Week 26, Qishan week 17

January 8, 2017

Howdy.

First off I’d like to say that my last two meals were Mexican food.  Lets just say I’m in a wonderful mood, especially since we have a lot of leftovers.  I will probably be eating a lot of burritos this week and I’m okay with that.
For those of you who counseled me not to cut my own hair (and everyone else because only one person actually told me not to do it), my hair looks great!  I was totally surprised!  I got a couple compliments for it too.  It did take me about 2 hours or more to do, which was absolutely ridiculous, but now I know how to do it!  And I saved the equivalent of about 3 US dollars.  Look at me being frugal!
This week was great, even though we didn’t spend a ton of time in our own area because we had zone training meeting and exchanges and stuff, which I’ll talk about in a bit.
On Monday I cut my hair and made GINGER SNAPS!  They were very tasty and I ate a lot.
On Wednesday we got to learn more about one of the members in our ward because he showed up 40 minutes early to English Class.  I think I’ve mentioned him before.  His name is Michael.  I’m only now starting to realize just how insane he is.  But he also kind of has a sad life.  Turns out his sister put a Taoist curse on his daughter a while back and now his daughter has mental problems.  He has three kids with three different wives, and right now lives with his youngest son and his sister.  He’s got pretty good English though!  He still prays to Buddha and a few other gods I think.  We told him to stop doing that and he just laughed.  He’s crazy!  But I also kind of like him.  He calls me Elder Counselor whenever he sees me (which is more often than you’d think because we see him sometimes twice a day randomly).  Anyways, he’s great.
That day we also met with none other than John Sullivan!  He’s doing pretty well.  He’s going to be super busy this next month because his brother is in town for Chinese New Year and to get married.  He’s super stressed because his brother’s fiance doesn’t get along well with his wife.  But other than that he’s great!  He’s doing really well trying to quit alcohol and I think its humbled him even more so than he was before.  We gave him some invitations and we’re going to do our best to keep in touch with him even though he’s super busy.
Thursday was ZTM and start of exchanges!  ZTM is always fun because I get to talk to white people my age!  Its wonderful!  Before it started we had about an hour for lunch and we found this place called Pizza Rock.  We got paninis!  THEY ALSO HAD ROOT BEER!  It was tasty.  Sorry I’ve been talking about food a lot in this email.  This week we ate a lot of good food.
I do have a pretty neat miracle I want to share.  As you all know, every night we missionaries plan for the next day using this little planner thing.  We decided to plan 30 minutes after church as time for a miracle lesson in the hopes that someone would come to church that day and we would be able to teach them a lesson.  Well guess what happened!?  A man showed up and we taught him a quick lesson!  Turns out his girlfriend is the member that just left on a mission to serve in England!  He was pretty cool, but he doesn’t live in our area.  So we’re going to refer him to some other missionaries.  But hey, miracles are real.  I truly think God is more willing and prepared to bless our lives with miracles than we are to receive them sometimes, because we simply don’t ask and we don’t hope for them.  I know that if you hope for miracles and expect them, then pray to God and ask for them they will happen.  God is a god of miracles.
I read something this morning that got me thinking.  It was about the need to pursue the desire to learn by reading the scriptures and studying the word of God.  But the first part really stood out to me.  On my mission I’ve been focusing on my own desires and how to align them with God’s will for me.  That in of itself is really hard!  But I know its possible.  Reading that this morning made me realize that I’m probably doing to much thinking and not enough acting.  I need to go and do.  I need to pursue my desires.  This reminds me of Blue Ridge, like a lot of things lol.  Just like we all need a relentless pursuit of excellence, I need to relentlessly pursue my desires for good.  I think doing so is an act of faith and trust in God.  So that’s something I’m going to try from now on.  I believe that doing so will build my faith, and allow me to see far more miracles.  It’s going to be awesome.
Well, that’s about all folks.  Missionary work is fun.  I’m having a blast.  I love my God.  Life is great.
Love,
Elder Councill
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