Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Missionaries are not exempt from real life"

Sis Jenkins and I worked SO HARD this week. We talked to EVERYONE and asked for referrals from EVERYONE and used every single minute of our time and studied Preach My Gospel like no one's business and prayed and prayed and prayed some more. Seriously, I am exhausted. And by exhausted, I mean more than the usual missionary tired! But we had a great week and I learned a lot about God and how He operates in my life. 
 beautiful new chapel in Danshui

President Day told us all this week that he has a vision for the month of December to be a "white Christmas"- meaning he feels that every companionship can have 2 baptisms in the month of December (double the usual goal). He gave us some suggestions as to how to accomplish this, and I know that because he is called of God, if we are diligent in following his invitations and following the spirit, we can achieve this goal. DanShui will have a white christmas! We set a goal this week to have a new investigator every day, and so far we are rocking it! Last night we realized we hadn't gotten a new investigator that day, so we called every potential person who we'd had a lesson with on the street in the past week but who hadn't yet set up a time to meet with us. After 4 calls with no success, we finally talked to one guy who wanted to meet. YEAH! Miracles! 

letting every know about their free English class
 Sis Jenkins and I were invited to participate in the annual Missionary Christmas Choir! We 40 missionaries from within the 3 Taibei zones were asked to participate. We will rehearse every p-day and perform every Fri, Sat, and Sun in December for wards in the Taibei area. It takes us an hour and a half of travel each way to Taibei, so it will pretty much consume all of p-day after our email time, but I had heard from a lot of missionaries who participated last year that it was an incredible experience, so I was really excited to get the call to sing with them! And, they are going to try to find a harp for me to play. No one in Taiwan has harps, so we'll see how that goes. But that would be so fun- I love playing Christmas music. 

With the Christmas choir and the extra hour of studies we have because of training for Sis Jenkins, we have less time than ever, higher goals than ever and more faith and willingness to work than ever before. This is the perfect environment to see miracles. :D

  X got baptized! Yeah! He's a good kid. I really hope that his baptism will help motivate his mom to become more active and they can work together to learn the gospel. 

This week we fasted for our three investigators whose parents fandui (oppose)- but who really could get baptized any minute if their parents agreed. We said a lot of prayers and put a lot of faith into it, knowing that God could work miracles in the hearts of these parents. A couple hours after breaking our fast, we called up Candy to see if she could still meet with us. She said no, that her mom said she couldn't. We asked if she had had the chance to talk to her parents about baptism. She said yes, and that they were angry and said no. I was totally crushed- I was trying not to cry the whole bike ride home. For a little while I was just so confused. How after all of our faith and prayers and fasting was this sweet girl who WANTS to be baptized still not able to? Sis Jenkins and I started discussing the scripture that says that if you ask in faith for righteous desires, God will give them to you. Baptism certainly is a righteous desire- what were we lacking? Then sis Jenkins said, "missionaries aren't exempt from real life".  We aren't exempt from God's will just because we are missionaries. 

The next day in personal study, I read Pres Uchtdorf's talk Continue in Patience, and this part stuck out at me: "We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can't possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer." As I read that, I realized that God wants these kids to be baptized just as much as we do- probably more, even! So if they have to wait, there must be a reason. I don't know why He allowed us to meet them at this time only to have their parents oppose. I don't know why their hearts weren't softened. There are a lot of things I don't know. But like Nephi, "I know that He loveth His children, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." I do know, however, that if we trust in God, he will make everything happen for the best, and continue to guide our steps. If we do what is right, he will make all things right. This week has been such an amazing opportunity for me to learn to REALLY trust God- just like we are asking our investigators to do. So I am actually thankful for this experience!

 We are going to the temple today! I am so excited. I have always loved the temple, and having a vision of the temple shapes and directs people and families on the path to exaltation. 

Love you!
Sis Murri 

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