Monday January 13, 2014
Dearest Loved Ones,
Ok, not literally dancing, but it's been a good week! Ups and downs, just like normal, but with some awesome miracles! I think the greatest miracle has just been watching the progress of our investigator Amy. As we reviewed the baptismal interview questions with her, she reiterated again that she really feels she is ready for baptism. And she really is. Right now, because of family fandui (opposition), it's going to be more difficult, but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for her and that God is a God of miracles. Seeing her prepared to make that covenant has made me feel that I really am fulfilling my missionary purpose.
Also this week I’ve been talking to more people. One night I pulled up to a lady at a stoplight on our way home, and decided to talk to her, even though there were probably only 20 seconds left at the light. It turns out that she was willing to stop by the side of the road after the light turned and give us her number. Whoa!! I always hear that this can happen, but that was the first time it's ever actually worked for me!
We were walking into our shequ, and saw a cute mom and her baby. We started to talk to her, only for a few minutes, and set up an appointment for the next day, which she did not fang and then set up another appointment after that!
People are actually coming to church!! One of our investigators, Mila, told us a few weeks ago that some of the people at church gave her a bad feeling; consequently, she hadn't come to church for a long time. After a few weeks of hard persuading . . . she finally agreed to try it again! Woohoo! Then there is the Zhang family. A short time ago Sister George contacted them on the MRT and invited them to church. They were really enthusiastic about it, but ended up being too busy that week and the next. But this week, they ACTUALLY CAME!!!! They were really late to Sacrament meeting, and had to leave right after, but they set an appointment with us for tonight! And the ward was super friendly and the family seemed to enjoy it. This is the first time I've prepared to teach an interested family. I'm really nervous about teaching them, but I think this opportunity is a tender mercy from the Lord. Overall we had 5 investigators come to church, although only two for the sacrament.
After church the Elder's investigator got baptized, and three of our investigators were able to attend. The coolest was Mila WITH her husband. From the way she talks about her husband, I think their relationship might be a big burden in her life-which made it cool to have them both there in the church to watch a sacred ordinance.
This week with Mila was one miracle. The second time we met with her we weren't able to find a peike, which makes her lessons really hard because A) she has more difficulties in her life that peikes often help address, and B) her Chinese is really hard to understand. We thought about teaching her about the Word of Wisdom, but decided that teaching about the Sabbath Day would be a little better. Then Heavenly Father showed us that we need to have more faith. As we sat down, she set two cups of tea in front of us. "Oh, we actually don't drink tea," "Why??" So of course, we proceeded to teach the Word of Wisdom to her, with no preparation or peike. And it was a great lesson. The first time we met Mila, she smoked, and I think drank as well. After becoming pregnant she gave up smoking and drinking, and her only real problem is tea. Heavenly Father prepared her and put us in her life now, when she is prepared to hear the gospel.
You asked about my companion. I love her!! She is from Dayton Idaho, which is actually not far from Downey, so she knows about Downey! She was a student at SUU before she came on her mission and is studying English with a writing emphasis. I think her major is creative writing. Her dream is to open a publishing company that publishes good literature. She is 20 years old (19 when she left!), and has awesome Chinese for not having learned anything before coming out. She works hard, is obedient and so willing to love. I'm really grateful for her forgiveness too. I've realized that I am a person who often makes mistakes. I have been blessed with companions who recognize my good intentions and always forgive me. Sometimes she is too good though! This past week she's been sick, but she refuses to complain AT ALL. I've had a really hard time knowing if she really is ok to go out or not to go out and work. Sister Nelson has deep faith and a strong relationship with her Heavenly Father. Faith is something I know I need more of, and so that is one of her strengths that I’m grateful for, and I'm hoping I can learn greater faith from her. AH! Time's up already.
I love getting emails and letters. I know I rarely give personal answers, but that is not because I don't care-- you have no idea how much it means to me to get a letter or an email. There simply is not enough time. I love you!!!
Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards/Du Jiemei