Monday, March 24, 2014
After Wu Ji's baptism fell through, I started to study a little bit more about baptism, why it happens, why is it such a big deal to us missionaries? I kind of just accepted it, I never really understood why?
I eventually ended up in D&C 20:37, and it listed all the things we do to qualify for baptism. I realized that remission of sins does not save us, that covenanting with God (no matter how blasphemous this sounds) does not save us. It is everything we do and learn BEFORE we get baptized that saves us and then it is the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the most amazing Gift from our Heavenly Father, that helps us stay on that path. (2 Nephi 31:17-18)
Look, before all the investigators get baptized, I want them to meet that standard in D&C 20:37, being humble, repentant, having a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Because these things signify they now understand that we can’t make it on our own. We cannot have a fullness of joy in this life or the next on our own. We are in a fallen state. But at the same time, the investigators (and ourselves) realize that we have a loving Heavenly Father, who we can trust. We can trust his commandments to guide us home, we have hope and joy. We know what we need to do and we know in whom we can trust. And at that point, we get baptized. And then the Holy Ghost can testify to us every day, we are on that straight and narrow path, we are the found sheep and the good shepherd has put us on His shoulders and we are among our brothers and sisters in the fold.
Baptism is just an appendage; the real thing (as it has always been) is being converted unto Christ. Is trusting in the arm of God and not in the arm of man. I hope I can strive every day to remember this, I am so grateful for this chance to bring people unto Christ.
I love you all, I hope you have a great week. That is so awesome you went to Hailey’s farewell, you guys are all so cool. Everyone looks so grown up! I miss you all more than you can know.
Elder Burrito Jr. (El Burrito Jr is a pretty slick restaurant, I’ll snap a pic next week)
Monday, March 17, 2014
RUNAWAY BRIDE!!!!!! AHHHHH! - more like runaway baptism. Worst P-Day of my life (so far). First Elder Yang gave me this haircut (see pictures) and then we visited Wu Ji's apartment because he skipped out on church Sunday.
So here is what happened. The lights were on so we knew that he was there, we knocked like three times and waited for 10 minutes and we didn’t get any answer. But we knew he was inside. So, being the fool that I am, I saw that the door was not closed all the way, so I decided to knock a fourth time, really hard, and see if the door would swing ajar. It worked, and next thing I know Wu Ji is standing in front of us in his boxer shorts. It was pretty funny and we all laughed it off and just let it go that he was ignoring us not 30 seconds ago.
But then Wu Ji went on to tell us that he just can’t stop working on Sunday. Now that alone isn’t that big of a problem, but he just expressed to us that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father can’t help him if he is hungry, or they can’t help him keep his apartment, that they just can’t help him in these areas, so that make work more important. Now you see, that right there is a problem!! Because the only thing I ever, ever want to teach an investigator is that we need to humble ourselves before the Lord and realize that we just cannot do it on our own BUT that we have a loving Heavenly Father we can trust in, we can follow his plan, and he will provide.
Long story short, we asked him if he still wanted to be baptized, and he said he would be there on Sunday. He was not there on Sunday, we called it off at like 9pm Sunday night, and it was the worst experience having to call all the members. I never want to cancel a baptism again. We haven’t heard from Wu ji since that Monday, it’s a pretty weird situation. Man, I feel like this Letter is getting depressing, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT SOME HAPPY STUFF BECAUSE MISSIONS ARE FULL OF IT!!!
So we have a land-lady, her name is Rosa and she speaks Spanish. But as missionaries, we need to open our mouths and talk to everyone and love everyone. Not just Chinese people, or Asian looking people (I still can’t tell the difference) but everyone. So we started chatting, and giving them cookies when members gave us cookies. And they started to warm up to us, and then eventually they told us they were members of the church, but they have been less active for 15 or something years, but seeing us (the missionaries) again inspired them to make church a part of their life again. And Rosa and her husband and their younger daughter and her son (who are super cool) went to church. And we saw Rosa after church and she said it was so amazing. She said she has been suffering with like an eye diseases for a while and it was pretty painful, but she went to church and all she felt was peace and calm and her eye didn’t bother her. And she told us that the Spanish sisters were going over to her house this Wed. AND she told us she has a Chinese friend she wants us to meet and teach about Jesus Christ. So that’s super awesome! That really got me through this week.
