Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

Fam, friends, how goes it back in the states? From the sound of it, it sounds like all is well. Weird to hear that the Summer is already coming to an end and that people are already getting ready to go back to school. All good things come to an end I guess. 

This week has been a learning experience for me and for Elder Phillips. It has been a balance to try and help him grow and learn, as well as not letting him drown in the rigors of Chinese work. He is the man though. I seriously am one of the luckiest trainers because he already has awesome language ability as well as a desire to learn and improve. It makes my job a lot easier if the desire, no matter the circumstance, is there. And Elder Phillips is just that! So all is going well with training. He will be training in no time, I'm sure of it. haha

But this week had its own unique struggles for sure. I never realized the blessing before, but I have been so blessed to have native companions so far. They really have helped in more ways than I realized. But now, its just two GwaiLouhs (slang term for white guys) walking the streets of Butterfly. One thing that stood out this week was just how much my language has improved, but it was kinda bitter sweet. What I mean by that is, people don't expect us to know any Chinese, so they say some pretty rude and mean stuff thinking we don't catch it. Well, I did.... Awkward. It has been a little bit of a trial, but I have really just tried to increase my love for the people here regardless of our reception. All goes back to attitude!!!

As far as investigators goes, we have a lot of work to do. I had a few phone calls from people who didn't want to meet anymore. Those are hard phone calls to have, but they happen. Agency was so important to God that he made sure everyone has the opportunity to use it. We just teach to the best of our ability and let the Spirit do the rest. Maybe its just not always the best timing or circumstances right now, but we press forward knowing our message is true and changes lives. Because our pool has really been shrinking, we have spent countless hours just finding. Plenty of seeds planted, but no fruits yet really. Out of all of that, there has been one new investigator that just showed up. He really did just show up at English class. Said a friend told him about it and he checked it out. He is awesome!!! We are excited to begin teaching him and seeing the progression in his life that comes with learning the gospel.

We were able to meet with a few less active members this week as well. I have really learned by working with them just how special they are. They have the testimony of the gospel, but aren't active for whatever reason. With them, its all about using their faith in Christ to resolve their problems. It is just a huge blessing to help facilitate that resolving of the problem.

The ward here is good, but I have the sense that they are a little skeptical that I am training. We are working so hard here to gain their trust and continue to help the small Butterfly ward grow. The ward is here to support us as well as we support them, so we are doing all we can to work together!

I think I am learning an important lesson right now. Learning to bloom where you are planted. Blossoming no matter the circumstance. We may not fully understand the culture or the language. Neither Elder Phillips or I have the experience that other missionaries or leaders may have. We aren't Asian and we stick out like Blue M&M in a pile of Yellow ones (not my best analogy... haha). But none of that matters because we have a testimony of the Savior and that he will help us. It may not come right away, all the success that we want to have. But we have confidence that we are being shaped and molded into the successes we were sent here to become. I made the decision to be happy and I'm doing just that. So be happy despite circumstance. Choose to be happy and do it. The simplest answers seem to have the most profound effect.

I love you guys. Keep up the good work. Say a prayer for me and Elder Phillips, we need 'em. haha

Elder Woodburn

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