Happy Birthday MOM!!! I love you! Hope you ate a lot of cake and ice cream for me. Other than mom's birthday, it sounds like you all had a crazy week: snowboarding, starting college, kids being sick, listening to Air Supply. As for me, this week was pretty crazy as well. So lets get right on into it.
Tuesday morning started off by me waking up with a super soar throart. Kind of makes speaking in chinese a little difficult. We started our day off super good by teaching one of our eternal investigators, Pan jm, about a certain commandment along with the Atonement. We gave her an awesome demonstration/parable (in chinese it's said biyu [bee you] so I don't really no what it means in english). Without going into two much info, it just helped her see that we cannot get rid of those bad feelings that come from sin by ourself. It is only through the Atonment that we can do so. It really helped her see the importance of baptism as well. She ended up picking her own baptismal date, which just so happens to be this coming weekend! She first needs her interview this Saturday. Anyway, I then went on companion exchanges, with Elder White and we had such a fun time working hard down here in HengChun. We ended up sitting down with another one of our progressing investigators and taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Invited him to be baptized, and he said sure. We pretty much asked him when he wanted to be baptized, and we would help him prepare for that day. He choose for this coming Saturday as well, but because he hasn't been to church enough, there was no way. We told him we wished we could, but he needed more time to prepare. Set a goal with him, and we're now helping him prepare for that day.
Wednesday didn't start off so well. A long, super bumpy bus ride didn't really help the morning start off right. By the time we got to the different area to exchange back, I was not doing so well. I only had to do the exact same thing back to our area, so the entire day I was not feeling good at all. After we got back to our area we sat down with one of our less-actives. We did our best to strengthen him and help him come back, but we also gave him an invitiation to start bearing his testimony with his friends, sharing the gospel with them, inviting them to church, etc... Then we had english class and I taught the advanced class, and some of the students just so happened to ask a few questions about some wording. This might be hard to explain, so just have dad tell you what English stuff he sent me last week. These students had the same problems, so thank you dad for sending those. Inspiration right there... So I'll be using those exercises again this coming week for English class.
Thursday and Friday were pretty rough days. Tried our best to find new people, rescue less-actives, etc..
Saturday was Mom's birthday :) Mom, just want you to know that my companion and I both sang happy birthday! yeah... Today, we found a really cool guy and ended up playing basketball with him for a bit. After we were done, we shared with him the Message of the Restoration. He will be going into dangbing, the required army service here, so it'll be rough to sit with him in the future, but he is willing to read when he can and then pray. Then we went to Pan jm's baptismal interview and she passed. We're so looking forward to her baptism this next weekend!
Well, this may sound weird, but I'm so grateful for the time I have each morning to have my personal study. This morning I realized so much about how this gospel has blessed my life, and that everything I have gone through in the past has helped refine me to who I am right now. This time as a missionary will also refine me as to who I will become. This is another reason why I am grateful to be here serving a mission. I love you all!
Love, Elder Smith