Mikell A: Mom, it is sweat... you just kind of shine here, but good news, I've never had more moisturized skin! My rough elbows... gone!:)
Description of climate and culture
I wanted to share a bit about my life. It is hot, and humid, and nothing really dries here. Clothes, gotta hang them after the dryer and fan dry them and imagine this, after we shower, we can go to church and come back by 3:30 in the afternoon and there are still puddles of water on the bathroom floor. Yep. You get used to not really knowing what any of the businesses are because you can't read the sign, but it's good, super not distracting. When you see a white person it's strange, and people will do a double take to really understand if you are speaking Chinese. All food trash is put in the freezer until you can take it out, otherwise it'll attract the cockroaches that are in your house and flies. This is my life, and I love it soo much! The people are amazingly nice, and the members are so faithful.
Chinese cool fact for the week, magnify is "guangda" Translated literally: light big.
So let your light be big this week and magnify your calling! Magnify your light!
I've also really liked 1 Nephi 18:15-16, always praise God! Praise Him because He loves us and is really taking care of everything.
This week, wow, what a week. I learned a lot, don't know if I can share all of it, but I'll share some of my favorite parts :) This week we definitely saw miracles, but they weren't in numbers of people we contacted or number of lessons we taught. I was taught through the miracle of the Spirit. Having the Spirit with us is a miracle we need to never forget, and a gift we ought to use often! I realized this week how easy, even for people who know they shouldn't and have studied where priorities ought to be, to be selfish and also to get caught in success of numbers. This week was rough, because it was the first week I've been here that we found no new investigators, no one really wanted to talk to us, walked the most, and a lot of investigators died (figuratively speaking of course...). It was hard, and I thought it was because of me or because our companionship wasn't doing something right, and a lot of things presented themselves as reason these "bad things" were happening to us... but on Saturday I finally listened to what the Lord has been trying to tell me, to think of others. I thought, well, I have been. Everyday I'm thinking about where to find, who to talk to, and trying to be obedient... and after thinking those thoughts, I realized how I felt. Defensive. Making excuses and not accepting that really the Lord knows me. If I need to think of others, I need to think of others more, and in a less selfish way than I had been. I feel like Sunday He really tried to pound this point in, because I was going through some papers and found a piece of scratch paper Sister Jasperson had written on at our last Zone meeting. On it she'd written some concerns and questions I didn't know she had, but if I had thought and asked her I might have understood more. I also realized it can't be easy to come into a new area and be senior companion but not know the area or the investigators, and the first week you're here, is the lowest numbers report for a while. After this I have a whole new outlook on others. I'm still working on this, and still trying to think of them, but the biggest miracle of the week is probably that through the Atonement we can receive guidance and correction and change. I know it'll take time, but I know I need to take better care of the others I can. Thinking of their needs. Love and serve the investigators that still live, and continue to draw closer to the Savior.
From this revelation comes this week's challenges and successes. It is hard to have all the baptisms for June fall through. It's hard to see people I love reject the gospel after they've told me of blessings that have come into their life or that they know it is true. And it probably will be a little hard to tell our zone that we didn't reach our goal, not even close. BUT from June, two investigators moved to places they have a much better chance of attending church thus can be baptized. I learned new teaching skills, and grew in my faith. We worked hard, set high goals, and focused more on acheivng those goals. I definitely repented more and was changed.
Overall, this week and this month, I've realized I'm so far from perfect. Though I may know in my head something is right, I still need to be very aware of my actions and thoughts to keep them in line with that knowledge until it becomes more of a habit. And I remembered, Heavenly Father, God of the Heavens and the Earth, knows me. Knows my name. And He loves me. That alone should be enough to make me smile everyday, and it does. It does.
Have a great summer! Stay safe and remember to spread the gospel when the opportunity presents itself... and it will :)
Love you all sooooooo much!