June 21, 2015
Is the weather being weird there? Cause it's rained like every day here!! So it'll rain in the morning and then by afternoon it's blazing hot and we have raincoats and sweaters and all kinds of junk like umbrellas to carry around for the rest of the day. The sad thing is that we got caught in the rain one night but when we got home and looked in the mirror I looked about the same as I do everyday, it was just rainwater instead of sweat. Ok it's not that bad haha but it feels like it sometimes. This week has been so wonderful, I still can't get over this area and this is my 3rd transfer here! It is so easy to find people in walking areas! Anyone who cares about anything will have success here because there are SO MANY PEOPLE who are ready to hear our beautiful message.
Monday was the best miracle of the week I think. We have been teaching Stephanie for about 6 months, ever since her sister got baptized, and she has wanted to be baptized all along! Everytime we would try to set a date with her she would be like:"yes I want to be baptized!" "Can we set a date?" "No!" Would be her response. SO FRUSTRATING. We were kind of at a loss, but we prayed about it (this was like 1 month ago) and decided to fast with her and then break the fast together and talk about a date. Well Satan knew so he put everything in our way and we were just barely able to meet with her this past Sunday. We brought Victoria, a recent convert, and she shared a beautiful testimony about fasting and said she would join in our fast the next day. So did Astria, so Steph has lots of support. We all started our fast Sunday night and then got together the next day to break it. We were all dying, especially Stephanie and her sister since it was their first time. We ordered some pizza but it took FOREVER (literally an eternity in our minds) to be delivered. While we were waiting I asked Steph if she had an answer. She was like "don't ask me till we eat" so I kinda started to lose faith. But after we ate Victoria bore her testimony again (bless her heart!!) and said "this was definitely worth fasting for." Victoria told how she set 3 dates before she got baptized and we were all kind of laughing and then I was like "so August 2nd??" And SHE SAID YES!!! We were all jumping up and down and screaming, it was so great!! If I could describe pure joy that was it. I love seeing people make that decision. One of the elder's investigators got baptized yesterday and she was smiling so big and she had so much support, it was such a beautiful thing to witness. I love baptisms.
Tuesday we had a kind of funny lesson. We went to teach a woman who requested a bible and her 27-year-old son was there so we invited him to sit in. Turns out he was more interested than she seemed to be! Still trying to figure out if he's interested in the message or my drop-dead grunge look I have goin on, but it was a good lesson! He has been texting us in a very um...friendly way haha so we will see, we are bringing a young married couple with us on Tuesday so that'll be good. I am so stoked for this coming week! We are basically having members with us every day!! Usually we have to try and drag them out with us, but all these people CALLED us! And asked if they could spend the day. The Lord must have put a little bird in their ear that we can't do this work without them. I LOVE this ward. It's crazy and it feels like family.
So, our companionship. Hah. We are super different and after we got over the honeymoon phase it became obvious that it would be kind of hard for us to get along given our different backgrounds and previous mission experience, etc. we've never really fought, but there have been, I guess, situations. I'm writing this because I feel like no one ever says this in their weekly emails and it makes everyone feel like everyone else has never had a hard companion or area. It's good to be positive, but not fake. SO ANYWAYS. We got asked to give a workshop on "comp unity" in Zone Training Mtg and the morning beforehand we had a bit of a tiff. Just a difference of opinion but the air was pretty heavy as we planned our workshop. The good news is that it happened before studies, so we had all of studies to think about how immature we were being and then we sang "Let the Holy Spirit guide" to begin comp study. (I wanted to sing "be thou humble" cause I thought it'd be humorous but I decided against it). Obvi the spirit wasn't going to guide when we were being prideful. We sang the song and honestly we were both feeling pretty gay about getting in a fight so after we studied together and planned our workshop (we were both still kind stand-offish) we talked about it, compromised a bit, and told each other things we liked about the other. SO FRUITY. But then we got back to planning the workshop and decided it was gay too cause we had planned it without the spirit so we started over. She suggested we have each companionship do a "trust fall" so obvi we had to practice. She was thinking the kind where you stand behind the person and catch them as they free fall. I'm thinking "Mean Girls" status, off a stage. So I got up on the table and did a free-fall for her to catch me. Well Wads, probably not your brightest moment, we did it the first 2 times and we never even fell, she just like, pushed me back to a standing position after I fell off the table. I was like "no, you have to wrap your arms around me and fall with me. You break my fall" so without further explanation I got back on the table and fell and she did what I said and we both went down. It would have been fine except she hit the couch...and then I hit her. I seriously thought she was paralyzed, like it wasn't funny. But then we both just died laughing, it knocked the wind right outta her. The workshop turned out good!! Haha. Dumb blonde over here guys, probs should have thought that through. In other news, I met an 11-year-old on the bus all dressed up, I asked what for and he was like "prom." Uhhh why are 11-year-olds going to prom??? What is the world coming to.
Friday was ZTM but we had to leave early for some lessons. We had planned to teach a member's daughter and her boyfriend but as we walked to the house we met the member outside and decided to go to Wendy's with her since we hadn't eaten. (We had the member's visiting teacher with us.) so we went and I actually found this really cool lady in Wendy's to teach!! Haha but it turned out that the member really needed us (like, physically & spiritually) and it was really cool to come home at the end of the night and know that we were where God needed us that day. We also taught a lesson to a less-active on some thoughts that have been on my mind through the week. We shared the Mormon message "Mountains to Climb" based on a talk by Pres. Eyring. I have been thinking a lot about "endings" why do we sometimes always look forward to them? The end of school, the end of a job, the end of the day, why is it that we do this when our end goal is to be infinite and eternal? Like God, without beginning of days or end of years? I think endings are part of a great scheme to prevent us from enjoying life. We say "when this is over I'll be happy" but you never will be, because something else will always come up to stop you from being so...unless you change it. It's so important to find "beginnings" I find fresh starts in repentance & forgiveness, new days, the sacrament, service, and reading the word of God. I have been trying to enjoy these moments more fully instead of dwelling on "endings" and it has made all the difference! President Uchtdorf said "we are eternal beings, endings are not in our destiny." Look for new beginnings, and if you aren't happy in the situation you're in, make it so! Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the recognition that we have control over our own happiness, and God is there to help us be happy.
There has been a lot of emphasis placed on the Sabbath Day lately, we went to a leadership training on Saturday and it was brought up a lot. We also taught a really cool family, the dad is a member and the mom wants to be baptized, but they haven't made it to church in like, forever. We have tried everything. We call, text, go to pick them up, EVERYTHING. And it never works out. I have simply decided that our sabbath day observance is a microcosm of the way we worship every other day of our lives. If we are casual about our sabbath day observance there are probably bigger problems we are having. Casualness in spiritual matters never was happiness!! I know if we make it a day of respite, have prompt church attendance, and serve others on the Sabbath we will have greater peace in our lives and we will be happier the remainder of the week. If the Sabbath isn't a "delight" to you, make it so!! I know God lives and that Christ is at the center of this church. I know if we read the Book of Mormon we will come to know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that this is the kingdom of God on the earth today, preparatory to the second coming of the Savior. I'm so grateful for living prophets who guide us with their words. I love Psalms 119:105: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." I have felt God's word fill me with peace and light though the good times and the bad, and I know through Him we can conquer all things. The Lord chastened us because He loves us! ...the church is true!
1. See above for description
2. Home Sweet Home, Brooklyn style
4. I can't read music in Chinese...