Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Week 52, in which I can't believe it's week 52, and in which we've seen surprisingly few cockroaches.

WOW I love being a missionary. I can't believe I've been out here for so long. I feel like I'm in the middle of the middle of life and I'll be here forever and ever. I like it. That's one thing that I've always admired about the Apostle Paul. He served a REALLY long mission, and one of my favorite scriptures of his is in Philippians (haha, I just wrote Philippines by accident, oh I love international) 4:11: "For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be contented." I think that's just the best way to be. We live in the present, learn from the past, and plan for the future. We had an amazing meeting with President Hawks this week. He talked about the idea of events versus processes. He said that if our mission just becomes a series of big events (miracles, baptisms, month/year marks) then we'll constantly be up and down, really happy and really gloomy. But if we appreciate the mission (and life!) for the process, for the simple, daily routine, then we can always be contented with our present state. And for the most part, I've reached that point. I love where I am. Sure, I have times where I want to be lazy and just sit on the couch in sweat pants watching Pride and Prejudice, but let's be real, how many miracles do you see from the couch? No, the miracles come when we go out and do things, even if we don't quite know what we're doing. The Lord guides us as we step, but we have to show the faith to take the first step. President Hawks said, "In any journey, the most important step is the next one." Every day, we get up and have to choose what we will become that day. And it's by consistently choosing to be a little bit better that we become who Heavenly Father wants us to become.

I just love Sister H!

Heavenly Father really does guide each of us though, if we let him, although sometimes he does it without us being aware of it. I'll just tell you one example, which might make me seem a little foolish, but it was a good experience haha. So we're on the bus going home, and as we got near the next bus stop, I saw some interesting graffiti across the roundabout, and all of a sudden I said, "Sister J, quick! Get off the bus!" So we just jumped off right there! She said, "Why, what's going on?" And I said, feeling a little silly, "I want to take a picture of that graffiti!" And then it started to POUR down rain, right there. Then I started to feel really foolish. Why did I even want to take a picture of that graffiti? It wasn't even that interesting, it just said "QUEST" in big, black letters. It seemed epic in the moment, but afterwards I just felt silly! So we got on the next bus and sat down next to this girl named L. We ended up talking to her the rest of the way home, and by the time we got to our destination, I felt okay about my silly little spur-of-the-moment disembarkation. She really needed a friend. She teared up as we were telling her about how much Heavenly Father loves her, and it was clear how lonely and sad she has been since she got here to Macau. He really does love her.

One more blessing: one of our investigators, R, is set to be baptized in July, and he has been looking really hard for a job. His visa was set to run out today, so last week he, his girlfriend, Sister J, and I, fasted and prayed that he'd be able to find a job. And then three days later, he was hired! It was such a miracle! I woke up, checked the phone, and freaked out! I ran back into the bedroom, but the other sisters were saying their morning prayers, so I was silently just freaking out, jumping up and down so excited, trying to not just shout it out right then, but I contained myself just barely long enough haha. The rest of the day I was just so thrilled. Some people might say it's a coincidence, but I know it's God. I know he exists, I know he is aware of us, and I know he takes care of us. And every day we can see miracles, we just have to open our eyes a little more. They're there!

SisterT's dogs

Father's Day dinner for our branch

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