Thursday, March 27, 2014

Transfer 4 week 5

Starting off with some of my favorite quotes of the week:
Sister Yeung: "I will go, I will doooo, the things by body commands!" She realllly had to go to the bathroom! hahaha
Our Recent Convert (alan): "I hope in Heaven I get to play basketball with the Elders, that's heaven to me." So sincere. 
My absolute favorite of the week is by Elder Guo, stay tuned for the story later in my letter.
This has been a great and verrry full week! I will try to share all the highlights that I can. Both Saturday and Sunday were packed absolutely FULL with teaching, which is my favorite. I love being in the office and analyzing the numbers, but there is nothing greater than teaching and testifying.
Saturday we called one of our investigators Yisai (pronounced I-say). I've had him for awhile now, and the whole time I was teaching him I thought he was from China, so I thought "Perfect! Now I have a Mandarin speaking companion and he will understand more fully what we share with him!" Uhh... nope. After he made us play a long guessing game of where he is from, we find out he is from Tonga! Everything made so much more sense after we found that out. Then we invite him to go to church the following day and he says so calmly, "yeahhhh, I guess I will. Since I'm supposed to get the Priesthood tomorrow anyway, I guess I'll go." Isn't is great when you find out that your investigator got baptized 3 weeks ago and decided not to tell you? Especially since we had taught him 3 times since he has gotten baptized. Frustrations of a Temple Square missionary.
Sunday was one of the greatest days on my mission! We had gotten a new investigator, Hanz, last week. And he was leaving back home for Chicago on Tuesday. So we felt the impression to invite him to come to our ward with us on Sunday, and he said yes! Even when we told him that it starts at7:30am. He came, and although he didn't understand much of what the sisters were saying, he definitely felt the spirit. After the opening hymn, he looked at me in awe and said "wow, is it always like that?" I simply replied "yes. Always." He was brought to tears in the musical number as well. He is very in tune with the spirit, and recognizes it easily. We took him to music and the spoken word directly after and he LOVED it! Hymns hymns and more hymns. He didn't want to leave after that, so instead we sent him to the theater here and played Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration. Only one of the all time greatest church movies. Shortly after we had staff meeting with the mission presidency and APs. At this meeting we present the numbers of the mission and discuss how we can help the mission progress. And as President Harmon said "We knocked it out of the park." I just love analyzing numbers! We had a very special experience after that. Because our mission boundries are literally inside the gates of Temple Square, we don't have any members or wards where we can go to their homes. But because there is a young Chinese boy, Scott Walker, who was adopted and doesn't speak any English, we are able to go to their house. We went and taught with the Elders there in their home. Just a different experience! This is the family that has 18 kids. They're superstars. We also get to have dinner when we go to their house, and boy was that great! Not only to be in a home, but to be in the Walkers home. Every time that I come in contact with them, I am changed. The way they have unconditional love to anyone they come in contact with is just astounding. We arrived back to the Square just in time to meet up with Amir and Maryam at the square. Maryam is Amir's wife who is FINALLY in the Unites States! It was so great to meet her. We asked her how she had felt about what Amir had shared with her about the church and she said "I like a lot, but not ready to jump board get baptized like Amir. I need learn more." But we are so grateful to be teaching a lot of families right now. We know that Amir and Maryam will one day be sealed in the Temple, and become an eternal family. That they will have the desire to keep learning and growing each day of their lives. And I couldn't ask for better people to teach. Our next big appointment on Sunday was with Zhu Yue and Yun Fung, they are some of our investigators that come to the Square with the Chinese Elders and we teach them together here. The lesson went great and we were able to find a lot of their concerns, but unfortunatly the lesson got over about 30 minutes later than we planned.. which means we got left at the square without any other sisters to walk home with. The Elders Guo, Shiuh and Chau knew this and Elder Guo said "Do you sisters need a man to walk you home?" HAHA! Then Elder Shiuh said "Well, not us!" haha they are so funny. They are some of my favorite Elders that come to the Square. Well moral of the story is, don't get left behind on the square because then you'll have to interrupt your roommates precious planning time to grab a car and come pick you up. 
Tuesday I had another crazy experience with my BOM reading coming to life on the Square. I was reading in Helaman 8-9, where Nephi is telling them that he is a prophet of God called to declare speedy repentance unto these people. But, just like in every dispensation, the people rejected the prophet. He prophesied unto them that they would find their chief judge laying in a pool of his blood. They stated "now we will know of a surety whether this man be a prophet... we do not believe that he hath.. nevertheless, if this thing which he said... (is) true, we will believe." But even when they found the chief judge laying in his blood they did not believe. Nephi had to give unto them another sign, and finally a group of them believed him to be a prophet of God. There are so many times where people are so hard-hearted where they won't even recognize or acknowledge a sign when it hits them in the face. I had an experience Tuesday night where I was on exchanges with my District Leader, Sister Walsh from England, who is very shy and