This week has been a great week. On Tuesday we had Training Camp. This camp was for all the new missionaries that came in the new transfer. So there were about 9 of us. It was great because we got to see the difference between what we knew at the beginning of our missions (basically nothing) and what we know now, (still not too much, but oh so much better than the start). We had the opportunity to look back and see all the progress we have made in knowing how best to talk with people and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The camp was focused on Street Contacting. Inviting the Spirit into our lessons, and the baptismal invitation. The camp helped us to point out what we can do better and then told us how we can do so. In other words, the camp was great overall!
The other big event that happened this week was of course the Baptism's on Saturday. Can I just say "amazing" because it truly was. I have been truly blessed to receive such experiences and opportunities so early in my mission. I was honored to baptize Xu Peng (Eric) and Elder Jin baptized Bai Sumeng (Soom). They were so well prepared to receive baptism, and I know most of that had nothing to do with us. We were just the messengers, but fortunately we were able to be there the whole process and see them gain such great testimonies.
It snowed really bad the day before and we were worried that we would not be able to hold it, but fortunately it cleared up and the Ward Mission Leader said "the show must go on". So we went and shoveled half of the Church parking lot so that people would be able to get in safely. The baptism's themselves went fast and smoothly. The only bad thing was the water was much colder than I thought it would be. :) Haha. I can't wait to see the impact these two fine young Chinese men will have on their family and friends back home in China. I feel so blessed and honored to be a part of this great work. Not only have I helped some wonderful people find the light of Christ, I have gained friendships that will last forever. Both of them wanted to know my full name so they could add me on Facebook. Haha. Isn't technology so great? :)
I am very much looking forward to Christmas and being able to spend it at some members homes and with people that really care about us. Like I said, I will miss you very much, but I am appreciative of the fact that wonderful people are all around the world that you can be with. Also a great gift is that President Bullock is giving us permission to sleep in until 8:00!!! Something that he said really hit home to me.
He said, that for those of us who have been obedient, this will be a wonderful reward and gift that we will really appreciate. Whereas, those who have not, will not find it that great at all and won't appreciate it so much either. This just reminded me how thankful I was for you my family and especially my parents for encouraging me in one way or another to be obedient and to do it because I want to, not because I have to. You have taught me many things that have helped me so much out here. And I really thank you for that. So keep up the good work!! And siblings, once again, remember they love you, and the reason for their correction is because of that love and broader big picture seeing ability. :)
One last thing. I had and interesting experience while bus contacting someone the other day. I sat down and turned to talk to him, started sharing the message and he got mad and said that he had already had a bad enough day and didn't need me bugging him. He used other words of course. :) So I kindly let him be. About 8 minutes later he tapped me on the arm and apologetically said not to take it personally, just that he had had a bad day. We talked for a little bit, and he said he was still not interested and then we parted ways. I really did appreciate him for his willingness to say sorry and it was good to know that people do have bad days, but can still talk like civilized human beings. :) In the end he didnt' accept the message we share, but we both gained more respect for the other from our experience. This is just one of the many interesting things that happen on a mission and I love it!! Sorry if you thought it was boring. It doesn't sound as good in writing. :)
Well once again I must be off, but remember I love you and I really look forward to our talk on Christmas. Until then have fun and be safe!!!