Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 60, in which I LOVE FAMILIES!!!!!!!!! And in which I have this weird craving for Nilla Wafers. Oh how I miss them.

Did you know that in the Philippines, they pronounce 'wafers' like 'wah-fers'? Tomato, tomah-to, wafer, wah-fer. The Brits certainly have had a profound influence on the Tagalog language, and I suppose that's why I get along so well with the Filipinas. I think I'll write my thesis on that next year.

I hope you know that I'm joking.

T-shirt of the week: 'I HEART JUSTIN BIEBER.' I'd completely forgotten that he existed. Is he still famous? And the other t-shirt of the week: "Nobody's equal. Kiss somebody 'SHINY,' that's my philosophy." These shirts never cease to amuse me.

This week I received an amazing, beautiful gift (and by 'gift,' I mean I paid precious money for it, but anyways). A three-column, Chinese characters, Cantonese ping-yam, and English Book of Mormon! Language study has never been more fun! I can read the entire Book of Mormon introduction in Chinese characters now! It really is a miracle, and wow are characters addictive! I've been practicing writing as well, and now everywhere I go I look at characters and practice writing them with my finger. I love Chinese!

Anyways, this week has been so full of miracles that I can't even believe it! Firstly, Sister D and Brother R, our beautiful, beautiful family. They have to leave on the 27th, because their visas are running out. But on Saturday night, they called us because they had a question about baptism. So Sunday morning, we met with them, and turns out their question was, "Can we be baptized before we go home?" They'd talked together and prayed, and they felt like that was the direction that their family should go. As we've talked with them since then, I have been so amazed over and over again at the miraculous change that has taken place in their lives. I keep asking God, "How is it done? How do you do it?" Because it's certainly not Sister C or me. Only God could touch someone's heart this deeply. Brother R has always been quiet and a little more hesitant about the entire process, but we met with them this morning and he shared with us about a special experience that he had last night. He got out of bed last night after the others were asleep, knelt down, and prayed. And when he was done, he knew what he needed to do. He said, "If the Book of Mormon and these commandments were revealed through Joseph Smith, then he must be a prophet, and this really must be the restored church of Jesus Christ. I think I believe it." They both are so humble and full of love. When talking about tithing, Sister D said, "When I learned about tithing, I already knew it really. It's like this: if you have, you give to God. And if you can help other people, why would you want to keep it to yourself?"

I thank them over and over again, and they keep saying, "No, why are you thanking us? You're the one who is teaching us." But honestly, they have taught me so much. I've learned about humility and true charity. And they've been a beautiful example of a loving, united marriage. They support each other, period. Sister D says over and over again, "I am him and he is me and we are one." I love this family so much, it's hard to even express it. I just reread this paragraph and feel so frustrated because I can't put what I'm feeling in words. In the Bible, it describes this feeling as, "Peace that passeth all understanding." And that's what I feel right now. There really aren't words in the English language (or Chinese language or any other language for that matter) that can explain or contain the feeling that comes when we serve Heavenly Father and love his children. And it has nothing to do with my own abilities, because on my own I'm really not much. But that's what I love about the gospel. With God, we don't have to do it on our own, and our own abilities don't have anything to do with it. I love this work so much, and I'm grateful that it doesn't have to end when my 18 months are up. No way am I stopping here! I love this work. I know that God lives, that he's in charge, and that he loves his children.

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