There are times as a missionary when you wonder if you are doing all that you possibly can. I often ask myself, "Was my effort today enough?" I always feel the need to improve, it is in my nature, thanks to "goodly parents" as Nephi so wisely put it.
Last week when Sister Ng and I broke records I felt at peace, but an even greater desire to continue doing our best. All week Satan was trying to discourage us. Monday night we had a great lesson with Robin and I felt so confident that he was now ready to be baptized. Then when we were supposed to meet with him Thursday evening, he texted us and said he'd had some coffee and alcohol and felt guilty and wouldn't be able to meet with us anymore. I tried talking to him and letting him know that we were here for him. I tried to set up another appointment with him to help resolve his concerns and to no avail. It broke my heart, and I began to let Satan get hold of my emotions as I felt like I was a bad missionary. Sister Ng was really good though and helped me come to understand that everyone has agency and as missionaries we have to respect that and hope that one day things will change.
Then the rest of the week our appointments kept falling through. I was getting really frustrated and wondering why in the world this was happening! I will forever be working on the virtue of patience. Then one night as an appointment fell through and I didn't feel like talking to anyone, I decided to just get over myself and go talk to the next Asian I saw. Lo and Behold I go up to this guy and say, "Hello, how are you today?" He said good and then asked, "Where are you from?" I am usually the one to ask that question and was caught off guard a little bit. I cheerfully answered, "America. I am a missionary. Have you ever seen a missionary before?"
"Do you have a religion?"
"Do you want to learn about God?"
"Do you have time this Saturday?"
Then just like that I knew why Heavenly Father needed our appointment to be cancelled and we needed to go out GQ'ing instead. God works in mysterious ways that is for sure.
We also had trade-offs this week. Usually I am not a big fan of trade-offs because the English Program is so different from the Chinese Program and well it just isn't as effective I like. However, I hit my knees like I always do when trade-offs approach and plead with my Heavenly Father to allow me to learn at least one useful thing. Guess what? God answers prayers.
I stayed in my area with Sister Young. I was a bit nervous because we had an appointment with a former investigator who only Sister Ng had met and he was from China with not so good English. Seeing as my companion for the day couldn't speak any Chinese I knew that I would be the only one speaking. Thankfully, a Chinese member was able to help us out and so that gave me some comfort. During the lesson I was amazed at how well I could explain the Plan of Salvation. I could remember all the words I usually struggle with (like the three kingdoms of glory). I was also blessed to understand Tom's questions and it was just a great feeling. With a native companion, my confidence in the language went down a little bit because I am obviously not as good as them, but on trade-offs I was able to realize that my language ability is good enough to get the Lord's work done.
The big thing I was able to learn from Sister Young is that when we feel our faith is not enough to baptize, as I had been feeling ever since Robin dropped us, we need to start thinking of things to sacrifice in order to receive extra blessing from the Lord. Sister Young challenged me to make a list of things I can sacrifice everyday. Small things that could help me focus more on my purpose as a missionary and yet draw extra blessings from Heavenly Father as well. She promised me as I sacrificed the Lord would help me to baptize.
Yesterday was the first Chinese Regional Conference where all Chinese missionaries in the mission, all 30 of us, gathered together and had training that actually could apply directly to our missionary work and language studies. It was amazing. President Henderson spoke to us and he has some things in motion that are really going to start putting things into play. He talked about technology a lot, so I am hoping iPads are coming soon...we shall see!
I hope all is well in the states! Transfers are next week I am probably staying put. I love you all and pray for you. I know this Gospel is true. I know if you follow the commandments of God you will receive blessings from on high. Until next time <3