July 28, 2014I have the best companion ever.
I have the best companion ever. I seriously love her so much! Sister Graham has such a HUGE testimony, and she's an incredible missionary. She has taught me so much. I'm so lucky to be serving with her right now. She has an AMAZING voice, so people are always really amazed when we sing hymns during lessons or at church. She also plays the ukulele, so she's been able to share that talent a few times too. This is her last move call, but she still works so so so hard. I just absolutely love her. She talks about her family all the time, which I love! She really understands that this gospel is for families, and that families are the center to God's plan.
On Wednesday, I experienced my first typhoon! It actually wasn't really a big deal. The night before, everyone was all worried. There weren't a lot of people on the streets, and everyone we talked to was so worried and told us to go home because the wind was going to pick up. The whole day on Wednesday, it just rained really hard and was pretty windy. Basically no one was out on the streets that day, and two of the lessons we had scheduled cancelled. :( So we pretty tracted most of the day. We thought people might want to let us in because we were literally in a storm outside! But no one let us in. They all thought we were crazy and told us to go home and rest. I thought it was kind of funny.
But we found a huge miracle! We knocked on one door, and a girl opened it. We told her that we are missionaries from the church, and her eyes got wide and she was like "wow, really??" She was super willing to exchange details. We met with her a few days later, and it was so amazing!! Her family is Buddhist, so we just talked with her about Heavenly Father and how much He loves her. The whole time, her eyes were so big and she was really focused on every little thing that we said. It was so cute! We had a convert member come to the lesson who used to be Buddhist, and she shared a lot that really helped the investigator. After the lesson, she asked us if it's okay if she joins this church even if her family isn't Christian. She also told us that she's wanted to join a Christian church since she was little, but hasn't had the chance. It was such a special experience! She is SO sweet! I love teaching people about Heavenly Father, about how He knows us each individually and wants us to be happy. I love teaching people how to pray for the first time. When you understand who God is, you have so much purpose and happiness in your life. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to help people learn about Heavenly Father and about His plan for us.
One thing that I have really noticed this week is how many people have heard of our church. Most of the time when I contact someone, I ask if they have run into missionaries before. Most have, or they say that they've seen them riding their bikes on the street. It's so amazing to be a part of the hastening of the work. People really do notice us. People see everything that we do as missionaries because we really do stand out. We are literally representing the Lord when we put on our name tag everyday, and I hope that I am doing what I need to do to help others see the light and joy that Jesus Christ brought to the world. I hope I am representing Him. Being a missionary is a huge responsibility.
It was really hard for me this week when one of our investigators called and said she can't meet with us anymore. She's the one that I mentioned last week, who I met on the street and then tracted into a few days later. She came to church last Sunday, and I really thought that she would progress. When she called I was pretty disappointed, but Sister Graham reminded me that it was part of Heavenly Father's time. I have to remember that Heavenly Father has His own time table that we don't see or understand. We have to do all we can to help others make steps to come to know the Savior, but it's really up to the Lord. He sees the whole picture, the whole plan, every part. We just see one little section. That is why we have to rely on the Lord and know that everything that happens is part of His perfect plan. I have so much faith in Him and in His timing. I am so grateful for Sister Graham reminded me of that.
I think I talk a lot in my emails about Heavenly Father's plan, about how He has something greater in store that we can't see. I think that's something I'm really grateful for, one of the biggest things I have learned so far on my mission. We have been given this life on earth to make decisions and to be tested. I love a quote from the Gospel Principles book, "we learned that all of us would have trials in our lives, sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow, and death. But we understood that these would be given to us for our good. If we allowed them, these trials would purify us rather than defeat us. They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity."
We went and visited a member yesterday afternoon. She met us and we walked to her house. It's the smallest house I've ever been in - just one room and a bathroom. She had a bed, a closet, and little electric piano, a desk, and a fridge. It was really small and crowded. We had a good visit with her. After the lesson, I thought for a while about her and her situation. She is so humble and so happy. That experience helped me remember that it's not about the things that you have, it's about the person you are. I think we often get so caught up in worldly temporary things, but what is most important is the person that we are becoming. I know that we can be happy despite our circumstances. She is such an example of that. Even though her family is completely against the fact that she is a member of the church and she lives in this tiny house by herself, she is still so happy and so content. I know that it is because of the gospel. She understands what is most important, and puts all her trust in the Lord.
We visited one of our recent converts this week, TingZhu. She's eight years old, and we usually have the lesson at our bishop's house because TingZhu is friends with the bishop's daughter who is also eight. This was the first time that we had a lesson both of them and Sister Graham. Sister Graham has super long blonde hair, and so the whole time we were giving them the lesson, they were sitting on each side of Sister Graham, playing with her hair. It was so funny. I really wish I had taken a picture. But people here just love Sister Graham! It's so fun to see!
I love this work, and I love this gospel! I miss you all so much, hope you're enjoying summer!
Love, Sister Berrey