Selena will be coming to our church.  She has always wanted to come but has never had the time!!!

I'll talk more about the miracles if I have more time, but here's the core/what I really realized/learned this week:

There is something that I have been thinking about lately, and this is it: REAL LOVE and our DUTY.

Sometimes we think that loving someone just means pampering them or being nice to them and letting them do what they want all the time, but being with my new companion Sister Packard has really helped me see things from a new view.  When we truly love someone, we aren't afraid of telling them what they need to hear.  We aren't afraid of letting them go so that they can grow and take care of themselves!!!  It's like how mother birds help their baby birds to fly.  Some mother birds carry their baby birds on their backs and fly really high.  When they get really high, they drop their baby birds, and the baby birds FALL.  Of course they fall!!! But what happens when they almost hit the ground?!  The mother bird ALWAYS saves the baby bird, and lets them try again.  It's like us in life!! We know that our friends and our family loves us, but when they leave or tell us to change, or let us go sometimes, we FALL.  We fall maybe more than once, but what happens when we have faith in them and just really TRY?! - WE START TO FLY.

THAT is real love,and that is why we sometimes do the things we do as missionaries.  

Our duty is to serve one another.  Let's be real.  When we have a duty in mind, we are able to understand why we have rules and why we must be obedient.  I know that when we recognize and fully understand our duty, we no longer grudgingly serve the Lord and obey His commandments.  We will completely transform!! God will bless us for our sacrifices and our RIGHTEOUS decisions.  It's not always easy to be good all the time.  People mock you.  They don't understand you. They may tease you and mock you, but that's when you can turn to the scriptures and the prophets for comfort and direction.

My greatest example in my life is my Savior Jesus Christ, and because He has atoned for my sins, I am here today, and I DO choose to be happy.  Being happy doesn't always mean you have to be having fun and smiling/laughing like crazy all the time.  I've found that the happiness that our gospel brings is much deeper and much more than the world makes us believe.

This morning, I read a talk given by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin in his talk "Learn you Duty"(October 1980 general conference).  Here are some cool quotes that really got me thinking:

"Most of us don't mind doing what we OUGHT to do when it doesn't interfere with what we WANT to do, but it takes discipline and maturity to do what we ought to do whether we want to or not.  Duty is too often what one expects from others and not what one does.  What people think and believe and plan are all very important, but what they DO is the thing that counts most.  It is a call to throw out selfishness and to think of the common good of all.

We must always remember that duty reminds us we are stewards of all that our Creator has entrusted to us.  When we accept duties willingly and faithfully, we find happiness.  THOSE WHO MAKE HAPPINESS THE CHIEF OBJECTIVE OF LIFE ARE BOUND TO FAIL, for happiness is a by-product rather than an end in itself.  Happiness comes from doing one's duty and knowing that his life is in harmony with God and His commandments..."

Man, such a good talk!!! Reading his talk was really an answer to my prayers.  I've been thinking a lot about who I am and what kind of missionary I want to be.  I know that the mission rules and the commandments that God gives us are for our protection.  From the first day of my mission, I knew that my testimony of obedience and the whole idea of my calling would grow.  IT TRULY HAS GROWN.  I know that it's easy to get caught up in the world, especially when missionaries return home from their missions or even while they are on their missions when they surround themselves with the wrong things.  

In life, we will be called to serve in positions of various leadership.  We are given these opportunities to grow and to learn.  When we truly understand and "learn our duty" as mothers, as daughters, as missionaries, as fathers, as priesthood holders, as youth... we are allowed to experience what Christ experienced.  We are granted these opportunities to really grasp the essence of Christ and His Atonement, and we no longer find it annoying or tedious to do the things we are asked.  

Learning to serve and fulfill our duty and our calling in a Christlike manner is anything but easy.  It IS hard.  It IS exhausting.  It IS tiresome, and sometimes you do are filled with doubt and you may be frustrated.  However, we can always find comfort in knowing that having these feelings are sometimes essential in the process of our growth.  In order for us to reach our potentials and to really become something great, we must experience and overcome the hard, tiresome, and exhausting events/happenings that fill our lives.

So, are we willing to take to heart all the words of the prophets?! Are we willing to withstand temptations, to withstand the mocking scorn of the world?!  Are we willing to give everything we have to give just to follow the Savior's footsteps?!  Are we willing to sacrifice? Are we willing to stand up for what we believe even when we are the only few?!

I hope we are... and I hope I am!!!  My mission is just the beginning to a new and better future.  It's the preparation/door to a new period in my life.  What the Lord has in store for me, I don't know, but I do know that if I serve Him and do His will, and give EVERYTHING I have to Him right now, He will lift me up.

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know that He suffered the pains that we all suffer now.  I know that He truly has overcome the world, and in that, I have hope.  Because of Him, I have faith, and I am NEVER alone.  

I love this gospel!!! I love you all!! Keep the commandments.  Learn your duty.  Endure to the end!

Sister Verina Chen

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