Friday, September 19, 2008

"Forgiveness and Charity"


Well, we've definitely had a long week, partially due to the fact that preparation day was pushed till today because of Zone Conference. First, the good news.... we have our first baptism scheduled! Our investigator, Peter, is a 24 year old man that is a little mentally slow, but he loves the gospel and knows that it is true! We've had to work with him on remembering the things that we have been teaching him, but other than that, he's willing to go out and do missionary work! He's asked for pamphlets and name cards to give out. He has his baptismal interview tomorrow, and if all goes well, he'll be baptized on Friday! We're way excited and glad that the work is moving on in this area, with many more baptisms to come!

We're teaching a bunch of other people that are doing well. Their major concern are their families, who, more often than not, are severely opposed to them joining the Church. We're doing our best to help them build up the faith to the point that if they know it is true, then nothing else matters!

Been thinking a lot about my past companion, and my current one. They are similar in some ways, but different in many other ways too. I've come to realize that people are just different, and we have to accept them for who we are. To be honest, it's been very hard for me, especially since my temper runs on a shorter fuse than most. My Mom sent Elder Pace S. a package a few days ago. When she wrote to tell me that she had, I was extremely upset that she had done that,. and felt that she had betrayed me. Thankfully, there wasn't much that I could do about it. After a few days, as I pondered on it, I realized that my Mom was doing the right thing in forgiving him, because our companionship consisted of the both of us, and I played a part in that relationship. It's hard to forgive sometimes, but you just have to do it and move on! It was a very hard lesson to learn, but I got through the test! I called Elder Pace S. a few days ago to clear up any bad blood between us and it seemed to work out well. I guess that when you look at the grand scheme of things, there really is no point in being petty about other people's faults. We all make mistakes, and we learn from them, along with learning from other people. I'm definitely learning much patience and tolerance on my mission, though it still can be very hard at times. But, the Savior loved everyone, so I'm just trying my best to do the same. The Lord really does not give us any trial that we can't overcome. Though it might be very very hard, I've learned that through true humility, we can overcome all, because we get to a stage where we learn to forgive everyone around us, but more importantly, we forgive ourselves.

We've had a whole bunch of dinner appointments and they have been wonderful. The members are great, and it is definitely fun to inspire them in their quest to do missionary work. We've been working with the Bishop to work on that. Unfortunately, the ward and the Bishop don't have such a good relationship, so we're trying to help out with that, and build the member's faith in the Lord, so that they can help us, and not be so easily offended.

Just a few days ago, we had an appointment with Peter. After that, we showed him where the baptismal font was. After we said goodbye to him, we saw a Relief Society Enrichment Meeting going on where they had been baking. We managed to worm our way in to get some free goodies, and offered to wash the dishes after that. Unfortunately, as I was washing one of the bowls, it slipped and broke in the sink, cutting my finger. That wasn't the bad part though. When we told the sister, she put her hands up to her mouth. That was the reaction from a couple of other sisters. It was a really nice gift that she had received from a friend and I felt horrible.I kept apologizing, then went on our way, planning to buy a new bowl for her. The next day, we went into the office to get some stuff. And, lo and behold, there was a container of cookies from me. It turns out that she had baked those cookies and told the office Elders to make sure that I did not but her a new bowl, she would be angry if I did. What love and forgiveness! Even though I broke her bowl, she brought cookies! That is the pure love of Christ that I wish I had, that I hope I will be able to develop someday.

My uncle from Thailand visited, and it was wonderful to see him. We were able to arrange a lesson with him, and my Mom now tells me that he'll read what we gave him. I love my family very much and hope that they will all accept the gospel someday.

I never really did missionary work in high school. After watching the "By Small and Simple Things" production, I'm now working with the expatriate Elders to pass out copies of The Book of Mormon with my testimony in it. The goal is to get the members in the ward to write their testimonies in it too and pass it on to teachers and friends that we have in common!

Last night, we had dinner at a member's home, along with the Shutes. Had a great time, and Shute gave the spiritual thought. It was on prayer and just how important it is. He shared the story of the brother of Jared in Ether 2, about his experience where he was admonished by God for not "calling upon the name of the Lord." It is so important for us to pray daily, to thank the Lord, and also to seek his advice. He also talked about the financial crisis hitting the world now, and how the Brethren have always counseled us to have food storage, and not to speculate too much in financial markets. So, have food storage! :) The last thing that he talked about was about the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon. As he bore his testimony, he told us of a group of apostate scholars who meet every half year, on the Sunday evening as General Conference ends. They get together to critique the Brethren, and also try their best to discredit The Book of Mormon. Unfortunately for them, they still haven't, that's why they have to keep meeting!

It was a wonderful week, but it's also been exhausting. Missionary work is definitely not what I expected it to be in many aspects. But, when I had to come home the first time, I realized what I had lost. So, I just continue on, knowing that the Lord is helping and guiding me along the path. Thanks for the letters I've been receiving! They're slowing down though, so do keep them coming!

Elder Ee Chien Chua

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