Week 18, Qishan week 9

Nihao wo de pengyou! (Hello my friends)

As always, life is amazing.  I am continually amazed at all the things God does for me, and for all of us His children.  It is truly incredible.  That’s something I think we could all do more, be continually amazed of God’s goodness.  Should not everything we know about Him and His plan for us fill us with absolute awe?  YES it should.  Miracles have not ceased on this earth.  They happen all the time in all of our lives.  Whether or not we recognize them and attribute them to our Father in Heaven is our problem.

So yeah, I’m doing pretty well.  Enthusiastic as ever!  I’d like to thank everyone who send me an email this last week, sorry if I didn’t have time to respond.  Your emails are awesome!  I really do appreciate them.

This week we did a bit of traveling!  We went down to Gaoxiong twice.  The first time was for interviews with President Teh (and my last phase 1 pass off!) and the second one was for a training follow up meeting!  Interviews were awesome!  I just love having the opportunity to see my Mission President.  I think he is awesome.  For those of you who don’t know, he has actually spoken in General Conference twice!  Once in 2007 and again in 2014!  Pretty neat huh?  I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that before or not.  After my interview I had my last language pass off with one of my zone leaders!  No that doesn’t mean I’m fluent.  I wish lol.  It just means I know how to teach all the lessons pretty well in Chinese and I’ve memorized a bunch of vocab.  Speaking of language learning, I now know about 250 characters!  I’m trying to learn 20 a day and know about 800 by the time I’m done with training.  On top of that I want to memorize Red Box, which is just a box of 1000 flashcards with random but useful vocab, by then end of training.  I may decide to do more than that in the next month, but for right now that’s my plan.  The training follow up meeting we had was for all the missionaries in the southern half of the mission who just finished their first transfer, so me and everyone else in my generation of missionaries.  I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while!  Like Elder Brooks, my MTC companion.  That was pretty cool.

Meanwhile back in Qishan… This week was a little less productive than last week.  We had a bunch of lessons, but only found one new investigator.  But that’s okay because we have ANOTHER BAPTISMAL GOAL!  WOOHOO!  That makes 5!  2 of them will have to be pushed back 2 weeks because of some unfortunate circumstances but I have faith they will still enter the waters of baptism.  Our newest baptismal goal is a sister named Sarah, or Zeng Jie Mei if you know Chinese lol.  We invited her to be baptized on December 24th and then confirmed on Christmas.  Turns out her birthday is Christmas!!  Would ya look at that!  So she eagerly excepted the invitation and is willing to work towards it.

We met with John Sullivan again this week and talked about the plan of salvation and cleared up some of his confusions and expectations on faith and developing a testimony.  The biggest update I have with him is that we invited his wife to start sitting in on our lessons and she is totally willing!  Remember I said that she is a less active member of our church and hasn’t come to church in a very long time.  It was pretty funny when we called her because she immediately said she would hand the phone to her husband, just like she did the first time we called her.  When we said we wanted to talk to her she was kind of surprised almost. And then after we asked her to join in on our lessons with her husband she told us before she hadn’t wanted to bother his lessons with the missionaries because she thought is was “man time”  haha.  I thought that was pretty funny.  But I’m super grateful we’ll be able to teach them both!  I have confidence that she can help her husband develop a testimony in Jesus Christ and I can’t wait for the day they both start coming to church.

Ya’ll remember Michael?  The previous investigator who we ran into on the road a few weeks back?  Well we hadn’t been able to get a hold of him for the longest time and we were pretty sure he changed his number.  He never was home when we stopped by but the other night guess what happened??  He drove past us on his moped and said hello as we were getting close to his house!  So we swung by and turns out he did have to change his number and we now have his current one!!  Success!!  He is pretty eager to meet with us and I’m pretty eager to meet with him too!

Have I talked about our investigator who is really old and confined to a wheelchair and can’t even speak Mandarin?  I’m pretty sure I have.  Well anyway, her son brought her to church this week!!!  Super awesome!  She got to meet our Relief Society President and the Bishop’s wife and the best part of all was that she could come and feel the Spirit.  I think that is especially important for her given her situation.  She doesn’t do much, she can’t do much being physically disabled that way, but she can still feel the love of God through His Spirit.  And that feeling can change any person’s heart and allow them to grow.

This Saturday the Bishop called and invited my companion and I to talk in church for 10-15 between the two of us.  He actually didn’t give us a topic until we called back later which I thought was kind of funny.  So I prepared my talk with a few bullet points and scriptures that I was confident I could talk about in Chinese.  Oh the topic was about how Jesus Christ was the perfect leader because He perfectly followed the Father.  I went up to speak yesterday and I guess I lost track of time but I spoke for 12 minutes or so.  Whoops.  But hey I know enough Chinese I can speak for 12 minutes on Christlike leadership!  That’s a miracle.  My biggest point I wanted to make was that everything Christ did was leading others towards salvation.  Now none of us are perfect and none of us can perfectly follow Christ’s example or perfectly keep the commandment.  BUT, we can all still do our best to lead others towards salvation.   In other words we can still lead others to Christ. If we do that, if that is our goal and our intent, then we will become better leaders because we will be following the example of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!  I love you all very much!

I hear things are pretty crazy over there in America.  Pretty divisive election huh?  Well, I think I’ll be praying for the American people to remember the Lord their God.

Remember how amazing God is.  Remember Jesus Christ.  Remember Christ, think about what He would do, and then do that.  He had perfect love.  Towards ALL mankind.  When you think about God and His plan for us all, does politics actually matter all that much?  I’ll let you decide.

-Elder Councill