Monday, December 16, 2013

I'm Dreamin' of A White Christmas :)

To Whom It May Concern (aka friends, family, and poisonous reptiles):
10th week of my son's training completed: Check.
First week as Miri Chinese District Leader: Check.
A successful Chinese Christmas Party held at the Church last night: Double Check.
This past week has gone by super quick! We just be doin' what we do: Battling the forces of Satan all day errday, taking ice cream/butter pao breaks when needed :) Yesterday marked seven months as a missionary and tomorrowmarks five months in the field! Believe it or not, but oh! how the time flies :)
This past week my companion and I have been hard at work meeting with less actives and calling potential investigator records from several years ago, in addition to some good ole fashioned door knocking. We experienced a couple miracles this week. I'd like to share one real quick: We were knocking in a particular area and we came to a house that had a lady home with her three young kids. She'd been contacted by missionaries 7 years before, in a different part of town; we talked with her for a little while. She had no desire to receive a Book of Mormon, but she did say this as we were preparing to go: "I'm very impressed by you guys. Going around at your age to talk about helping people come closer to God. May God bless you."
As we walked away from her house, I couldn't help but feel super successful about that particular door contact. We never placed a Book of Mormon with her, but we left a good impression. We helped her see that we are doing something beneficial; we planted a seed that other missionaries will be able to nourish and eventually reap in coming months and years. It was awesome, and it showed me the power of God's love for His children--He works with us according to our weaknesses and according to our strengths. Sometimes we need to take things a little slower, not because we are less than others, but because if we were to do something any faster, it would be detrimental to ourselves and others. We planted a seed with her, and someday that seed will grow into a tree, according to her weaknesses and strengths, and according to the Lord's timing. It was a very beautiful and simple reminder/lesson to me about God's love for all of us, and how exactly He works with us :)
In other news, last night we had an amazing and super fun party at the church. It was originally meant to be an FHE for our Chinese group, but eventually evolved into a Chinese Christmas Party, with most of the participants being Chinese, and a few being Filipino and Iban. It was a success; we had several songs, a fun game, and LOTS of food. There was even a guest Santa (one of our missionaries) and presents to be given as well. 
For some inexplicable reason, the Chinese group/Relief Society/they're-pretty-much-the-same-thing really and truly believes that I have a good singing voice. For those who know, you can testify that this be not true. However, they insisted that I sing for them; I managed to grab another elder to do a duet of 'Silent Night', as accompanied by his guitar playing. Super fun ;) 
This week I've learned a lot about God's love. It certainly is the stem and source of all life, energy, and light in our daily activities. When we are full of this love (in certain places known as charity), we can do WONDERS! One of the greatest by-products of God's love is His eager willingness to forgive. As we are filled with this love, we too will readily go forth and forgive others. It is a remarkable and beautiful and simple truth: God loves, and so should we. He loves us, not in spite of our weaknesses, but because of them. He loves us and has promised us time and time again that it was HE who not only gave us those weaknesses, but it is also HE who will help us to overcome them--or, rather, to take those weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
During this Christmas season, I've been reminded a lot about that love, and about the greatest expression thereof that God has given us: the gift of His Only Begotten Son, even Jesus Christ, who came to earth to save us from the woes of sin. I hope that, when you all get the time, you'll have the chance to ponder on this and reflect on our Savior and His love for you. Personally. Individually. Inexplicably. Eternally. Uniquely. You :)
Now it's time for me to get off of my soapbox. :) I wish you the greatest of weeks; I'm certainly looking forward to this one--get to fly on an airplane! Yes! Now all I need to do is pretend that, while it's in the night sky, it's a wish, and all will be well :) (for those of you that understand that subtle but wonderful reference, you should award yourselves with ice cream or something).
Love you all! God be with you till we chat again :)
Mai Zhanglao :)

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