Hello my dear family!
I hope you all had an incredible week and that you've become better than you were last week! Isn't that all of our goals? Sometimes I think I overlook that important aspect of our lives. Our purpose is to become more like our Savior and our Father in Heaven, but I think sometimes we take too much of an eternal perspective on that thinking that it an eternal endeavor (which it is). However, one thing I've realized lately is that we should be striving to become better every day, every week, every month etc. It is the slow improvement and change made every single day that combines into our process of eternal progression. If nothing else I've learned out here how to be humble enough to know when I need to change and be willing to go a do what needs to be done to facilitate that change. My life hasn't been that long yet, but I feel now like I have spent too much wasted time thinking I was doing okay. I shouldn't have been satisfied with okay, because okay can always become better, and better can keep getting better and better. Best is, unfortunately unattainable, but at least we can rely on our Savior and our Father in Heaven to help us continually inch toward that goal. I love that this gospel is a message of hope and a message of progression. "This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." What better purpose is there than to help us bring to pass our own eternal progression so we can obtain eternal life and continue progressing? And in the process our Father has told us that "men are that they might have joy." Do we this progression and process back to our Father as a path of joy? Because He does.
Anyway, I'll get off my soap-box for now. Sometimes writing these emails teaches me things that I need to learn and helps me realize what I need to do better at. I've actually been struggling a little bit this week in feeling like I'm fulfilling my purpose as a missionary, or if I really am making my area better than I found it. In pondering this question I think I've realized that I'm not as happy because I don't feel like I've progressed that much. So that's my goal. Stand up and find a goal to progress toward, because progression and improvement is our purpose...where ever we may be. We strive as missionaries to help our investigators progress and even make plans and report numbers for our "progressing investigators," but I don't think this term "progressing" should only be applied to investigators. We can all be "progressing" whether it be a progressing missionary, progressing father, mother, son, daughter...name the label, we can all be progressing in the various places we are given in this world.
I think I told you last week that Sister Murdock and I had started a Book of Mormon challenge last Sunday. I challenged one of our investigators to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover in a allotted amount of time and she decided to do it in seven days! So we offered to do it with her. And we did! It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, but it was definitely a challenge. We decided that we weren't going to let this challenge allow us to break any rules (such as bedtime) or interfere with our daily proselyting, so that limited our time to read to our studies, preparation day, and whatever extra time we could scrounge up before studies, during meals, and before bed. We used all we could and ended up finishing the Book of Mormon Saturday night (our agreed day to finish) at. It was crazy! But I learned so much! I decided that this time through the Book of Mormon I was going to mark every time Christ's name is mentioned (Lord, Christ, Redeemer etc.) It really helped me realize how much the Book of Mormon really is a Testament of Jesus Christ. It can bring us closer to Him than any other book. And I think I will be more dedicated in reading the Book of Mormon, because if I could do it in a week, on a mission, without breaking the time rules I could definitely read it a lot more in other circumstances. Because it's really not as big as I think it is sometimes.
This week not a lot else happened as far as our investigators go. We weren't able to meet with Yi Jun (who also finished the Book of Mormon with us) because she kept canceling and didn't come to conference . So hopefully we can see her this week and see what she learned while reading the Book of Mormon. I praying that this challenge can bring the miracles we are hoping it will bring.
We did get to visit Shi yue after a about a week of not hearing from her. We sent and she told us herself that us coming made her feel really bad because she hadn't been reading, praying or coming to church. It was sad news, but I was actually really happy that she felt so bad about it. It shows that she knows how important it is and knows that she needs to do it. We talked about the Atonement and repentance and re-committed her start up again. I hope we can help her progress. She has such potential.
Lately we've been having a hard time getting lessons, and this week was no exception, but Heavenly Father was merciful!we had a few lessons earlier in the afternoon and planned to try and find new investigators for the rest of the night. We ended up not talking to very many people because we had a random lesson off the street with two college students going to shop. We talked to them for over half an hour and you could see their disposition toward us change as we kept talking with them. One had recently been reading the Bible and learning about Christianity from her roommate and by the end of our conversation she looked at us and told us very passionately that she would pray for us! It was really touching and wasn't at all discriminatory like other times.
From that miracle we biked over to a 7-11 down by Lerma's house to wait for her to come out. We had about fourty minutes and just planned to call some phones until we could go meet with her. As we were parking our bikes we saw this lady staring at us from the door of the store. We said hi, and started talking to her as we walked into the 7-11. She ended up being a former and sat down with us and we were able to talk to her and teach her again about prayer. She had no desire to change, but she was really nice and wouldn't stop talking about the sister missionary who first started teaching her. We finished our lesson with her just in time to run over to Lerma's. And even though these people we ran into weren't completely prepared to start or continue learning about the gospel, at least we prepared them one step closer to Christ! And Heavenly Father blessed us with a few more lessons for the week.
And then we had General Conference this weekend! Because they need time to translate the members here watch it a week later, so we get to as well. They will always set up somewhere for the missionaries to listen to the english broadcast, so we were all exiled to the basement and watched general conference together. I absolutely loved it! I have to admit that thesessions were my favorite. I feel like there were so many talks that answered my concerns and prayers lately. My favorite was Jorge Klebingat's talk and his six suggestions to help us become better disciples of Christ. I'm excited to take our leader's invitations and do what they have asked. It brings miracles and guides us on the path to eternal life. I'm so grateful that we have the keys of the priesthood restored again to the earth and that we have worthy prophets and apostles who lead an guide us. Heavenly Father really loves us so much!
The clothes you sent were perfect! One of the white shirts is a little tight, but it works since it is an undershirt. The dress and skirt have now become some of my favorite articles of clothing. Thank you so much! The kit-kats made it a little melted, but nothing a few days in the fridge can't fix. I love the coloring book and crayons from Jemma as well. Last p-day (yes we call it p-day) Sister Murdock and I spent some time in it before we went to read the book of mormon.
Well I'm almost out of time, but I uploaded a few photos of the night we finished the Book of Mormon. We also had a BBQ at President's house afterconference which was fun. (Perks of being a BeiQu sister.)
And we crowded in the clerk's office to watch the Relief Society broadcast while the elders were in the priesthood session.
As well as more food pictures, haha. It seems that sometimes that's the most exciting thing. This was Sister Murdock's request for my birthday breakfast, but we ended up doing it a few days later for lunch instead.
I love you all so much! I'll pray for Dad that the interview goes well, and that everyone's week will be good as well. Have an incredible week! And remember that there are miracles just around the corner!
With all my love,
ps. as far as the missionary moment, I don't have anything specific. Taiwan is great. It is definitely an adventure. I love training. And Chinese is always a struggle. Haha