Monday, February 16, 2015

Lulang Ho Bo?

So my Hokkien pinyin could probably do with some work, but its essential meaning is: Nimen hao ma? Or, in the language of my hood: What be goin' on, my homeslicedawgs? :) So this past week has seen Elder Mitchell wielding some pretty intense Chinese swords, helping his recent converts prep little cookie-things (the term "cookie" is use very loosely here) for Chinese New Year, and attending a farewell party for the departing senior couple. He'll miss them a lot, but they're going to keep in tough, right? :) At the party there was a jar of spread that has the consistency of Nutella, but it's cookie dough flavored. In actuality, it tastes like Animal Crackers, but no one here knows what those are. Oh well ;)
Chinese New Year is coming up, and we're pretty excited for it! The work might be getting a little slower, but we're looking forward to lots of free food. :) And fireworks. The night of 18-19 February is going to be epic :) Last year I was in Miri for Chinese New Year (it feels like forever-and-a-day ago), and the fireworks there were AWESOME! I can only imagine what JB's going to do :)
This past week I've been striving to increase my faith in my Savior. I've come to learn this past week that faith really is such a driving force in missionary work, and I haven't taken advantage of it as much as I should have throughout a good portion of my mission. When we have faith in Christ, we FIRST believe that He is there, that He hears our cries and our pleas, and that He can help us. We then ACT on what we believe. We go out and show Him that we love Him! His grace is a free gift, but it's just like the free samples that you get in candy shops. You get a sample--that's all. If you pay the price of discipleship, you are enabled to receive ALL the blessings of His amazing grace. You're able to be sealed to Him through covenants, you're able to follow His example more fully, you're able to appreciate Him even more than you would before--because you've paid the price! You've tried to walk that path of discipleship! You know how hard it is---and you know that, every time you fall or falter or fail on that path, He kneels down beside you, takes your hand, and says, "Let Me take care of it. Let Me take care of YOU."
I testify that these things are true, because I've been able to feel that power and that strength in my life this past week. I don't have perfect knowledge yet, because I'm still a very mortal, mistake-ridden person. But I have felt the Spirit, and I hope to continue feeling Him, as He testifies to me that these things are true. I love you all, and hope you have a great Chinese New Year!
Gongxi Facai! Wo ai nimen! :)
Mai Zhanglao

Monday, February 2, 2015

God Loves You! :)

To All Whom It May Concern:
How's it going?! How's life in your neck of the woods? Over here in JB we're pretty much living the dream, a real party-and-a-half :) Today I don't have too much time, nor do I want to take up too much of yours. I know that this Church is true, and that Joseph Smith really did see what he said he saw.
This past week we had the opportunity of meeting with Brother Tan. He's such an amazing guy! He's 76 years old, and is on date to be baptized on 28 February! I'm so excited for him! As we've been working with and teaching him, I've been able to feel the Spirit so strongly! The Lord has helped build my testimony as we've worked with him and helped him learn how to increase his faith in his Savior. There have been times where I've mentally questioned whether or not we should continue meeting with him...he is a pretty old guy, and everything. But then the Spirit reminds me that the Lord loves and is aware of ALL of us, because we are ALL His children! He loves Brother Tan just as much as He loves me, and He wants him to come back home to Him just as much as He wants me to. I know that we are all children of God. I know that He has established temples and restored His priesthood on the earth today to seal us to our earthly families, and to seal us to Him! He doesn't want to let us go! I love this Gospel and everything about it so much!
May God bless each of you! The Church is true! :)
I love y'all lots!
Mai Zhanglao