Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas - New Year

Sister Gummow's email this week was awesome! We enjoyed talking to her and are excited to be on the countdown to when we can see her again. 2014 will be a really great year!! Time is truly flying by!!

I know it's a little early, but Happy New Year family!!!

Thank you so so so so much for the amazing Christmas call and presents.  I did get cards from many people and most surprising a great Christmas package from Bryson Carrier!  Ha ha huge thanks to him. :) my companion and I are both enjoying it and we LOVE hot chocolate and I always wear fuzzy socks... all of it super good choices!!!  Mom - I loved the pictures and I'm sad the Christmas Banner didn't make it, but it was a super cute idea and I loved looking at all the pictures.  Thank you so much to all of them!!!  
The Christmas Banner we sent that did not make it :(
I emailed her the individual pictures this week
 so she could at least see them

The member we ate lunch with is actually a less active member and her husband is not a member.  They are super fun and love to travel.  I love going to their house and we had a great lunch with them.  Their house is very much like an american style house, so it is really fun to be with them.  Our next transfer is next friday.  Sister Du will probably move though because she has already been here for 4 transfers.  I have a feeling my last companion will probably be a "waigouren" from the US - so it will be fun to see how the last two transfers go.  Don't worry about my SD card either.  I still have two.  I will be sending one home with Christmas stuff and then use the last one until I go home.  Sorry I have been not as great about sending pics home as I planned ha ha.... 

So this week has been really interesting.  right after lunch when we called we rode our bikes home in the freezing cold rain, so when we got home we were soaked.  My companion had just started getting a cold and by the time we got home she was just dead... so instead of having wps like planned, I got to take care of my sick companion.  It was really bad timing too because we had two more christmas performances for choir and she is the narrator...  So that night when she was feeling well enough to walk again we had the elders come to our apartment complex and give her a blessing in the foyer while I reported to a member to help me report for our meeting we were supposed to go to.  I felt so bad for her, but the good thing was I got to read all the talks that Bryson gave me (thank you!!!)  Luckily my companion has great faith and she truly started getting better after that.  She was out until the next night, but was fine for our performance and is continually getting better.  It is kind of sad though because it is our last week together :(  We are sad to be separated, but it is definitely time.  Our district and zone is ready for some change and I think our investigators need some new thoughts too.  I have learned that continuous change really promotes growth.  The minute things start getting a little stale (no real improvement) it means it is time to change something up.  

So even those this week we had less time out spreading the gospel we had a really cool 
Sunday that really impacted me.  One of the speakers in sacrament shared the scripture in 3 nephi 14: 4-7?  I can't remember which verses but it talks about how the when we need bread, parents won't give their children a stone or a serpent  - so how much more does the lord know what we need.  Then he shared about the story of the brother of jared and when they were making the ships.  He talked about how would it have been if the brother of jared heard the lord's answer and decided that he didn't quite like it.  Then he talked about how the lord knows what we need.  How often do we get blessings, but because it is not quite what we would like we brush it off.  How often do we take the bread the lord gives us and make it into a stone and throw it away.  I occasionally still get a little sad that I haven't had any baptisms and I will pray asking the lord why or what more can I do?  As he spoke it seemed a lot like the lord was pushing me to take a look at the blessing He had given me.  Even though I haven't had a lot of baptisms I have had the opportunity to strengthen many members and have a lot of LA's come back or new members become more active.  That Sunday we had 6 LA's come to church because of our efforts, but that is not all... when the lord says he pours out the blessings of heaven He really doesn't hold back.  Right after our first ward ended we met with our teenage investigator Xie JM.  She has a baptismal date for 1/11 which means she needs an interview next week.  She was willing to meet with us two times this week so that she can meet this goal.  She is excited, maybe a bit nervous, but I have all Faith in her that she will make it.  She was actually taught mostly by the elders (we have only taught her for 2 weeks) but she wasn't progressing with them so they handed her over and she has just taken off.  We really have some great investigators right now.  I may not exactly understand why my mission has played out as it has, but I have loved and will continue to love every minute of it.  

I really hope that my mission has changed me.  I guess I don't see it quite as much, but there are definitely some times on my mission I would call growing pains where it is hard not to see my own growth.  Those trials that the lord gives us are really because He loves us so much and He wants us to become like Him.  I know that whatever challenges our family may be facing right now that the Lord is there with you.  Trust in Him, turn to Him.  He will let you know what to do and what to say to help this bad situation turn into something wonderful.  I think the thing that I have learned the most is to not lose hope.  Have Faith in the savior and His atoning power.  No matter what wickedness goes on in the world, the Savior's atonement can overcome any trial or sin.  

I know that wherever our missionaries are that 1.  they are not perfect as I always used to think... but they are becoming perfected.  The lord sends us our own personal training camp on how to overcome our own natural man.  That is my only advice for any missionaries going out or wanting to go out.  Let your mission change you.  The lord will require some breaking where we turn OUR will over to HIM, but it is so worth it.  I have never been so happy... or so tired or felt to inadequate, but mostly just happy to have the lord with me and supporting me.  

Good luck to my wonderful brother who is going to be training.  Help your companion understand the importance of the PMG and the fundamentals.  You may not be a perfect missionary, but I know if your companion learns those things from you He will be forever grateful.  Don't worry so much about the numbers or Chinese... be exactly obedient and follow the training manual.  If you do that, you don't have anything to worry about... the prophets and inspired people who put the training program together have already done the worrying for us :)  I love you!!!


Sister Sara Gummow ^o^

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