Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Chinese, 1st interview, training, Huang & Shen, Lin & Xie, attitude, serving those around you

Standing next to the guardian lion at this brightly painted traditional Chinese temple

20 April 2015
Qishan, Taiwan 


This week we had a lot of missionary meetings which can quickly fill up the week because of how far apart things are and all the necessary travel time. 

My Chinese
On Wednesday, we took language assessments and it was cool to see how much my Chinese has improved since the MTC, even though I still have a long ways to go. 

First interview with President Blickenstaff
On Thursday, we had interviews. It was my first interview with President Blickenstaff and it was really good! 

We do these once every other transfer so that he can make sure everyone's doing okay and spend some one-on-one time with us since there are so many missionaries (about 200 in our mission right now). It only lasts about 10 minutes but I could really tell how much he cares about us and how closely he was listening to me. 

Training and cinnamon rolls
On Friday, we had a follow-up training meeting which was for all of the new missionaries and their trainers to see how it was going and to talk about ways we can improve. 

Big meetings like this are always fun because we get to see other missionaries and usually the meetings are held in English which is refreshing. There were also cinnamon rolls! 

Delicious lunch at our investigators' cafe!
YUMMY YUMMY banana smoothie and Italian pasta!
Huang & Shen, Lin & Xie 
Our investigators are doing pretty well! We've had a hard time the past few weeks with finding new investigators, but the ones that we do have are starting to progress faster which is exciting. 

Exciting news is that this week we put Huang jiemei and Shen dixiong on date! They're going to work towards May 30th :) 

They're super adorable. She told us that they look forward to us coming every week and that we could even come everyday if we wanted! Right now we've been going twice a week just because it's such a far bike ride, but they're doing really great and are definitely so prepared.

We also put Lin & Xie from the cafe on date which we're really excited about too! 

It will be really hard for Lin & Xie though because the two of them own that cafe and they don't have any workers and they're open on Sunday. So they wouldn't have anyone to watch the shop for them or prepare all the food. We're going to talk to them more about that this week. 
My companion:  Sister Biancardi :)
This week I've been thinking about ways I can be a better companion. We had a great discussion about companionships in our district meeting on Tuesday and our district leader had some great insights. 

Before my mission, everyone told me how hard it would be. They said the language is hard, getting along with companions is hard, etc.  "Hard, hard, hard." 

But it doesn't have to be! I've really believed my whole life that attitude is everything. Well, not everything but it does make a huge difference. 

I started my mission with the expectation that working with someone 24/7 would be a trial and that it would be something I need to work through. 

But I've realized lately that mentality hasn't been much of a help to me. Though I'm sure people were trying to be helpful in warning me about missionary life, my entire perspective has changed lately. 

I'm now on my 4th companion, and they're such a blessing! It all just depends how you see it. 

I was really blessed that my last companion was Sister Worthen. I doubt she realized it and I certainly didn't either at the time. But I really think our companionship changed the course of my entire mission. 

Awesome ward activity: painting our own umbrellas in Meinong,
the nearby Hakka folk village!
I learned that companionships are only as hard as you make them and it all depends on your attitude. 

If you choose to hold on to your pride and if you expect it to be a constant trial in your life, you're going to make it more difficult than it has to be. 

With Sister Worthen, I learned that companionships are fun and that it really can be like hanging out with your best friend and doing everything together. 

She was a great example to me of someone who cares more about the unity of the companionship than her pride and truly let go of all her pride because she knew how important the companionship is. 
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:36-39) 
The umbrella I painted 
If I spent this entire year and a half trying to help people come closer to Christ and I only helped one person, I would still think my time was worth it. 

Each of my companions so far has been so different! I've truly loved each one of them. 

Right now, my "neighbor" is my companion. If I can at least help her to come closer to Christ, I'll know I've been successful.

I hope everyone can work a little harder on charity this week and keep serving those around you! 

Sister Sinclaire Hancock

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