It's transfer time here in our mission. I get to stay here in Liverpool! Sister Merrill is finally leaving Liverpool though after being here for 6 months :( She will be heading to Manchester to open a new area and to train. I know she is going to be such a blessing to her new area. We just dropped her off not too long ago at the coach that took the rest of the missionaries that are also leaving. To keep up with the tradition from when we leave Provo, Sister Loh and I ran after the coach.
I had 1st five weeks training last week where all of the missionaries who had came in come together with their trainers and we practiced contacting and we had other little training activities. It was great because I didn't get to know the other missionaries that came in this past transfer since I came a week after the official transfer.
I also had my second exchange last week, and this time I stayed in my area while my companion left. I was kind of nervous because I still feel like I have no idea what I am doing and I had to lead the whole exchange. Luckily, Sister Embley, the Sister I went on exchange with, had served in Liverpool before so she remembers how to get around. Sister Embley is another Chinese speaking Sister. She gave me a lot of advice about how to best learn the language. We ended up doing some street contacting down at the Uni with the sole purpose of finding Chinese students to hopefully teach one day. So I came up with a good way to stop them-- I would go up to them and in Chinese say 'hello! can you help me practice my Chinese?'' And it wasn't a lie either because I sincerely did want the practice. This technique worked pretty well! As we were going to cross the street that same night, I made eye contact with this man who wasn't Chinese. We started talking and then he looked at Sister Embley and I and then to me and said ''do you have something you want to ask me?'' and I was caught off guard so I just said ''uhh.. want to come to church?'' haha. Thank goodness for Sister Embley because she saved it by asking if we could share more about our church. He agreed and we ended up having a lesson on the spot, teaching him just about all of the first lesson on the restoration. We got to know him a little more when we sat down to teach. He told us he was Nigerian and that he was a PhD student here in Liverpool. He has met missionaries before and already had a Book of Mormon but didn't know where it was. When we ended the lesson he told us how he felt that God was sending him a message. He was impressed by how young people as ourselves could be so passionate about what they believe in. We gave him another copy of the Book of Mormon and he said he would read it and pray about it! Miracles that come from exchanges!
Sister Embley and I had a lesson that night with the one family with 6 children. Sister Loh and I had discussed before she left on exchange our desire to help them prepare for baptism. They have been meeting with missionaries forever and the children know so much and one of them have already expressed a desire to be baptized. So this lesson I felt like it was time to suggest a date for baptism-- October 19th. Why the 19th you ask? Well the two oldest girls are 10 and 9 and the next oldest is 7 and his birthday is next month. The 19th is perfect because they could all be baptized on the same day! I know they have a long way to go, one of them being that they need to be coming to church every Sunday, but I am putting my faith in them. Their mother can even be baptized soon as well. She speaks more Cantonese than Mandarin so Sister Loh taught her one day and I was told she asked very good questions and that she said she would start reading. I am not sure how much she understands when we teach her kids in English, but she seems like she has been listening in.
This past Saturday, Sister Loh, Merrill, Hubbard, and I went sing finding down in town. We got to where we decided we were going to go singing and we pulled out our hymn books and we were like ''wait.. are we really doing this?'' haha. We all felt kind of silly standing there singing with so many people around. A lot of people stood by to listen though, some more obvious than others. Sister Merrill went over to hand pass along cards to some ladies who had got up to leave but had been sitting and listening and they told her that we had lovely voices and asked her if we would be doing this every week. We might have to make a tradition out of this.
The work has picked up so much this past week! I knew September was going to bring blessings. We already have two new investigators and the week isn't even half way done yet. Woot! Which reminds me, Sister Loh and I have been going through the potential investigator list that was left by the Elders before us and we have called just about everyone on that list. A lot of them don't pick up and we really want to be done calling people by the end of this transfer. Like I said though, September has brought miracles. I called this one man on the list and in the description box it had said he was very busy and that he is a professor at the Uni. I called and he answered! Miracle number one. I asked if we could meet with him to talk about how the gospel can bless his family (he has a four month old daughter) and that we only needed 20 minutes. He agreed to meet with us earlier this week, miracle number two. We have our appointment with him and we explained the Godhead to him, which is something we commonly do with Chinese investigators. I told him how the Holy Ghost is how God communicates with us and at first he was very skeptical and said that he never thought God could communicate with us like that. Then later, after we described how the Holy Ghost feels, he was like ''yeah, I think I have felt something like that.'' Woah. Miracle number three. We closed our lesson and asked if he would like to offer the closing prayer. He was nervous about it but he said such a sincere prayer. In his prayer he said that he hoped he could meet with us again and that we could share more with him. Miracle number four. We invited him to church and he said he will come. I am still amazed by how prepared by the Lord he is. The Chinese work here in Liverpool is a work of miracles.
I have been surprised how the days we are the busiest and the days that require the most work and energy are always the most rewarding. Before we leave the flat for the day with a busy schedule I always feel overwhelmed and dread having to leave at 11am or 12pm when we won't get back until 9pm. It is because we accomplish so much and we reflect on how many people we were able to bring closer to Christ even if it was just a little one step closer. It is true, missionary work is exactly what it's called-- Work. but it is also fun and it brings me so much happiness when I am able to work hard every day.
Love you all! Cheerio :)