So some surprising transfer updates:
We are still doing our best to focus more on the members and visit a member-- active, less actives or recent converts, each day. There has been a shift in our key indicators as a result. We didn't teach as many investigator lessons this week but I trust that by focusing on the members all of our other key indicators will start to prosper as well. The areas where we might usual struggle (member present lessons and sacrament attendance) have already improved so much in just one week!
This past Sunday was Alex and George's last Sunday before they enter the MTC this week on Thursday. They will both be in the Preston MTC for 9 weeks learning Greek and then head out to Greece. I have only known them and their families for 3 months but I was crying during sacrament meeting listening to these future missionaries give their farewell talks and hear their parents, one being the Bishop, give talks and watching them all fighting back tears. I was in their shoes just over a year ago. That phrase from Mosiah 18, ''mourn with those that mourn'' became a real experience for me.
I was so certain I would be staying in Wrexham to finish training Sister Chu and I wasn't worried at all for transfer calls. Saturday transfer conference call came along and the Zone Leaders got to our district, which is an all trainer -trainee companionship district, and they asked us all what we thought was happening. We of course all responded that our district would be staying exactly the same. It was true for the first two companionships but when they got to us the Zone Leaders said Sister Chu was going to the Manchester YSA to be follow up trained by another Chinese speaking Sister, Sister Sun. We all thought they were joking (they sometimes do that) but this time they were really telling the truth. As soon as the conference call was over I called President to ask if he could tell me why. His answer was simple: He prayed about it and felt really strongly that Sister Chu is needed in Manchester. There is a massive amount of Chinese students there and it is only going to keep growing. He (and not to mention, the Lord) need her there to help with the work there. I'm sad to see her go but I know the Lord knows what He is doing and we always go where we are needed. That is my previous area and I know Sister Chu will be in good hands. She is a bit sad that she won't have as many tea appointments anymore haha.
My new companion will be Sister Klemm. Don't know much too about her except for the fact she started her mission at the same time I did. She will be my first non Asian/ non Mandarin Chinese speaking companion.
On Saturday we got stuck in a torrential rain storm. I have never been outside when it's rained this hard. Sister Chu and I were drenched after just 5 minutes of being out in the rain. It was like walking through a waterfall! We made the most of the experience and enjoyed it. Luckily there was a less active we call Auntie Pat in the area that is always home and she let us come in and dry off. She gave us towels to wear, and apple pie to eat with a can of Vimto soda to drink as she dried our clothes for us. (I do not have my camera on me so pictures to come next week!) I am so grateful for Auntie Pat! On the way to her house we taught a lesson to this young man from Bulgaria that was locked outside of his house, standing under the front door door frame trying to stay dry. We asked him if he has ever prayed before and asked what we could pray for. He asked us to pray for it to stop raining. We asked if he believed if it would stop and he told us he did. Faith proceeds the miracle! We said the prayer and just 5 minutes later it stopped raining.
Another miracle that happened this past week was us being able to visit Anu, a potential investigator who is soooo golden. Her and her family are from India. She has a daughter around 14 and a son around 8. They read their scriptures together each night as a family. Basically they already hold an FHE and already practice the ideal Mormon culture. They are Christians and love the Savior so much. We have been trying to see her since but she has been very busy at work. Her family has already gone to India for the summer holiday but she is still here by herself for another 2 weeks. We rang her this past week and she told us she was available Thursday evening. We already had a tea appointment, which we invited her to and she politely declined, and then our missionary coordination meeting right after. We made plans to call by her as a back up plan if coordination fell through. It was quite the dilemma because we haven't had coordination in two weeks due to some schedule conflicts but I also wanted to see Anu. Well, coordination did fall through without any notice. We went to see Anu, she was home and we finally got to teach her the whole restoration lesson. She has a sincere desire to know if what we taught her is true. She said she would be baptized when she comes to know it is true.
We also taught our investigator Garry the restoration this past week. Garry already feels the church is true or ''why else would he come to church each Sunday?'' Fair enough. We invited him to still pray about it because we all need that confirmation from the Spirit and that is how we gain an enduring testimony.
Almost 6 weeks ago we met this girl named Sophie while tracting for consecrated finding. Sophie gladly accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and we had set up a return appointment to teach her more. Sadly, she fell through on the appointment. This past week we had the opportunity to call by her sister's house we met her at. She wasn't there but we used the opportunity to get to know her sister. Sophie's sister told us about the difficult circumstance her family is facing at the moment and how Sophie is struggling. She is anxious for her sister to get better and wants us to meet with her. If this works out they way I hope, I know Sophie will be the means of softening the hearts of her family and helping them receive the gospel.
Trust vs Believe
One of our investigators asked in Sunday school class what the difference was between believing in God and trusting in God was. Half of the class was comprised of missionaries and we all struggled to think of an adequate answer to his great question. I think it is because most of us have grown up in the church that we never really asked the question or thought about it before. Another one of our investigators came up with a brilliant answer though. He said something along the lines of how we start off believing someone and then after a pattern of reliable behaviour then we begin to trust them. From my personal experiences with Heavenly Father and the Savior, I know this definition is true. One of my favorite scriptures and my mission scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6. Thanks to seminary I have it memorized:
"Trust in The Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."
I have learned a lot about trusting the Lord this past week. I may not completely understand why I am not going to finish training and now serve with an English companion but I trust The Lord will help me make the necessary adjustments and accomplish the work He has me still here I'm Wrexham to do. We all need to trust the Lord when unexpected events happen in our lives. If we wait patiently He will always reveal the reason behind His plans.
Love you all!