Monday, December 28, 2015

A blast with Sister Findlay, Jingle Bells, White Christmas baptism, true greatness, things I can do

Last P-day at the beach!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Hope it was a very merry Christmas!!

There are tons of pictures from this week that will basically summarize it for you. 

A blast with Sister Findlay
It was a blast spending these 3 weeks with Sister Findlay covering 2 geographic areas.  We had many adventures taking our bikes on the train back and forth between Gaoxiong and Tainan.

Riding the train back and forth between Gaoxiong and Tainan
But we started off by going to the beach last p-day...

At the beach with Sister Findlay
then I was able to go on exchanges with my best friend from the MTC which was sweet for us because we've wanted to be companions our entire missions. 

Jingle Bells
We met with some awesome investigators, definitely enjoyed party hopping all the Christmas activities....
Singing Jingle Bells (in English) and Stars were Gleaming (in Mandarin)
[To watch video clip, click here]
had a lot of performances of Christmas songs, skyped my family...

So happy to talk with my family on Christmas!
and best of all, it was a white Christmas! 

White Christmas: baptism of Sister Li
Sister Li got baptized and she was so happy. Lots of things touch me about her story, but I'm most impressed by how much missionary work was involved in her conversion, and not from us missionaries. 

Her boyfriend went to college in America, met missionaries there and got baptized, then went on a mission. After his mission, he met Sister Li in Japan actually on a work trip and they started dating. So one Sunday he brought her to church and then she started meeting with us sisters. Member referrals really are the best!! 

And then most touching was right after she got confirmed at church (yesterday) she spent the entire day with us! Her boyfriend asked if she could stay with us until he picked her up again after FHE. We, of course, welcomed her. It was so cute--it was like he was dropping her off for us to babysit her and she was so excited to go proselyting with us. We practiced a few times before contacting real people and she was so excited! She wasn't scared at all, and she killed it last night! 

It's touching to see how missionary work never really ends and I'm so impressed by such awesome member missionaries. 

We're all going to have babies!
["having a baby" is missionary slang for training a brand new missionary]
True Greatness
This week I studied about what true greatness is, and it's a great question to ponder! What makes someone truly great? President Joseph F. Smith said

 "To do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind, is the truest greatness."

Which leads to the next question, what are the things God has ordained to be the common lot of all mankind? I think they are very simple things, and I think that it's the obvious answer we hear all the time: it's the thousands of little deeds that lead to a person's character, or the type of life they leave behind. We all know there is no such thing as instant greatness. I particularly like this scripture because I am little! "Out of small things proceedeth that which is great" (D&C 64:33)

Live nativity in honor of the Savior's birth
True greatness requires the development of character. "It requires a multitude of correct decisions for the everyday choices between good and evil" over an extended period of time. 

Spreading Christmas cheer
It's interesting to see who the world respects and how those people are very different from the people that I respect. The world might respect strong business women who seem strong, capable, independent, confident, maybe even a little mean! I respect people who are honest, selfless, patient, humble, and kind. 

Which got me thinking about Jesus Christ and what made Him great. Of course He performed the Atonement, but even if He didn't, I would still think He was great and was our perfect example, just from studying what few records we have about His life from the New Testament. 

As I was pondering the things He did, what struck me is that they're all things that we can actually do. Aside from the Atonement, the things He did are very realistic for us: Christ forgave, He served, He loved deeply and unconditionally, He was obedient, He sacrificed, He did the Father's will, He was patient, and He was diligent. 

The thing about Christ, though, was that He was patient 100% of the time, there was never a moment He didn't serve, there wasn't a single person He didn't forgive including those who betrayed and killed Him, and He was obedient every second of His life. 

Christmas companions
Greatness isn't rocket science, but the key is sticking with the little decisions we know we should be making every second of the day-- that is what made Christ great. 

Things I can do
So this week as I pondered Christmas and as I start the last 2 transfers of my mission training a new missionary, I want to work as hard as I can. I want to try my hardest to better understand Christ and His life and become like Him, because I know these are things I can do, while also understanding that perfection comes not in this life, but the next. 

All my love!

Sister Sinclaire Hancock

The ward loved our Jingle Bells performance.  I even got my district to do crazy choreography for it.
Crazy bubbles

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