Thursday, May 16, 2013

Week 44, in which I can hardly believe it's week 44, and in which Dairy Queen is probably the most trivial, least exciting thing that happened this week (and that's saying a lot)

That's right, Dairy Queen again! It just transports me to another time and place--magical, really. But that's all I have time to say about that. We just have had so many miracles this week that I don't really know where to begin. So I think I'll just leave it at that and go buy another blizzard.

Okay, maybe not. My waistline would not appreciate that.

T-shirt of the week! "Mickey is the natural leader." And it's so true. I think it's his charisma combined with his genuine love for others that makes him just so easy to follow.

So you know how in Moroni 10 it lists gifts of the Spirit? It tells us that "every good gift cometh of Christ" and that "he is the same yesterday, today, and forever" and that if we come unto Christ we can "lay hold upon every good gift" and "be perfected in him." I've studied this chapter several times on my mission, and I've really learned how true it is. One of the gifts that I've really been seeking for is the gift to recognize faces and remember names, and wow has Christ blessed me a lot. Everywhere we go I see someone we've met before, and even though we meet so many people every day, a name just pops out of my mouth and it's always the right one! Except for the one time where we saw this man that Sister Lau had contacted on the bus, and I was sure that he was a man that I'd contacted forever ago, so I just stood behind him and said, "Chabhindra, hello!" And he didn't turn around, so I said, "Or maybe Chrisna?!" And then he turned around and started talking to us in Cantonese, and so then I realized that it was neither Chabhindra nor Chrisna, but Mr. K. So I felt a little foolish, but the fact that I was even able to pull out those names (I think they're Nepalese) is pretty impressive anyways.

So last Tuesday I must have eaten a bad noodle bowl, because I had the worst stomach cramps for about three days. But good grief, were those miracle days! And one of the biggest miracles was that every time we taught a lesson, the stomach cramps went away. As soon as we said the closing prayer, they came back and were just really awful, so I was just like, "Come on, hurry up, let's get to the next lesson quick!" But it was so worth pushing through the painful bits because we had so many miracle lessons.

My favorite lesson this week might have been with H, our investigator who is preparing to be baptized on May 12th (Happy Mothers Day!). She loves the Book of Mormon and reads it every day, and that's why I knew she was ready to be baptized. When you love the Book of Mormon, you can face any unknown, any doubts. That's one thing I've learned on my mission, if you read the Book of Mormon daily, you'll have the power to do anything you need to. And people don't always believe me when I say it, but if they would just try it out, they could know with just as much surety as I do.

One day when we were on the bus, we met a girl named K, and she was so excited to see us! She said that her friend, who was a church member, just arrived from the Philippines two days earlier and had been praying to find missionaries so that she could know where the church is! So we went with K to go meet D, and we scheduled to meet with them a couple days later so that we could teach K more about the gospel. But after a few hours of finding, I was feeling really tired. As we were walking into a different park to do the last half hour of finding, I was thinking, "Heavenly Father, I don't know if I can do another thirty minutes." And apparently he agreed with me, because who should we run into but D and K! And they were standing there talking with R, a lady that we'd given a Book of Mormon to a week earlier! It was a miracle! So many "coincidences" that you just know couldn't be a coincidence. We just taught them right there in the garden, and the Spirit was so strong that I couldn't stop smiling. My cheeks hurt so bad at the end of the day, but I guess that's the price you pay for miracles right?

We have the cutest people in this branch, I just love it. One of the elders' investigators came up to us at the activity on Saturday night and said, "I have goosebumps, and all the hair on my arms is standing up--look!" And we looked. And then we said, "Is it because you're cold?" And she looked at us like we were so weird and said, "NO, it's because the Spirit is so strong, can't you tell?" I just love these people :)

Sister Lau and I might receive the award for the silliest missionaries that have ever lived in Macau. We have the silliest little conversations that make us laugh until we cry. The other sisters think we're crazy. They're probably right. We've given each other all sorts of titles, based on our various accomplishments. One of mine is the Cockroach Slayer, because of my impeccable timing, my adept wielding of whatever weapons are at my disposal, and my limitless bravery when it comes to squashing The Big Ones. They also call me the Apartment Magician because I can break an apple into two with bare hands, and then make the apple disappear. Oh, and I'm also the PingYam Master because my PingYam is rather baller, if I do say so myself.

So this week has been rough in many ways--I can feel my body breaking down (don't worry about my teeth though, Dad, I still floss daily), and I'm tired all the time. We've taught so many lessons the past few weeks that by the time we get to the end of the day, the morning feels like weeks ago. And being sick this week made me even more tired, but WOW are the miracles worth all the sacrifice. WOW are the windows of heaven open over Macau, because WOW are the blessings pouring out. I love serving here with Sister Lau because every day we have at least five or six moments where we just look at each other with our mouths gaping open, because we're just so amazed at what happened. The gospel is true, there's no other explanation. It's not just good, it's not just a way to be happy, it's TRUE and THE way to have happiness. And people here in Macau believe it. And WOW does that make me happy. Dairy Queen may give us several minutes' pleasure, but sharing these blessings of the gospel give us lasting happiness, happiness that can last through hard times or sadness or bad dreams or times of sickness or any of those other less pleasant things that this life is guaranteed to bring.

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