We had an AMAZING week this past week! I feel like I say that about every week, but this week was seriously BOMB. I think I’ll go backwards starting from yesterday.
Yesterday was Zone Conference and it was all about getting the California Arcadia Mission on FIRE. Our leaders focused a lot on being more sincere and diligent in contacting as well as working with church leaders and members. Man, I felt like I was on fire (figuratively) when we left. Sister Gong and I have been working on balancing out our contacting so this Zone Conference was perfect. A lot of helping Sister Gong with being a successful missionary comes from building up her confidence. And I don’t know what happened during Zone Conference since she didn’t understand anything (and they didn’t want me to translate during the meeting) but after, she was literally a different person while contacting. She took initiative in talking to people and just having a normal conversation with them. And as we walked from one place to the next, I did English boot camp with her. AND SHE REMEMBERED IT ALL!!!! We had a whole conversation in English!!!!! I am probably the proudest and happiest companion right now.
Also, being in a trilingual zone has been such a big blessing. I know I was insanely sad about the Chinese zone splitting, but now, I can see how much of a blessing it is. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging in helping Sister Gong learn English. I am determined to get her to be able to contact in English before we get split up. I feel like Heavenly Father has given me so many opportunities to help and put my companions first and I feel like I just haven’t been able to do that. But I am grateful He has given me another chance to help Sister Gong gain enough confidence so she can be the successful missionary she wants to be. And at the same time, she is teaching me SO much! We were talking about it last night and both of us agreed that just in the past two weeks together, we both have grown the most out of our whole time on the mission.
We have a dear less active friend who hasn’t come to church for over 20 weeks. She is very diligent in reading the Book of Mormon and praying everyday, but due to some unnamed circumstances, it’s very hard for her to come to church. She has expressed many times that she wants to share her testimony at church though so we told her last week that she had that opportunity since it was testimony meeting. When we met with her last week, we decided to have a mini testimony meeting. We were all touched by the Spirit and it definitely pumped her up to bear her testimony on Sunday. Sunday came and she bore her humble testimony. Can you just imagine the happiness that comes from seeing a dear friend come back to church after 20 weeks and hearing her testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and the Book of Mormon? Blessed.
So remember how I was stressing over our progressing investigator who was keeping all the commitments but still not knowing if God exists. I feel like we have been doing everything we can to help her develop and strengthen her faith for the past two months. It’s definitely been testing our faith and patience, but after fasting for her on Sunday, I felt peace with where we were all at. I know that Heavenly Father has a specific time for her to receive her answer and I feel like He has given me the patience I need to wait for when that time comes.
Nevertheless, we are continuing to have great lessons with her and with AWESOME members present. During one of our lessons last week, I was struggling HARDCORE with Chinese and speaking in general. After I stumbled through the explanation, our peike, Sister Chen, bore a sincere and fervent testimony that what we said was true. My speech, plus Chinese, is definitely a huge area of weakness and it has been a struggle during my mission, but Sister Chen reminded me that God has given me other strengths so I can still help people learn and love and convert to the gospel. And she brought such a special spirit into the lesson that I know touched our investigator’s heart.
I felt like we came home every night so exhausted. Nothing feels better than coming home after a hard day’s work of rejections but even more tender mercies. I love love love being a missionary!!!! It is the biggest blessing ever and it is the happiest work.
I love you all!!!!!!! So happy that the Christmas season has begun!!!