9 months out, 9 to go
I love it here and I love Sister Morris and we learned so much this week and she is just so spiritual. She knows how the spirit talks to her and is super receptive and has so many great new ideas!!
Wow, I really loved this week but the best weeks come from harder times. Funny how that works. This week on Saturday Sister Morris was saying we are out contacting alot. I laughed, and had to agree. The Temple Sisters, in their small training with us this past week, said something that really affected me, they said some people are reapers and some are sowers. I thought about that and the image of a sower, who was called for a time to sow seeds in an area, complaining that there were no plants to reap in his area. I know that we also reap here, but I was reminded we have to be grateful and find the joy in our plot of ground. DaTong is an amazing place and it is really bringing forth miracles, not in the ways I expected or necessarily wanted, but they are coming, and always have been! This week a huge miracle (besides Sister Morris riding safely her first full week on the bike) was meeting an unknown less active member, while at the library using facebook. I asked this lady next to me to check a few characters and after a while she asked, are you two missionaries? And we said yes, she replied, I'm a member, and I was like, "what?" "Do you live near here?" And she said yes... she explained, she was baptized 11 years ago but after her fuyin zhanglao left she didn't feel very welcome at church and had a few bad experiences which left her not trusting of members. She said she still believes but has been attending another church. So the meeting her was miracle number 1, but the next miracle is the power of helping people feel needed and of worth. After trying everything to schedule with her again or get her number (service, eat dinner together, meet at her house, English class, church, etc.) I invited her to peike (translate) for us next Friday night. After asking a few questions, she said yes!! Ok, so an less active is translating for another couple of less actives, but we are hoping she will be able to feel the Spirit and feel the joy of the gospel again! It was amazing!!!
Other than that, I've just learned so much this week! In our companionship we read the "adjusting to Missionary Life" booklet a little and talked about strees. After doing the assessment together we talked about some of the suggestions and things we could do to help, mostly just trying to help Sister Morris adjust to missionary life, though I had stresses as well of course. One thing I didn't expect about training is moving slower. Not like in a less effective way, but I didn't fully anticipate the time it really does take to prepare her for the day, showing her the area, practicing, getting her bike and into a new routine, etc. Everthing just takes a little bit longer so that we can both be fully prepared and equally yoked. That is a goal for the week, to be equally yoked and prepared for lessons. I was reading D&C 101:50 and 68 and really helped me understand that is a part of training. My trainer had to do the same thing I'm sure. It is not my job to find the new investigators so she can practice teaching, and not my responsibility to have the lessons set up for the week and peikes so we can smoothly go in, it is my responsibility to follow the Spirit in helping her become a missionary. A full purpose missionary. To help her make phone calls. To help her practice contacting and setting up people on the street. It is important for me to demonstrate (whether good or bad) and then we can practice and then to let her do it, with me always there to back her up. It's very different from being junior companion. Also, it takes a lot of discipline and obedience, because she follows my example. She follows everything I do! I've never been more conscious of the decisions I'm making in my life. But, our companionship is great, we are going to not have stress as much this week, we'll laugh and sing. She'll keep speaking up (and I'll keep... stopping talking). It is awesome, such a great experience to always be learning and working and growing together as we are engaged in this amazing work!!
Thank you all for your support, prayers and testimony! Love you for eternity!
Love, Sister Smith
I'm Sister Smith, missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm serving in the Taiwan, Taipei mission until July 2015.