The joys and experiences of missionary work continue forward as always. Recently we have had a few disappointing losses in our teaching pool. Either people with really great potential dropping us for one reason or another, or people going back home to China. It is really interesting working with the Chinese, one minute they are having a hard time finding time to meet with you because of school work, then they finish with school and find it hard to meet with you because they are traveling or decide to go home for the summer. It seems like right now we are having a hard time finding the people who can make the balance to meet with us. Dorene is going back to China never to return to England, and Connie is doing the same next week. Two investigators who were so close to baptism but couldn't quite make it. I do look forward to keeping contact with them in the future to see how their spiritual progress is even if they have not been baptized.
Elder Cai have been thinking a little bit about the upcoming Chinese movement that will take place within our mission. With 8 Chinese missionaries coming into the mission within the next two transfers there is going to be a lot that needs to be taught and passed down. In regards to a Chinese meeting, we are thinking that we should have it right after the new missionaries come in at the start of August, maybe like the 10th or 11th. At that meeting we can teach and pass down the knowledge we have and more specifically plan for the Chinese Activity that could take place on the 17th or 18th. We would then be able to involve the new Chinese missionaries more in the planning process and give them some responsibility right off the bat to help them gain a greater understanding of how the Chinese work is, plus help them feel involved, utilized and needed right away to start their missions.
Recently I have been thinking about how much my mission has blessed my life already thus far. Besides the strengthening of my testimony which is the most important part, it has given me so many opportunities to learn, grow and stretch myself. I am extremely grateful that I am able to look back and see specific instances where I had to do something different in my work and in doing so I became better because of it. My way of thinking about missionary work has changed from just do it, to lets do it correctly. I feel I have a much greater sense of what is important, how to prioritize, and how to work harder to achieve a goal.
Being in Leadership has also given me a greater understanding that it is not about me, but about those around me. If I want to be a truly successful leader, I have to forget about myself and look to lift and build them. I really do love what Elder Kerr said. The church is a unique organization, it is the only organization that releases people once they actually get good at what they are doing. It really is the genius of the church. The church doesn't need a whole bunch of people who think they know what are doing and feel comfortable. The church needs people who don't know what they are doing and are humble enough to work hard to get there, always relying on the Lord. Genius.
To be honest, I don't know what more I can tell you this week. Maybe that I feel like there is progress with the Chinese Language at the moment. I feel like things are coming a lot smoother when it comes to speaking, I can get more of my feelings across in full sentences. At least better than before... :) The major improvement has been in my listening though. It just seems to click a lot more than before. Don't get me wrong, I am still very far away from where I could or should be, but it is something. I think when you hear me speak Chinese you might be disappointed a little bit that I am not better, I think I will be. That is the reason why I will continue pressing forward even after the mission the more fully learn the language. It feels good and right to keep learning, you can almost say that I love it! Haha, almost.
Some interesting useless info. is that it seems to be hate on Elder Fawcett week. Haha, yesterday at church I was bombarded by Chinese people telling me how ugly I have gotten. Because of shaving every day I have a rash all over my face which makes it look like I have really bad acne. I think three Chinese people asked me what happened to my face and another said, "you can tell you are really young because you have pimples all over your face." I had just gotten a hair cut as well and one of them told me that it looks really funny and I should do it differently. Haha Chinese people don't understand what side parts are unfortunately. The last comment came after we took a picture, one of the investigators looked at it and then said, wow, you don't look as good as you did six months ago. It sounds like the mission is taking its tole on me... Gotta love it...