Another fantastic week here. This week was really cool! We had an absolutely amazing lesson with one of our investigators, Fong Tai. She is absolutely loving meeting with us and is really learning a lot and strengthening her testimony, but unfortunately her husband is really against the church, and so last Thursday we had an awesome lesson where she really opened up and talked about how she wants to keep going but informed us more about her husband. We were all crying and bearing our testimonies about the Atonement of Christ and how through patience, faith, and examples, we believed that her husband's heart and viewpoints towards the church could be softened and changed. It was an amazing experience! I love teaching our investigators here, it's so great!
This week I've been a ping-pong ball between companionships. I feel like every other hour im getting handed off to a different companionship because Elder Kimzi (my companion who had to stay for pneumonia) actually got cleared and left on Friday morning. Sister Larson has continued to have more doctor appointments and different things she had to go to so I was with the English Elders a ton while her and Sister Palmer completed the business they needed to do. It was a little frustrating though because they are on a different schedule than I am and it has affected my studies a little bit. But that's okay, this week I will get my new companion so I wont have to keep jumping around with others and get my schedule thrown off all the time.
I am so glad to hear that everyone back East is safe and sound!!! They have been in my prayers and thoughts. and many other's in the MTC as well. I saw sister Whittle on several occasions this week! It's so crazy how many different people you see here that you know! it's really weird to think that her mom was my seminary teacher, and now we are both serving missions at the same time!
Yesterday, was fast sunday and we had mission conference. Talk about amazing! I love Sundays here. By far the best Sundays I've ever had and Fast and Testimony Sunday's here are even better. There are so many missionaries that have absolutely amazing testimonies and have had tons of miracles in their lives. It's very humbling and rewarding to hear about. My favorite part about Sundays though is the evening here because we have a fireside which is always super sweet! and then we get to watch past MTC addresses by General Authorities, or a movie about Jospeh Smith, or the SLC temple or something else. It's a great way to finish off the evening in my book.
This week we started our role plays, and I role played Evan and it was really cool! I prayed to have the spirit help me to act and answer as he would, and I really felt like I was! I started to act differently, and ask questions that I believe He would ask and acted how I believed he would. The cool thing was that my teacher was watching and evaluating and she said comments and was able to pick out characteristics very specific because she felt like she could see him act this way. It was a really great experience and we were able to learn a lot! One thing that I learned from it is that the first lessson, or first contact with people needs to be 100% about them. Finding out about who they are, what they enjoy, what they expect to be able to learn from meeting with you, and how they think you can be of help to them. We talked about how one of the biggest goals in a first visit or contact is just getting a return appointment. Because even if you teach the entire first lesson, if they dont feel like you've answered their questions or have appeased their needs, they may not want you to come back so then, it's not worth too much teaching them the first lesson if they dont want you to come back. I'm starting to realize more and more that being a missionary is less about teaching, and more about listening and helping! If your investigators feel that you love them, and are wanting to help them, they will have a greater desire to learn as well. Nobody want's to just be preached to for 30 minutes, they want to be listened to, admired, cared about, and helped. We also have talked a lot about following up with your investigators. It should be one of the most important things. A good question I like to ask is "do you remember what we talked about last time?" and if they don't, then I will help them remember and review or reteach if necessary. The same for commitments. We have been taught that if our investigators dont keep their commitments, it is largely our fault. We need to become better at helping them complete their commitments. Because if they are willing to commit to it, they are willing to do it, but just may need another reminder, or may need some more help. For instance, we had a fireside where a member of the Seventy said that he encouraged missionaries to have investigators commit to a specific time they will read or do what we ask, and then, call them after to see if they have and if they have any questions. Or, if we are able to be in the area, to drop by and read or do it with them. They have talked about how important it is to read the Book of Mormon with our investigators because this way, we can help them see how we study the Book of Mormon instead of just reading it. I did this in my last lesson and it was really great! We just read a verse, then talked about it, then read the next 1 or 2 and talked about those, then kept going. This helps them to get more of the context as well instead of just the best verse or 2 from the chapter. We understand the context, but they often have NO idea, so it loses a lot of the power when you take little snippets out of the Scriptures without introducing them and talking about why that thing was said.
I am so excited to get my new companion this week!!!! I have been saving a tim tam for him for 2 weeks! We are going to have tim tam slams together hehehehe :) it's going to be great! Also, I really think that my studies will improve because i dont take nearly as long as the sisters to eat and wont have to be handed off to the english when Sister Larson has another appointment, or needs to sleep during gym time or something else the Doctor has prescribed. Having a companion is REALLY nice here, ive noticed that! I know some companionships get along better than others, but having to constantly tag along with the English and not be able to do language study as effectively and such has been a trial this past week so I am really pumped to get my new companion and help him learn quickly while also helping me learn quickly. We have this new program to help us all learn better. We are to bear our testimony once everyday in cantonese to someone who doesn't speak cantonese, and at meal times, one of us will only speak cantonese and the other 2 have to translate. It's great because the English like to try to give us tricky words or test us by saying something complicated, so it really gets our brains going! :) I'm excited for this because I feel like i've been improving but I think this will help us really "take flight" in our language abilities. I Cant wait until I dream in Cantonese for the first time. I really hope that it's while im still here!!! Love you all soooooooo much!!!! Thanks for your love, prayers, and support. You mean the world to me! Teaching about families all the time reminds me of how grateful I am to have a family that will be together for Eternity!