It just goes to show, small and simple acts of good are amazing tools for the Lord to work with. Just like PMG says, if we pray for opportunities to do good AND pray that we will recognize those opportunities AND that we pray will have the strength to follow the promptings, we will be led to people that are ready to hear the gospel. I know that I have so much fear. Fear that I will not know what to say, or how to answer a question. But I know that through going out of our way to help somebody, we teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not in some fancy word play, but through our actions. Through our action we stand as Witnesses of God, we fulfill our baptismal covenant to stand as witness of the God at all times.
I am so grateful God has given us opportunities to fall, so we can know exactly what it feels like to fail and be down trodden and when we see another person in the same situation, we will know we have to be there for them, we have to help them. I know this Gospel is true, and that people and families need it!
Love you guys so much, sorry if this letter was weird.
Monday, March 3, 2014
HELLLOOOOO!!!( Mrs. Doubtfire voice),
I still cannot believe I have not seen and contacted and preached to a celebrity yet. I need Robin Williams to be a Boy Scout Troop Leader! I feel like I just described the plot of a summer family friendly comedy.
So it rained a lot! That was cool. It was a nice chance for a change up of weather and for service! Holding umbrellas for our English Class students.....but no one came so I didn’t get to hold it for everyone....BUT THATS ALRIGHT!!
Wu Ji is on his way!! I am so excited for him, put it on the calendars, March 16th!! He is such an awesome, loving, simple, sweat wearing man. He is so humble and relies on the Lord and is so late to all the dinner appointments with members. We had a dinner together with the Huangs at 5:30, so I told Wu Ji to be there at 5:00 in preparation for him being late and he shows up at 6:15! It was pretty funny, the Huangs took it in stride.
The most spiritual experience I had this week was teaching the Recent Convert lessons to Darren and Wenqi. All I did was ask them questions like "Why does God wants us to have the Gospel?" "Why did the Gospel need to be restored?" deng deng. Just to review and stuff. And hearing their responses and hearing their testimonies of the restored Gospel, was so powerful!! I can’t believe how much they have grown.
Testimony meeting in Church was awesome too! The guys started talking about video games and Half-Life, but it was still so spiritual. BUT the best part for me was when Tiffany shared an experience where she had a friend that couldn’t have a baby. And Tiffany then told her friend that God loved her and wants her to be happy and she will pray for her to have a baby. And like 3 or so weeks later, Tiffany’s friend successfully conceived (is that the right terminology??) It was such an awesome story of trust and faith, but what really, really touched my heart was that I realized, Tiffany knows that God wants us to be happy and she knows that everything we receive in life is from God, with the sole purpose of making our lives better. Everyone needs to know this, everyone in the WORLD!!!
We had the chance for a mini-missionary this week. It was pretty cool and President Weidman told us to look for miracles. The entire mission, it has been hard for me to understand miracles. I pray for them every day and I know with all my heart that God can do it, but a lot if things have not worked out with people that really need it, like Mia and I don’t really understand why. But it was cool, this week, so we had a pretty lame weekend with the mini-missionary. I really tried my best to give him an opportunity to see a miracle, but nothing really happened. But the last house we visited, the very last one. As we sat on that porch, I was praying on the inside that something would happen. So Lewis Hong opened the door. An American born Chinese that speaks perfect English, he is like 30 something and Buddhist. We didn’t go in and teach, but he said we could come back next week. Next week we will visit him and he may or may not be home. But I know God opened that door, and I know that he answered my prayer, in His own way, for my own good.
Love you guys so much!!
P.S. haha thanks mom for sending me a Taiwan travel guide so I know how much cooler Amanda's mission is!! haha JK LOLZ!!