This week I was reminded of promises. As a child whenever I made a promise with a friend we would "pinky swear" and that meant it was serious. A simple interlock of pinkies symbolized the utmost importance of the secret or action we promised to keep or fulfill. As a missionary we make people promises as representatives of Jesus Christ, and people promise us to read the Book of Mormon, pray, come to church etc. Sadly, these promises are often broken and I just want to cry at times because these promises are so much bigger than my childhood "pinky swear" promises.
However, this week we were lucky to teach a new guy! His name is Nick and we have been trying to meet up with him for a couple of weeks now, but he was busy with the Christmas holidays. He's from China, but has pretty flawless English because he's been here for five years. Last week we scheduled an appointment with Nick and when we called him to confirm the night before, he remembered and was excited to meet with us. Nick doesn't have a Christian background, like most of our investigators, but he really has a strong desire to believe rather than have us prove there is a God, which is so refreshing!
We met with Nick and then invited him to come to church on Sunday, which starts at 8:30! He said he would be there, but please call him in the morning to make sure he was awake. When we called him Sunday morning and asked if he was still planning to come to church he replied, "Of course, a promise is a promise. I set my alarm and am getting ready right now."
Nick's reply reminded me that all is not discouraging! Nick helped me remember my promise to the Lord to serve a full-time mission. Right now it is hard to be in the Chinese program because not only are most of our investigators out of town until February, but MOST Chinese people that used to come to the bus stop are also in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan! This leaves few lessons and few people to talk to when we aren't teaching. I have been pondering a lot lately what it is I can do not waste the Lord's time during this slow portion of my mission. Nick helped me remember why I am here and has given me motivation to just love my mission all the time, even though we are at the bus stop for most of the week.
Yesterday was interviews with President. During interviews I was reminded that Heavenly Father loves me and is happy with my efforts. President reassured me that the desires of my heart are known by the Lord and that He knows I am discouraged with how slow things are, but that doesn't make me a bad missionary. I was surprised that I needed to hear that. Thankfully I serve under a man inspired by Heavenly Father!
This week we will be prepping Tony and Max to be baptized on January 25th! We are so excited for both of them! Tony is finally keeping the Word of Wisdom and is fully committed to the rest of the commandments. We were worried a little about Max because he didn't come to church this past Sunday and when we called him and Steven they didn't pick up. Then Sunday afternoon we get a text saying: What happen? Why you call so early?
We call Steven, Max's older brother and the first person I've taught to be baptized, and ask him why he didn't come to church. In a voice completely innocent Steven says, "Was there an activity today?" Sister Chen replied, "Of course not today is Sunday! Why did you and Max not come to church?" The phone was silent for a while and then Steven says, "Today's not Saturday? Oh my! I will repent."
Thankfully, they will both be at church this week and we are calling Saturday night to remind them what day of the week it is!
Things may be slow, but I love this gospel and I know it to be true! There is nothing I would rather be doing right now than keeping my promise to the Lord to serve a full-time mission. Promises are not always easy to keep, but the rewards are great; specially in regards to the promises we make with our loving Heavenly Father--who always blesses us more than we can imagine. All He asks is that we follow the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ.