As you probably know by now I forgot to tell you that transfers were this week and that I would not be writing on Monday like usual. Sorry... :) Unfortunately it being transfer day we don't have too much time at all. So i will make it short and sweet. To answer the questions you might have, yes I am still in Preston and no we are no longer in a foursome... technically. Elder Moss our District Leader and Senior companion was called to be a Zone Leader in Newcastle and then Elder Boswell has now come to our flat and companionship. Sort of.
The way President Bullock did it was Elder Chan and I were put together as a companionship me being the Senior companion and then Elder Peterson and Elder Boswell together with Elder Boswell being the senior and District Leader. So now I am responsible and accountable for an area and another Elder. Lets just say I thought it would be a bit longer before I was made senior, but hey, what do I know? :) This next transfer should be really interesting and a challenge. As I have said before the area of Preston has been hammered with missionaries for the past 9 months or so. It seems everyone knows who we are and want nothing to do with us. So this is where the trial of our faith comes in. I hope we can pass.
This last week we were recieving a training in our District Meeting on the spirit. Elder Moss asked us two questions: Why is the spirit important and how do we use it in our teaching. And, What can we do better as missionaries to invite the spirit into our lives and also into our teaching? These to me have always been major questions because I have been constantly searching for the best ways to invite the spirit into my life and especially into my teaching. I learned that it is very important in our personal study to do all we can to learn so that we can be filled with the spirit then and use it throughout the remainder of the day.
Also I noticed something in 2 Ne. 33:1 that somewhat comforted me when looking at all the people there are in the world and why they are not all accepting the Gospel. Paraphrasing it says, "when a man speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost carries it UNTO the hearts of men." I realized that even if we have the spirit and we feel it in our lessons or on the street, it ultimately comes down to those that we are working with having there hearts soft enough and open enough to feel the spirit. We can not force the truth into the hearts of men, only give them an invitation.
The Chinese teaching has been a little slow. Over the last couple of weeks we have been speaking with many chinese students, many of which have said that they are leaving in the middle to the end of April. This has raised some concerns for teaching them and then having a baptismal date. I feel hesitant to teach someone in four weeks and have them baptized then one week later having them return to China. I know that it is important for them to be baptized, but I also feel that when they leave they will have no connection to the church until they come back again if they come back at all. The other question I had was whether or not we should give the Chinese investigators (not baptized yet) the information to call to find a local Chinese ward. I never thought teaching the Chinese people would have so many challenges and obstacles. Being a pioneer is not so easy. :) Now I just need to learn all I can for those that will be coming after me.
This last transfer has been hard but at the same time very rewarding. I have very much enjoyed the time I have had with Elder Moss. He is a splendid missionary who really knows how to connect with everyone; ward members, investigators and of course other missionaries. Elder Moss was a great example to me on how to be patient with the trials that WILL come on a mission and still have a happy attitude towards it. It is amazing the chance we have to go on missions serving the Lord and learning from each other despite the trials. I know that they help us learn and grow. At least looking back I know that. :) Haha, at the time it feels like a huge weight on your shoulders that will never lift. I look forward to serving with Elder Boswell and in the future other sacred missionaries. This mission sure is full of them.
Next week I will have more time and will tell you more specifically about Elder Boswell and the investigators we are working with now. Also a bit more about how our companionships are working out. If you have any specific questions let me know and I will do my best to answer them.