This past week Elder Cai and I have been talking about what we need to do to prepare for the incoming Chinese missionaries. Within the next 6 months we will have 10 new Chinese speaking missionaries coming in and we need to make sure everything is set up and prepared as good as possible for them. I will only be here to see three of them come in but we are working on having another Chinese activity in the middle of August so that the new missionaries can see what Chinese work is like and how exciting it is to be a Chinese missionary.
It was great yesterday because we had about 3 hours of street contacting to do and in that time we taught a lesson on the spot and set up 6 appointments with some new Chinese friends. Most of which just got here to Liverpool in the last week. The great thing about working with students is that you always get fresh stocks coming in to work with. :) The only problem again is that the reason they are here for the summer is because they are all in English Foundation classes to prepare them for the Fall Semester. So when they see a white person who is willing to speak to them they want only English coming out of my mouth.
It is somewhat interesting because when they first meet me they get all excited because I am probably the first white person they have met that can speak Chinese. They rant and rave how fantastic my Chinese is, especially for only two years of study. Then when we start teaching them they tell me I should speak in English because they can't understand me and what I am saying. I am trying to figure how much of that is truth and how much of it is that they just want me to speak English so that they can practice their English skills... Oh the dilemmas in life... I really am looking forward to the continued learning of Chinese for the rest of my life.
On Friday we had a Zone Leader Council yet again, and the main part of our meeting was getting rid of Rules. Our previous mission president, President Bullock was very rigid and set on rules in order to help missionaries be obedient and more sacred. I was very grateful for that. Now we are getting rid of most of those rules to allow missionaries to be agents unto themselves. We have been told by the Prophet and Apostles that we need nothing more than the standard works, PMG and the Missionary Handbook to guide us in our missionary endeavors. We should not need extra rules to keep us on the straight path of discipleship. In a way I think that rules are really good, when we had them and they were actually followed, our mission was doing very well in regards to output of numbers. Now I feel missionaries have slacked off a bit. And now that we are getting rid of the other rules completely I completely support what we have done, I just wonder what will be the result.
Elder Cai and I discussed it and decided that at the end of the day that the missionaries who struggled before to be obedient will continue to struggle, while the missionaries who are always obedient will continue to do so. The difference will be of those in the middle. Really this way is the best way for missionaries to actually become what we are meant to become. We are not meant to be commanded in all things, but should do things because we want to and not because we have too. Ultimately if you can do what is right all the time without any rules, you know it was because you wanted to, not because you had to. It allows us to more fully exercise our agency correctly for the right reasons. Now I just hope our mission can catch the vision of that principle and live up to it.
Well, transfers are coming up next week, so we will see where the Lord will put me. Keep working hard and having fun doing so.