Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sister Eo, Vickie, diligence and hard work, small marginal gains, strengthened body, mind and spirit

It's awesome being with my new "junior" companion:  Sister Eo!
27 July 2015

Sister Eo 
It was a good first week to the new transfer! It's awesome being Sister Eo's companion because she's not afraid to talk to people and her Chinese is way good! We have a lot of fun contacting together.

Our "go-to" is to bike to a Family Mart or a Seven on Dong Shan Lu and to try and sit down with whoever we can find. Lots of people hang out in convenience stores like these because they have free A/C. So we strike up a conversation with them and ask if we can sit down with them for a few minutes.

We usually teach them something very simple about how to strengthen our families or about how to pray, and ask if we can keep meeting with them and keep sharing. Sometimes people don't want us to sit with them, or they leave, or they're not interested, but we had a lot of success this week!

Conversation comes really naturally to Sister Eo, and she has a talent of making people feel comfortable and laugh, so we found some really awesome new investigators this week!

She also loves to eat like me, so we had a lot of fun getting lots of bing!

Exciting news is that Vickie is getting baptized on Saturday! I love Vickie so much! She's a miracle! 

It's really true that "through small and simple means, great things are brought to pass."

Literally all I did was hand her a flyer one day and talk to her for a minute about our free English class, but through that, we found a really prepared investigator.

It's been so fun getting to know her and has really been a tender mercy to me. Because she lived in America for 2 years, her English is practically perfect, so I was able to teach her some of the lessons in English which was really special and helped me feel the power of them again.

The teaching process was only a week long which is pretty incredible! We taught her every single lesson this week, starting from the Restoration and Book of Mormon to the Plan of Salvation, all the commandments, etc. And she loves it all!

Vickie "aced" her baptism interview
She's so excited for a new start and for a happier life ahead and I know she'll get that through her baptism.

She had her baptismal interview last night and she's so cute she typed up all her answers into paragraphs beforehand, then wrote them onto little flashcards. And in her words, she "ACED IT!"

Diligence and hard work
Last Monday, I found out from my brother Sterling that he signed his first professional contract and is leaving this week to play soccer in Sweden! I was so excited when I found out, and so proud of him!

That news from him, and Pioneer Day prompted me to ponder diligence and hard work this week.

I enjoyed rereading President Uchtdorf's message in the Liahona for the month of July "All Is Well."  I hope you all have a chance to read it.

He talks about how hard the pioneers worked, and how focused and united they were on their goals. He says "Every day those purposes and goals were clear to them; they knew what they needed to do and that each day's progress mattered." After reading this sentence, the words "focus" and "discipline" popped into my head.

My brother is a great example to me of someone who works hard to the end to accomplish his goal and is incredibly disciplined in order to achieve the success that he wants. His diet, his workouts, research, etc. all lead to success.

Small marginal gains
As a missionary, I know I need to be disciplined and focused, and as I develop those skills, the more success I have. If I were to be disobedient or forget my purpose, I wouldn't be as happy to be here, and I wouldn't be as successful.

Small marginal gains
Something President Blickenstaff talked about at last Zone Conference was the concept of "small marginal gains." I love this idea.

He loves sports analogies and they're all really funny, but he told us about a bike team, the details of which I honestly do not remember at all. But the gist of it was this bike team wasn't very good and hadn't won for many years, but they had a new coach who implemented this new concept of small marginal gains, and through tiny changes such as the type of pillow they slept on, eventually over time, they became successful and even won a competition.

That translates to us as missionaries too, that through tiny decisions, such as talking to one more person, or trying to be a little more enthusiastic, or by biking a little faster and getting to contact at more places, success will come.

Strengthened body, mind, and spirit
President Uchtdorf also says:
"The pioneers learned that doing hard things deepened and strengthened body, mind, and spirit, magnified their understanding of their divine nature; and heightened their compassion for others." 
I love this! I've loved learning how to work hard on my mission. I think I was a little afraid of working hard before my mission because I didn't want to be disappointed in myself. I didn't want to spend hours and hours studying for a test and then have it not go well, because then I would feel dumb and feel like I wasted a lot of time.

"Doing hard things...."
But this week I was especially grateful for the pioneers' example and my brother's example that diligence brings blessings and that hard work always pays off. It will always influence results, and if nothing else, it will influence my mood and attitude because I can know that I tried my best and can expect Heavenly Father to them make up the rest.

I love working hard on my mission by working out hard every morning, biking, trying to make the most out of study time and learning Chinese... it has strengthened my body, mind, and spirit.

It's helped me realize what I'm capable of and it helps me be happy and motivated because I can catch more of a glimpse of my divine nature.

I know that we're all capable of great things and as we are diligent we can accomplish our goals and find joy and satisfaction in our work.

Love you all!
Sister Hancock

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