First off, were you able to write 100 things you’re grateful for? I hope you did because gratitude really is the best attitude! It’ll make you a lot happier, I promise!
So the first week of this transfer has come and gone and it has been so awesome to work with Sister Gong again. She’s grown and improved so much since I was last with her three transfers ago. We still have a lot to adjust and learn together, but I am grateful that Heavenly Father planned it so that we could be companions again – I feel like that doesn’t happen often.
Some highlights of this week:
Wednesday: I love my companion and I am so proud of her! She said a prayer in English that morning and it was great. She also rode her bike like a pro and even though it was only her third day in the area, she was able to lead us to the church building! As I was riding behind her, I just felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy. It was just three transfers ago when Sister Xia, Sister Gong and I would spend 1 1/2 hours “biking” home from church because Sister Gong couldn’t bike. But now, she is a pro and can bike anywhere. Not to mention, she can bike pretty fast! At the end of the day after planning, we had hot cocoa (also huge tender mercy because Sister Gong doesn’t drink anything except for hot water so I was so happy when she was willing to drink hot cocoa with me!).
Thursday: THANKSGIVING! That morning during personal study, I just happened to be reading Alma 26, which is basically the perfect chapter to read on Thanksgiving as a missionary. I have decided that Alma 26 is my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon and that Ammon is my hero! He acknowledges EVERYTHING to the Lord and never complains! He has the ultimate attitude of gratitude! And it gets to the point where he “fell to the earth”!
We also had our first English District Meeting. Elder Chui’s first sentence was “I have never been so stressed during my entire mission” and he’s served for 20 months. But his English was fine. And the APs joined us so Elder Huang translated for Elder Chen and Sister Gong.
Also we stressed the elders big time that night. After our ward’s Thanksgiving potluck, there was A TON of leftovers so of course, the members gave it all to us. We drove to the elders’ pad to drop some of the food off, but when we got there, the elders told us they were going to be running a bit late. Since we had some down time, we went contacting! I was really driven to reach our goal of talking to 10 people that I didn’t even realize how dark and kind of sketchy the area was. And there was no sign of people. Nonetheless, I really believed that Heavenly Father would provide for us since we were diligent and faithful. When we got to the park, there was a man who was walking around so we started walking and talking with him. And Heavenly Father really did provide because he agreed to meet with us again to learn more about the restored gospel! As I was typing in his number on our phone, I saw that we had eight missed calls from the elders and one text that said “Please reply. We are worried about you sisters.” So after we said bye to our new friend, we started walking back to the elders’ pad. Turns out they legit thought we got kidnapped because we didn’t answer any of their phone calls and there were some sketchy people in the neighborhood and it freaked them out big time. But everything is okay!
Saturday: As I was reading the Book of Mormon, I came across Alma 29:8 which says,
“For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.” And then it hit me once again that serving in Chinese work is the BEST. We are literally preparing for the day when China opens its door. We are preparing for the big harvest! Each person we talk to, teach, and/or baptize is one more person who can take the gospel back to China. The Lord said that every nation and tongue will hear His word in His time and way. The big picture is sometimes overwhelming to think about but I am so grateful I get to be a part of the hastening of the work of salvation among the Chinese people.
Sunday: We went with the English sisters to do a pass off lesson with someone they found while tracting. I was so amazed by how they taught, especially with the fact that one has only been out for 4 or 5 months and the other has only been out for 3 months. They taught with love and boldness. Their testimonies were on fire and the Spirit was so strong! It was such a great learning opportunity and I was so grateful. Also, our new friend that they passed to us is the sweetest. She is still in high school but she really wants to develop a closer relationship with God. She has that real intent!
Also, remember that member referral we got a few weeks back? We gave her to the Alhambra sisters since it would be more convenient for her to go to the Valley Branch. And guess what? She got baptized last week and confirmed yesterday!! She was so prepared and I am so grateful for our member who recognized that and helped her receive the gospel!
Being a missionary has its golden times as well as its hard times. There were many days this past week when Sister Gong and I just felt dead beat. But when I remembered to count my blessings, things felt easier to handle and it gave me one last reserve of energy and motivation to continue doing the work. So count your blessings, people!! Even though Thanksgiving is over, we can still be in a mindset of thanksgiving every minute of everyday!
I am grateful for you all!!!