Monday, May 19, 2014

Dinkytown: Week 32 "Hope--and dodging bullets as we go"

I hope that all of you had an amazing past week. I'm sure you are all very very busy; hence, I haven't heard much update from you all. I hope that all of you are engaged in meaning activities each and every day! :D
My prayers have been answered this past week as I learnt from an amazing zone conference why we haven't been seeing as many baptisms  (overall in the whole mission) recently. Our faith and trust in the Lord and the Holy Ghost have been dwindling because we are, an overall more mature and experienced group of missionaries-- we have forgotten that this is the Lord's work!
Hearing this caused me to re-evaluate myself and the missionary that I have been for these past few months. There has been a lot of days where I have been engulfed in being worried about the retention capabilities of the ward, that I have forgotten my purpose as a missionary-- and that is to invite others to come unto Christ and to enter into the waters of baptism, where from there they can be blessed with the sanctifying power, and strength of the Holy Ghost. I have become a passive missionary, thinking that planting seeds of conversion is but enough. I know that all the people we meet who hear about this message but do not want to actively pursue it are indeed blessed with a small seed of light, but that does not mean that I do not still need to go forth and to diligently pray, and seek out those who are prepared! I have been holding back on the potentials that we have as we heed the promptings of the Spirit!
"Our worries become self-fulfilling prophecies moving us toward the disaster we fear." This quote struck me hard this week. Kind of like a slap in the face. I worry too much, but why do I worry when all I need to do is continue to move forward diligently!
Sister Huang has been such a beacon of light these days in my life as together we have been encouraging each other to be filled with HOPE and JOY! And hence through praying for the christlike attribute of hope, we have been blessed with fruits of our faith.
One of our investigators Cedric Shan is progressing to be baptized on July 19th. Dodging bullets as you see is the name of my post...but just to reassure you all, we are not literally dodging bullets. Sometimes it feels like it though, when we are faced with all of the MOST unpredictable things ever! Life of a missionary-tell me about it! Sister Huang and I have been praying hard for him because we thought last week that he might have a problem with the word of wisdom and with cigarrettes. We prayed for faith and boldness to help him commit to keeping the word of wisdom that very day, and went into our lesson. Heavenly Father answered our prayers, and blessed us with MORE than we were expecting. Cedric didn't have any problem with cigarrettes! He said that he would sometimes only have some coffee when he was pulling all-nighters for his studies, but that recently, he has been trying to commit to changing that bad habit. We were overjoyed--and surprised at first! But ever so grateful. Whew we dodged that bullet there!
Bullets don't end there though, we are always being kept on our toes these days! With this summer break, people keep unexpectedly telling us that they are leaving for vacation here and there. Makes it a tricky time to help them set dates for baptism. Despite all that! We are dodging each trial that comes our way one step at a time, and NOT LOSING HOPE. This week, I can just feel it, will be a week where our faith and hope will bring about miracles after miracles. Expect stories next week!
Thank you so much fam for all your prayers on the missionaries behalf! WE are such a blessed group of people. Each and every day, I evaluate the things and lessons that I have learnt in that day, and I just know that My Heavenly Father knows me so well! Otherwise, I would not be here on my mission, and I bet I would not be half as grateful, and knowledgeable and diligent of a person as I am now. I am learning lessons of eternal worth here, and I cannot even start to express my gratitude and joy in words.
I love you dearly, and looking forward to hearing from you all next week!
Sister Pao

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