Talk about a learning experience and a half!! These past few days have been fairly challenging over here in England. I don't know why in the world they put an Italian and an American together. Especially when the American is supposed to be learning Chinese... Then again I do know why but I don't at the same time if you know what I mean. I am supposed to be training Elder Esposito for a reason, but as of now I have not quite figured it out yet. In training in thus far I would say I have learned more from this experience than he has. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing...
We have been able to learn many new principles together. One of which is speaking slowly. Haha, at least I try. Elder Esposito despite the ability to speak English fluently is doing well and I can feel the spirit strongly with the testimony that he bears. He is so full of love for all those around him, even if he can't quite express those feelings in words you can just feel it from him. He is going through a hard time right now and feels depressed according to his own words. Fortunately I know what he is going through to a point which makes it easier for me to help him right now.
We have recently been teaching many Chinese Investigators which is a great thing for me but not so much for Elder Esposito, so we will be taking more time out of our schedule to specifically street contact and especially looking for English speaking investigators. It will be a different swing in the way we have been doing things here in Stretford, but I understand that Elder Esposito and his needs come first. The first few weeks are crucial in a missionaries mission because of the principles learned and the attitude set for the rest of his mission.
So what does that mean for us in these upcoming weeks you ask? More time spent speaking to English people and more time during language study spent specifically helping Elder Esposito learn English. So once again, the Chinese language and people have been put on a slight hold for now. Who would have thought that all these things would be happening on my mission as a called Mandarin speaker? :)
Because he has been having such a hard time I have noticed that I have to have an extremely good attitude all the time or else we would be doomed to fall into complete depression and ineffectiveness. It has made me think alot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how because he knew that we needed his help he led a perfect life and then atoned for our sins. Without Christ and his sacrifice we would be consigned to an awful fate of unhappiness. Amazing the things you can learn from such ordinary experiences. I know that I have to do all in my power to be exactly obedient while helping him enjoy the time he now has as a servant of the Lord. As our mission President said, "everything is going to be OK." He is right.
Something else President Preston told me in response to my question about teaching the Chinese and what I should do in regards to that. His response: "All I can tell you is that you two were put together for a reason, the Lord gave me your name to train him Elder Fawcett, so I know things will be ok. Go out and work your hardest and the teaching of English, Chinese, and even Italian will take care of itself. Do all of these things while being led by the spirit and everything will be OK." Haha, some advice I thought at first, it didn't really help me understand what I should do. Then I remembered the story of the Brother of Jared, the Lord does not always tell us what we should do because it is in the finding it out for ourselves that we learn the most.
The weather here in England has really not been that great these past few days... Meaning constant rain or whatever they call rain over here (a fine drenching mist) I don't think that helps Elder Espositos spirits. He says the weather in Italy is much better. :) A good side note to the week is that I really enjoyed going to the YSA ward. There are more people coming back and some new ones coming back from their missions. They are still fresh out of the field with the same desire and energy as missionaries to share the Gospel. There is nothing better than that as a missionary. A ward full of returned missionaries who have the same desire as we do now. The work and school for them does keep them fairly busy though....
I am looking forward to this new experience and I ask for your prayers to help me have the courage to fulfill this assignment in the way the Lord would have me do it. I need to be an outstanding example to Elder Esposito, but sometimes I don't feel I can give what he needs. I am grateful for all of your prayers and the support that you give me. While I miss you and the great things going on in your lives right now, I am extremely grateful for the time I have to serve the lord and learn so much for myself now!!