Week 14 Qishan week 5

Hello hello hello.

I have now been in Qishan over a month.  Craaaazzy right!?  I certainly think so.

Well, this week was fun, as always.  On Monday we went tracting and a man let us in to sit down!  He was very honest about his intentions, he thought we were hen xinku and needed to rest, but he was also willing to listen to our message and so we taught him!  We ended up teaching quite a bit, and gave him a Book of Mormon.  Today we will try to visit with him again.  His schedule is pretty crazy so he didn’t know when we could meet with him again.  But the best part about our lesson with him is when we taught him how to pray.  He had never prayed before in his whole life, but we taught him how and he was willing to pray with us.  Hearing a person’s first ever uttered pray is a very special experience.  It was absolutely incredible.  I want to have that experience a lot more on my mission.  Hopefully we can meet with him again!

On Wednesday we had 3 separate lessons fall through.  Kind of a bummer.  But we had English Class which is always an adventure.  We never know who is going to show up!  This week we had a man who brought in a research paper for a doctorate degree that he wanted help translating.  We didn’t really have the time, but hey that’s pretty neat right?

Thursday we traveled up to Shanlin, which is a smaller town about an hour and fifteen minutes away by bike.  That was an interesting day.  It was pretty discouraging, but yet we had some pretty amazing miracles.  There was very little opportunity to contact people, especially since there weren’t many people there in the first place, and it rained for a bit.  But at one point we decided to head off in one direction, almost on a whim.  Well we barely biked a minute when I started to hear some singing.  Children singing.  And the tune was a very familiar one.  Turns out that at the elementary school they were singing Count Your Blessings!  Which for those of you who don’t know, that’s a hymn that we often sing at church!  And we heard it out in the middle of nowhere!  So that was a miracle.  We later decided to go down this really small road hoping that there would be some houses out there.  We were biking up into the mountains for a good amount of time, maybe 15 or 20 minutes or so.  We eventually stopped and discussed going back or to keep going for a bit, since we hadn’t seen a single house and it didn’t seem like we were going anywhere.  We pressed forward, I told myself that we would just go around a few more turns and if nothing was there we would go back.  Well, there was something there.   There was a dog.  And then we saw a moped.  And then we saw a man.  And off in the distance was a house.  The man told us that the road we took literally was just a connector road through the mountains to get from one city to another and no one ever takes it.  But the crazy part was, that man was from Qishan and just happened to be up there that day.  Talk about divine intervention.  We told him that God had sent us out there just to find him and that it was a miracle.  We got his number, so hopefully we’ll be able to set up with him in the future.  Pretty cool.  So even though he was the only person that entire day we met that might be interested, it came with a pretty special miracle.

On Friday the best part was honestly dinner.  We ate at a hot pot place for 55 quai each and it came with unlimited rice and ICE CREAM.  I had about 4 or 5 bowls of ice cream.  And to be honest, I think the best flavor was the taro milk one.  Yes they had chocolate, and cookies and cream, and even mint, but the taro one was pretty fantastic.  If you ever find taro milk flavored ice cream GET IT!  Actually you know what, the best part about Friday wasn’t dinner.  It was the fact that we were able to set up an unexpected appointment with our investigator that I had never met with.  The lesson wen really well.  I bore my testimony about repentance and totally cried.  And at the end, he accepted a baptismal goal.  WOOHOO!!!!!  That was really special.  The investigator has been taught by missionaries for a while.  He has had 3 past baptismal goals, and he has always struggled with changing.  He knows the church is true, but in the past has had a hard time giving up parts of his lifestyle, like drinking with his friends.  Recently he went to Vietnam and ended up losing 1000 US dollars because he was drinking.  I don’t know the whole story but basically it was stolen as a direct result of his decision to go drinking.  So that experience has humbled him, and I honestly think he is finally ready to change.  Its amazing.  This was totally unexpected for us and its an amazing miracle.

On Saturday we got two new investigators!  One of them accepted a baptismal goal date!  They’re both really solid.  One of them is the kid that I think I mentioned last week who’s dad wanted us to meet with him.  Pretty uncommon, but pretty awesome.  The other is our referral who is the mom of a member in another area.  God is good.

This week I was studying in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.  There are so many things I learned that I wish I had time to share, but one thing really stood out to me.  Jesus Christ is our living Savior and Redeemer.  The day will come that every single person on this planet will know and believe that fact.  He said, “And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my  gospel shall be preached unto them; And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.” (3 Nephi 20:30,31)  The day will come that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.  I don’t know when that day will come, but I know that it will.  Jesus Christ lives.  He suffered and died that we might live.  “Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.  Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.”  (3 Nephi 9:22)  I wish people understood.  I wish they knew and truly understood that they have a Savior.  That God has prepared a marvelous plan for His children, that through Jesus Christ we might have a way to return and live with our Father in Heaven.  In General Conference one of the messages was about missionary work, and why we do it.  Why did I leave my home?  Why am I spending two years of my life spreading the gospel?  It isn’t to increase the membership of my church.   It is to increase the joy of the world.  The knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings unimaginable joy!!   Understanding of our purpose and our destiny to live with God again will allow any man or woman to live with unbelievable joy in the midst of pain and trial.  I know Christ lives.  I am so glad that God has a plan for us.  I challenge you all to go and better understand that plan so that you may have more joy.  This gospel is amazing yall.  It truly is amazing.  And one day, everyone will know.

Y’all are awesome.  I love every single one of you.
-Elder Councill