Monday, February 15, 2016

Some Things I've Learned

This week has been wonderful. I really love Hong Kong and am so lucky to be serving here!

Yesterday at church I gave my departing talk. I felt like I did when I left home. haha  Basically I gave another farewell talk. I was asked to share some missionary experiences. I shared three with the hope that it would illustrate some of the lessons I have learned. Here they are:

1)The first time i went finding. I was really excited and then I saw a woman crying. I knew I needed to talk to her, but I became scared. I did not talk to her. I regretted it and told my companion that if we saw her again, then I would hug her. We did. I hugged her. She cried and called us angels. From this I better understood that we are all Heavenly Father's children. He loves all of us. When we are willing to follow the Spirit he will guide us to find those who need him. He wants everyone to feel his love and the power of Christ's atonement.

2) Finding on Christmas day. We were hoping to spread Christmas cheer to mainlanders who don't know the true meaning of Christmas. Our plans were foiled when we met two British men and talked to them. The younger of the two was interested. The older considered himself very knowledgeable of all things religion (including about the Mormons) and was grateful for the opportunity to "educate" us. When we tried to share a scripture with the younger man, the older man grabbed my Book of Mormon and said sarcastically, "No, if we just open it randomly then we we see what God wants us to see." He opened randomly and gave it to me to read. I read the first verse I saw, Alma 10:6, "Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart...." He was pretty taken aback. Sometimes missionary work is scary and hard. But, our message is true. When we boldly stand as Christ's representatives then we do not need to fear. He is always supporting us.

3) One day we met a woman from India named Tanya. We taught her about the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon. She liked it. The next day she went back to India. I have never seen her since, but 4 months after I met her I received a phone call. It was from India. She told me that she had finished reading the Book of Mormon. She loved it, and that she just really felt like she needed to call us. After digging through her suitcase, she found our phone number and called us. I got all of her contact info and sent it to missionaries in India. We often do not know the results of our missionary efforts. I have heard that on average someone needs 7 encounters with the church before they will be baptized. Every effort we make will help someone draw closer and closer to Christ, even if we never get to see the end result. 

I have been so blessed to serve in the same branch for my whole missionary time. I don't think many other missionaries can say the same thing. I know that I am here because it is what the Lord wants. I am so grateful to have served in such a wonderful place. And, even when I don't wear a name tag anymore, I will always be the Lord's servant and missionary. 

Happy Chinese New Year!

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