Life sure is hectic here in Manchester. It must come with the area. :) Thank you for your comments on Baptism and when it should take place. They not only helped me stabilize my own ideas and thoughts but as well added that greater understanding of what this covenant of Baptism actually means. Unfortunately I feel that CiCi has a testimony of the Gospel and understands why baptism is important but is not willing to make that step of commitment because of the fear that she has that living the gospel will impact her in a bad way when she goes back to China. She still has a desire to follow and live the gospel in China to see what it is like before she is baptized. If she likes what she sees and feels she is going to Hong Kong to be baptized. Unfortunately making the hard choices in life is even harder when you don't have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to help you. We will continue to see her until she leaves this Sunday to strengthen her faith. Other than that there is not much we can do besides pray and have faith.
It is once again the time of year when many of the Chinese investigators go home and will not return back to England or anywhere else where the Gospel is being taught to the people. I know I talked a little about this last week but I feel that it is important the lessons that I am learning from these experiences. As the Chinese go home I feel encouraged and uplifted by the fact that all people will have a chance to hear the gospel in its FULLNESS due to the mercy and love of God. He understands that all these people will be able to make the important choice of baptism when they have heard the full gospel. So no matter if we taught 1 lesson or 10 lessons to an individual and if they did or did not have an opportunity to be baptized, God and Jesus Christ will make sure they hear it sometime, and I know that some of the Chinese we have taught who have not been baptized yet will be in the future either in this life or accepting it in the next.
This week I had the privilege of going on an exchange with Elder Metsaranta. I enjoyed immensely this opportunity to once again learn from a very veteran and experienced missionary. During the exchange I was able to recognize different ways of missionary work that I could apply into my work in order to get to a greater level. One of the greatest qualities that I saw in Elder Metsaranta was his unfailing calmness and patience. This is something that I have been working on my whole mission and I must say that Elder Metsaranta was a prime example of how to act with patience in all situations. We were able to have a lesson on the spot and the man we were teaching loved to talk but we did not interrupt him as I normally would. Elder Metsaranta allowed him to speak but as well he was able to take control of the lesson making this man feel better about the whole encounter. I enjoy the time i have left to learn from him.
Over the past week Elder Chan and I have had the opportunity to teach a man from Africa who speaks French and very little English. He was excited to meet with us and the first time we had to teach extremely simple in order for him to understand the message of the Restoration. Fortunately he had his bible with him and we were able to use it in the lesson to help him understand. The next lesson we took a member with us who could speak conversational French and as well we watched the Restoration video in French. We were able to feel the spirit and he understood more about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. He was able to come to church with us yesterday and he enjoyed it saying that he felt good despite the lack of physical understanding. It reminded me once again how important the language of the spirit is when it comes to growth in the gospel. If he continues feeling and following the language of the spirit, I know he will be able to progress well in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of the challenges that we will have here in Stretford is that the YSA ward is so small and they all live so far away we can't work with them. Haha Hopefully we will be able to change that here in the future when more of them come.
I have said it before and will continue to say it, I am enjoying the time I have here on a mission and it is going by all too fast. Like Gordon B. Hinckley said, "life is to be enjoyed and not just endured." Some days are rough as a missionary and sometimes I don't make all the best choices when talking to people, but I have felt and seen the change in myself and other missionaries from this service. The promises of the Lord are true. When he calls us and we turn to him our weaknessess slowly but surely fade away. We will always need to work hard to gain a higher level, but the higher we go the more sure we are we don't want to fall. Keep well my family and enjoy your time in your different areas of the world and parts of life.
Onward & Upward,