Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dinkytown: Week 11 "A White Christmas"

A white Christmas it is and will be indeed everyone! We are loving the beautiful blanket of snow here every single day. Although its cold, I really don't mind it...just yet, because it is just oh so beautiful!

Funny thing about last P-Day. After emailing y'all, Sister Smith and I spontaneously went to have frozen yogurt for lunch! haha call us crazy? yup! We had a lovely surprise at the check out: Normally, an ounce of froyo costs 42 cents but we ended up only having to pay 11 cents/ ounce for our froyo! The lady explained that at their store, with every degree below 32 degree F, or 0 degrees Celcius, that would be how much cents you get off the original price. So the temperature was 1 degree F that day so we got such a great deal! Best day everrr! One of the ups of being in the Icebox of the Nation. haha- nobody wants to eat frozen yogurt expect for crazy missionaries.

This past weekend was certainly a white Christmas, not only because of the constant snow, but because my dearest two new best friends, Naye Lazaro and Karem Salas Ramirez entered the waters of baptism dressed in all white. My First baptisms here on the mission! I can only express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father of how blessed and fortunate I feel to have been granted this opportunity to teach them and to see their conversion process. If I never told you all, Naye, we contacted on campus, and from there, Naye brought Karem, her bestfriend and roommate, to church and from there, the two of them simply flourished. They are so faith filled, loving, and prepared to spread the Gospel. I can just imagine them sharing their conversion story to many more in the future, including their families. Naye accepted this Gospel, blessing the life of her best friend as well. I just love it!

Yesterday, we had the chance to go over to two of the Zone Leaders investigators home for dinner. Zhang Jia Ling and Ding Hao Chen are such awesome people- and awesome cooks as well! Jia Ling and Hao Chen are both from China, and because Sister Smith and I are supposed to be teaching all the Chinese investigators, the Elders had to pass them over to us. Jia Ling cooked us all the most amazing meal, and probably the closest thing that reminds me of our home cooked meals, that I've had here on the mission. REAL chinese food, and not fake panda Express American Food, not greasy China food, but GOOD yummy food. 
While we were there, we had the chance to teach them a lesson as well. We focused on helping them brainstorm ways that they could continue to be anchored in what they have learned, continue to be faithful, and to feel of the spirit especially when they return back to China for the Christmas break. As missionaries, we worry for our investigators' spiritual growth like a mom worries for their teenage son. I guess this is a taste of how motherhood will feel like in the future! Sharon, this is probably how you'll feel very soon, judging by how fast Carson is growing!!- I'm tellin' ya, the mission prepares you for every aspect of your life.

This Christmas season I've been thinking a lot about Christ's mission. It reminded me of the scripture found in 3 Nephi 27:13. Christ came into the world to do the will of the Father, because the Father sent Him. I know that as I am serving my mission, I am walking as close as possible next to my Savior and His mission. It is probably the only time of my life where I will come as close to literally walking hand in hand with the Spirit. I will not fight to do the will of the Lord. I will submit myself and serve selflessly, thinking less about myself, but always filling my mind with thoughts of how I can be helping those around me, helping my companion, doing the will of the Lord, and reflecting a FLOW missionary at all times. A MMM missionary is a Faithful, Loving, Obedient, and hardWorking missionary. And I want to exemplify that, because those are all the qualities of my Savior. 

I am so very blessed for loving parents, a great family, and opportunities of a life time that I am enjoying here on my mission. I am also so grateful for my knowledge of how I can receive eternal happiness in this life today, and not simply dwell upon the temporal things of this world. May your knowledge of the Savior's birth into this world this Christmas season and of his redeeming love and mission inspire you to share this Good News with all those around you. Humble yourself, and do the will of the Father.

Hugs and Loves to all of you during this special season!
Sister Pao

Our gift to President and Sister Clements from the zone. Excuse my horrible writing! But I tried with what I had: acrylic paint and a 1 dollar paintbrush. Haha!

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