Friday, September 13, 2013

Week 57, in which I went an entire week without a peanut butter sandwich, and in which I learn some lessons about charity.

 Sister C with me outside the Church building

Parking outside the Church  

Macau at its finest

It's true. An entire week without a peanut butter sandwich. Why, you may ask, would I do that to myself? Well, because Park-N-Shop was out of bread. Yeah. Preposterous. That'd never happen in good ol' US of A. There are entire AISLES of bread (Haha, I almost typed 'isles,' which I'd really like actually, an isle of bread' yum!) in America. Here? One measly, poorly-stocked shelf right next to the only slightly less poorly stocked shelf of cereal. But no worries, there's an entire aisle of RICE. Ah, gotta love Asia.

T-shirt of the week: On this shirt was the CUTEST little kitten wearing clothes. It said, "Benign hereafter." I liked it. The other t-shirt said, "Run Around Naked." But that doesn't make sense. Why would one write that on a t-shirt? Wouldn't it make more sense to tattoo it on one's torso or something? Huh, whatever.

I love the sisters in my apartment. There are six of us right now, and we all share a bedroom and a study. That means we spend quite a bit of time together, and sometimes we get a little bit silly. We frequently share our dreams during our morning exercise time, and this week I actually remembered one of my dreams! It was pretty long, so I'll just give you the short version. I was back in Calc class with Mr. Olivo, and in my dream he had the most magnificent rat-tail I'd ever seen. He turned back our homework, which for some reason I wasn't able to complete, so I got a zero. Sister Wilcox (one of the sisters in our apartment), was walking around asking, "Did anybody else get 10 extra credit points? Turns out she'd gotten a perfect score PLUS 10 extra credit points. Why? Well, before she'd turned in her homework, she put a sticker that said 'PERFECT' on her paper. And while grading the homework, Mr. Olivo wrote next to the sticker, "Actually, yes, you're right." And I was just so annoyed with Sister Wilcox the whole time. Calling all aspiring Freuds, analyze that one for me!

But no worries, I actually really love Sister Wilcox. We've started to do this thing in the apartment whenever the other sisters come in the door. When we hear their keys jingling, we run over and turn off the lights and then we lie down on the floor pretending to be dead. It is so funny, and I've almost bumped my head on the table or a chair twice now because of it, but no matter. People probably expect me to come home all mature and everything, but I think they might be sorely disappointed.

I wrote to President Hawks last week about one of our investigators who is really struggling to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and he wrote back this week with some ideas. He signed his email with 'Gods speed.' I'd always seen it written as 'Godspeed' and seeing it written that way really made me think. 'Godspeed' means that we want God to help us go somewhere in a quick manner, right? But God's speed? I suppose that would mean that we want to get where we're going at the speed that God thinks we should go at. And that's the way it should be. I always think, "Well, I want this to happen this week, and that means that by next month it'll be time for this, and then I can do that and that and when I'm 105 I'll pass away in my bed from old age and it'll just be perfect." (No, I don't always think about the age I want to die at, that's weird. It was just an example.) But I really need to get better at accepting the Lord's timing.

You know what might be the most challenging trial in the mission? LACK OF SLEEP. No worries, I go to bed right on time every night, wake up on time every morning, but wow am I tired! Physically, mentally, spiritually, ecumenically... grammatically (actually, I really am, my English is suffering!). That means that one of the hardest things to make myself do every day is floss. DON'T WORRY Dad, I still floss daily. But it is so hard! It's the last thing I do before I go to bed, and it takes every ounce of mental will power to do it. But hey, my teeth are worth it.

The work has been going slower than I'd like it to go (then again, God's speed, right?). But this week I just had what was definitely the most spiritually powerful lesson I've ever experienced. The sister we taught has had drug and drinking problems since age 11, spent some time in prison and rehab. She was rejected by many of her family members because she's a lesbian, and her family has TONS of other issues. But she decided that she needed to change, get on the straight and narrow, and find God. She prayed for a sign, and shortly afterwards met missionaries. We shared Mosiah 5:7 with her, and explained how we can become born again through baptism. She had tears in her eyes, and I did too. I can't even explain how special that lesson was--the rest of the day I was just glowing inside. I love this sister so much, and I'm not even scared to teach her about the Law of Chastity or the Word of Wisdom or anything because I know that God knows her and has provided a way for her to come back despite any challenges she has. It's amazing, the moments of love that you feel on the mission. Before the mission, I thought that all day everyday would feel this way, I'd always be just so happy and it would be so easy to love everybody. But it's not like that. It's hard to love people sometimes. But with this sister, it was so easy. And I know it's not because I tried to love her. That kind of love didn't come from inside. The love just filled me, came in from an external source. I know it's charity, and it was a miracle. I want that feeling again and again. I love that sister, and I love Macau and I love struggling and having hard times because it helps me to change. I love this mission and I love the Lord!

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