Don't have heaps of time today either, sorry :(
This weekend was just awesome!! Elder Pearson from the Pacific Area Presidency came and presided at the stake confernce we had where our stake was reorganized. It was an awesome meeting and I loved the talks he gave about missionary work and going to the rescue of the members. Especially his remarks to the Brethrennight in awakening us to our duties of helping everyone enjoy the wonderful blessings and happiness that come from living in Harmony with God's plan. Perhaps next week I can give some more specific quotes, but for now, here is my letter to President Lew:
This week has been great. Honestly one of the greatest days of my mission happened last Saturday. Friday's Zone conference was a great uplift and spiritual prep for the stake conference weekend, butwas just an AWESOME day.
We went to teach a potential investigator at ANU (the Australian National University) while walking there, we talked to this guy named Danny- from Malaysia. Long story short, he was keen to meet. We got all pumped and kept walking to our apartment, while waiting for her to arrive, we met someone else who also was keen! I was on cloud 9 at that point! Our potential investigator showed up and we had a great lesson with her, yet another miracle because the thing that made her say yes to meeting was when she was so surprised in me speaking Cantonese (one of the few people I have been able to speak canto with here!! :) ) She is super shy but quite interested to learn more about Jesus Christ. She said "I have been going to church for about 5 years, but haven't been baptized" Can you say "GOLDEN!!??" :) After commiting her to be baptized she asked "I just have one more question.... do I need to know more about the Bible and Jesus before I get baptized?" With a smile we explained that our job is to make sure she is fully prepared and that we will make sure she knows all she needs to before she makes that promise with Heavenly Father. Anyways.... so after that lesson we had another lesson with 2 former investigators who had gone back to China. While waiting for them, we just so happened to be led to another Korean student who would be keen to meet up again as well, then the lesson went super well with the 2 formers. Before they went home to China, they didn't believe in God and were pretty cold hearted, but now one of them said she was 80% sure she would get baptized. WHAT THE??? Huge miracle again. So after several hours of just awesome miracles I was so thankful and just pumped up, but also hungry as it was and we hadn't had lunch yet that day. We decide to go get lunch, and here is the key..... I was sitting at one of the tables when someone walks up to the counter and tries to turn in her resume for a job. It was at this point that the thought came to mind "do i talk to her? She looks pretty busy, and we are in a restaurant....etc etc." but I decide to just go for it anyway. Catching her off guard with a few questions, I find out she is from Taiwan, knows and respects missionaries very well, and would be keen to meet once she can find a job since that is her #1 priority right now. So, what is the lesson I learned that day you ask?? It would have been so easy for me to just be content with that one miracle of Danny. That got me so excited and I probably could have gone the whole day just remembering and reflecting upon that miracle rather than using it as a springboard to go find more miracles. As the miracles kept happening, I was ever more enthusiastic to go find more and more people to talk to. Many times we find it hard to really determine the level of our faith, but I have seen two important indicators- enthusiasm and work. If we go out and work we are showing our faith. Also, when we are excited about the work we have the faith to succeed. Now, those may not be spot-on doctrinal answers, but it is just what I saw that day. I feel that in those few hours I truly had "the faith to succeed, not just the faith to serve."
From the Book of Mormon today I answered the question of "How can we become more like Christ." I wanted today to focus on what those chapters I would be reading today had to say in answer to that question. The answer? In Mosiah chapter 12, Abinadi is rebuking the priests of Noah for their hypocrisy in teaching, but not living the Law of Moses. One line that he said stood out to me, in verse 27 he says "ye have not applied your hearts to understanding." That really hit me and I thought, the priests knew the doctrine, I am sure they had read the scriptures/ studied up on their doctrine, but they didn't apply it in their lives at all. That is the key, we have to apply the Doctrine of Christ into our lives and understand it with our HEART. He says exactly that in Chapter "I perceive they (the commandments) are not written upon your hearts." That was my answer from reading today, I must continue to help others and myself truly write His commandments upon our hearts. I love Abinadi, he is a great example of speaking with boldness.
After studying more about How To Begin Teaching, I realized I need to make the first few minutes of how to begin teaching not stretch on too long. I like your quote that we often have "the gift of gab." I think there is a good lesson to be learned in fulfilling our roles as teachers and leaving the fellowshipping to the members. This is another key role of why members are so important at every lesson, They can talk about the rugby game, upcoming movies or whatever else the investigator would like to "gab" about, and we can focus on that person's spirituality for those 30-45 minutes, rather than just gabbing about things not focused on our purpose.
Love you all!