This past week there was a transfer for all the missionaries who were finishing their mission to start school. But the new missionaries won't be here for another two weeks, which means that there were several people left without a companion, including our sister training leader, Sis Zhong. So, we became a tri-panionship, and are now covering DanShui (our old area where a lot of our investigators live), Zhuwei (where we live now), and Beitou (where sis zhong is serving)...craziness! But we have been having a blast! Sis Zhong is awesome and the three of us are pretty much best friends. :D
Last p-day we went with the elders from our ward, and our zone leaders to the National Palace Museum. So cool! I love museums- I think we could have spent 3 days there and still left without seeing it all. The main attraction there is the Jadeite Cabbage. Which sounds pretty lame, but cabbage is a big deal here, and the story behind it is pretty cool. I think there was an article about it in the Liahona and Ensign a month or two ago.
One of our members whom we just adore, and who helps us peike all the time, X, invited us over to her house for dinner this week. She asked us beforehand if we had any requests. Sis Jenkins and I looked at each other and said, "Mexican food!" So, she made us tacos, mushroom soup, some incredible salmon with an apple and onion salad (and it's saying something when I like eating fish...), honeydew melon, and a homemade apple pie. Wow. Soooooo goood! Her house is super cute and that plus the food and eating with a fork and knife made me feel like I was in America. And she has one of those super cool toilet seats with lots of buttons (yes, I did try it out, no it didn't work). But besides all of that, I felt like her having us over was a really clear expression of how much progress she has made. When I first got here, she wasn't really very active. Her husband isn't a church member, so we asked her if we could maybe eat dinner all together as a way to meet him. She didn't feel comfortable with that, and didn't think he would feel comfortable with that either. But over the past few months, we have been having her help us peike quite a bit (because she is retired and has lots of time :D). But we have just seen her testimony blossom and develop. So to have her invite us over tonight- and on top of that, to bear an awesome testimony about prayer to her husband during the spiritual share- was so neat. I never really believed the whole "a testimony is found in the bearing of it" thing before my mission, but now I really agree that it is true!
We met with several other less active members this past week and have been having a lot of success with them. We had a few come to church this past week, which was really exciting. It is so cool to see people's testimony reawaken- it's almost as if they have just been waiting for someone to reach out and invite them. We and one of the sets of elders helped one lady clean her house yesterday- this was the same lady whose house we cleaned a few months ago after her friend cut his hand and was bleeding everywhere (if that's not ringing a bell, go back and look through my emails from Aug). Luckily this time there was no blood, and we had a blast all working hard together. I really do love cleaning, I must be turing into Mom. :D
We are looking forward to finding some new people this week. But we saw an incredible miracle this past week with a referral who came to church yesterday. He has end-stage cancer, but as he was on the way to church, he got a message from a doctor at Stanford who specializes in his type of cancer that they have an operation which they think will save his life. He took that as a message from God that he needs to keep learning about the gospel and coming to church! He is an incredible man with a ton of faith and willingness to learn already. He just thanked me over and over for calling him and inviting him to church. It's so neat to see God working through us to the blessing of His children.
I love this quote from President Henry B Eyring: "The more faithful service you give, the more the Lord asks of you. Your smile is a happy one becuase you know that He increases our power to carry the heavier load....Increased spiritual strength is a gift from God which He can give when we push in His service to our limits. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our natures can be changed. Then our power to carry burdens can be increased more than enough to compensate for the increased service we will be asked to give." (click to read the whole talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/o-ye-that-embark?lang=en )
I love this because I have realized on my mission that it is so true! Just when we get comfortable, God gives us a new opportunity to stretch. How thankful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who isn't satisfied with where we are now, but rather is always looking forward to where we can go.