Aloha everybody! I thought I wrote last week, but it turns I was lazy and only half drafted an email.. whoops. Lots to say, sorry if it's long! It's also super scattered..
I did a virtual tour in Mandarin with Sister Adamson last week, and it went awesome! Sister Adamson is Chinese so I thought it was super nice that she gave me and the other sister missionaries on the call plenty of opportunities to bear our testimonies! The tour went amazing and we could all feel the spirit including Sam (the new member who took the tour). Someone to include in your prayers: My niece Vivian was born with a heart defect. She's not getting better enough for them to do the surgery like they were hoping. If you all could keep her in your prayers, that would be wonderful!
This week has been good. We've really been trying to bear our testimonies and teach people right away on TC because, every time we set up a time to meet in the future, they cancel. Most of the time without even telling us. I planted so many seeds this week! I had one guy come on and he said "what can you tell me about your church?" I told him I could share a lot then asked him how much time he had. It was a really cool teaching opportunity! He knew nothing about our church and simply wanted to learn more! We also had a baptism last Sunday!! His name is Brother Sphinx. He was someone I met on TC and I taught him a little about priesthood blessings and what they are. I asked him if he wanted one and he said yes! From then on he was interested in learning more from the missionaries! I'm so excited for him!! He was so troubled in the beginning and it makes me so happy to see how much the gospel can bless others!!
We've been trying to work so hard with Sister M. She's a nonmember friend in our area. It's been so back and forth. One moment she wants to meet with us, and the next she's apologizing saying she can't. She was very open to us over text about some of the feelings she was having about what she wants in life and said that she wanted to meet with us! Then an hour later she canceled. It was devastating. I didn't want to respond, but we felt prompted to tell her that the Lord loves her and that we would always be here for her. She didn't respond until the next day saying she thought about it and she wanted to meet with us the next day! So we did! From the beginning of the lesson she said "So I've been thinking a lot about my 2 weeks, and I want to start on June 1st." We asked what that was, and it's a fast from all the word of wisdom substances! (A previous Sister taught her about it) Sister Birchell later asked if she was planning on being baptized after the 2 weeks. She said that was the goal! So Sister Birchell said "how about the 18th?" And she said yes!! What an amazing miracle, she's finally ready! Her mom is also visiting for the first time. She's Italian and likes to drink, so Sister M. wanted to start her 2 weeks after her mom left. But she texted yesterday saying she's actually starting now!! She is ready to turn her life around and I'm so grateful we get to witness it! She is being a fantastic example for her mom. She's such a kind soul and I literally cannot wait to see how much the gospel will bless her and her daughter!! Please pray that all goes well as she prepares for baptism!
I went on exchanges with one of the sisters in my district this week and they went good! She reminds me a lot of myself before the mission. I was pretty shy and didn't like talking to people. She says she chose to serve for selfish reasons haha. She knew it would help her grow. I let her know that I also chose to serve for selfish reasons. And good reasons, haha. But I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to improve ourselves by serving a mission. Looking back on how much we have grown since being here is stunning! It doesn't feel like much has changed, but it really has! Dedicating 18-24 months of your life to service is a big deal! And spending all that time learning about Jesus Christ and doing what he would do really helps us become more like him!
One of the prompts or questions in the letter to my mission president is "how have you seen the hand of the Lord in your work this past month?" To be honest, I really wasn't seeing it at first. It felt like every miracle of people wanting to learn more was ripped away from me as they ghosted us a day later. I knew the Lord was trying to teach me something (patience, or the fact that people have their free agency). But after weeks of nothing going anywhere, it was pretty discouraging. I started lacking faith that any interaction was going to go anywhere. I feel horrible saying that, but it was true. But I kept thinking about the scripture in D&C where the Lord chastens Joseph in Liberty Jail.
"Thou are not yet as Job" and "All these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good." I know I need to be more patient and faithful, because all of the sudden Brother Sphinx got baptized, and now Sister M. is on date! It just goes to show that everything happens according to His timing. So don't be discouraged if it feels like you're not experiencing miracles. They're on their way as we stay faithful! Love you all! I don't blame you if you didn't get through the whole email lol. Have the bestest week! -王姐妹