The work here in the mission field is still going forth despite any opposition may be coming, Boldy, Nobly, and Independent as Joseph Smith would say. As of now it is more out on the street trying to find those specific prepared people. I think I have learned the definition of insanity: Changing a process that works, or sticking to the same process that doesn't work. As of now we are on the latter and I am trying to figure out what new we can do here in Preston to find new investigators who are ready and willing to hear the Gospel.
Can I just say I think I have the most frustrating call of a missionary?!? Or at least it seems that way. :) Right now it is extremely hard to work with those I have been called to teach and it is very frustrating. All of the Chinese students right now have classes, final exams and end of year essays. Of course being students and not having too much of a belief in God, they understandably pick school over meeting with us. This means appointment after appointment falling through. President Bullock has said it might be time to switch focus until the next batch of Chinese students come in. That is somewhat of a sad thought for myself...
Truly though all is well, yes things are a bit hard but that is missionary work isn't it, or life in general, it just comes down to how we react to the obstacles thrown at us. Grandma sounds very happy to be in Arkansas right now and especially spending time with Taft. I hope that all of you are enjoying the time with her as well. :) Grandma I love you!! Oh and mom, may I just ask why German words kept coming to your head? Did this come from all of the advise dad was giving you in German right before? :) I am sorry to hear that it did not go as planned, but I know you will do better next time!! Did I tell you I tried to talk to a German on the bus once, but only Chinese words were coming out. It was quite frustrating, but also a good sign for me to see. :) Sort of....
This week has brought many experiences and time for growth. The work is growing on me more and more and the experiences that I am having are getting better and better. Sometimes the experiences are hard ones, but they are good for me in my progression as a missionary and as a person as well. Many people talk about the refiners fire and how they don't want to go through it. Well I don't know if I want to go through it either, but I figure everyone that wants the blessing of eternal life is going to have to go through it sooner or later, so I might as well get everything out of it I can right? These last couple of days have been ones of stress and growing, and I am very glad to be with missionaries now who can help me through those times. I am very grateful for Elder Boswell and his continuous joyful attitude that teaches me to proceed with the work and don't just endure it, but endure it well.
I had never realized that being a Senior companion was so hard until these last few days. It is not that there is so much more to do, but for me it is just the knowledge of the accountability that I have now for an area and another missionary. I am grateful the Lord trusted in me and has allowed me this responsibility to learn and to be able to help others do the same. Elder Chan (my companion) is from Hong Kong and is called Mandarin speaking and is learning it as well as English. He is a very good missionary and is always striving to do better, always asking for correction, which gives me a good example of how I should act. One of the most important attributes that we can have is humility, and Elder Chan has it down very well. We don't seem to be having a hard time at all getting along at all, we both are the type of people that like at the cards on the table and then figure any problems out. I love Elder Chan!!
This week in Sacrament meeting a member gave a talk on doing the Lords work and doing it in the right way. One of the lines that they said was that if you want to actually become something you have to become a "self made man." I think that this is very true except for the fact that of course we should look to the Lord for that help in becoming what we want to become. Part of becoming is the self control required to actually do the work. Some days remind me of Ether 12:6, that the trials of our faith must come in order for us to recieve a witness of the work that we are doing and also in order to truly Become.
Some days I honestly don't want to go out and talk to people, mostly because of the people we talk with. Then I realize that I am fearing man more than God and need to change my attitude. Of course those days still come when I don't want to go out, but now I will understand more that through the help of the Lord I can become the man/missionary that he wants me to be. Once again going back to Elder Sturt, it is all about the perspective. We always think that the things going on right NOW are everything and the most important. It is the eternal perspective that I need to gain for myself and start using in my missionary work. This is the Lord's work, I certainly should not try going about it my way.
As you would say Dad, life is good because the Gospel is true, and oh how true that is. It makes everything better to know my purpose in this life and I am more able to understand why certain things happen. Everyone now asks us, if there is a God why would he let things like Japan happen. Honestly, I don't know the full answer to that question, and I don't think anyone really does, but that is where the faith is necessary. Once we know he has a plan, we should follow it in faith. How are the people in Japan doing actually?
Well family, It was great to hear from you once again. I wish you a very happy week full of learning. Love you all!!!
Onward & Upward,