Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why Charity?

This week was rather normal for us, but we still did decently well and had a great time nonetheless.

Jun Xiu should be baptized Saturday, so that will be great. She's a little nervous, but she'll be fine. Unfortunately, Helen, who is supposed to be baptized on the same date as her, is really afraid and feels that she can't keep the covenants and commandments, so we're trying to help her to see that she will receive so much joy as she gets baptized, and that it really isn't a huge step. Really hope that she can come to understand that. She really does have a testimony. Just not a hundred percent sure as to what is holding her back.

We met with a few new investigators. Some are good, some not so good.

We did well in our area this week, but we had to work with the other missionaries in our zone who are having some issues. We had to talk to one of our district leaders who was unhappy with the way we have our areas, so we had to explain to him that it was a Stake directive. Also working with obedience issues in the Zone. Need to help the missionaries understand that obedience to the commandments and mission rules is the only way that they can find true success and happiness. As I think about the times that I have been happy as a missionary, it has always been when I worked hard and was obedient, because the Spirit is with you!

I'm still working on my charity with some of the missionaries and investigators. This quote by C.S. Lewis really got me thinking.

"When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light."

Frank is doing well. He should be baptized the week after. Teaching English class a few times a week now, and teaching the investigators after the English lessons. We'll see how that goes. Have a great week!

-Elder Chua

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Spirit Converts

This has been yet another great week for Elder Rothwell and I. Being able to work hard and be happy is such a wonderful feeling. To be satisfied, to feel of your Heavenly Father love and joy is so peace-giving. We broke another record of ours with investigators on baptism date, which is slowly but surely translating over into baptisms! Leo Kong was baptized on Saturday. It was a great baptism, though we had to talk to a couple sets of missionaries who were there but weren't supposed to be, since it was in Chinese and they didn't have investigators there. Elder Rothwell and I are learning to be better leaders, trying to teach and inspire with love. It's a challenge!

Our investigators are moving along well, and the Zone has been doing great! We actually lead the mission in baptisms last week. But, lest I sound too prideful, we definitely could not have done it by ourselves. When we have great lessons, we know that it's because of the Spirit, because that's the feeling we have when we teach in unity, when the investigator is receptive, when the member testifies. The Spirit is the key to conversion.

Elder Holland has said,
"...the Spirit must be with you and you must teach by it when you teach because that is the way the lesson ceases to be your lesson and becomes His, becomes under the power of the Spirit a vehicle for lifting your investigators out of the temporal world. We are charged with the responsibility of getting people out of their ruts and routines, out of their problems and their pain, out of their earthly little arguments and ignorance and sins, and take them to the Gods — to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost — ultimately we are to take them toward their own Godhood. In short, we are to take them to the divine. And the Holy Ghost is the connecting link which the Godhead has agreed to give us here in mortality for that heavenly connection."
These last few weeks are going to be great! Going to endure to the end! I just hope that I can do all I can to be happy, to touch the lives of Heavenly Father's children.

I was reading in Mormon this week, and the 38th verse of chapter 8 caught my attention.

O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

It was a personal reminder of the attitude and life that I need to live, to be humble and Christlike, to seek for the eternal, not the things of the world.

Well, I hope you all have a great week, as we are having.

-Elder Chua

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"My Duty to God"

This has been another record breaking week. I am so grateful for the hard work that we have been able to do and the blessings that Heavenly Father has provided to us. We continued to get a good number of investigators and Church, and had a full week with lessons. We came home each day, exhausted but happy. We hope to be able to keep it up this week.

Well, Elders Stone, Mattox, Morgan and Sister Richey headed home today, so I am now the oldest (longest serving) missionary in the mission! It is unbelievable how fast time has gone by. From being a greenie, till now, I have learned so much, and am continuing to learn a lot each day.

I have had a problem with getting along with one of the Elders in my Zone, and I thought that it was all his fault. But, after another disagreement and a heart to heart talk with him, I came to understand his point of view, along with his feelings. It's something really important to learn as a leader, that listening is a lot more important than just telling.

