Saturday, July 20, 2013

Week 55, in which every now and then I fall apart (turn around, bright side)

No, don't worry, I'm okay. I've just had Total Eclipse of the Heart stuck in my head for several days now, ever since I heard someone say, "Turn around" and I whispered "bright side" to myself because I knew no one else would get it. But to be honest, I almost fell apart several times this week! I think someone turned on my exasperation switch this week or something, because it seems like I had such a difficult time being the benign, sweet, dignified sister missionary that I want to be! But lots of prayers and sheer will power kept me together haha, and Heavenly Father really helped me pull through! The thing about life is that as we're here, we're learning how to become more like our Father in Heaven. His work and his glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. So his whole job depends on the agency of other people. No matter what, if we choose to be disobedient and unrepentant, then we won't be able to have that eternal life with Heavenly Father. And if I were Heavenly Father, I'd probably get exasperated with people sometimes! I mean good grief, he's trying to help us have the most happiness that we can ever get, and we're like, "Um, no thanks, I'd rather go and break this commandment, it seems like more fun than eternal happiness." It's kind of like when I go to Dairy Queen and I see people order a vanilla milkshake. Who does that? There's BLIZZARDS there. Sheesh. Don't settle for less. Ridiculous people.

But yes, that's why I'm not like Heavenly Father (well, one of the reasons). He's infinitely patient with us, always reminding us and calling us back, whereas I'm still impatient and exasperated. Missionary work (and really, most every aspect of life) is greatly influenced by the agency of others. We so desperately want to share this message with everyone, but if no one wants to hear, well then that's that. We can't make people listen or believe or love God. People cancel lessons, do silly things, and it affects others around them. But we can't make them change. That's not God's way! So as I deal with people being irrational or slow or silly, I just try to remember that I too have my irrational, slow, and silly moments. I probably exasperate people too! And I still would want other people to give me another chance to be better. So I'd better give that chance to everyone else. I think a part of true charity is expecting the best from people, believing that they can become more than they are. So that's what I've been working on this week.

Remember that silly moment that I wrote about a few weeks ago, where I saw the graffiti "QUEST" on the wall, and ran off the bus because I wanted a picture of it, but then it started raining, but then when we got on the next bus it was a good thing we did, because we met someone we needed to meet? Yeah, that moment. Well, I don't know WHAT'S going on here in Macau, but the word "QUEST" is spray-painted EVERYWHERE. It's like the new geocache, you go out and try to find the most QUESTS. It's so fun! Who knows, it might be some sort of gang something or other, but it's whatever. I think it's fun.

Small success this week: for the first time in my life, I successfully folded a map correctly on the first try! Gotta find joy in the little things, right?

We met N a month ago. She's the cutest 8-year-old girl ever, and so bright. Every time we see her on the way home from school, she waves at us and is so excited to see us. She asked for a pamphlet and apparently read it herself. And a few weeks ago we went out finding for about thirty minutes, and who is the first person we see? N! Second person? HER MOM! Yes, I was so excited! There's something special about N, I can just feel it. And her mom is a real sweetheart, full of faith, even though she has a lot of trials that she's dealing with right now. They both have interest in meeting with us, and her mom said, "Yeah, N has been telling me about her Mormon friends and how she wants to go to your church. We'll have to come sometime!" Later she mentioned that she'd been looking for the right church to pay her tithing in and to be baptized in. They have so much potential, and I'm so excited for them!

I love the members here in the branch! We had a party on Saturday night, and we brought two of the people we've been teaching. At one point, I was just standing in the corner, eating my spring rolls and observing, and it just warmed my heart to see how wonderful and welcoming our members are. My investigators were surrounded by people and everyone knew their names and had introduced themselves. I want to be more like that someday. I've learned so much from their examples. We don't go to church to just be served. We go to serve, to find the people who don't have a friend and to be their friend, to uplift and inspire and bless. I want to be more like that when I go home.

I just love it here! I'm learning, making mistakes, working harder, making more mistakes... oh yeah, and having MIRACLES! This is God's work, and he's in the details of it. So I'm not worried... well, let's be honest, I'm a worrier by nature, but I'm not THAT worried :) I love you all!

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