Saturday, March 5, 2016

Chinese New Year, customized counsel, last transfer, focus on one word, more pure, details of the details

Celebrating our month and a half anniversary as missionary companions.
I'm lucky to have Sister Beus as my companion!
Happy Valentine's Day!
15 February 2016

Chinese New Year
Fun week of Chinese New Year!

So many happy Chinese New Year celebrations!
Many feasts!
For teaching, our schedule actually wasn't as crazy as I expected. Still plenty of people for us to contact. 

Customized counsel
I enjoyed studying a talk from last General Conference, "What Lack I Yet?" It is inspired by the story of the righteous, rich young man who asks Christ that question. (Matthew 19:20) It's a great one for everyone, but it feels especially relevant to me as a missionary. Elder Lawrence said, 
"The journey of [Christian] discipleship is not an easy one...The Spirit continually challenges us to be better and to climb higher.  The Holy Ghost makes an ideal traveling companion.  If we are humble and teachable, He will take us by the hand and lead us home." 
I've found that what he says in the talk is true, that the Holy Ghost really can give us customized counsel, and will tell you things that no one else is willing to. 

I'm going to miss Elder Guo and Sister Chang so much!
I call them the "Taiwanese companion I always wanted" because I bug them
with Chinese questions all the time :) 
Last transfer
I'm in the last run of my mission now, starting my last transfer though it's hard to believe. I made several goals of things I wanted to work on before going home. I was excited to start making progress on them, but first I prayed about the new goals I set to make sure it was what I should be focusing on. 

Focus on one word
Surprisingly, I felt that I should focus on something different altogether, just one word in fact: charity. I've always considered myself a somewhat loving person, but this prompting has helped me to search deeper--to really examine myself and to think more about what charity is, because it's more than just love. 

Loving has always come easily to me personally. I know that's certainly not the case for everyone, so maybe I "checked off" charity too quickly from the list of Christlike attributes. What I've been working on is refining my every thought, action, and motive. 

And that's where the real change comes in, but oh is it hard to change our very thoughts. Before we do anything that we've planned in our daily schedule or before I make any decision, I now force myself to ask "Why?" "Why am I giving her this invitation?" "Why do I want to contact at that particular 7-11?" The most helpful question I've been pondering when going through the every day motions is "Is there something in it for me?" 

Deeper, more pure, more selfless
I think that's the part where most of us then would fall short. Though we might think we already have a decent amount of love, there's always love that can be deeper, more pure, and more selfless. Focusing on charity has helped me to try and turn out, to be less selfish, to make sure I don't just want the right things, but that I want them for the right reason and to always be checking that I have real intent. 

Interestingly, as I focus all my efforts on this goal that I feel is inspired, I find that all the other goals I had set aside begin to be accomplished and fulfilled too. 

So proud of my baby [junior companion in training] passing of her
Plan of Salvation lesson.  Just 3 more to go!

He is very personally involved in the details of the details
I'm grateful for God's direction in our lives and the way that He is very personally involved in the details of the details of our lives. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to keep developing charity; afterall, if I had to pick one favorite attribute of Christ, one thing that sticks out the most to me, it would be His selflessness. 

Love you all!!! Happy Valentine's Day! 

Going to miss our district.  Move call today, so we have lots of
new missionaries coming in.

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