Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015: More Miracles

Its been another week full of miracles.

Mission Tour and Zone Conference were SO GOOD. I cannot even begin to describe how much I learned from Elder Gong in those few short hours of training. I especially loved Thursday night's trainings about how to include the Savior in our teaching. It answered some questions I didn't even realize I had. I now have a renewed energy and desire to focus my teaching even more on the Savior than I have been. Someone said something to me once- that if our investigators don't understand God or Jesus Christ, they'll definitely not understand anything else we teach. I feel like it's so true- we taught an investigator a few weeks ago who we'd tried to teach the Restoration...only to find out he just doesn't really even understand God. I think he understands it on the surface, but not really internally. So we had to backtrack. And I think that's the best thing to do. I know that a better focus on teaching with a stronger focus on the Savior will truly help our investigators come unto Christ.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Elder Gong (in the Asia Area Presidency) one on one for a few minutes after our mission tour. He wanted to speak with one sister and one elder and just get to know us better. It was such a wonderful opportunity and I'm so grateful I got to counsel with a general authority of the Lord. It just strengthened my testimony that he is called with the same power and authority I am and he knows, he truly knows, what is best for our mission. So cool! I had a panic attack at first, because as we were eating dinner President Lam came behind me and bent down and said "Sister Crook, would you like an opportunity to speak with Elder Gong?" For a second I panicked that I'd be in trouble- but then I was like "That's so stupid. I'm an exactly obedient missionary. I'll be fine." Turns out he just wanted to chat for a second. So good. haha.

We met with Kacey (LA) this week. We had an amazing lesson. We watched Finding Faith in Christ with her and all throughout the movie and the discussion that followed, the spirit was so strong it was almost tangible. I am so grateful for that lesson. It helped her feel the spirit that I don't know she's felt in a while. She still didn't come to church yesterday, so there's clearly still something holding her back, but we can't seem to figure out what it is.

We taught a really good lesson in the Welcome Center this week as well. We weren't having much success- it seemed like everyone was just running to and from work and nobody seemed to want to talk. But just when we were thinking we needed a water break and some time to think, a man approached our table. I said hi to him and it turns out that he's met missionaries before a few times and wants to learn more. He had so many questions that were answered by the message of the Restoration. Turns out, he even lives in our area! ...sometimes. he's actually homeless. He really wants to learn the gospel but knows that his lack of a home right now is a little bit of a challenge. We gave him our number and he said as soon as he finds stable housing, he's happy to contact us again. That was a little miracle that we were grateful for.

Summer missionaries are challenging and wonderful at the same time. I've never been a trainer, so I don't know really who to train a new missionary. But so far it's been going really well. Sister Kong is working really hard. I won't say she's fearless- she does get afraid- but she's strong and doesn't let that fear get in the way of the work that needs to be done. She is already such an example to me and I am learning so much from her. We've had a couple days where our coordination with the other set of sisters (my normal companion and her summer missionary) has caused some stress (one phone, one set of house/church keys, two companionships!) but I think we're coping pretty well. I know that Sister Kong has already learned a lot as well. We were out finding one day and I challenged her to approach the next person, which she agreed to. She did, and the woman invited us to sit on the bench with her and teach a lesson. After teaching a bit about our purpose and prayer, we invited her to church- and Sister Kong was so so so happy when that woman walked into church yesterday morning!

The highlight of my week was when Brother Chan was baptized!! He was so excited and we are so happy for him. He truly knows that baptism is a change of life and he was so excited. The poor guy was so tired because he worked all night Saturday night and came to church without having slept, but he was great. After he was baptized, we sang "I Stand All Amazed" in Chinese and it was wonderful. Then they invited Brother Chan to share his testimony, and both companionships of sister missionaries just panicked. In the madness of coordinating two different companionships teaching him, we missed teaching him how to bear his testimony. OOPS. Totally our bad. So he got up and shared his testimony...... for 20 minutes. I think he literally told his whole life story and then some. And then at the end, he wasn't sure how to end it (at this point we are feeling really, really stupid because the whole ward is looking around like "what is this guy doing?") and so several people are trying to whisper that he needs to close in the name of Jesus Christ. But for him, that was a cue to pray. So at the end of his testimony, instead of just closing it, he starts to pray and says this great, long prayer about how he wants God to help his family receive the gospel. At the end, he said "Fung Yehsou Geiduk dik mihng, amuhn." and the whole ward was so relieved. It was quite funny, but at the same time it was really sweet. He knows this church is true. He knows it. and he wants EVERYONE to have it. I love that, so much. His testimony is such an example to me.

It's been a really good week. I'm grateful for the experiences we've had- the ups, the downs, the amazing spiritual moments and the moments you want to cry. I've learned so much from every second of it. Thanks for the wonderful trainings this week. I know I learned a lot and I am sure the other missionaries did as well.
Love, Sister Crook

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