Monday, September 9, 2013
Recognizing The Spirit
Hello Friends and Family!
This week I have seen the pattern of how the Lord will always give us promptings from the Spirit that we can understand.
This past Saturday was ''consecrated finding'' where every companionship of missionaries sets aside 4 hours devoted to finding people that are interested in learning more about the gospel. We do it the Saturday after every transfer. So Sister Loh and I brought out our recent convert, Yan , to go street contacting down at the university. Yan was on fire! She is just so exicted to share the gospel with everyone and she needed little advice on how to street contact. We had no idea where we should start and so we stopped and prayed. I had the thought to head towards a park but I wasn't sure where any parks were. We started walking anyway towards the one park in sight and we started seeing Chinese students every where and I took that as a confirmation that we were on the right path. A lot of them we were able to stop, we invited to the Chinese activity that is this month on the 21st and a lot of them seemed interested.
The greatest miracle that I would count towards consecrated finding would have to be towards the end of the day when Sister Loh and I could not decide whether we should go to our teaching appointment, which was a risk because we would have returned home really late, or go home to do some well needed study. To buy us some time to think (no pun intended), we decided we were going to have dinner out since we were already in town. We stop at the first restaurant in our sight called Nandos, look at the menu, and neither of us were all that interested in the food or the prices. We spotted a restaurant that served Mexican tapas and the thought of Mexican food sounded good so we went to check out that menu. Still not too persuaded to decide on this restaurant, we stood there for awhile trying to decide what to eat. Sister Loh looked around and spot this little sundae/ice cream hut and she was like ''want some ice cream'' and I was like ''yep!'' . It was strange to want ice cream because we had been bearing the cold all day but we went anyway to check it out. After looking at the menu and trying to decide which sundae we wanted to split, we started talking to the young man named Jack who was working at the stand. He told us that his usual job is being a bartender at the Marriott hotel next door but this day he filled in at the ice cream hut and had to read the ingredients to how to make each sundae. He noticed our badges and we explained how we were missionaries. He ended up telling us that he comes from a very religious Christian family and that he was still on the quest to find the truth for himself. He also said that he desires to have evidence of the truth just how science has evidence to its theories. With smiles on our faces, Sister Loh and I were probably both thinking how prepared he was to hear the gospel. I told him that there was evidence of the truth and we introduced Alma 32 to him. He was impressed by this scripture. We told him he could have his own copy of the Book of Mormon and he told us that he would give it a read. We also gave him the address to the church, which is not too far from where he lives. He told us that he probably could not make it to church this past Sunday, which he didn't, but next week he would be free. Keep Jack in your prayers! Looking back to how we met Jack, I realized how we were prompted by our hunger to go from one restaurant to the other until we finally got to the stand where he worked. The Lord works in mysterious ways? haha.
One last experience I had with receiving promptings in a line of thought that I can understand happened this morning actually. I just received the banana bread recipe in the mail so I decided to make some this morning. I popped it onto the top shelf in the oven and timed it to be done after we all finished personal study. Twenty minutes into personal study, I realized the flat started smelling like pizza which is unusual because when ever I make banana bread it usually creates an aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon. Then I realized that I hadn't even put cinnamon or nutmeg in (awkward) so I ran into the kitchen to see if I could add it in last minute. I open the oven and notice that the bread had risen and hit the top of the oven and was beginning to burn. I pulled of the burnt part and thought it would be ok if I put it on a lower shelf. I sat back down to study for maybe 10 more minutes and still felt that it seemed smokey so I got up again to discover that this time it was even more burnt! Oops! I pulled the bread out and scraped off the entire top layer because it was as black and late. I managed to save the insides of the bread and rolled it into banana bread balls that could be dipped in Nutella. All was not lost! I think next time I know to not turn the oven on at the temperature it calls for in the recipe or leave things unattended during study time.
The work has picked up so much this week. We surpassed our goal of having 15 total lessons by having 17! The last transfer we hadn't been in a double digit total lessons since the first week so we were pretty excited to see more success and the fruit of our labors.
I read the September Ensign this morning and I loved every article I was able to read so far. There is one by Elder Uchtdorf called ''Saints in every Season'' and then I also really liked the one by Elder Holland called ''The Justice and Mercy of God.'' I encourage you all to read these articles. They are so good. I learned from Elder Uchtdorf's article that we must have stormy seasons if we are to return to live with our Heavenly Father. These experiences may be hard to go through but they are necessary and with the Lord's help they are possible to bear. From Elder Holland's article I realized how wrong the cliche saying of ''ignorance is bliss'' is. We can't be saved in our ignorance but we must diligently seek the truth so that we can unlock ourselves from the bondage we are under when we make errors. It finally clicked in my head today that the truth does set you free! God must follow justice but he is also just as merciful. May we all be able to have the humility and faith it takes to be truly penitent and start anew with the cleansing power of Christ's Atonement. I am grateful for the agency we are given and for the ability we have to overcome our mistakes and return to live with our Father in Heaven again because of the Atonement.
I think I wrote about Amy's family last time, the one family with 6 children. One of the last times we saw them, Kelly, Emily and Daniel told us how excited they were to be baptized. Only thing is, they currently aren't able to attend the full 3 hours of church because of the classes they have on Sunday which means they cannot be baptized yet since full church attendence is a requirement in order to be baptized. Their mom, Amy, has told us that she really wants them to have Chinese class because she feels like they will be missing out on their culture if they do not learn the language of their roots. Understandable, but it is nonetheless a road block that they need to over come in order to be baptized. It is sad that they aren't able to be baptized at the moment but we know that one day they will be able to be baptized.
I love you all!