This week we just had a ton of appointments basically. We got a lot of new investigators–some people that we picked back up (that we had to drop due to Chinese New Year) and lots from the elders. Since Elder Reintjes and Elder Hammond are the APs, they have to go on exchanges with all the zone leaders. It’s sure nice when you know you’ve got all the mission’s leaders tramping around your area and they have to pass off all the single female investigators to you!
Lots of people are really willing to meet with us but it’s a little bit more of a struggle to get them to come to church and set baptismal dates. So that’s what we’re gonna be working on this week! Yesterday at church we had an investigator come an hour late but she didn’t tell us, so she was just sitting in the foyer until like 1:00 pm (our church starts at 9:00 in the morning.) So we just had her go the Jinhua ward which meets at 1:30 so it ended up being all right.
I really love my district and my zone so much. They’re all so much fun. The Xinan and Jinhua districts are homies. We eat dinner with the Temple Sisters at their house every Sunday. Theirs is right next to the chapel whereas ours is a 15 minute bike ride away. There are some members from the Jinhua ward that feed the missionaries at the church every Sunday night but sometimes it’s of dubious quality so we occasionally skip out.
We all still play frisbee and do exercise together in the morning! It’s still been pretty rainy/muddy but we still go to Da-an park. There was one point the other day where I was standing to catch the frisbee but it was right in a patch of dirt (kind of muddy) and I tripped and did the splits. Yes, the way I went down put me in a full, one-leg-on-the-left, one-leg-on-the-right split. My trainer, Sister Apsley, has a program to get people to do the splits in 9 weeks and there I was, progressing from barely being able to touch my toes to THAT in about 3 seconds. What’s weird is I actually didn’t ache too bad afterward. The Elders also get way into frisbee and they’re always very muddy by the end.
At this point I can read chunks of the Book of Mormon in characters. What people say to me in church and on the street still goes in and out of my ears sometimes but when I concentrate I can catch mostly everything.
We are currently teaching the little kids class every week. A couple of weeks ago we decided as an English class unit (the Jinhua and Xinan districts combined minus the office elders and APs) that we were going to cancel the little kids class because no one was coming. We were going to tell people on the street about a “grand re-opening” of the kids class in 3 weeks to get people to come. But the 1st week of “cancelled” kids class, where we didn’t even prepare a lesson in case anyone showed up, a family of 4 came plus a mom and her son! So we had to scramble to help them out!
But since then we have been teaching them every week. It’s fun, it’s the closest I can get to babysitting on my mission basically! We picked out English names for them, which the family really liked. The dad is named Shawn, the mom is named Annie, and the kids are named Carlos and Elsa. The kids are about 7 and 5 respectively (although I have to guess) Wow they’re a handful but they’re fun. They live in Jingmei and the Jingmei sisters are actually teaching them the gospel!
On P-Day last week we went to the National Palace Museum and it was super cool. I forgot how much I LOVE museums but this was awesome. Gotta love old artefacts.
Today we are going to Yingge! Look it up on google if you’re curious haha.
Our lovely recent convert, Tina, has to go back to Canada this week so we had our last lesson with her on Friday. We had the Vatchers, one of the couple missionaries, come and help us out and it was so fun. They told her all about singles wards, patriarchal blessings and the joys of being sealed in the temple. We are referring her over to the missionaries in Canada to teach her most of the recent convert lessons. There are a lot of members in her area in Edmonton so we are pretty excited about that!
Scripture of the Week/Chinese Character of the Week
I recently learned 繩子， which is “rope” and it’s super fun to write.
Which has nothing to do with this scripture I would like to share but it’s a cool character!
I would love to share Ether 12:4:
4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with suretyhope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
Hope making an anchor unto the souls of men. It’s kind of funny because sometimes, I think, we get so wrapped up in what our current life’s challenges are that we forget to hope for the future. Even though we don’t want to be too concerned with daydreaming or wishing for happiness, we do want to make sure we’ve got an eternal perspective. We need to consider the eternal consequences for our actions. But honestly, why would you not want to consider EVERY DAY how, when we are obedient to God’s will, we are promised eternal happiness at His side? When we think about it that way, our hope really can be an anchor unto us in our hard times, instead of carrying us into clouds of stupor.
Missionary work can be messy: working to overcome imperfection in investigators, other missionaries, and ourselves; but I know that it’s all building up into a work that actually means something. God is very merciful towards us missionaries because even though we are dealing with some imperfect people as well as with our own imperfections, He helps us make something out of it.