Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Miracle March

This is usually a month I like to enjoy March Madness and the beautiful array of college basketball. However, as a missionary I am set apart from all of that physical beauty in order to enjoy the spiritual beauty that comes from seeing Miracles of the Lord.

It all started on Monday after we were done emailing. We went to Aldi to buy our groceries and when we got to the cashier she added ten dollars to each of our bill! When we asked why she said some lady had given her three ten dollar bills and said to add it to our bill. It was a blessing and a miracle because I wasn't sure if I had enough cash and then low and behold I was well taken care of!

That miracle boosted our companionship urgency to be more obedient. We pushed it to the limit. Staying out at the bus stop until 8:55 and then running home to our flat to get in by 9:00pm. It was fun and we were able to make some solid contacts in the few extra minutes we put in at the bus stop. We needed those extra minutes because the majority of our time this week was spent in the OFFICE!!!! Yay yay yay!
Tuesday we taught a girl named May who is going back to Taiwan this Friday. The Spirit was very strong as we taught her about God and Jesus Christ. When she gave the closing prayer she said (in Chinese that I understood!), "Please help me to find sister missionaries in Taiwan as good as these sisters." Oh my heart just about melted and I felt comforted that what we had shared had instilled in her a desire to find missionaries on her return to Taiwan.
Wednesday we had Zone Meeting with guest speakers President Henderson and my area's Stake President, President Smiber. They really inspired and uplifted me to become more aware of people, members and investigators. To really listen to what they have to say and then testify of whatever they are talking about. President Smiber did a role-play of how to hand away a Book of Mormon and ever since our companionship is trying to treat the Book of Mormon with more respect and dignity when we pass it to new investigators.
Thursday was super busy. We woke up early just so we could get our studies in and then it was lessons all day! We biked to our first lesson and I love biking. It is quite a challenge to be modest with a skirt flying in the wind, but the feeling of my body moving is invigorating. Our next appointment was with Peter. I love teaching Peter he is full of so many funny one liners, but he is also really sincere in his desire to become a member of this Gospel. Some of his one liner's from Thursday are:
1) "I am grateful for the super fat man, he comes to me to get thin and it takes a long time. I make more money that way."
2) After telling him to come church every Sunday "Ahhhh man are you sure?" pause "Okay sounds good."
3) "I used to be very fat, not super fat, but my face was really round."
4) "I play the piano cause my hands are big."
5) "The super fat man's shirt was so wet you could make water. That was just his warm-up."

He is such a hoot and a holler! I wish I could record him and then you would really be rolling on the floor laughing.
Friday was an amazing lesson with Max as we prepared him to go to the temple on Saturday. We have been meaning to go with him for three weeks now and so when we asked him if he was excited he said, "Yes. Looking forward to it very much because delay delay delay!"
Saturday morning before we went to the temple we had a lesson with a Vietnamese woman, Gemma, who is so petite and cute and just wants to have happiness in her life. We shared with her the plan of salvation and the Spirit was so strong. I could feel all the love I owned going towards this one person. I didn't think it was possible for me to love a practical stranger so much, but it was as if my heart grew and more love entered in. At the end of the lesson Gemma pulled out a little baggy with three small items in it. She then proceeded to hand each of us a gift. She gave Sister Lai a notebook because in the first lesson Sister Lai drew some things for Gemma to explain the Godhead. She gave me a polka-dotted scarf/headband thing because the first time we met I was wearing a headband. She gave Sister Cabamongan a snow globe with a lamb inside because she said Sister Cabamongan reminded her of a little lamb. She said the reason she wanted us to have these small gifts is because we'd given her a gift of comfort that she didn't know could exist. I looked into her grateful eyes and at her slumped frame and told her "Thank you. But it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the Holy Ghost." She nodded and tears trickled down her face. These were tears of comfort and gratitude for the Savior. Gemma is beginning to realize that she is never alone in this world.
Then we went to the temple with Max where Sister Chen joined us and it was very special. Max is very carefree and easy going, but even the most care free person in the world can feel the power and sanctity of the temple. Afterwards when we asked him how he felt he explained that he felt the same as when he was baptized just over a month ago. That was a great reminder to me to be more grateful for the opportunity I have to go to the temple whilst on my mission so that I can remember the covenants I have made with my Heavenly Father and so that I can feel of His love.

Inline image 1
It was a thumbs-up day for sure!

BUT...That was not the end of our Saturday! We had a lesson with Tony as soon as we got back from the temple and it was amazing. We did a hands on thing where we fold a piece of paper and then rip it down the middle and it comes out with a cross. Then we talked about the Atonement and how it is there for us everyday and so we should repent everyday. Tony made a huge step forward this week. He went out with his friends and he didn't break the Word of Wisdom! He found a new drink that is a type of Soda that he really likes and said he prefers over tea or coffer or alcohol! I feel like he is ready for baptism and he, himself believes his confidence is increasing and is progressing towards the 5th of April.

We met with Peter again on Saturday and it was another really good lesson. At the beginning of each lesson we always ask how their Book of Mormon reading is coming along. When we asked Peter he told us he was at 2 Nephi Chapter 31. We were all surprised at how much he'd read in just two weeks, so we asked him how he managed to read so much and study and work. He said (as best as I can remember), "Well you know last night I was really drunk. It's true. we had a party and you know... I came home and was super sick so I drank a lot of tea. Most people drink coffee to help, but I drink tea. Then the tea gave me a lot of energy and I couldn't go to sleep. So I read a lot last night. Like 15 chapters." We all just stared at him and then Sister Cabamongan said, "Wow, that's really great Peter." Sister Lai looked at her with a he read while super drunk that's not super great face and said, "It's good that you are reading the Book of Mormon." Then I said, "Yes, and today after our main message we will talk about all that alcohol you drank."
We taught the Restoration and then we taught the Word of Wisdom. Peter took it like a man. Only a few gasps here and there, but when he read the promise that living the Word of Wisdom will bring more wisdom he understood and wanted to live it because in Peter's words "everyone wants to be smart right?"
After Peter we taught Alvin, a jolly guy from China! He was just so cute. Whenever we asked him if he wanted to return to live with God he would say, "I will try my best!" and put two thumbs up. Then when we asked him to be baptized on April 5th, he paused. We asked him to make it a goal and follow the example of Jesus Christ and then came the two thumbs up and a "I'll try my best." It was cool to see his earnest desire to just put forth his best effort.
Sunday was a crazy day. We had six people at church. A member fresh from Taiwan brought her three non-member friends with her. Then we had Peter, Tony, and a guy named Max (another man we are teaching) come as well. It was a full house and then on top of all that it was my turn to translate! By Sunday night we were all very very tired and ready for bed. As we complied our numbers together we realized how much success we'd been blessed with in one week. We taught 18 lessons and met all our of goals except for contacts and finding hours. I was excited at that all our hard work is coming together in getting people closer to the waters of baptism. I also have to remember to continue to be humble. It would be easy to let Pride slip and think of how well WE did this past week, but I am reminded of Alma when he said, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
I know that this is the work of God. I am merely a tool in His mighty hands. I feel as if I have now worked hard enough that He can trust me with His children in helping them come closer to Christ. I am forever grateful for this opportunity I have to be busy and to be serving the Lord.

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