March 12, 2014This week was so good!
This week was so good! There's so much to talk about and not much time, so I'll try and do my best.
Right now we have two progressing investigators. We usually teach one of them everyday. At the end of last week, we started to teach each other in our district. One of us will pretend to be an investigator and a pair of missionaries will teach us. Also, on Thursdays, we teach two lessons to member volunteers. On top of that, we usually do a lot of role playing during class. So by now, we've taught a lot of lessons in Chinese! But I still feel like there is SO MUCH I don't know how to say. But every day counts, every day my Chinese gets better and I learn a ton of more words.
At the end of last week, I was kind of having a hard time. I think serving a mission is really hard for anyone, and it was kind of getting to me. Nothing big, but I just felt a little overwhelmed and sad. So I took the longest shower ever and just prayed and prayed for help. I had a really strong realization that this mission is not about me. It doesn't matter if I'm tired, or hungry, or cold, or sad. This is the Lord's work, this is the Lord's time. I'm serving a mission for HIM. Not me. He just asks me to serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, and He will help me. He will guide me to the people I need to meet and will give me the words that I need to say. So I've really just been trying to put off the natural man and be completely focused on the work. Everything goes a lot better when I have two feet in the work!
During class on Saturday, we watched part of a devotional by Elder Bednar and he talks about how people are often really worried about determining if feelings and thoughts that we have come from ourselves or from the Spirit. He simply said "stop worrying about it!" All we need to do is keep the commandments and try to be a good person. God will lead us and often we will end up exactly where He needs us without even knowing it! I think back on so many things that have happened in my life and I can see God's hand. I can see that God has blessed me and helped me because I was doing what I should have been doing. That which is good comes from God and that which is evil comes from Satan. It's as simple as that.
On Sunday, one of the elders from the new Chinese district that came on Wednesday was called on to bear his testimony. Even though all he really knew how to say was "we are God's children" and "Jesus is God's son" and "I love this gospel" in Chinese, the Spirit was so strong. You could feel all the other missionaries in the district intentively watching him and everyone smiled when he got through a sentence. The Spirit was so strong, and it was a great experience to feel everyone in the room excited for the success of that one elder as he tried to bear his testimony in Chinese for the first time.
One thing that our Branch President said in his talk on Sunday that I really liked is "you can't be perfect without making mistakes." He talked about the miracle of the atonement and the importance of making mistakes. By making mistakes, we learn and grow so much and we can progress. But it is only because of the atonement that we can make those mistakes and then change ourselves and become better. You should demand repentance from yourself, find something that you need to change and use the Lord's atonement to make that change! Another thing that's so miraculous about the atonement is that after you repent, God completely forgets your sins and He never reminds you of them again. You may be able to remember your sins, but that is only so that you can learn from it and get better. But once you repent, you become completely new and the Lord forgives you!
We had a lesson this week about commitments. Our teacher told us that while he was serving his mission, every time that he made a commitment and then followed up, there was a baptism. I think this is something I will learn more when I am out in the field. But he was just teaching us how important it is to challenge someone to do something and then to follow up on that commitment so that they know it's important. We make a commitment every time we teach a lesson and we try to always follow up and talk about what we asked them to do. Through this process, people can recognize how important this is to us and we can also see their testimonies grow as they learn and study the gospel.
Two quotes that I really liked this week:
"Live with your heart instead of with your head" -Elder Clarke of the Seventy
"Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously!" -Elder Bednar
Also, I suggest watching the videos by Elder Bednar called Patterns of Light. They're short clips, each like four minutes maybe. They're so good! :)
I love you all :) Keep doin you! This church is true. I know it. I love it. Pray to know who in your life needs the gospel. You are surrounded by GOD'S CHILDREN. They all need the gospel in their lives! Be an instrument in the Lord's hands and great things will happen, I promise!
Love, Sister Jordan Berrey (BaiJieMei)
Don't forget to write! Sister Jordan Michelle Berrey