I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!
I wish you all a Happy New Year! It's come so fast! I am beyond excited to be starting off another year, and excited to say, that this FULL coming year, will be completely FILLED with missionary work, and SOLELY that!
I am beyond excited for all you others and for the exciting goals, and dreams waiting to be fulfilled. I am not one to be very big at setting goals, but guess what? I am changing my old ways, and overcoming my laziness. Some of you all should jump on the band wagon, and do the whole New Year's resolution thing. However, set actual goals that CAN be achieved, as you think TO THE SAVIOR, and to the POWER of change that he brings to our lives, through his everlasting Atonement. I am excited to turn my will and laziness over to the Savior, and to have him help me refine myself even more.
Each week as I prepare to write this email home, I try to think of somewhat cool blog titles. haha I think this weeks' is super appropriate, and let me tell you the different aspects that it covers.
Yan Wu was our date set for, as of a few days ago. She chose that day, and is absolutely ready for baptism. Despite our constant efforts of warning, and preparing for family opposition- specifically from the mother, it has struck again. OHH MOTHERS! Why do you do this to us! First opposition from Pan's mother that we are still dealing with now, and then opposition from LiPing's mother, and now YAN'S! HAHA We are not complaining but we are simply a tad frustrated now at how ANNOYINGLY LOVING AND CARING MOTHERS ARE.
To all the dear mother's that have played a role in my life, especially to my own! Thank you for letting us make choices on our own, and especially for allowing us to receive eternal blessings: such as baptism, which will eventually result in eternal life and eternal salvation. Thank you for saving our lives, literally- unlike all the investigators' mothers that we have to deal with now.
I guess we have to give them the benefit of the doubt, they simply have not had the chance to experience what their daughters are experiencing here. I am super excited for Yan and for what she plans on doing to proceed toward her baptism.
Yan's mother is not opposed to her getting baptized, but simply wants her to wait a full year before committing herself fully to this. We had a great lesson with Yan last night. We listened to the next steps that she wants to take to help her parents become comfortable with this. She expressed herself that sharing her own testimony and explaining to her parents how this Gospel has changed her life, has brought her life joy and peace, and that it will continue to bring her joy will be key to her getting baptized on the. She knows that her faith is being put to the test here, and she sees it in that way. She used the analogy of a math problem. You can understand how to do a math problem, but how you can come to understand it that much more is when you TEACH someone how to do a math problem.
I have been evaluating this experience and have come to feel and express gratitude to our Heavenly Father for giving us trials and obstacles to help us, as missionaries, be more prepared on dealing with family opposition. He is teaching us to not only to ask if they have talked to their families, but incorporating it throughout all the lessons the possibility of family opposition and how they can build a testimony to stand up to it. Yan has given us a lot of new insights and has strengthened our testimonies in countless ways. The Lord is refining us, while refining her, to prepare her for hard, leadership roles, in the future Church in China. I am surprised to say this, but I am grateful for Yan's mom, and for her opposition. Afterall, where's the fun of missionary work if we aren't challenged! haha
FINALLY THANK YOU FAMILY FOR THE LOVELY CONVERSATION THAT WE HAD ON CHRISTMAS DAY. I am so thankful for modern technology and for the chance I had to see all of your beautiful faces.
Here's my final counsel to you before the New Year, read and ponder, and see if you want to incorporate these things into your new year goals!
Go read PREACH MY GOSPEL page 10: A Successful Missionary.
But change "A successful Missionary" to "A Successful Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints/ A successful Son or Daughter of God" or A successful Husband or Wife.
Love you all immensely! More than you can comprehend.