Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday January 20, 2014

 Monday January 20, 2014

This week has seen many miracles!! The first was probably our lesson with the Zhang family. After coming to church last Sunday, we set up with them for Monday night, and we had a great lesson!  A member, who is a return missionary, came with us to their house, and our first lesson was wonderful. They are so prepared. With our peike's indispensable help, they were willing to commit to everything we asked. One invitation was particularly touching. We asked about church, and they for sure couldn't attend the next week, and weren't 
willing to give us a solid answer on the 2nd Sunday. Without our saying a word, our peike began to describe her life and how she managed her time and made church a priority, and how everything always worked out. After describing her experience, the family committed to come to church. It was cool to see the spirit working through our peike so much that she said everything that our investigators needed to hear.

Temple tours are always miraculous. As we brought our food outside the temple to eat lunch before starting, a lady very excitedly came up to us and began talking to us. We found out that she was a new English student of the sisters in Wanda, and this lady loved her English teachers. She was already a Christian. We were using the new pamphlet to talk about baptism, and she asked us if it really matters who performs the baptism. At this point we brought her inside the church to answer her questions. At the end of our tour, which mostly covered the first lesson, we invited her to be baptized. You could feel the spirit as she paused and really considered our invitation, and then answered (in English), "Yes. I didn't understand why it mattered before, but I get it now." It was an amazing experience.

Recently our mission president extended a new challenge. Often times as we introduce ourselves as missionaries, we touch our name badge as we say our name. President Day has invited us to talk about our purpose as missionaries, specifically including baptism, every time we touch our badge. We also received the new pamphlet which includes a picture of Jesus Christ getting baptized. We were also challenged to show people this picture as we contact them, ask them if they know what it is, and ask them if they would like to be forgiven of their sins.

We have seen a lot of miracles with these challenges! It helps to keep us as missionaries focused on our purpose, and it quickly allows others to both understand our purpose as well as why they would want it.

We were contacting a university student by the church a few days ago and we could see the difference as we followed President Day’s challenge. As we began to talk to him, he wasn't super interested. As we discussed human imperfection and guilt, and asked if he wanted to be free from these things, the Spirit was there, our message was clear, and he became more interested. It was so cool to see him change!

One thing I've realized recently is the importance of a companion. I think there are a many reasons why we have companions. I am so very grateful that I have ALWAYS been blessed with wonderful companions. It makes a huge difference!! I think my companion might be the biggest influence on my life as a missionary. And I realize that we as human beings were never meant to be alone. A companionship relationship is different than a marriage relationship, but I've realized, being in a companionship, why a marriage is such a necessary part of life. I learn so many things from my companions--and some of them about myself! But the gospel of Jesus Christ gives an understanding, forgiveness, and charity to our relationship with others (whether companions, family members, friends, or just acquaintances) that makes a huge difference. Realizing that we are all children of God, I think, is one of the simplest but most powerful understandings in the world.

This past week we went to the furthest part of our district, to see what there was, and try to find some new investigators. We had never been there. We ran into this older lady who was beyond delighted to see us. She invited us into her house, and we had a lesson with her. As we finished the opening prayer, she was crying and kept saying, "I don't know why I'm crying; I'm just so touched." As we left, we had the distinct impression that we needed to be there that day just to help that woman feel God's love. He is watching over every single one of His children, whether they know he exists or not, and loves every single one of them.

This past week we got the list they've been passing around church the past few weeks . . . our Chinese New Year dinner appointments! Except this is Chinese New Year . . . so there are lunch appointments too :) From 1/30/2014 to 2/6/2014 we have 11 dinner/lunch appointments. Let the terror begin :) I've heard all sorts of horror stories (as I like to call them) about Guonian (Chinese New Year), and I'm pretty excited to see what it's like. The sad thing is that some of our investigators, and most of our contacts, are either out of town or too busy to meet until after Guonian, so we have to be working hard to get things done.

Amy is doing really well!! We gave her the baptism permission form and fasted with her this week as she was going home for Guonian. She is planning on talking to her parents, so I will keep you updated. It has been so cool for us to see her find and use her faith.

I love you!!

Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards/Du Jiemei

Some pictures sent with no comments or explanations.  So you can make up your own story then mail them to Rachel and see who is the closest to what is really happening.
 The question is:  is she trying to break into a bank or break out of jail.

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