Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"The Only Thing"

The weeks always go by so fast. This week was especially interesting for me, and one with more pondering and reflecting about where I am and my purpose at the moment.

I had my first full week as a Mandarin Elder. While I have seen my inadequacies in Mandarin, I have studied hard and learned a lot in the past week already. This week has been pretty slow because it's Chinese New Year, and a lot of our investigators returned to China for the holiday. However, we still managed to pull of a decent week.

These past couple of days have been especially trying on me, because we've spent most of the day just contacting, instead of having appointments like we usually do. Monday was pretty hard, because there were not too many people out, and people weren't listening to us. More of the problem though, was the fact that I was actually afraid to talk to people! I talked to a few people but... I've never really had a huge problem with it, but I was having a really hard time, and I was letting people walk by. In one instance, I said hi to a group of three people who were walking past who paused and smiled, but I didn't say anything else, so they walked away, and I didn't go after them. It was a defining moment for me, because I realized that I was not motivated, I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing. Honestly, I'm not describing it too well, I guess I was consumed more by fear then by faith, I was more concerned with what people thought of me, instead of what the Lord knew I could do.

Yesterday though, something changed. We went out again in the evening, and I was starting off a little slow. Elder Raja and Elder Teng, the other Mandarin Elders, gave me a boost and shoved me towards people, which got me started, and I started talking to people. I didn't really care! It was hard work, but it was so fulfilling, because each time I opened my mouth, I remembered my purpose and the things that I know to be true as I shared with them and bore my testimony about a loving Heavenly Father, and about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I talked to more non-Christians, which proved to be a great experience. Towards the end of the night, I sat down next to a couple of guys who were staring at me and started a conversation with them. They were relatively friendly. But, when I told them that I was a missionary for my Church, they told me that they weren't interested because they didn't believe in God, so it was ok that I didn't talk to them. I persisted a little by talking to them about how we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and who really wants us to be happy. As I talked about it and expounded on it, I had a wonderful feeling come to me, a knowledge that it was true, and I really cared for those two guys! They started to soften up, and it got to the point where I pulled out a copy of The Book of Mormon and started teaching about it! At the end of the lesson, they accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and said that they would pray about it. They were visibly moved , which surprised me. One of the little miracles that happened was that I didn't stumble while I was speaking! Those Chinese words just flew out of my mouth!

It was a great day! Ended up with five new investigators, one being a group of three who I stumbled though with in Chinese, so I was amazed that I got through that night so well. As we wandered home, I was exhausted, but I was SO HAPPY! When you are in the service of God, it is a wonderful feeling.

We had a training by the Assistants this morning that is going mission-wide. They talked, with President Clark initiating it, about how we need to focus. We've done spectacular the past three months, but people are getting complacent, and thinking more about home and things of the world. It was a great training, and a great reminder of my purpose, especially during these next few months as a missionary. Elder Troxel made a great comment when he said that "the only thing between you and success is you."

The only thing that really matters is being able to help others find happiness, and, in the process, you find what true happiness is also. To be able to live with friends and family forever.... I'm working hard!

I am grateful to be able to serve and to teach Heavenly Father's children. As always, thank you for your support and love.

-Elder Chua

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