Hello Family and Friends! Happy New Year!!! A missionary’s New Year is not eventful at all – let’s just get that out of the way right now ha-ha! But the week was really good and fast! The more and more time I spend here the faster and faster the weeks go by! Yesterday was another affirmation that are never two days that are the same in China. After church we were just talking to people down this busy pathway and we saw this grandpa and his grandson just peeing in a drain close by…. very interesting. I remember telling you guys that a few weeks ago I saw another incident like this but this one beats it for sure…. that was a site for sore eyes…
Ahh yes. You can add something to the list of weird things eaten…when it seems like the list is already big enough (and it is let me tell you) it just grows and grows! This week a member chenged us out (Kyle has said before that this is the term they use for someone who takes them out for a meal.) to Korean Barbecue – a cook your own food, all you can eat type of place. It was super nice of her because it’s an expensive place to go so we didn’t want to turn anything that she got for us down. But I mean…. pig knuckles…. they’re just not good not matter how you cook them. It wasn’t so much the taste as it was the texture and the “chewiness” of it. It was very challenging to try to do something with a whole bowl of that stuff…
This week was a pretty good week for us. The lessons that we did teach were the people that needed to be taught and I saw much progression in our investigators. Especially the ones with baptismal dates that are coming up – namely George and Ken. George is our investigator and he told us yesterday that ever since we met him and he started reading the Book of Mormon and praying he has felt much happier in his life. Since he suffers from depression hearing this was really relieving. It strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon and prayer changing lives and the happiness that comes from doing these things. Often times, the change is small, but in George’s case, there is a big change in his life. He loves coming to church and was even the second person at church yesterday, including members. We are excited for his progression, but we still have to teach some things before his baptism date of January 20th. The Lord is really blessing his life.
We had a miracle with Ken about his smoking problem because we can smell the smoke on his clothes. We had a lesson on Thursday with him about the Word of Wisdom. It turns out that he doesn’t even drink tea because his mom would always tell him drinking water is the best thing for him and drinks like tea, coffee, and alcohol are not good. Then, he told us about after he met missionaries, a little more than a month ago, he decided to quit smoking because he wanted to be healthier and stronger. He said that he hadn’t been smoking for awhile but I’m not sure what that means, so next time we meet with him we’ll be sure to make sure everything is okay with it and that he doesn’t smoke anymore. Nevertheless, he is really enjoying the scriptures. Ken has been really accepting of everything but we are worried about the times he is in mainland China working. He feels like it gives him the power to not think about the corrupt behavior of the world. The difference between him talking about his old life and him right now is just night and day. He has a date for the 27th of January so we’ll see what happens.
Brother Mok is doing well. He has come to church for the past 4 weeks in a row. We got the chance to talk with some of the ward leaders about it and they told us that at his wife’s funeral, he said how much regret he had for not going to church with his wife while she was alive. He is a sweet and tender man, just really busy since he still works as an accountant and is remodeling his house. We will look for opportunities to serve him but right now he is just a little hesitant. I’m very excited for the coming weeks with him. I feel like a big barrier was cut down yesterday at church when talking with him.
We’ve also been finding new people to teach. For instance we met Cheryl on the street the other day. She said the only reason that she stopped and talked to us is because she tries to talk to people on the street for her job too. She realizes how hard it is so when we came up to her while she was walking to work she decided to hear what we had to say. She liked the message we had so much that not only did she schedule a time to meet us right away but she got someone to stop and take a picture of her with us!!! In the picture she held up the Book of Mormon we gave her and then put the picture on Instagram right away!!!! That’s pretty crazy!!! Cheryl is really cool!
Actually I have another story about another person who tries to stop people for their job. Isabel actually stopped us because she knew that we were missionaries and she wanted to ask if we were Mormon missionaries because her ex-boyfriend is a Mormon! She went to high school and college in San Francisco living with her Grandma and brother. She had been to church a couple of times and is excited to talk to us more!!
Last week I mentioned that the ward baptismal goal was 15. Well, this week they came back to us and they told us they had a new baptismal goal. Twenty-one is their new number and then they hope for a ward split! So the optimistic just got a little more optimistic! But I’m glad either way! I love the TKO and I know that the ward can reach this goal! It was only 2 or 3 years ago when they got 14 or 15 baptisms. I’m very excited for this ward and the work going on here.
I LOVE YOU ALL!! BE SAFE!!