Leo Kong is scheduled to be baptized this Saturday, which is exciting as usual. The other Mandarin Elders have three, which will be great! Along with that, Helen is progressing along well. We first met up with Helen last week. She loves Church and has already made some good friends. We have high hopes for her (better not jinx it though). I am glad that there are people are truly are ready to hear the gospel. It reminds us that there really are people out there who are searching for the truth. Sometimes, they just don't know that they are!

We got to watch General Conference this weekend, though we didn't get to watch all because I had to go to the doctors, then had to run between the English and Mandarin sessions because we wanted to watch it in English, but had to take care of our investigators in the Mandarin session. Tried to watch a session in Mandarin, but it was really hard to understand. Most of the talks flew right over my head. Shows that I have a long way to go with the language.

I especially enjoyed and was moved by the talk "The Divine Call of A Missionary" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband. He said:
Elder Eyring bore his witness to me of the love of the Savior, which He has for each missionary assigned to go out into the world and preach the restored gospel. He said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve. In the preface to section 14 of the Doctrine and Covenants, it states, “Three of the Whitmer sons, each having received a testimony as to the genuineness of the work, became deeply concerned over the matter of their individual duty." To John and Peter Whitmer Jr. the Lord said this: “For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you.” I suppose many of you young men have asked yourselves that same question. Here is the Lord’s answer: “And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father.
It is a wonderful privilege and duty to be able to serve the Lord. My duty to God is also my duty to myself. I hope that you all have a great week!

-Elder Chua

Monday, April 5, 2010

"A Ministering Angel"

The blessings that Heavenly Father provides to his children truly do come at the times when they need it. Our past few weeks, as I have mentioned have not been the best, but, this past week has been wonderful. The hard work that we put in has really paid off. This week was record-breaking week for Elder Rothwell and I, with 14 people at Church and 29 new investigators. They came as a result of the people who we've talked to, but also referrals from members. I think that Heavenly Father wanted me to remember that missionary work is not easy, because, as Elder Holland has said, "salvation is not a cheap experience." But, as we have worked hard, I have come to appreciate more what it really takes to be able to find those who are prepared to find the joy that "surpasses all understanding."

We have a investigator, Lansi, who we were able to teach yesterday. She had canceled a few appointments with us, and we had almost given up hope, but she agreed to come to Church. We found out that she didn't really believe in God because her Dad had been killed in a car accident a couple years before, even though he was a really good person, so she was trying to reconcile the concept of a loving and caring God with that. We talked to her about the plan that the Lord has for each one of us, and though we might not fully understand His ways, He has assured us that if we obey His commandments, we can find eternal life and happiness with our loved ones one day. She still seemed a little skeptical, but very sincere in her desire to find out. She asked us why we were giving our hearts and lives to this cause, so we shared with her Alma 31:32-35, and another one of my favorite scriptures, 2 Nephi 1:15. When she asked why I believed, it was a moving experience to be able to share with her why I love to serve the Lord. She going to read and pray, so we'll see how that goes! People like her keep us going!

Leo Kong is on track to being baptized! She has a great desire and understanding of the gospel, and she should be baptized in a couple of weeks. We also have a member referral named May who we accepted on date, and we plan to put quite a few more on date this week, including May's daughters. We received a referral from Taiwan, three girls who are studying here. Things are starting to look up. I am grateful for the blessings that Heavenly Father has showered on us this past week. The lessons that we have taught have been alright, but not particularly spectacular, mostly because of our limited Chinese vocabulary. But, the Spirit has taught with us and borne testimony of what we have taught, and that has made all the difference.

From all that contacting that we have done, a couple of girls who we had met called and asked to meet up. It hardly ever happens, and was another sweet blessing that lifted our spirits.

I was reading from the Doctrine & Covenants today and came across Doctrine & Covenants 7, where the Lord is talking about John the Beloved. The Lord said, "my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done. Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth."

I hope that I can do my best these last few weeks and have that authority and power to accomplish that which the Lord has asked me to do.

Have a great week! Here's a wonderful Easter Video!

-Elder Chua