Happy Mother's Day to everyone!!
I had a great call with my family this morning, the time just flies by and I feel like nothing really that important gets said haha but I love my family and it was so great to hear your voices!
I am so grateful for my Mother! There are few people in my life who are even near approaching my Mom for how much they have influenced and changed me. I can't even begin to express how I am grateful for her love and example. She is such a proactively loving person, it's something I really admire about her. Always going out of her way to do things for friends and family. So selfless. The more I serve the more I really really appreciate my parents, and the more I see how they were right and I was wrong(unfortunately) haha and the more I see how they really rubbed off on me. I can remember many times on family trips when my Mom would just sit and ask me about how life was going and suddenly we would be talking about everything and all my stress would be gone! What Elder Holland says about mothers is so true, that "no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Christ that the selfless love a mother has for her child."
My new companion and I had a bit of a hard week, we're still getting used to one another, and working together to get the work done. A lot of our investigators are taking finals right now so we didn't meet with too many of them, but we had some amazing experiences with members and being out on the street! We met a group of like 6 moms from Guang Dong and all their children, and they all have interest! We said a prayer with all of them and it was so cute! All the little kids folded their arms and bowed their head, and at the end said Amen. They don't realize the Spirit that that brought to that little park. It was amazing. We also taught this homeless man who obviously had some drug issues, and ended up on the topic of that Atonement. As we taught it tears filled his eyes, and he looked at us asking, imploring, really? Is it true? Is it possible? I felt so blessed to be able to look at him in the eyes, and say yes. The hope that I saw in his eyes in that moment was indescribable. I hope we can continue to help him to know that he has a Savior, and he can be made whole again.
This last week I had the greatest privilege to speak to a youth conference of members from all over mainland China, and wow I just loved looking at all their wonderful faces! We got to share all about our experiences and answer questions, and the instructor shared a message I will never forget. He talked of angels, in chinese it's tianshi, tian means heaven, and shi means messenger. He talked about how we don't realize the Spirit that we have as missionaries, and it's something that a lot of people take for granted. But in mainland, they don't have missionaries, they can't preach the gospel, they can't even talk about it with others. He said when we walked in to share our message, we were like angels to him, who hadn't seen missionaries in so long. And that is just another privilege of being a part of the amazing work of God, that we, like any member, can be the angels sent by God, right when His children need us. I have thought of so many times in my mission when I know I was guided by the hand of God to talk to people who needed comfort, I have never thought what it must have been like from their perspective, to be approached by complete strangers, and to feel of God's love from them, when they needed it most. The work is just one big miracle, and we as missionaries, and as members have the privilege to be the angles that hoist up and help bear up the fallen and trudging and tired around us. We may not realize it but it is what we do every day! I know my Mother is a great example of this, I know she has been an angel for me, and for many many others.
As I approach my year mark in the field I have been pondering a lot about how I can keep progressing, keep being a better missionary disciple of Christ, and how I can keep a bright burning fire of faith and desire to share, because it is not always easy! Keeping such a state of faith is not easy, it's probably why so many just choose not to believe, because it requires no effort to not believe. As I was pondering this I had a few thoughts come to mind. One of them was "don't wait on the road to Damascus" waiting for some big experience to cap off my first year and push me off in to my next, instead, continue focusing on the miracle of the day, remember what I have learned, seen, felt, experienced, and loved. And to remember that this is about the Lord, His work, and Heavenly Father's children, not me. These two messages came to me very quickly as I studied after my prayer, it was almost in chastisement, but it was what I was looking for! We don't need to be told exactly what to do to keep having great spiritual moments are huge testimony building experiences, instead we endure to the end, constantly repenting, and remembering what it is all about, the Lord, HIs work, and Heavenly Father's children. Everything else will follow. It's another part of the continual shift of perspective that I have needed here in the mission from before looking at me me me how I can be better, I need this that, how I can find people, etc, to the Lord, what Heavenly Father's children need of me, and trusting myself into the Master's hands. These are His investigators, His members, His church, and His two years.
Again so happy to talk to my family today I love you all so much!! Thanks for being the best!
Pics will have to wait another week sorry!