"Another [week], another destiny" as my good friend Jean Valjean would say :) And whew! What a week this has been! Time has flown on the wings of lightning, or whatever my other good friend the poet says. We've seen so many awesome good times and miracles, in addition to a few trials here and there. The "Most Unfortunate Trial" award goes to my experience on the yesterday, when an awesome member gave us some eggs. I put the carton in my backpack and began the bike ride back home. When we got back home, I pulled it out to find all of this eggy goo gushing forth from within. It got all over the inside of my backpack...and all over the Potential Investigator records AND the map of Miri that I'd been keeping in that same pocket...super awesome...but it's just further proof that the Lord enjoys keeping us humble and would have us laugh with and learn from our mistakes rather than growing bitter. :)
In other news: I love being a missionary! It's the best! There are so many ups and downs, but man! The ups more than compensate for the downs! :) At first I had a hard time adjusting to missionary life, but I decided to follow the advice of my good friend Philip Philips (I have a lot of good friends :) ), when he said: "Trouble, it might drag you down; If you get lost, you can always be found. Just know you're not alone: I'm gonna make this place your home." [insert ooo-ing :) ] Being a missionary is so awesome! Sharing the Gospel with God's children is so worth it! If you have even an inkling to serve, DO IT! :)
In the particular area where I'm serving, there are LOTS of less actives. Thanks to the evidence provided by several small miracles and dropped investigators, my companion and I have come to the conclusion (hopefully based off of revelation) that we are meant to work with the less active members in our area. It has been a wonderful experience! I wish that I had a better name for them other than 'less actives'--even though they haven't attended Church for a while, they are still so precious in the sight of God, just look you or me or anybody else! I hope that any and all missionaries or future missionaries reading this will come to understand the principle that I've learned here: Never underestimate the power of less active work! We have found success in unlikely places; we have found people that weren't even on the records; and we have felt the Spirit guide us in what we should say or do in response to these wonderful people.
As missionaries we are called to invite others to come unto Christ. Nonmembers, members, less actives, other missionaries--any and all are invited to come and drink of the waters of life freely. He forbids no one from coming unto Him. I have found great joy in working with those who once drank from those waters but who, for whatever reason, strayed to the right or left. The Lord loves His lost sheep! He loves them so much! He wants to encircle EVERYONE in the arms of His everlasting love, whether or not they have willingly or neglectfully wandered.
I testify that all are precious in the sight of God (D&C). I testify especially that those who have entered into the waters of baptism, maybe have even passed through the doors of His Holy House, and have found themselves lost in the wilderness, are particularly loved by the Good Shepherd. He leaves behind the ninety and nine in search of the one; my companion and I have had the profound experience of joining with Him in this search. It is wonderful. It is powerful. It is true--this is His work, and I am so thankful that we--all of us--have the opportunity to be in His service.
God be with you till we meet again,
Mai Zhanglao :)