Unfortunately today will have to be shorter than usual because we did a great service project this morning building a fence to go around someones house to protect it from thiefs and vandals. It was easily the most work intensive mind power taking project I have done on my mission. It reminded me of when I worked with you as a family back home. I miss doing hard labour now that I really think about it. Something about the satisfaction of you putting your hard work into something and seeing it turn our all right or even amazing.
Something that I have been thinking about along the topic of, "when do you know to drop someone from your teaching pool," has to do with the word IF. So many of our investigators, two of them specifically right now, are finding it really hard to make the decision to be baptized because of their fear of the unknown future. They don't know how baptism and becoming a follower of Christ will effect them in the future, especially as chinese people living under a communist reign. They fear that if they join the church, which they know to be good and true, they will have a decreased chance of obtaining the job or career that they are searching for in the future. They also fear what their friends and families will say and whether or not it would alienate them from their group of friends. All of it comes down to the word IF. IF this IF that. We are trying to teach them more about the word Faith, but there seems to be very little progress made.
I feel that we as missionaries, or members of the church, or just people in general often have this same dilemma. We don't what what COULD or WOULD happen so it keeps us from doing it because we are afraied of the POSSIBLE outcome. The same them happened to peter when he was walking on the water, what if I drown because of these big waves. At least peter made the first step, sometimes we will not let ourselves even get that far due to our fears and doubts. Too often we let fear rob us of faith. The solution? I am still working on it, but I feel that it comes to the point of studying how to increase faith and then taking the necessary steps to try and do so. I love the idea that one of the gifts of the spirit is the gift of having strong faith. We can gain that same faith, it might take a while but we all can have it.
Life is going well here in Liverpool, we are still enjoying the time to finish up our last batch of AUF's while the students are still taking their tests. They all for the most part finish this Thursday, so hopefully after that we will be able to spend more effective time around the universities setting up appoinments with amazing chinese people. :) I have loved the transfer up to this point for many reasons, but one of the things I am most grateful for is that fact that my Chinese has improved quite a bit, especially the listening.
The reason why is that because of Elder Cai I have more opportunities to practice my Chinese, as well as listen during lessons and other times he speaks with Chinese people. I know that requests is not how the Lord works, but if I were to make a request, it would be that I can stay with Elder Cai for another transfer so that I can be at my best level possible my last transfer in the mission! :) We will see how it goes in a weeks time... I really am looking forward to the continued progression in the Chinese work and the new wave of missionaries that we will be able to pass down our knowledge and culture to.