July 30, 2012

It has been a pretty good week here in Liverpool, we have spoken to quite of few new Chinese students but they all seem to be extremely busy right now with a variety of different reasons (excuses). These next few weeks we will looking to branch out to some White people, or really anyone who is not Chinese so that Elder Reynolds will have something to work with later. These next few weeks are going to be quite busy with meetings and exchanges and other plans so it does not give us too much time here in our own area, but we will do the best with what we are given.

Having been pondering about the question of where I am at as my own personal leader, I have looked back through the course of my mission thus far and seen the differences in myself. These differences not necessarily being changing of leadership positions but more of changing of how I lead myself when others are and are not looking. My thoughts focused more towards the goals I set for myself, whether they be weekly key indicator goals, or whether they be monthly personal goals. Everyone says that in order to be a leader you need to have a vision and I feel that my goals reflect the vision of what I want to become or more like can become. Instead of thinking of what can I get away with, I have changed to what more can I do.

The idea of being the best personal leader possible is inspiring to me due to the fact that after the mission you will not be reporting to any District Leader, Zone Leader, or Assistant. Really the only time you will report on your actions is when you have interviews with your bishop. Everything else, at all other times will be reporting to yourself and to the Lord. So now as we have two years to learn how to be our own motivator and own personal trainer, we have to effectively use this time. I feel that I am doing fairly well, I feel self motivated to become better and help others.

What I want to improve in my missionary work and later in my life is to not worry about who is above my physically, but more so, who is above me spiritually. As we said in our training this week, we don't just want a pricked heart, we want a broken heart which naturally leads to a changed heart. So now I need to go personally and intentionally break my heart and be happy while doing it.

Yesterday we had some completely unexpected opposition. I am fine with exams coming up or dissertations that need to be written by students so they don't feel they have time to come to church. I am even OK if they sleep in or if their friend comes to town so they don't have a great enough desire to overcome that obstacle. But when opposition comes in the form of canceling church in your area, that is not fair for our investigators! How are they supposed to overcome that kind of opposition?! Yesterday because of road construction the road to the church was closed and their was no physically possible way for us to have church so the stake president canceled it and said we would have to go to other wards. We ended up having zero Chinese people at church including members and investigators alike.

Elder Reynolds and I, along with the Sisters were absolutely devastated. We were going to have four new investigators at church plus a few others, and two of them were really excited to go. Then we had to call them up the night before to tell them they would have to wait until next week..... We were quite disappointed and couldn't believe it had happened. What made it worse is that later in the day we received a text from a Less Active who had not been to church in about 5 months due to anxiety saying he had gone to the church but found it closed!! He said he wanted to surprise us by showing up but he was the one surprised and disappointed to have it closed. I think all we can really learn from this is to be grateful for those many weeks that we can go to church with no problems and that it is so close for us to go on a Sunday to worship. At least there is always next week, always good things to come.

We are now getting full swing into the preparation time of the upcoming Chinese activity. We are starting to tell everyone when and where it is and to mark it on their calendar so that they can come and bring their friends. What we are struggling with right now is the actual content of the activity. At first we wanted to do something different from last time, but after thinking about it, why should we try to reinvent the wheel? Last time the Chinese loved it and had a great time. Plus we will be having the activity the same time as the Olympics, so it would be a perfect theme. We still want to make it unique though, so that comes to the types of activities and games we will have them play and compete in.

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