Yo yo yo! Pardon me, I'm feeling particularly hoodlum-esque at the moment. The first and second branches will be having a talent show this weekend, so we missionaries have been working on a performance that will knock their socks off. We spent a while brainstorming, and eventually decided to write a rap called 'It's easy to be a missionary.' It's all about member-missionary work, and it's gonna be off tha hook. I'm so excited for our performance, I know it's going to be a hit. Some of the missionaries in the district aren't natural rappers, but you know what, we have faith that we'll bring down tha house. Downside: last night we all laid awake for hours (exaggeration) because we couldn't get our different raps out of heads. Upside: the same thing will probably happen to the members. They'll have "It's easy to be a missionary, all ya gotta do is not be scary" running through their heads all day and night, and then they'll go out and start sharing the gospel with everybody! It'll be great.
T-shirt of the week: 'The difference between style and fashion is vanity.' It's a little vague; I'm not quite sure which one is vain and which isn't. Another interesting one: this shirt had a giant skull on it, and on the skull's forehead was written: 'One hand washes the other.' Creepy.
Sister C went back to Hong Kong this week, so I have yet another new companion! Sister L has been out for about 11 months and I lived with her when I was in Kwun Tong, so we already knew each other. Her Chinese name is 'Lau,' so that'll be the second Sister Lau I've served with! We had a crazy evening on Thursday, the first day that she arrived. We had a member visit scheduled, and they took us out to Pizza Hut! Yeah, you might not think that's anything special, but Pizza Hut here is FINE DINING. There were chandeliers and fancy utensils and millions of people waiting for their reservations. Yeah. The word 'hut' would usually connote more humble circumstances, but I suppose that it doesn't mean much to the Chinese. Anyways, we had to wait FOREVER (yeah, on a Thursday night, so strange). We finally got to our table and the waiters started bringing out the fancy pastas and the cheesy mashed potatoes and the salads and the meatballs (where's the pizza? I just wanna have some meat lovers'!)... and then our investigator called to tell us that she showed up to her appointment early and that she was at the church with a friend who wanted to meet us. So we ate as quickly as we can, and when they finally brought out the pizza (seafood special) we took some to go. And then we RAN for about 15 minutes all the way back to the church. Shouldn't have eaten that last helping of mashed potatoes. Anyways, we got there and Sister J and her friend had already left. I was so sad. But then Sister J said that she'd come back to see us! So we taught her about the commandment of Tithing, and wow was it the easiest lesson ever. Here's how it went:
Me: Today we're going to talk about Tithing. What does the word 'tithing' mean to you?
Sister J: Heavenly Father gives us so many blessings, and then we give ten percent of our income to help him, and then he gives us even more.
Me: And that's our lesson today, thanks for coming.
Well, more or less how our lesson was. She's wonderful. And although we didn't meet her friend on Thursday, she came to church on Sunday! H is a really wonderful, powerful woman. She has been a widow for many years, and never remarried after her husband left. She is working to support her two children, whom she absolutely loves. And she really has a desire to know the truth and to come closer to Jesus Christ. We talked about eternal families, and how God has made a way to take our earthly families and make them heavenly, and tears came to her eyes. Mine as well, actually. I felt even more love for my family as we were teaching. Really, there's nothing more special to me than you all, Mom, Dad, Rebecca, Rachel, Rowan, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles. I love you so much and I'm so grateful that we really can have eternity together. Important things will take us away from each other during our lives, but it's only for a short time, and if we endure it well, it'll all work out!
Sister D and Brother R made it back to the Philippines this week, and I think the highlight of my week was when Sister A (one of my favorite people ever) called them on Saturday morning! The signal was really poor, but they talked long enough for Sister D to say that they'd located the church in their area and that they'd attend on Sunday morning. And I gave Sister A the biggest hug and just danced around in the lobby for a couple seconds because wow am I so happy! I don't know what'll happen for the rest of my mission, but if no one else even wants to talk to me for the next 4 months, I'll still feel like this time was more than worth it. I'd serve 20 missions if I knew that Sister D and Brother R were at the end of it. I love their little family so much.
Another interesting moment of the week: had my first really Jehovah's Witnesses encounter! Ask me about it when I get home, it was great!
I love being here--my mission has never been more full of joy. And yes, we're having miracles, but I don't know if that's exactly why I'm so happy. We still have trials and I still lose my temper and get impatient and have bad days... but I think I've really changed. I'm not the same as I was at the beginning of my mission. I'm not as worried or nervous or anxious. And I think it's because I've learned to trust Heavenly Father more. He really is there, and he's waiting to help us. Elder Lee once told Elder Packer that, "The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning. You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you." And that has always been my trouble too, but as we read the scriptures and really pray and come closer to God, then we really can develop more of that faith. Sure, I have no idea what classes I'll take or where I'll live or what I'll do with my life when my mission finishes... but I can walk to the edge of the light (the end of my mission) and into the darkness (BYU) and then the path will come. And I'm not worried about it. I love my Savior so much, because he already walked my path for me anyways. He knows the way, and he'll show me the way, one step at a time.