My Mission President encouraged me this last week to forward on bits of my letter to him to my family as well (why didn't I think of that before?? :)) So here is a copy and pasted clip in response to the question: "what is my core experience with God this week?"
My core experience with God this last week was being able to meet with Steffi, a former investigator that has come back and forth from meeting with missionaries. We went and had dinner with her to try to just reach out again in friendship. During our discussion over dinner, we were able to talk to her about the movie "how rare a possession." Hearing about it, she was interested to watch it, so we watched it with her and talked to her afterwords more about the Book of Mormon and how it can help her in her life. It was a very good lesson for us to have and We helped her to recognize the ways the spirit has spoken to her in her life.
This week was truly a great week! I can't remember hardly anything that happened because it flew by, but that's why I brought my journal today :) Before I get into that though, I want to answer some of the questions you all have asked.
No, unfortunately I still cannot read any of the Book of Mormon in Cantonese. President Howes said it's not necessary for me to learn characters, so I won't likely learn characters here on the mission, or if I do, it will only be after I'm fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. And they dont have a Book of Mormon in Cantonese romanization yet, so as for now, I have to use other methods of study, but to be honest, my language is progressing pretty well concerning the circumstances. I continue to talk with my companion in Cantonese as much as possible, and each of the special lessons we are able to have I am able to understand more and more each time! I think for me, I just need to keep getting submerged in it, so when the time comes that the Lord wants me to serve in the Cantonese branch, I think I will be ready and wont be set back by much because most of the time, I can get by okay, as long as people are patient and willing to repeat things slowly :)
Every morning we wake up and meet as a zone for morning sports as our workout. We play touch rugby ( no contact, so no worries) the worst thing that has happened to me is stepping in a nice pile of dog poop someone left hahaha. After this, we will go back to eat breakfast and get showered up for the day, while my companion is in the shower, I usually have time to do some extra pushups and situps and sometimes some body squats to make sure I'm staying fit for the work. Then, I walk and walk and walk for miles up and down the streets if we have time to contact :) My health is staying up, for sure on the exercise portion. I have trimmed up a little bit as I lose some of the extra flab I have carried around for a while and I actually feel really good and healthy! That's the really nice thing about asian food is it has heaps of veggies in it that I actually am starting to like! I didn't think I'd ever say this, but it just goes to show how much a missionary can change...... I tried coleslaw the other day..... it was actually pretty good :)
Elder Wan and I have really grown closer this past week. I've really tried to focus on having fun times with him and getting to know him better for who he is. I've found an interesting key that just getting along with your companion will bring you some success, but really loving your companion and seeing him as your best friend, brings a lot more miracles and brings a whole new life into the work together. So I need to keep going with this. Even if sometimes I have to sacrifice a bit for him, it's because I love him and realize that when we get along together and actually HAVE FUN, the Lord will allow us to have the most fun by granting us spiritual experiences we can share together.
Some excerpts from the journal:
Feb 2, 2013
Today and Yesterday were both awesome! Yesterday we taught a good potential I pulled off the street. He's German and unfortunately will be going back to Germany tomorrow, but he's going back with 2 Books of Mormon (1 english, and 1 german) a restoration pamphlet, and a commitment to meet the missionaries in Germany. As for today- we taught a girl named Natalie. She will be getting married this month and actually seems pretty interested to learn more about Jesus Christ and seemed to accept our message well. She prayed at the end of the lesson and committed to pray daily. Also tonight while watching Finding Faith in Christ with a less active member who we have just recently helped come back, I felt the spirit SOOO many times. Pretty much every single miracle that was performed, I felt the spirit touch my heart strongly. Emily (the less active) also said she really felt the spirit so I'm glad she was able to have a similar experience. Great past two days, hope the next two are even better!
feb 28, 2013
Great p-day today, we went to paddy's market and bought some souiveniers because a lot of the missionaries think they will likely be transferred next transfer and want to make sure they have some little souvenirs in case they can't come back to the city before leaving for home, Bedtime!
^ that actually happens a lot, where I look at the clock and realize I have only a few minutes left to be dilligent. I've been in bed every single night by 10:30 except one. One night I was 10 seconds late.... :( always room for improvement :b
I'd add some more, but they were a lot of just short messages this week. We have had this big new push to contact heaps of former investigators recently. Our zone leaders found five 3-ring binders full of former investigators from the city, some of them go as far back as 5 years ago. So we've made it a goal to call each and every person because we know that there has got to be at least one person who is ready for the gospel now in these names. Thus, every meal time we are at home, and almost all the evening time I devote to calling formers after I have made calls to confirm appt's and such. It's already brought miracles so I'm so glad we were able to come across these names!
As for names of investigators, there are so many people that we teach one and set a return appointment, but then they never come back, so for now, the constant names that really could use prayers would be Cindy, Danny, Edward, Natalie, Damien, Noy, Jodie, and Hank.
Things are going really well. Was able to have a good interview with President Howes yesterday. Every 3 months he will come to the city and interview missionaries to see how they are and such. So it was good to finally have an interview with Him and receieve guidance on how I can improve. Today we went to the Temple and it was amazing!! Such a great experience. I love and really have missed the temple!
So glad to hear everyone is doing so well! I will try to send some pictures next time of the things that have happened over the past couple weeks. There hasn't been too much I've taken pictures of, but I'll try to dig some up :) Going to go play touch for p-day with a recent convert who is going back to Taiwan tomorrow. Love you all heaps!!!!!