Sunday, March 10, 2013

la-la-la hallelujah the lord will provide - January 6, 2013

i can't remember that harry belafonte song anymore......but all i'm trying to tell you folks is that the lord provides!!!!

 i have a few stories to tell you this week. XIN NIAN KUAI LE! (happy new year :D ) * i started over reading the book of mormon. i bought a little tiny one that i can carry with me so when i start using my scriptures in chinese characters (in the very very VERY distant future) if i need i can look at my little one with fresh notes. i read 1 nephi 2:20 the other day and it made me feel glorious....this is the story of my life: "And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands." i've been trying my whole mission to be exactly obedient and especially lately. i was just grateful that even though i made a lot of dumb mistakes before my mission, heavenly father could see that i was trying and led me to my promised land, even taiwan!!!! if only you could see it my dear family this island is so wondrous and these people are so special. i love them i love them i love them.

* last night after sister t. and i had a long discussion about some of our frustrations/weaknesses.....sometimes we just feel like there is so much for us to do but are we really doing all we could and making the best use of our efforts? how do we find balance in missionary work between finding new people to share the gospel with and strengthening the hundreds who have already received it but for some reason or another have fallen away? it can be very frustrating and sometimes all the expectations and standards others hold you up against, examining the immediate outcome and results makes you feel well, scrutinized and not up to par. we both just feel like there's still so much for us to do and experience, so much that heavenly father wants us to accomplish. we talked about how it's hard when it feels like other missionaries kind of judge you because they think the immediate results of your efforts say everything about your success and diligence as a missionary. the truth is so much of what we do has a small impact or will lay dormant for years before it comes back and pricks the hearts of the people you interact with.

as i read in a talk by elder russell m. nelson this morning, a missionary's decision to go forth and serve will have a huge impact on their future spouse and their descendents for generations to come! we only see a teeny tiny part of the whole picture and god just lets us help him. it's so cool last night i read this to my companion and we felt strong as stallions: "and now they were determined to conquer in this place or die" (alma 56:17). we are doing the lord's work. we have had much success and a lot of it we haven't even seen and probably won't know till the next life. kind of a chilling and awesome feeling.

* this week our mission president invited us to find proselyting activities to do with members every day of the week. on monday sister t. and i went to visit this young woman sister xie who has been a bit less active recently. we originally invited her to go visit another less active young woman with us but it fell through so we took her tracting instead! she was a bit nervous at first and the night air was chilly so i gave her my gloves to keep her soft little hands warm (she's the cutest thing ever) and we did a practice. she and sister t. pretended to knock on my door and i was a totally golden investigator. when i invited them to come in sister xie flapped her hands in the air and said "oooooooo!" she loved it. we weren't having much success but in my heart i just knew that we were going to have a good experience that would help her and strengthen her faith. the last door we knocked on a little 14 year old boy answered the door. we taught him how to pray and sister xie shared her testimony about what she prays for. we prayed with him before he left and he wasn't like way into it or anything but he really listened. the spirit was there. as we walked away we asked sister xie how she felt and she said it was so cool. sister t. told her we were able to have that experience because she was with us. it made her so happy, the whole thing, and i was so grateful we could spend that time with her. i know it helped her and who knows maybe it'll even help her prepare for a mission someday. she would be so wonderful!!!!

 * our darling investigator sister li is getting baptized on saturday. she is extremely excited. she's read all the way to alma in the book of mormon. she was having some concerns with keeping the sabbath day holy but we fasted yesterday and she agreed to keep it as fully as she could and sister t. and i were just praying and praying that sister li would get an answer to her prayers to know how she should change some things in her life to live more harmoniously with this commandment. nothing really struck us until like the last 10 minutes of relief society where several people who made comments "randomly" (but really not randomly at all) bore their testimony about that commandment. we were so thrilled and i know it helped sister li. she's so amazing she
loves this gospel so much and really wants all the blessings it brings. she was so nervous for her baptismal interview (she stresses out pretty easily) that when she was filling out the form with her information she had to have a tissue wrapped around her hand cause she was sweating so much. we love her to death. i found out that the reason she came down to meet us the day we tried to go find her was because her dog was barking so much that it woke her up and she wanted to shut him up. SO MANY MIRACLES!!! they are everywhere everywhere. god lives and he loves his children. the more i learn and grow with these people the more i feel the truth taking root inside me and i feel my mind expanding and my heart growing and i feel god's presence in my life. it is a supernal feeling i love being a minister for the savior! i love being a missionary. and....i love all of you :)
 sister coco

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