Tuesday, December 3, 2013

October 14: Muffins and Magic

This week was so jam-packed with miracles and magic that I literally, have no idea where to begin. Let's roll, people. MISSIONARY WORK. (For reference on how to say that last sentence, I've gotten in a really bad habit of yelling things in my Batman voice. I don't know, but it's really working for me and my companion. Cool.)

So many happy things this week! The only thing that could've taken it to the next level would be... if Dumbledore came joint-teaching. It was THAT good. 

Tender mercies and happy things, in no particular order:

On Sunday night last week, we found a man named I. He didn't speak great English, but he had a GREAT mustache. Don't mind if I always do. We weren't sure how much he understood of the restoration as we talked on his doorstep, but he was so incredibly smiley during the whole thing. After the Jose Smith story, we asked him what he felt. He put a hand to his chest and said with tears in his eyes, "I feel so happy. I feel... SO HAPPY!" He was thrilled. Us too. Before we could go on, he looked into each of our eyes and said, "You so happy too!" :) Cuuuutest. We went back with our roommates, the Hermanas, and got to be there this week as they taught him in Spanish. He shared the experiences in his life that have humbled him, and talked about going from atheism to knowing God and Christ are there. I'm going to tell it to you straight and say I understood maybe 7% of what was said, and lot of that was "bien." I loved seeing the Hermanas teach, because we only ever get to talk about our missionary work, rather than do it together. The Spirit was SO strong. I loved that. I love that God speaks to us of us in our language, whether that's English or Spanish or Chinese or Cantonese or whatever. I love that He knows each of us so delicately and deeply that He knows the experiences that will speak to us, too. As he learned, I learned. The Spirit testified to me, in my language, that I am where I need to be. And that no matter where you are in the world, this work isn't our own. It's the work of the most loving and diligent parent of all, and He loves us enough to let us help. I loved sitting and learning with I this week.

We also had MLC and Zone Trainings this week. I rode with Sister S, and I loved talking to her. It was so weird, and also so beautiful, to feel how much each of us have changed since the MTC. She is an incredible leader and I'm so grateful for her friendship. We took the creepiest pictures of all time together upon our reunion. I think my favorite part of Mission Leadership Counsel, besides learning more about how to help my sister group, was seeing my trainer. Sister Q. There honestly aren't words. Sister S and I were walking back from the mission office and she said my name across the parking lot and we both started crying so hard. She really is like my other half. I think that's one of the most beautiful things in the world, on a mission or off. Knowing, and loving someone, so much that you can look in their eyes after a time away, or before, or in a moment that means something to the both of you, and simply cry because of the pure, incommunicable Christlike love you have for that person, or those people. I got to feel that a lot in China, for my kids. I feel it even more on my mission.

Another happy about this week? I returned from MLC to find that Sister C had taught five lessons in my absence before dinner. ATTA GIRL!!! Everything had fallen through, so Sister C, wanting Sister M to have the absolute best experience in Shingle Creek, got to work and made it happen!  Coming home and hearing that truly warmed my heart like nobody's business. I'm so thankful for her and I probably say this every week, but it has been a privilege to see her grow and learn with her. When you love someone, their success is your success. There is truly no difference. It made my WEEK to see the missionary she has become and is becoming still. What a winner.

ALSO! We taught a less-active who hasn't been for like five years this week, and we taught her about the temple. She got SO excited. Her cats were too. It's only funny when you factor in that there are like six and they all try and scratch themselves on me while I teach. No, this is fine. G'head. Keep doing that. :/ But also, my favorite part of the lesson was when she said, "You know, you're so happy. It's why I always let you come back. It's this light. And I just... can't stay away." She was in church on Sunday. :))))))  

We taught a Liberian family this week who are both different religions, and talked about how being a part of the restored gospel is what will ultimately unite them. The Spirit was SO strong. Then she whipped up her shirt and started breastfeeding and the Spirit was.. still strong. Welcome to my area? 

Our ward is so full of gems. I hope I never leave. I'd be completely satisfied to serve my whole mission here. We wanted to love on them this week, and we have five service hours a week, so we bought rakes. Service sticks, if you will. Raking up a storm. Leaving pumpkin bags and thank you notes like our lives depended on it. Hahaha. Missionary work is so much fun. But honestly. Also, one of our Liberian members came teaching with us this week. He was baptized in Africa and he has been a member for 24 years. He's SO great. A.J. for MAYOR OF LIFE. Like, is there a suggestion box for General Authorities? Every word out of his mouth. When I look at him, I'm reminded of Jesus Christ. Really and truly. He's awesome.

We are teaching this man named P. I love him. The Spanish sisters found him. He was super hesitant to come to church, so I woke up earlier and cranked out muffins for him and our other investies, and we went to his house bright and early to wake him up to follow us in his car. I was thrilled. It's a whole house full of Laosians, and they are all hilarious and won't stop offering me rice and complimenting me and I feel like I'm back in China alllll over again. It's so great. He has a little brother A that is as wide as he is tall. I LOVE them. Anyway. We get to church late because he took a minute getting ready, so we're trying to make him feel less bad in the foyer. The conversation went like this:

Me: "So, P, what do you remember about what you and the sisters talked about?"
"Oh, nothing. I was suuuuuuuuuper drunk." (stone cold stare.)
Me: "Welp. Great! Today'll be a whole fresh start."

(We taught him last night and he wasn't drunk. It was magical.)

AND, in closing this week (how random has this email been, though? Sorrrrry about it. Sorry I'm not sorry.), we got to have dinner with the B family this week! The ward has been taking over on Brother B's new member lessons, and so we haven't seen him since he got ordained to the priesthood last week. Aw, man. So good to be in their home again. Walking in, it was like a whole new house. It was so clean and bright, and the Spirit hit you like a ton of bricks. Temple waiting room status. It was amazing to see the change that has come over them. And not only did they invite us for dinner, but they invited their neighbor. They've been reaching out and getting to know her, and they have listened carefully as she's shared about the trials in her life. They asked if she believed in God and in Jesus Christ, and she said yes. Boom. Had her over with the missionaries. He shared his conversion story and bore his testimony and I got to re-remember every lesson and the Spirit was so strong. I loved it. It truly is what everyone hopes for for their converts. :) I am so happy for him and the changes he's made.

Annnnnnnd I gotta go get a flu shot. Love you alllll! :) Church is so true. Be good. Do good things. Seeeeya never.

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