Once again I am happy to hear that you were able to use some of my last email for your family home evening. Just for clarification. As Preach My Gospel says, tell your companion strengths and then ask for ways you can improve. In these inventories you should be asking for ways you can improve and not focusing on all the minor things your companion is not doing right according to your own idea. We know life is all about progression and becoming better. In asking for ways to improve you can receive help and guidance from an outside source and then apply it into your work, missionary or otherwise. Your right, focusing on faults is not good, but knowing you can improve is key in becoming better.
I had some really interesting experiences this week that I have never had before and most of them happened on Wednesday. As you may know there has been some unease in England over the past week starting in London and then spreading to other major cities, Manchester and Liverpool included. We were in Liverpool at the time and we were able to see the simple craziness of the situation. Police cars all over the place, shattered bus stop stands, glass bottles all over the place, shop windows smashed, cars burned and the list went on. It was astounding to see the violence and complete idiocy (as Kjanela would say) that was going on over what? I am not sure what it was, but people were not acting very civilized or nice. We had to steer clear of these areas and take care not to disturb anyone. These experiences just made me wonder if all of these people had the gospel in their lives if they would be maybe a bit calmer and peaceful. :)
The same day while we were in the University area we were talking to a lot of Chinese Students, elder Dantas and I. We were blessed to teach two Chinese students on the spot at separate times during the day. Go China!!! During the second lesson is when the second interesting experience started. I just finished talking and explaining something and turned to pass it off to Elder Dantas, but he just looked blankly at me and said nothing. So I continued to teach where I had left off. This happened multiple times and so I just finished the lesson and we got otu of there. He then asked me how I felt the lesson went which i replied to saying I felt it was really good and Owen the Chinese Student had a desire to learn more. Elder Dantas then said "good, because I need to go to the doctors NOW!"
We then called the other elders and they picked us up in the car and took us back to the flat. We called the Area Medical Advisor who told us to go to the hospital. So for the first time I took a missionary to the hospital and waited to see what the verdict was. He ended up having appendicitis and needed surgery. From what I have heard he is doing well and recovering. Then the day get even more crazy. The Ferry back to the Isle of Man was late an hour and took extra long to get to the Island. We ended up getting into our flat at 12:45 am. Just a little past curfew time of 9:30 :) Those were all firsts of my mission all coming in the same day! Now things have quieted down a bit.
This last week has been a crazy one for half of it and then very calm for the other half. It is funny how things can turn around like that so fast on a mission. One minute your in three different zones teaching here and there, working with one missionary and then another, the next your back in your area and you can finally feel at peace and normal again. Haha I love missionary work. I really enjoyed the time that we had to work with Elders Craig and Dantas with the time we had together. One of the evenings that we were together Elder Dantas and I were able to contact and teach a Recent Convert Chinese student who had not been at church the last 3 weeks. He was one of the recent converts I helped find, teach, and then baptize while in Liverpool 7 months ago. It was a great feeling to sit down and teach him once more and commit him to church. I also was able to realize the love that I had gained for him during the teaching process and was happy to see that it had grown even more along with the expectations I had for him. The Zone leaders told me last night that he was at church and it made my day!!
Along those lines Elder Tellem and I have had a similar experience ongoing over the past 2 plus weeks with one of the Recent converts here on the Isle of Man. We saw Kris two weeks ago from Thursday and then we lost contact as he went to Liverpool. The whole next week we called him every day more than once to see how he was doing but his phone was always off. He had missed church the Sunday before we left and I was getting really worried about him. All the next week the same process occurred, and it made it worse to know that we were on a different land mass than he was and we could do nothing to try and see him there. Then last Sunday we asked a member to let us know if he showed up at church and we received a text telling us that he had. I was ecstatic!!! It continues to amaze me the love that we are able to gain for people we have known for so little a time. I believe most of it has to do with the change that we are able to see them go through and we are part of that process. Even better, yesterday, Kris brought a friend to church who we will be teaching tonight!!
Something that a wise old missionary told me a while ago regarding companionship relationships and helping them to grow and increase in unity has been on my mind this week. He said that when you get annoyed with what your companion may be doing or may have done you cant go quiet, or it will continue to fester in your mind, say anything, big or small, simple or complex, it doesn't matter, just talk to him. When you do you will begin to forget what you were seconds ago so frustrated with, but begin to listen to your companion and the words that he is saying and before you know it the friction point has passed. I was able to use this technique this past week and it worked really really well. Seeing the effectiveness of it I have begun to use it any time I may even start to get annoyed and then it passes. I am grateful for the advice and knowledge passed on from others in life and how we can always learn from other people no matter who they are. The mission is one of the best places you can learn and grow from others every day.
I am very happy to be back on the Isle of Man for most likely a short while. Transfers are next Wednesday and more likely than not I will be leaving. It will be quite bitter-sweet. I love the Isle of Man and especially the members here, but as well I am looking forward to going back to speaking a lot more Chinese. Also I most likely won't have a car anymore. :( haha, it has made me appreciate cars even more as a missionary. The work is going well here right now. Most of the success is coming from member referrals and people who know members. Like Gordon B. Hinckley said, the best missionary work is through the members.
Remember who you are and what you stand for!!
Onward & Upward,