We got to experience somewhat of a California-experience. We had forest fires this past week up in the mountains that we are right next to. The sky was so ashy and the sun was red and it was just dirty. But luckily, we didn’t have to evacuate! And we were still able to work so blessings.
So besides forest fires, I feel like there was a lot of spiritual fire. So much happened this past week, but something that stuck out to me was that I felt the spirit in more abundance, especially when we taught lessons. Still working on being more in tune with the Spirit’s
promptings and having those spiritual experiences. And Heavenly Father is definitely aware of my desire. Last Tuesday, we had interviews with President Villanueva and I told him that that was one of the things I really want to focus on. Then after interviews, Sister Villanueva came out and worked with us from 4:00-9:00 (but I’m so sad because we forgot to take a picture afterwards.)! It was a really great experience to work with President’s wife in the area and to talk about our sisters with her and get her input and advice. She is the tiniest person, but she has so much power and spiritual fire. I remember the lessons that we taught with her, I felt the spirit really strongly with directing us what to say and when to pause and be silent and what questions to ask. I love that feeling when you feel the Spirit speak through you.
On Thursday, our district meeting was on the topic of improving our teaching skills and teaching to people’s needs. And of course, you need the Spirit to do so. It’s really neat the fact that when you seek for something – especially how to improve – Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will provide. During that district meeting, so many ideas and thoughts of how to improve were flowing into my head. We discussed it as a companionship and set goals for how we are going improve our teaching skills. We had some really cool experiences in teaching lessons as a result from that.
On Friday, we were meeting with our progressing family. They have a bit of a funky situation, but we got permission from President that they can be baptized in our Ward! We told them the news and it was good, but something’s still holding the dad back from fully committing to coming to our Ward. Through the spirit, we were able to ask many inspired questions and get more of the “iceberg” (their real concerns, instead of just the shallow or surface ones). The spirit was also working through them because the mom came up with the idea for the dad to talk with the Bishop from the other Ward one last time. We got a
text from the dad last night telling us that he has decided to commit to coming to our Ward! They just need to come this upcoming Sunday and then the family can get baptized!
It was also in that lesson where we invited him to help us with a reading part in the musical fireside that we are organizing. He’s not confident in his reading, so I felt prompted to share Ether 12:27 with him and promise blessings. I remember very distinctly the words just coming out of my mouth as I promised him that this specific reading
assignment will build his confidence and bless him for the rest of his life.
On Sunday, we went to swing by our favorite couple. They have been reading the Book of Mormon and praying sincerely. We felt prompted to reset expectations though, so that’s what we did and now they are really considering the idea and reality of getting baptized. There’s still many hurdles they need to get through, but it is something they said they will do! They also gave us confirmation that we teach by the spirit because the wife told us how she’s very impressed with the way we teach because she feels like we really know the gospel and the doctrine (hooray for studies every morning!) and the things we share as well as the answers we give are very appropriate and what they need to hear. I almost started tearing up because I knew that was Heavenly Father’s way of telling me that my teaching skills are okay and it is helping people. She told us we were very good representatives of our church. I’m so grateful to be an instrument in God’s hands. I am weak and simple and even after 17 months, I still can’t teach that well, but I’m grateful that He allows the spirit to work through me and help the people we meet.
We got to attend a Spanish baptism service on Saturday because they needed a pianist. Now I can say I’ve been to a Chinese, English and Spanish baptism on my mission! But no matter the language, I can testify that the spirit is the same. I couldn’t understand anything, except for maybe Jesus Christ and the sacrament prayer (it was used in talk), but it felt so happy and right. The person who got baptized is the dad of a part-member family. It was really exciting because in a year, that family can get sealed in the temple for all time and eternity! This gospel is perfect and it brings so much happiness!
I love love love being a missionary! I say this every week but it’s so true! We definitely have our battles and struggles, sometimes they become so overwhelming, but I have a firm testimony that Jesus Christ is with us all the time. He’s helped me so much this past week and throughout my mission and life. I know He lives. I also am so grateful for the power of prayer, that when we are truly sincere in our communication with our Heavenly Father, the heavens are opened and we feel love and peace.
Also, shout out to my brother, Elder Huang, for being in his final week in the MTC this week! You’re going to kill it in Taiwan and they are so excited for you!