This week had a rough start but it ended on a good note.I hit a really gloomy mood which I just couldn't fight off for a day or two. The rejection we faced this week didn't help either but the good news is the gloom eventually lifted and I was able to feel like myself again when the weekend came :) Huge blessing! Now that I look back on our week, there were so many wonderful things that happened that I've now forgotten the gloom I might have experienced:
We have been seeing Yi every day to help prepare him for baptism on the 20th. I am sure he is sick of seeing us everyday by now haha. He is doing really well and his faith and testimony has grown so much over the past couple of weeks. For the majority of the week we taught him the commandments. It always amazes me when investigators are willing to keep the commandments we teach them. It shows that they have so much faith.
This week Sister Merrill and I taught a former investigator found in our area book named Cheryl. She was found by Sister Missionaries over a year ago and they had taught her a lot. She got really busy and never had time to meet with them. We called at the beginning of January to see if she was still interested and she told us she was and for us to call back at the end of the month. So we did and we were able to schedule a time to see her. The information left about her on her teaching record mentioned that Cheryl wanted to make a connection with God and prayer has never been a big part of her life. With that in mind, we made the focus of our lesson on the Book of Mormon and prayer how she can make that connection with God though prayer and through the Book of Mormon''a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book'' ( Book of Mormon Intro). The Spirit was definitely there during the lesson and we could tell it was teaching Cheryl because it looked like things of the gospel were finally starting to click for her. I love being able to teach to investigators needs and watch them grow in the process. At the end of the lesson, we asked her to say the closing prayer, which she resisted for a bit. She didn't see the purpose of prayer if God knows everything.
That got me thinking.. ''Why do we pray if God knows and sees everything?'' The answer is quite simple: We are all sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who know us individually and personally. We each have a unique and special relationship with Him. He knows us but we don't know Him since we have forgotten our life before we came to this earth. It will remain that way until we speak to Him in prayer. Through prayer we can grow and develop the relationship we already had with our Heavenly Father before we came to this world.
This week I went on exchange in Macclesfield-- a part of England that contains the countryside. It was so beautiful there! It was nice break from the hustle and bustle of a big city. The trip to Macclesfield wasn't pretty in the sense that we took the bus to exchange and it turned out to be a near 2 hour bus ride.. oh boy! Lesson learned, lesson learned. At least I got to meet some really nice people while we were on the bus :) I really enjoyed being on exchange there. It is always nice to learn from different areas and the missionaries, members, and people that live there. I have definitely developed a 6th sense-- the ability to spot Chinese people everywhere. We were walking in the neighborhood where the Sisters live and I spotted a little girl in a window of a house and saw that she was Chinese. We quickly proceeded to tract the house. The Chinese mom was way nice! She told me she was Christian and she wanted to go to church on Sunday.Woot! I can't wait to follow up on that with the Macclesfield Sisters.
This Sunday, Sister Merrill and I gave talks in sacrament meeting (I was doing so good at dodging that bullet until now! haha). I gave a talk on the Word of Wisdom. It was a wonderful opportunity and I gained an added sense of appreciation that Heavenly Father has given us divine revelation on how we can take care of the gift He has given us, our bodies, by living this law of health. We can also increase of ability for spiritual blessings as we live it.
Saturday was Ben's baptism ! Going back to Liverpool was the highlight of my week. Going to a former investigator's baptism is the closest you can get to a vacation as a missionary because there is so much joy with being able to go back to an old area that you love to see again the people you love. Sister Merrill and I both LOVE Liverpool and we had a good time reminiscing as we were there. After eating tea by the bus station I saw Linsa and her family, former investigators of mine. When the bus finally came, I sat next to this young man and had a really great lesson with him on the bus. He accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and is sincere about reading it. Oh how I love bus contacting in Liverpool..! It felt good to be back and I felt at home. The baptism went well and Ben looked so happy. He is so pure at heart. He will be a great strength to the ward. Our time at the baptism was short because we had to leave to catch our train back to Manchester.
BUT we will be back again next week for another baptism. Luo Xing had his interview for baptism and he is ready to be baptized on the 15th! Crazy! Seriously one of the hugest miracles I've seen on my mission thus far. Sister Loh and I have both asked Luo Xing why he wants to be baptized all of the sudden and he has said he wanted to repent and it is for some other ''personal reasons'' he hasn't revealed yet. I suppose Heavenly Father has told him something he isn't comfortable sharing yet.
This week our Zone hit an all high of 64 member present lessons! I am pretty sure that is the highest its been in at least awhile all through out the mission. We are truly uniting our efforts with the members. Love it.
The end of another transfer has steadily crept back on us. This transfer has gone incredibly fast and I am not ready to leave the Manchester YSA or serving with Sister Merrill. Regardless, I will go where the Lord wants we and serve with who He wants me to serve with.
Funny moment of the week:
As we were getting a lift back to our flat after church yesterday, we saw this black man in a spider-man colored suit. I thought it was funny and made the comment ''Wow! I didn't know spider-man was black!'' The YSA member driving us asked ''Why is he walking?'' Then I said ''it must be because it is the Sabbath.'' Yep. Spider-man lives here in Manchester, is black, and he keeps the Sabbath by not swinging on his web on Sunday. Hope that gave you all a good laugh.
The more I study the gospel and the Book of Mormon, the more I realize how beautiful it is. If we have faith in our Savior, we can overcome our weakness. We all have the opportunity to repent because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When we repent, our guilt is washed away and it is replaced with peace and joy. We can follow the example of our Savior and be baptized and have a fresh start. We will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost after we are baptized and we will have the right to his companionship as long as we remain worthy. We can endure to the end, but we don't have to do it alone. We can go to the temple and receive the power, knowledge, and protection that comes from keeping the covenants we can make it the temple. The gospel is simple. The gospel is true. Heavenly Father lives and loves us. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior. His truth has been restored in its fullness here on earth. I hope all of you will come to feel just how precious the gospel and its truths are as I have.
Love you all!