Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"...For he knoweth whither he hath taken them."

Imagine finishing a great lesson and having the Spirit with you and then you go into the heart of the city to GQ. That's when African drums start beating as loud as they can on the street stage and a couple meters down the street a man is trying to earn a living doing magic tricks. A couple meters up the street a man is playing every love struck emotion through his deep throat-ed saxophone. Across the street is the weekly hustle and bustle of the farmer's market. Amongst all these things of the world I must focus and find someone who will listen to the pure and simple message of Jesus Christ, with no flashing lights or heart throbbing music, only the warmth of the Spirit to assist me as I square back my shoulders and go forward. Such has been the challenges of week 2 in the city.

Through all the challenges Sister Ng and I were not without miracles. One of our investigators who hasn't been met with in a long while but is on date for the 26th of April was able to meet with us and when we reminded her of her baptismal date she was still good for it. She is reading and praying everyday and making some real progress.

The other miracle is Robin. I found him in SunnyBank while I was there and found out he actually lives in city so we are teaching him. He went to church for the first time yesterday and loved it. I think the fast-breaker afterwards really helped, but he also loved the music and the feelings he had. The miracle was that the ward just embraced him. They made a real effort to welcome him and make plans with him for during the week. Robin is a bit shy at first, but once he started warming up to everyone he loved it. As we walked him to the bus stop he started talking about he thinks he would like to be a missionary. I told him the first step was baptism and then we will worry about him serving a mission. It is exciting to see his enthusiasm grow.

A funny story about Robin. We were teaching him the Law of Chastity, sometimes an awkward lesson, and it was Friday night. It is getting close to the time when missionaries have to leave the city and we are wrapping up the lesson. I start talking about how the Law of Chastity is a protector and then right as I am listing the things we avoid (porn, homosexuality, etc.) The band that was putting on a concert later that night decided to do a sound check. They start jamming out and I so I yell, "WE DON"T HAVE SEX BEFORE WE ARE MARRIED, NO PORN, AND TRY TO KEEP CLEAN THOUGHTS." Robin just sat there and nodded in agreement and everyone sitting around us just looked at the crazy Mormon girl (we teach Robin in English because he is from Hong Kong and his Chinese is not so good). Then we said a prayer and raced out of the city. As we were going back to the bus station, Tina, our member present from SunnyBank, said, "I am so glad I was taught in the office, so much easier to feel the Spirit and no distractions." I nodded my head in agreement and my heart ached a little bit. I miss SunnyBank's environment so much, but that's not where the Lord needs me right now.

The city is not the place I envisioned hastening the work of the Lord. I didn't think the Lord trusted me this much, to send me to a foreign land to be part of the start of the Sisters Chinese Program and to speak Chinese. Sometimes I feel a little lost and wonder if I can really do this. Yet this morning in personal study I was reading in 3 Nephi 17:4 where it says, "...for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them." I know the Lord can see the bigger picture. He knows exactly where I am all the time. He knows what I am capable of and He knows that these challenges I am facing right now will benefit me in the future. I can't help but reflect on my high school volleyball days; full of challenges and yet they are held in my memory as some of the best times I have ever had in my life. I know that if I continue to work hard the same will be thought of my mission here in Australia Brisbane.

Thanks for all the birthday letters and packages! I think I have received them all. A shout-out to my South Carolina friends who remembered my birthday. I love you all!

P.S. I just found out Tony is getting baptized this Saturday for real! He has passed the baptismal interview and everything! Prayers are always answered, sometimes after a long time, but always answered!

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