Monday, May 5, 2014

Dinkytown: Week 30 "Change: The Book of Mormon is like a chameleon!"

I have survived yet another transfer here in Dinkytown! I think Dinkytown truly will become my eternal mission, haha. I guess the Lord still has a lot of things for me to learn here at the U of M campus. Can you believe it!? I've been in Dinkytown for a few days shy of EIGHT MONTHS! time truly does fly!
Every transfer, I feel like everything around me gets switched and changed around while I stay still. It's often sad to see people leave, and sometimes, I can't help but to feel a tad bit left behind. But then I am reminded of all the amazing people that I have come to love here, and the comforts of the Institute building, and the abundance amount of miracles we see every week, and then on second thought, I don't think i'd ever want to leave this place.  I think Heavenly Father senses my slight hope of getting to see other parts of Minnesota though each transfer, and so he has constantly allowed me to move at least from apartments to apartments here withing Dinkytown. HAPPY MOVING DAY AGAIN! I have officially gone full circle and now I'm back in the apartment where I started my mission off in! haha We're being kept on our toes here, can't get too comfortable! haha
The perks of the YSA ward:
Last Preparation day, Sister Huang and I were pampered by Kitz. She brought us out for manicures! Never ever did I think that we'd get to enjoy such luxury on a mission! Yup, we are quite pampered. The best part of the manicure besides the fact that I have clean nails again is meeting the owners of the Nail Salon. And yes, they do talk like the veet-na-meese. Sparko laike dye-mond een dee sky! Kit or gel? I help you get boifrend"
It was great! I think I've made some eternal friends that day in the nail salon. The vietnamese couple looove Taiwan, and said that they visit quite often because they have a niece who is half taiwanese that lives in Taipei. She kept saying that I looked so much like her niece. They loved us so much, and were so impressed by what we do here in Minnesota- as missionaries, that they even told Sis. Huang and I that we could get free manicures anytime that we wanted. Woot woot! Unfortunately, they didn't quite fully understand our schedules here because of the language barrier, and thus we couldn't teach them a lesson, over them fixing our nails. However, I did get their emails and will definitely hope to get in touch with them after the mish!
Perks of being based at the institute is that we get to attend all the CES fireside as long as we have an investigator with us. I learnt so much from Elder Ballard's talk to all the Young people in the church last night. He focused on three main topics. First is the use of technology, second, the dangers of Pornography, and the third the importance of marriage. What really stuck with me was what he talked about with the use of technology. He asked us all if our smartphones and ipads, and computers have become our masters, or do we have control and use them as our slaves. It made me think about my time spent before the mission. How often I went onto my phone to check facebook and to check instagram, and pinterest and etc. the list goes on forever. I marvel to think how easy it has become to acces information , but how much time we also spend on unimportant scrolling , and "likeing" and posting. We have distractions coming from every angle these days. Elder Ballard talked about how our generation today no longer get to enjoy the heavenly light, the comfortable darkness, and the natural silence that Nephi, and Christ, and even the Pioneers/ Joseph got to enjoy in the past. People have so many distractions that we no longer get to be spiritually uplifted or feel the presence of heaven close by as we stare at the dark star lit skies at night without the disturbance of a nearby jet flying by overhead. I miss silence, and I know that's something I personally loved before my mission. To be out in nature on my own. That's something I want to preserve in my future life. Those spiritual moments we get from being STILL.
Ups and Downs of this week:
Ming Ming, our dear friend Ming is so awesome. She's grown so much, and has truly had a change of heart. However, just poor timing is causing her to move her baptismal date back...for 3 months! Yup, unfortunately, so many of our progressing investigators are leaving for the summer, and because of that, we don't want to have them be baptized and go off for 3 months! Ming comes from truly an awesome family I personally believe. Her parents are so supportive, reasonable, and loves her so much. Although they didn't agree 100 percent to her being baptized, they gave very logical and respectful comments. Her dad and mom are coming in on May 20th, and I just want to meet this Dad of hers. Maybe I'll be able to win them over somehow with my charms...bahaha what charms. just kidding! I'm excited for Ming though because she will be traveling around the US with her parents all summer..and guess what's planned into their itinerary!Utah and Temple Square, yeaayah. We're going to pray hard that her parents will have the chance to talk to missionaries and have a super spiritual experience!
Highlight of the Week:
Sister Huang, Sarah Quass (a high school Senior from a nearby ward), and I went on a little adventure this past Saturday! We went to visit the married Student housing up at the St. Paul campus. We heard that there are a lot of Chinese young families over there, and of course, with ALL the Chinese that we can get, we will go scout them out! This has been my very first self planned door knocking experiences here on my mission, and guess what...with two and a half hours in mind, we only successfully knocked on 5 doors...yup 5. wanna know why?
Well on our fifth door of the day, we ended up meeting an Egyptian family. Yup. Egyptian, not Chinese may I we had hoped to.
This Egyptian young couple lovingly invited us into their home. They respectfully listened to us share our message of the Restoration, and when we had concluded that...they literally went into an hour lecture about the Islamic faith. Yes! They pulled a missionary "let us convert the mormon missionaries to the islamic faith" move on us! We sat through an hour of him telling us about the Islam faith, the Qran's history and before long, he even whipped out his electronic Qran and started to sing the Qran to us. (Did you know that they sing their scriptures?? What? I was clueless! ) We literally were pretty much bull dozed over by his intense personality. It is truly after lessons like that on the mission where I just felt defeated until I think of the seeds that we have planted...and also at the fact that I have yet gained another funny, memorable, awesome experience to my mission memory bank!
Long story short, we bursted out in laughter after that lesson, then went and treated ourselves to some Mexican food and Bubble Tea. haha!
Despite all that, we left a copy of the Book of Mormon behind and hopefully one of these days, he will come across it and read it for good for himself. Funny last thought, all throughout the lesson, he kept telling us about how he has read every bible out there and that finally when he came to the Qran, he knew that the Qran was the only right book. But of course, when we asked him " Have you Read the Book of Mormon though?" He said no. Well sorry sir, you are never going to know the truth of it if you don't read it!
Missions are filled with such great memories and planting seeds here and there! Loving every minute of the work over here me loves. Happy MOther's day to all you lovelies, and I can't wait to see you me fam bam in less than a week! Until then, stay awesome, and enjoy the nature around ya and go have a meaningful conversation with someone this week! Get off those phones once in awhile...and you know who I'm talking about! ;)
Love always!
Sister Pao

Byebye Sister Curtis! :(

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