Hello my dear friends and family!
Can I just start of saying how grateful I am to have the opportunity to co-train Sister Mann?! Now I understand when other missionaries talk about that “greenie fire” and how their trainees are the one training them and how some just hit the ground running. Sister Mann is literally that missionary. And she is EXACTLY what Arcadia needs. She is going to make this area stronger and better than ever before. Her vision is amazing and she has the work ethic to back it up. I feel a lot of times, I can just sit back and watch her improve this area single-handedly. Oh my goodness, she is amazing. She pushes me to be better and to step up my game. She gives me more hope and optimism towards this area. She helps me feel more charitable love towards our investigators and our members. I AM SO GRATEFUL. Hopefully I get to continue training her after these next 2 weeks, but if not, that’s fine too because the Lord’s ways are higher than our ways.
She also told me something the other night that I thought was just profound. She said “The only difference between us missionaries and the Apostles is that they have keys. They are Apostles with a big A and we are apostles with a small A. We only have 1 1/2 years so how can we think of anything else other than missionary work?” I love this sister.
We had Zone Meeting last week. It was my favorite Zone Meeting ever. We talked about becoming true followers of Christ and consecrating ourselves to the work and to the Lord. The Zone Leaders used the story of Jesus Christ calling his Apostles. Several things really struck me. First was how Jesus Christ called fishermen to be His Apostles. Second was how fast they were willing to drop everything – their family, jobs, hobbies, and all other desires – and follow Jesus Christ. They were probably not the smartest or richest or most popular people, but that is not what Jesus Christ wanted. He wanted and continues to want humble followers and servants who are willing to sacrifice everything and give it all to Him and His work.
And then the Zone Leaders shared the talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland called “The First Great Commandment.” Read it. In it, it talks about Jesus Christ asking Peter three times if he loves Him. I want to share one of my favorite parts of the talk where Elder Holland uses his own words to summarize what Jesus Christ said to Peter after Peter told Him that he loved Him 3 times:
“Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples–and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”
If we really love Christ, we will let it all go. It is hard, but in the end, it will be easier. And not only do we need to love Jesus Christ, but we need to love His work. Our attitude towards the challenges and trials during the mission show a lot about our feelings and love towards missionary work. And missionaries are not only those who wear a black name tag. Everyone can be a missionary. So go out with the missionaries to lessons. Be an example to your peers. Share your testimony. Introduce your friends to the gospel. Love Jesus Christ and His work.
The Zone Leaders then gave each of us a paper and told us to write one thing that we want to sacrifice for the rest of our mission. When I wrote mine down, I literally felt like a burden was lifted. I am still learning to let things go, to live the law of sacrifice and consecration. However, I know that in doing so, I will allow myself to be more malleable so that Heavenly Father can shape me into the person He wants me to be.
I know this Church is true. I have seen too many miracles and blessings to deny that. I am grateful to be called to be a fisherman of Christ. I love Him so much.
Sister Huang 黄姐妹
P.S.: Today is the 6-month anniversary of me and Sister Xia’s companionship! Is that a record?
P.P.S.: A sister came up to me yesterday after Sacrament Meeting and asked me “Is Lienna Pan your mom?” Probably the fourth or fifth person to ask me this since day 1 at the MTC. Turns out she went to the same ward with my mom back in Taiwan! And now she goes to the Mountain View ward! So I have also come to the conclusion that part of the reason I am here is to find all my mom’s friends that live in the mission haha (just kidding). Sorry mom, I forgot to take a picture with her, but I will next week!