Monday, February 4, 2013

The Key to Happiness Feb 3, 2013

 If you want happiness for an hour -- take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day -- go fishing.
 If you want happiness for a month -- get married.
If you want happiness for a year -- inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime -- help someone else.
-chinese proverb

Sara's email this week sounds more like the Sara we know and love.  She seems to have made it through the culture shock and has her feet on the ground again. The weather is improving and her creativity is coming through in the Zebra stripes she painted on her bike as well as her service project in weeding and language study program: 

"Wow things are really going by so quickly here!  It has definitely been getting better and better.  I got some letters from you guys this week that brightened my day.  It was a Valentines package :)  Thank you for all your support and love and I enjoyed the chocolate bar too though... before it got to me, an animal chewed a corner so I had to break off a huge chunk :(  kind of sad, but we all were entertained by it too.  I haven't got the other letters yet, so hopefully soon.  I have been enjoying the flavor-aid packages quite a bit too mom.  Thank you!  Today I will hopefully have some time to go shopping too :)  Everyone is getting geared up for Chinese New Year here.  It is at least a week to 2 weeks long thing, plus all the time gearing up to it.  Everyone is busy, so it's good, but kind of hard too.  Many people will be gone over the next week, so we should have a lot of finding time over" Guo Nian" (Chinese new year).  We have also been blessed with great weather.  Everyone says it is still winter, but I think the worst of the cold is over (cross my fingers) and from here on out I should survive ok.  It makes it much better contacting people and riding my bike everywhere (which I love my bike btw I painted it sooo cool-like a zebra of course :)). 

This week we had a very fun experience.  Every week we get to do an hour of service, but we have been having a hard time finding what to do, so this week we asked a dancing class.  At the church one of our members teaches a dancing class every Wed. and Fri. and the missionaries will share a message with them.  So far we haven't found any investigators from it, but they are all great people, so we asked them if we could help them.  One of the ladies is injured, but her husband and her still go every week.  She will sit on the side and watch them.  She is so cute and full of energy!  She said we could help them weed their garden.  We got the elders and our member friends and we all went and weeded at their garden for a few hours.  It was so much fun!  Ha ha and I was glad that you taught me well.  Only the other Elder from Utah had weeded before, so we got a lot done quickly.  It was so funny to see everyone weeding.  It was cool to see this different part of Neihu.  They brought us back into a really really beautiful area that just had a bunch of land.  It was this beautiful valley in the midst of a big city.  Truly truly was a blessing to be able to go there and we have already seen so many results.  They were so grateful and now the rest of the dancing class members really respect us.  I can see how service is such an inspired activity.  It really shows people of our love and our diligence. 

Anyways, I have seen how love and sincerity have worked so many miracles here- including in meeting with J..'s mom.  The members sincerely love me and I often don't know why because I can barely hold a conversation with them, but I think they can tell how grateful I am for all their help. 

For me, this week was another testimony to me of the Lord's power, through the members comments to me.  One of the younger adults in the ward (I have a picture with her-short hair girl-both went to Hawaii before and are so great!) came back after I had been here for a transfer.  She had no idea I was still training and was so surprised when I told her.  Many people have told me they forget I am still training and they had no idea.  Then, on Sunday I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and encourage the members to fast and pray for missionary opportunities.  When I finished many of the members told me how great it was and I asked one about my Chinese and she said that she was so surprised because I spoke so clearly she thought I was Taiwanese.  I am only in my 8th week and I can see the lord working miracles with my language.  Lately I think it has been because of my diligence in fulfilling my goals. .....  This is what I do to help me.  I will spend one of my language studies during the week just planning a schedule for the rest of the week.  I will look at everything I need to study, memorize, practice and I will look at how many days I have.  Then, I will break it down and write out a specific time frame I will study it.  It is tedious and a pain, but has helped me have much more focused and goal oriented language study times.  Even when I am tired and really don't want to study I know that to keep with my schedule I have to completely use that time.  It pushes me so much and has helped me improve so quickly!  I am still terrible at memorizing, but it has helped me so so much!

I will keep doing my best.  Thank you for the uplifting words.  It really helps remind me of the importance of obedience and staying focused on the Lords work.  You are all so great!  I hope in the next few weeks I will have many more miracles I can share :)  Thank you for your support.  Dan and Bry thank you for your emails too ha ha.  I can tell you both are growing up fast and Dan I am so excited for you!  I wish I could hear your guitar music!!! Do you both like the new theme (standing in holy places)  I love it and the new song.  I listen to the CD online and seriously is my favorite!  You are both lucky! 

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!   Sister Sara Gummow"

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