Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Taiwan bound, Chinese New Year, Obedience & Agency, 3 Ps

Going to miss all the kids in the Moscow University 4th Ward
February 23, 2015

Hey everyone,

I will dearly miss the creatures of Moscow
Taiwan Bound
I take off tomorrow morning at 6 am from Spokane to Portland to San Francisco to Taipei. There wasn't a lot of notice and time to say goodbye to everyone, but we definitely made the most out of the last few days! We had a ton of member appointments which are great. Our ward is really amazing!!! I will miss those families. They spoiled us with food and sweets these last few days :) 

It really has been so much fun getting to know all of them. It's so cool that they're really just like our friends and it feels like we're hanging out with friends whenever we go over. It's awesome that we've been able to get to know them so well even though we haven't been in this area for very long.

Chinese New Year
A highlight of this week was Chinese New Year. It started out with lunch: Bishop and Sister Schoenberg took us out to Mongolian BBQ which was awesome because it's one of my favorites from back home.

Chinese New Year decorations or earrings?
Then we had another lunch appointment with a former investigator, Kailai. Whenever we go to her house she makes a FEAST. She does not mess around! There's always a ton of food and it's authentic Chinese food and she always tells us to keep eating.

So we had hot pot at her house and then we met at the Institute with the Chinese group for Chinese New Year and had dumplings and other Asian goodies. Basically we had Chinese food all day and tons and tons of it! Just in time for me to go to Taiwan :)

Obedience and Agency
For my last Sunday, Bishop asked me to give a talk on obedience. I really enjoyed preparing for it and going throughout my scripture study with that topic always in the back of my mind. It's amazing how many ideas pop into your head like that! I learned a lot through that assignment. I wish I could type it all up, but I was mostly struck by how much our Heavenly Father trusts us. Agency is a concept that I don't think will ever cease to fascinate me. 

Goodbye dinner with wonderful
Bishop & Sister Schoenberg
But we all know what Satan's plan was: we could come to Earth, make every decision perfectly, and then we would be able to return to live with Heavenly Father again. But instead, according to the plan of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we came to Earth with the ability to make our own decisions, knowing that we would fall short and frequently make mistakes. 

I best understand this concept when relating it to my own earthly parents. The times I had the greatest desire to obey were the times they actually let me make my own decision. For example, I would ask the question "Do I have to go to seminary this morning?" My Dad would always respond telling me "No, you don't have to do anything. It's up to you."

Because I knew he trusted me, I wanted to make him proud of me. It was when I saw that he was loving enough to let me make my own choice that I wanted to then make a good choice so he wouldn't be disappointed. If he were to instead answer "Yes you have to go" each morning I asked, it probably would have started a fight and I would choose not to go to make a point.
Last Bible brunch with the bunch

Principle, practice, promise
It's the same with Heavenly Father. From Doctrine & Covenants 58:26, we know we have choices; there must be alternatives for there to be agency. He is not a parent who micromanages: 
"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things." 
However, He does not abandon us. We are not left on our own trying to figure everything out. He has given us the Gospel and we know how we can succeed in life. As Dad and Mama used to always say, they teach us the "principle, the practice, and the promise." 

Heavenly Father has done the same:  
"I will give unto you a pattern in all things.
I'm so grateful that I have the Gospel in my life and I'm excited to be able to share it with the people in Taiwan! 

Hope everyone has a great week! 

All my love!
Sister Sinclaire Hancock

P.S. Last photos from Moscow:

I love my district so stinkin' much!
Goofing around :)
Chillin' in my University of Idaho Vandals snuggie

Volleyball squad blooper
Last time with the volleyball squad


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