What a full, busy, happy, yummy, crazy week!
I just asked Sis Smith what I should write about in this email, and she said, "you can write about how hilarious I am!". She is hilarious! Hahaha! I absolutely love love love being companions with her; she is an incredible missionary. Just being around her makes me want to be a better person and missionary.
This week We were super hungry for some good beef (they don't eat a ton of that here), but it's expensive, so we found a restaurant that looked not too pricy, and each bought a plate of meat. The restaurant was pretty full, so the only tables they had left were ones for 10 people. They asked us if we minded, and we said no- because we're missionaries and we love talking to people, and also, everyone in the place is staring at us anyway. Perks of being a white girl. I think I will miss having people tell me I'm beautiful all the time in America. It always is interesting to me that I can be dripping sweat in a country full of gorgeous Asian people and still have them tell me how beautiful I am. Anyway, a lady and two guys sat down at the table with us and we struck up a conversation while eating our meat (and sweating bullets because it ended up being mega spicy). We kept talking to them and it turns out that one of them has a Book of Mormon and had been to our church 15 years ago or something- we got his number and are meeting with him this week.
This past Saturday we had 5 Recent Convert/Less active member lessons back to back- and the theme of the day seemed to be that when a person is truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, nothing else matters. Each of the those that we visited who no longer come to church still has a testimony of the gospel. One is inactive because she works nights, and thus sleeps during the day, and they live with her mother in law, who is very opposed to the church and criticizes them heavily for attending. Another is inactive because she joined the church hoping it would help her daughter, and now her daughter doesn't want to go anymore due to some insensitive comments made by another member. The third is not active because she has some personal questions and concerns.
These lessons were a stark contrast to the lesson we had with L and W, our recent converts. We watched the video with them about Chris Williams forgiving the driver of the car who killed his wife and children. As Sister Smith and I discussed afterward how to help these people who believe in the gospel return to full activity, we came to the conclusion that it's really not about the mother-in-law, the needing to work, being offended, the daughter, or the personal concerns. It's really all about conversion. If there were true conversion, none of those things would take precedence over the blessings of the kingdom of God. Then we started to realize how directly that relates to us. We decided that most members of the church- or even Christians in general- would say that their goal is to go to the celestial kingdom. But is it really? If that is the desire of our heart, we don't justify listening to a song with "just one bad part", for example. It's been a real wake-up call to me to reexamine the desires of my heart. And the best part about it is that if we discover that our desires are a little misplaced, God can change the desires of our heart- and it's all through Jesus Christ. This is the way I want to live. It's the kingdom of God or nothing. I feel like I have come to understand so much more about the reality and veracity of the Atonement these past few weeks. I have been reading my Patriarchal blessing every day and trying to understand who the woman described there is- because that woman is me, it is my spirit. And she is incredible.