Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dinner with Li Jaiting!

Another great week has gone by! I can't believe I've completed my first transfer on island. As well as the first 6 and a half months of my mission. Time is just flying by. Every time Monday rolls around, I'm just so blown away that it's another start to another new week. It's a good feeling, but it also really makes me want to make sure I'm doing every thing I can to use this time wisely. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second. It's all the Lord's time, and I'm starting to realize that I really will never have another experience like this. I want to gain everything that there is to gain from a mission and just soak it all up!

Samantha is doing so great and we are so proud of her in her growth. She is fitting in with 松山 ward so well. It's incredible seeing all of the members reach out to her and befriend her. She's really just a walking miracle that she has been doing so well. 

We've also been working super hard with another investigator. It's really tested my patience because he is just SO close to being clean and worthy for his baptism, but he's lacking in the simple things such as reading the Book of Mormon and praying daily. It's been really frustrating to me because in every lesson we have with him, he seems so on board with everything, and commits to quitting his smoking, and reading the Book of Mormon every day, and praying, and he tells us he believes in himself that he can do it. But then we follow up with him the next day, and nothing has changed. The other night, we had a lesson with him at the church after 讀經班 (Book of Mormon study) on Friday night, and he gave us his cigarettes and both lighters and we pushed back his interview to next week but he recommitted himself. We were so excited and felt so good about it, and then the next day, we stopped by his work since he didn't answer the phone, and he could barely look at us. He smoked the night before and that morning, and he had a Book of Mormon with him but said he wasn't reading it. My heart just sank. Sister Stevens and I have put so much effort into praying and studying for him, and doing everything in our power to help him. I felt a pit in my stomach and didn't know what to say. Sister Stevens talked to him for a bit and asked him if he'd give us the cigarettes he has and he said no, so we said we'd pray with him and let him get back to work. I felt tears roll down my face as I said a prayer for him. I just want so badly for him to know of the happiness he can have and how all of the guilt and burden that he has on his shoulders can be lifted through Christ. After the prayer was said, Sister Stevens asked him again if he wants to give us his cigarettes, but that it's his choice. He sat there silently for a while before opening up the Book of Mormon. He started flipping through the pages and reading. After waiting about 5 minutes, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his cigarettes and lighter. He told us he had more at home but was going to throw them away. We called him that night, and he said he still hasn't smoked since we saw him that afternoon, and he threw away the rest of his cigarettes. It was a very touching moment. I really believe he can make it. The power of prayer is so real, and I know so many people are praying for him. 

This week was just really awesome. We also really focused on getting in contact with less-actives that we haven't been able to get a hold of through the phone and we met a lady named Fu Hui Yu who was baptized a long time ago. It was really a miracle that we met her because she's basically a new investigator and hardly knows anything about the Book of Mormon or why we even have it. So we are excited to get to know her better.

I noticed something really awesome this week. Passing off phase one has been so stressful because we haven't had a full hour of language study every day because of special circumstances such as needing to travel in the morning to go to the mission home for a variety of reasons, also having a tripanionship (with Sister Howell - so cute!) for a day before 
transfer meeting because somehow this sister didn't get assigned a temporary companion while her companion went to a training meeting for a day. But anyways, as a result, we haven't had as much time for language study as I would like for the past couple weeks and it's been stressing me out. And I think it's stressed out my companion as well since we haven't been getting our training done either. But this week I stopped focusing so much on the language and my own worries, and focused more on our investigators and the Lord's work in general. And then this weekend when we went to General Conference, I realized I hadn't even thought about the language and how hard it is, or felt sorry for myself, or let myself get discouraged, for at least a week. I realized that when I talked to people, key words started to click and a lot of conversations I had with people were more than just me smiling and pretending like I understood what they were saying. I realized I was actually comprehending what they were communicating to me. I know I still have such a long way to go, and I still have to turn to my companion for help a lot, but the important thing that I learned was that the Lord was really helping me. I was finally seeing progress.

"Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth.
"Nevertheless, in this I do not glory, for I am unworthy to glory of myself." ~Mosiah 23:10-11

Also, General Conference was a success as always. I have so much to say about it, but for the sake of time, I just want to simply say that I was very touched by the testimonies of our modern day prophet and apostles. Especially after listening to Elder Holland's talk, I felt such a strong feeling that there isn't a single doubt that I've ever had or ever will have that will ever be enough to deny the divine truths of the pure and perfect doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This life is more than just enduring and trying to find happiness in a dark world. There's a plan. There is a destination that contains everlasting happiness. And our perfect Father in Heaven has provided the path to reach that destination~

Sister Hendricks

Lunch with Xu Jie 

I love these girls!

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