Sunday, October 11, 2015

To Tainan, goodbye DaKeng, General Conference and a new apostle, the law of compensation

Sister Howard and me in our neighborhood in Dakeng

12 October 2015
Move Call Day

To Tainan
It's move call day! I'm being transferred to Tainan and my new companion is Sister Wawro. Sister Wawro is from Texas! (Still no companions from Utah!!!) I'm taking a 2 hour train ride, leaving right after I finish my email time in 10 minutes. We'll be senior training leaders together! 

Good bye to Sister Howard as my wonderful companion
Goodbye DaKeng
I've loved serving in DaKeng.  It's been such a fun time here.  But as always, the change is refreshing and I'm excited for the miracles that are up ahead!   What I'm going to miss most are the RCs [recent converts] in this area. Lots of them are young, around our age, and I grew close with them, so it's hard to say goodbye.  But we'll keep in touch :) 

I will miss Dakeng!
I was hoping I would either get moved to Jiayi or Tainan, so I got my wish! I'll let you know how it is next week! 

General Conference and a new apostle
The highlight of this week was watching General Conference. It's crazy how much you look forward to conference as a missionary. It was really fun! We watched it together as a zone and had tons of snacks.

Watching Conference with Sister Howard and our zone
It was special being able to watch it with Elder Stevenson, son of the newly called apostle. He was probably trying not to show it, but he understandably got a little emotional while watching his dad take his place in his new seat and then bear his testimony.

We accidentally started watching Conference in American Sign Language....
but then switched to English :)

It was also very humbling hearing Elder Stevenson tell the story of his dad getting called into the office, thinking it was his turn to give his suggestions of who he thought would be a great apostle, only to find out that it was him that was being called. It was sweet hearing Elder Stevenson's experience and that "None of them ever expected it". Growing up his whole life, what a blessing it has been to them that even though his dad devoted all his time to serving the church, they never had to worry about food or where to sleep. A way was always provided for their family. 

The Law of Compensation
That's simply what I wanted to share today: the law of compensation. 

We often hear about the law of consecration, especially as missionaries. But something I don't think we talk about enough is something I like to call the law of compensation. 

When we first meet someone, they often ask us the same questions:  "What country are you from? How do you know Chinese? How long will you be here for? You don't get paid? Why would you choose to take time off school and leave your homes to do this?" 

Matching Ahma pants
At the beginning of my mission, I didn't think too much of these questions. But now I've started to see us more from their perspective. We really do look pretty funny, 2 Americans girls biking in skirts. 

Matching green skirts?!
I'm starting to understand more now that I've been here for a long time and it's not all such a blur anymore (and maybe because I can actually understand the Chinese too!) that they really do think we're "hen ke lian" (pitiful, pathetic?) They really just feel bad for us! 

But they don't understand how happy we are and that we don't view this work as work. We're happy every day and we love what we do! 

I feel that I've received more out of my mission than anything I've tried to give for my recent converts or ward members. Everyone is constantly trying to serve us! 

It really is some beautiful kind of paradox, that when we are willing to lose ourselves in the service of God, and when we try to consecrate ourselves to Him and building His kingdom, He only returns to us more than we could even imagine. Even 100 fold, as it says in the scriptures. 

I'm grateful every day I have this special experience to be a missionary. Now that I'm hitting my 1 year mark this week, I am more aware of the sacrifices and all the things that I've left behind because it feels like a long time since I've been home.  But I'm even more aware of the countless blessings that Heavenly Father has blessed me with in return.

Love you guys!

Sister Hancock

Halloween Party for our English class

Sister Howard as the witch

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