Monday, March 18, 2013

Today is the Day I Proclaim what I Believe!

Transfer Day is always bittersweet!
Family and Friends,

How's it going everybody?  You all holding up alright?  Everything is going just great here in Puli, and I'm enjoying my time with him.  He's been in the field for about 5 months-ish and is super awesome, and super funny!  We're getting along just fine and so is the work here.  This week was great and so lets just jump right on in.
So, Monday was the first day my companion and I had together to hit the streets.  We visited with a WONDERFUL family (dad's name is Wang De Fu) and yeah.  The dad is a cop and his family is Catholic and so he was a bit apprehensive about meeting with us in the first place.  As we taught him, my companion and I focused on how God has given us His gospel so we can know how we can return to live in His presence and live eternally with his families.  This part of the lesson really stuck out to him, but then he kind of zoned out as we moved on with the rest.  Super sad and we thought as if that was our only chance with this family.  However, at the end of the lesson wife and kids came on home, the kids ran in the door and after a few minutes the wife and kids just loved us and actually asked when we were coming back again.  We're going back on over tomorrow night to visit with the whole family so we're hoping that all goes well!
Tuesday was probably the hardest day of my entire mission.  Why?  Well, my companions bike hadn't arrived yet, because my bike got stolen I'm using the apartment spare, and so we walked the entire day.  I truly admire those missionaries who walk all day cause it is rough on the knees.  Despite that fact, we had a really good day, and had a great lesson with a family in the ward.  There son turns 12 in the next week or two and so we began working with the branch to help him prepare to receive the priesthood.  The best part about it was his less active father was able to help join the lesson and help teach and prepare him to receive the priesthood.  Great experience.
Thursday we visited with the Xu family and had a great lesson with them.  Xu Jia Xiang is the only one who hasn't been baptized yet, and so we've been focusing our efforts on him.  He is almost 12 years old and absolutely loves sports, especially basketball.  Before I got my new companion we visited with them and talked about playing on God's ball team.  While playing you can't do it on your own or else you will lose.  You need the help from other teammates, and we laid out the players on God's ball team.  Through daily practice (reading scriptures, praying as a family, and coming to church) we can work well with our other players and have a chance to win the championship (returning to live with God as families).  This week we focused on one of the most important players, and that is Christ.  We watched a portion from The Testament and talked about it.  Each family member, starting with Jia Xiang, all mentioned that there was a feeling that they couldn't describe as they watched it.  It was incredible to help him receive that witness from the Spirit, and as we continue to work with him to help him recognize it more.  His desire for learning has gradually been growing including that desire to be baptized.  He's a great kid and look forward to what comes up next.  
Overall, this past week with Elder Thorpe has been awesome!  It was great to work with him this first week and to see and feel many things happen.  This week I was able to see the truthfulness that comes doing the small and simple things.  We had a few experiences where we were able to help investigators recognize the feelings that come from the Holy Ghost.  They all felt the Spirit, but when describing those feelings to us, they weren't able to.  One individual in particular expressed to me that as we prayed, she had this feeling in her heart that felt like the sun was shining on her.  She felt a warmness in her heart, but wasn't sure what it meant.  I'm glad I was able to bear witness of the Holy Ghost, and the role it has in learning and testifying of truth.  My personal testimony was strengthened and I know that God truly does love us and sends His Spirit down lead and guide us in our mortal journey here on earth.  I'm grateful for this spiritual GPS in my life.  I love you all, and will talk to you all next week!