Sunday, January 6, 2013

Week 43: A New Year!

Wowza, time is just flying!!! We are already one week into the new year! I can't believe that! We've had a good week here in GaoXiong, abeit some craziness. 

Last Monday night, New Years Eve, we went searching for less-actives. It didn't occur to me that because it was New Years Eve, most people would not be at home, but we found one less-active sister who was! She has only been a member for about 2 years, and normally works at night, but because of the holiday was at home. So we had a good time getting to know her and we hope that we can help her continue to strengthen her testimony and remember why she decided to follow Christ and be baptized. 

Tuesday we had a great lesson with our new investigator, Chen JM. She has a strong Christian background, and so when we were explaining about Joseph Smith she wasn't getting why he was so important. We had a peike (a member) in the lesson with us, and we had never had her peike for us, but she was incredible! She did a really great job about explaining why Joseph Smith is important, and she asked her some great questions and what not. I was like, can we have her peike every time? It was awesome. So Chen JM is doing really well and she really began to understand about prophets and Joseph Smith. Super cool to see!

Wednesday was also super cool! We have three less-actives that all live in the same area, but none of them ever are home/won't let us in, so we go about once a month to visit them and take them notes. Wednesday we just decided to go, and the one sister, she is always home, but won't let us into her building, and won't let us share a message with her through the intercom. So we got to her house and the door to her building was open!!! We were so stoked! So we go up and she was home! She was a little, um, not too happy at first and really didn't want to talk to us, but she eventually let us share a scripture with her on her door step and then she prayed for us. As we were leaving, she was like, the door wasn't closed, was it. And we were like,  nope =] Heavenly Father wanted us to visit you so he let someone forget to close it =] It was so neat!

Thursday was an interesting day. One of our new investigators has a lot of problems, and we have been trying to figure out how, through teaching her the gospel, we can help her resolve some of her problems. One of her problems could be resolved by living the Law of Chastity, so we decided to teach her the Law of Chastity from the beginning so that, if she really wants to be baptized, she can begin to live this commandment. Well, long story short, her boyfriend was not happy about the fact that he would have to move out, and he came looking for us. Thankfully we weren't there, the elders were, and the second time he came (we knew he might be coming back) the bishop was there and talked to him. I was really nervous, but needless to say, we are not teaching her anymore. It was really sad, because she did have a desire to learn, but in her current situation, we didn't have the capabilities to help her. Hopefully one day we can. 

On Friday we had a great afternoon with our Recent Convert, Zhang JM, and then had another great lesson with our investigator Chen JM. At this lesson, she really understood why she needs to have her own testimony of Joseph Smith, and she was willing to go and pray about him and she has been reading the Book of Mormon and everything! And in the short time we've known her, I have seen a difference in her. It is so great! We have a lot of investigators who are not keeping commitments (ie: reading the Book of Mormon, praying, coming to church) and because they aren't keeping commitments, they are not progressing. It hasn't been till this move-call that I have really seen this kind of affect in my investigators. When investigators don't read or pray, they will not progress and they will not be baptized. So now my problem that I'm trying to solve is how to get my investigators to ACT! Acting is so important, and sometimes it requires faith, but it always brings blessings =]

Saturday was good. We went and found a former investigator! She is a mom of two young girls who are so cute! She is super busy, but she is willing to let us come back. She wants her girls to grow up going to church, but she doesn't really want it for herself, so we shared how it is important for her to set the example for her girls; taking them to church every Sunday isn't good enough. So I am excited for her! We also had a lesson with another investigator who had a baptismal goal. I wrote about her last week, but sadly, this week, she doesn't want to get baptized. So we will see. We talked with the bishop and he said she needs to wait a while to be baptized, so we will wait, and hope that she can progress. 

And then Sunday was Sunday =] Church and meetings and what not. We went to Family Home Evening with a few recent converts which was fun. We also had two other investigators with baptismal goals drop their goals because they weren't able to come to church on Sunday. So that is also a bummer, but we hope we can help them and a few others get new goals this week! 

I love being a missionary! I love seeing people grow and progress! I need to figure out how to be better at helping them, and continue to develop my skills as a teacher, because I know that makes a difference, but that is why each day we have a new day, so we can learn and grow and become better! Lately I've been reading the Teachings by the Prophet Joseph Smith book and I am just loving learning about Joseph Smith. My companion and I were discussing how similar his and Christ's stories are. Both such important men, yet both rejected and persecuted by the world. It is also so interesting how they were both only on the earth till they were in their 30's. They both were martyred so young. But, their work was so incredible. How grateful I am for these two men! For without them, we would have no Book of Mormon, and oh how I love the Book of Mormon! There is so much greatness in the Book of Mormon that can help us study about Jesus Christ and His Gospel! If you haven't read the Book of Mormon, ever or recently, I challenge you to read it. We are all busy, I know, but through reading even just for 5 minutes a day, we can learn so much about our Savior and how he can help us in our lives. 

I am so grateful for this chance I have to be a missionary for the Lord and to take his gospel to the people of Taiwan! I hope you all have had a marvelous start to this new year! Now is the time to change, to begin new habits, and to more closely follow our Savior Jesus Christ. 

I love you all! Thank you all so much for your love and support! You are all so wonderful! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Lots of love!

(Sorry, no pictures this week... I'll have some next week since we are going to the beach again today =] )

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