I'll start off with talking about some of my favorite people here, Ricky and his wife Rovelyn. They are both from the Phillipines and they are seriously so amazing!! Ricky was a less active who just got reactivated this weekend which was so great! He had previously shown some musical talent and interest in piano so I offered to teach him one on one to help him progress fast and provide the ward with a reliable pianist. He has a super hard work schedule so it is hard to set up time, and the day of our lesson he called and said that he had to move it back an hour because his boss is making him work from 12am to 12pm, so he moved the lesson to 1pm. I was so shocked I was like Ricky go get some sleep!! But he refused, and his wife Rovelyn, who was quite sick, also wanted to come so she could listen and watch her husband learn music.
They both showed up with huge bags, but the biggest smiles on their faces, he was so excited to learn music! It is definitely a skill I have taken for granted in my life, I just about started bawling when I saw them two come in with such enthusiasm and excitement. And he is picking it up so fast! We also have been teaching them a lot about families and they have a goal to be sealed in the temple next year and I'm so excited for them! I have never met people with such positive attitude in the face of such hard situations, he is the smiliest man ever. He recently has also been worthy enough to get the priesthood, and I asked him why he wants to do it, and he said "so that I can make people feel stronger, like you two elders." It just touched me so much, because little does he know we are far weaker than him. I told him truly it was the opposite, that his faith was strengthening mine far more than mine was his. I also have found a lot of people in the ward with a little bit of musical background that have a lot of promise, so I'll be starting a weekly free class for everyone with basic music education, I've been writing the curriculum during my free time at night before bed. I really hope to serve the ward well this way, I truly believe music is one of the best ways to feel the Spirit, and it makes me sad to think of any ward without someone on the piano helping them all sing hymns to God together.
|Ryan teaching Ricky some simple hymns|
Elder Ma and I have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday! I'm super excited for Tang Yang and we are praying extra hard and meeting with him as much as possible to make sure everything goes over smoothly and that he is fully ready for everything. He is super humble and just so ready. I feel it has been a privilege teaching him this past month and can't wait for him to experience baptism.
Our buddy Feng (the one I gave a baptismal date to last week) came to another sister's baptism this last week and was just so curious and excited to watch! He has never seen anything like it. He is just so fascinated and excited by religious things, like a child, it is amazing to see God touching this gruff dude and just seeing the light of Christ in him. I'm excited for him to keep learning, he has so much potential!
This week I pondered a lot about thoughts, in Alma 32 it talks about taking thought to nourish the seed of faith. It made me think about what are the other seeds I am nourishing in my mind? The basic germs of our conduct are our thought, and we nourish those seeds into behavior and action by though. Every mistake, testimony, fear, etc starts with a small seed of desire, curiosity or interest that we think about. Spencer W. KImball said "to a great extent we accomplish what we think about. Your life is influenced more by your own thoughts than anything else. How could a person possibly become what he is not thinking? Nor is any thought, when entertained, too small to have its effect. The 'divinity that shapes our end' is indeed ourselves. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being a complete sum of his thoughts." So what do I spend my time thinking about? About ways to help my investigators progress? About how I can be a better missionary? About my Savior and what He has done for me and how I have seen Him change lives out here? Do I think negative thoughts, angry thoughts, distracted thoughts etc. Like David O mckay said, "I will know what you are if you tell me what you think when you don't have to think." Changing our thoughts is changing our nature, and it is something I want to change about myself, truly focusing my thoughts on my calling here, on my Savior and His Atonement, on my investigators, and not only the negative, the things I miss, or even any small distraction. So I would invite everyone to think about what you think about, especially when you don't have to think. What seeds are you nurturing? And that will help you see what you are. If it's not what you like or what or who you want to be, change your thoughts. Change your nature. It's a huge part of being a missionary. And it has been a change I really needed. I love being a missionary, I love wearing Christ's name every day and being reminded what he did for me! I love seeing people change, and being changed by others!
Love you all!