timid. we had not had too much success contacting and we only had a short time left before we had to return home. We see a man looking at the Temple Model, we get talking and find out that he's a scientist from Germany. He was quick to tell us many things that he disagreed with in our religion, and ended with "I believe in science, physical evidence, not God." Sister Walsh started replying very softly and kind. But then I remembered an experience that a friend of mine, Elder Reed serving in Africa, had wrote about in his weekly email. How a man was trying to weaken their testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but Elder Reed stood his ground and testified so boldly and straightforward how the Gospel has changed his life. And I felt that this was the opportune moment for me to do so as well. I somewhat interrupted Sister Walsh, got right up close in his face, looked him dead in the eye and bore my testimony the most boldly I have thus far on my mission. I told him "You know what, we volunteer 18 months of our lives to come and share with you what we know to be true, and I wouldn't be standing here today if I simply just believed this was true. I know that God is real! That us being here on the Earth isn't by chance, but for a greater purpose. I know that we were meant to meet today so that we could share this message with you, to share that we know this Gospel is true. And I want you to know that I know that Joseph Smith received an answer to his prayer, that he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And I know that you can know these things too if you would humble yourself enough to recognize God's influence all around you." The spirit was absolutely burning inside me! I crave that feeling. And this man and Sister Walsh looked at me in complete awe, I could feel the spirit radiating from me. I have never been so bold in my mission, and it felt GREAT! I know that this man would not have accepted physical evidence of God. But I know that he felt the spirit as we testified to him, and I pray he will never forget that feeling. I want to be as Nephi, "unwearyingness declaring the word... thou hast not heard them (man).. but sought my will.. and now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever." (Helaman 10:4-5). I want to be as Nephi and have unwearyingness in the work. To have power and authority in my words and to have people recognize me as a disciple of Jesus Christ. And I know that God will give us strength and authority in our words as we open our mouths. We can't be scared to share what we believe, because I can promise you that the Lord will strengthen you. We alone are not enough, but "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13).
I had another great experience while on exchanges with Sister Lampinen this week. But unlike the exchange with Sister Walsh, we were having great success all day! We had gotten a hold of all of our investigators that we had planned to teach, were able to contact new investigators and had taken 2 tours in the morning! We each had gained 4 new investigators! We had just an hour left and we were ready to see another miracle. We got a text for a tour and I knew that was going to be it. We took it and met our victims.. muhaha! It ended up being two old ladies and one of their sons, who reeked of alcohol. "Hmm... Heavenly Father? This wasn't what we asked for." But boy where we wrong! The older ladies were very religious and were so interested in learning more about the church. We had taken them around for a little while and we decided to end at the Christus. They loved and knew all the scriptures in the audio. Sister Lampinen bore her testimony and definitely brought the spirit, and I just fed off that spirit and added my testimony. I looked each one of them in the eyes and felt that same burning inside me as I did with the German man. I didn't want to stop! I must have been testifying to them for 10 minutes, and not one of them even blinked. They felt it. And this is the best time to invite them to learn more, but they kindly rejected. Normally, I would be really hurt by this response, feeling like I didn't do enough. That in our purpose as missionaries to "invite others to come unto Christ byhelping them receive the restored Gospel..." I only invited, but didn't help them. But I didn't feel that this time, I felt that this was a successful tour even without them referring to learn more. Sister Lampinen and I talked afterward and we knew that something had changed inside them, that their fire was rekindled. They re-committed themselves to follow our Savior Jesus Christ. And this brings them one step closer to accepting the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I want to testify about the power a testimony has. No matter how strong your testimony is, it is yours! Even on my mission I have felt extremely inadequate because I felt like my testimony wasn't strong enough. That I don't know enough. But now I know that whatever seed you have planted is enough to testify. That Heavenly Father knows what I am capable of, and he wouldn't call me here if my testimony wasn't enough. President Poulsen said in Zone Conferences (when I was on medical leave), that "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second best time is now." My seed started growing only 2 years ago, but I know that as we constantly nourish it with the power of prayer, scripture study, church and application, that our seed can grow as fast as we allow it. Heavenly Father WANTS us to grow and gain experience, our only limitation is as we succumb to the natural man within. Be strong in the Lord, and grow your seed! I can promise each of you that your seed is enough, and that it has the power to plant other seeds.
I love you all, and I hope this email makes sense. I always have so much to say but so little time! I enjoy hearing from you all, please email/write me to let me know how you are doing. 
Countdown: 15 days until conference!!! :)
Best regards,
Sister Brock

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