Last week was one of the craziest, most stressful, and best weeks of my mission! We had another batch of missionaries arrive on Wednesday as well as the normal transfer which was pretty crazy, then right after that we had Zone Conferences from Thursday to Saturday. Zone Conference is just when we see 3 different zones of missionaries come through and we, President Lam, Elder James, and some other various mission leaders and people do trainings and stuff. It was a little stressful getting everything ready in time, but it went so well! It was fun to see all the missionaries of the mission, including lots of friends and acquaintances. It was a privilege to listen to all the trainings three times and see as they changed according to the needs and the guidance of the Spirit. It was a testimony builder to me to see how everything was so connected in the meeting even though we never discussed a theme before hand. Our training went really well, everything ran smoothly, and the best part was that the Spirit was present throughout. I really hope it inspired and uplifted the missionaries. Our training was called "Teaching in the Savior's Way." It was a wonderful topic that I feel very passionately about, as does my companion Elder George, and it went very well. President Lam had a great training on the foundation of faith in the Atonement to help people truly repent, not just change behavior. Elder James had a great presentation on Sacrifice building faith. They were all wonderful and I could really write pages and pages on all of the topics, but I won't bore everybody haha.
Our investigator Steven is progressing very well. I'm amazed at how much we have changed, and how much we really enjoy teaching him and sharing with him. He is very receptive and listens. Most recently we emphasized the importance of scriptures. He is on track for his date in October, we have yet to tackle the problem of church attendance for him since he goes home to Shen Zhen in mainland every night. But we'll figure it out.
We had a huge blessing this week on Tuesday, which really set the tone for the rest of the week. I was feeling a little bit stressed on Tuesday because we have been so busy the past two weeks with office and mission things that we haven't been able to focus on the area and our investigators, so I was feeling a little bit like we weren't doing enough to magnify our calling to teach. And then this random mainland women came into the office from Henan and said she had a friend that she wanted us to teach. Of course we consented (somewhat hesitantly because of all the work we had to do) and went to teach her. As we began to teach her we learned that she is from Guangdong , so cantonese speaking, and lives in our area! And she was amazing, so many great questions and real interest in learning more! I couldn't believe how much of a miracle it was! I also couldn't believe that we were so hesitant to teach, and had such a limited perspective. It was a good lesson to me again to step back, and remember really why we are here. I am so grateful for that blessing, as undeserving as I am of it. He really does watch over us, and sends his children to those prepared to teach. I felt so grateful and happy that day, and was exactly what I needed personally to spiritually prepare for Zone Conference and everything. He knows what we need! Her name is Yip jm, and we should be seeing her again soon!
I pondered a lot about the Savior this last week, as everything we studied and heard really focused around him, who he was, and what he did for us. I am reminded of the words in the hymn we cannot even begin to imagine, or even understand the agony of Jesus Christ in those Atoning hours.
- We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.
We cannot even begin to imagine, or even understand the agony of Jesus Christ in those Atoning hours. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the reality of the Atonement. Yet I know that it happened, and that it was for us, and I have felt it in my life. I am inexpressibly grateful that he went through it for us, and overcame the world, so that we don't ever have to go through anything alone. I love the verse in 1 Nephi 21:15-16 "For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee... Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.." The Lord kept the scars on his hands though he already was resurrected not just to prove to all that he truly overcame death, but to also remind us that he will never ever forget anyone of us. The enormity of the atonement is also very very individual, he has graven each and every person's life experience upon his palms, that is why he is able to rejoice with us, as well as mourn with us in sorrows, and truly carry us home. I love the Savior. I thought a lot about why people lose the faith, the desire to continue to endure, the passion of the gospel, and it starts at their faith in Christ. They forget the Savior Jesus Christ and all that he has done. Though he will never ever forget a single soul, people forget him all the time, let the Atonement and his crucifixion become something rote and common place, close their hearts to him, then eventually they forget the Savior and excuses soon follow. It is amazing to see the investigators that have true faith in Jesus Christ, they have everything, all the commitments soon follow, and they convert to him. But those who never develop faith in the Savior and His Atonement have nothing. They may change behavior temporarily, but true conversion eludes them, and they have nothing. I hope to help all the investigators and less actives understand what the Savior really does mean to them, and to help them feel it, for the first time. I love what James E. Faust said in his talk on the Atonement: “Let me not forget, O Savior, Thou didst bleed and die for me.” I wonder how many drops were shed for me."
I thought about this question this weekend as well, how many drops were for me? How much did I add to the suffering of the Savior? I am so grateful for the Savior, I hope I will always remember the amazing gift of repentance, that helps me progress, and allows me to obtain mercy from the Father. It's impossible to talk about the Atonement enough, and it is hard to express my thoughts and feelings about it in words. But I know it did happen, it was for all of us, and I know he loves all of us.
I am so grateful to be on a mission representing Jesus Christ, it has been the best blessing of my life so far, I look forward to see what this week has in store, especially now that we have some more time to focus on the work!
Love you all!