Happy St. Patrick's Day! Technically it is still St. Patrick's day in Utah so I am safe in saying that. Not that Irish holidays matter over here...
Things are going well in the middle of the transfer here. The Lord has recently been blessing us with people who are eager and ready to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and several of our investigators have baptismal dates and several more are preparing. I just feel so blessed every day that the Lord is allowing me to do His work here in Tucheng--and it truly is His work!
I forgot about a funny story from zone conference last week, and this one is good enough to make it into an email, even if it is a week late. We split up (4 zones met for zone conference) into zones for one hour of the conference, where our zone leaders could teach us, and my zone was going to the 2nd floor. My companion and I got in the elevator with a couple other elders, but the elders just kept piling in. My companion and I almost decided to get off, but then the doors closed so we just decided to ride it up. But suddenly the elevator made a horrible sound and started dropping! I guess there were WAY too many people in the elevator-we dropped down to one of the basement floors and had to call the guard so he could open the elevator door and let us out. We later counted who was in the elevator and realized that 14 elders and 2 sisters were trying to fit! I am grateful for zone conference because it brings excitement and laughter into my life. :)
In the way of nicknames, I have received a new one this past week. Last Wednesday night at English class I was teaching my class with my companion when one of the elders walked in and asked if I could help them tune a guitar. I went out to help them tune a guitar, and Elder Lake, who was in the MTC with me and is in my district now, said, "You know, you are kind of like a Swiss army knife"-- meaning that whenever something needs to be done they just ask me and I can do it! So my new nickname, one that I like the best, is "Sister Swiss army knife."
The weather has not been too rainy this past week but we are receiving indications that hot weather is starting to move in. I try to tell everyone here that I am afraid of the heat and I think in the summer they will send me home in a tupperware container because I have melted, but they never think it is funny. I don't think it is funny, either, because I hear it gets HOT here! And I really think I might melt. So I am so excited for that...
And finally, I will share something that I shared with one of the temple square sisters up in Taipei yesterday (yesterday was our turn to do temple tour). We went to dinner together and were trying to tune out the conversation at the table next to us so the topic turned to our favorite scriptures. Recently, one of my favorite scriptures has been Ether 3:5. I bet you are all curious what it says but you will have to look it up. :) I told Sister Barker that as a missionary, it is sometimes hard to see the miracles that happen daily and hourly because you are looking for something BIG. Like finding a family praying for someone to come and teach them the truth who gets baptized in a month and sealed in the temple a year later. Then, one might think, one has something to say when people ask them what miracles they saw on their mission.
But I have realized that the Lord gives us what we think are small miracles, but really require so much planning and preparation on His part to make sure that we share the scripture they needed to hear or we are in the same place at the same time as someone who needs to hear about the gospel or we discuss the right thing in companionship study or we choose the right member to help us with the lesson. And maybe the person we contact doesn't set up with us--but maybe she needed that seed planted and it will blossom later! And maybe the person doesn't seem to be progressing but they never forget the scripture we shared with them in the lesson. These little miracles happen every day, for all of us (not just missionaries), and I believe it is a gift of the Spirit to be able to recognize them. When I was at BYU I prayed that I might recognize the miracles in my life and I was amazed at what the Lord showed me He was doing for me.
Seeing these miracles brings me such joy. One of my mission mottos is "Happy all my mission"--and the other is "Come what may and love it." Guess where both of these are from. :) I am learning how to be happy and I really do love my mission. And I realized that when we are happy and grateful, the Spirit is poured out on us in abundance.
This work is amazing! Don't forget that my birthday is April 7, so if you want to send me a letter this would be a great time to do it. ;)