I realized I hadn't even told you what this area is like-- it's part of the city, but there still are a lot of long roads. I guess I would say it's more a city than Jiayi, but when you use main roads they have few but long stoplights so sometimes you don't get to meet as many people. It's weird, there are no backroads here, in Jiayi I learned what roads we could take when we were in a rush, but it's all stoplights and road intersections here :) It's making me be a lot better with planning and being on time so that we aren't late to lessons or meetings. There are two main colleges here and one is at the top of a very large hill. It's not bad, not too steep, just really long, it takes a good 20-30 minutes to get up it. It's kind of funny, I have a talent for attracting people that live at the top of big hills so we've been able to go up and beyond the college a couple times the past couple weeks. Once again--don't worry, I won't get fat. :) Oh! And! The church is in an apartment building! It's so crazy, i've never served in an area that was in an apartment building so this has been really fun. It's on the 19th floor and it's got a beautiful view of the city, especially at night. And, it takes a little bit more effort to get to it and open everything up so it's also been helping me to be more willing to meet outside in people's houses. President Bishop lately has been inviting us to have more lessons at people's houses instead of at the church, one of the reasons being they are less likely to fang you (i'm sorry, i've been thinking for 3 minutes and i don't know what the translation for that would be) and then you can involve the whole family--I'm excited to do that more.
It has actually been very fun lately. I hate not having lessons scheduled so it has been really fun to just get things moving and just meet with people. We've been seeing a lot of miracles, thank you so much for your prayers and your love. It has made a difference. We've really been able to see some great miracles happening. We have been doing great with finding Donghai investigators. There were a couple golden ones we started meeting with this week and came to church and have really solid goals. Two came to a singles activity at one of our new member's houses. It was amazing. One of the members gave a little share and then opened it up to comments. Both of the investigators commented and mentioned how they really feel something special at church and feel like this is the time and they know it's the right thing. And their baptism goal has been confirmed by about half the ward who is attending :) One, Li wen ting, she had an amazing experience at church because the gospel principles teacher sat by her during sacrament meeting and got to know her--then during the lesson on developing talents she mentioned the investigator's talents and everyone thought she was the coolest thing ever. Then when she introduced herself in the last hour she was so excited to mention them again and everyone was so welcoming and so nice. She is a senior in college studying plants and forestry and everyone thought it would be so cool to learn how to grow plants from her :) Can I just say, I love Sister Zhou, she is the gospel principles teacher and she is pretty much my idol. She knows how to welcome people in, knows how to lovingly correct people, sincerely compliments people, and has the cutest family ever. She loves the gospel, and it shows. She is every missionary's dream peike.
We also recently met a cute Grandma Kang who is really funny. We've been meeting at her house and been trying to teach her and her husband--but she really loves church and even is signed up to go to see a talk in Taiping. A little bit shaky on Word of wisdom, wants to start when she gets done drinking the tea she has in her house....but says she's not addicted so she is willing. We are still working with her :)
With other new members, it has been really cool to see a difference in some of them when you go visit. Some of them have been contacted every week but not been visited and when you visit they get so gan dong that you took the time to stop by. They are so sweet. I've loved getting to know them, and also some of the less-actives in the ward. There are a lot that the wards, especially fengjia, is concerned about--and I am very excited to get a hold of them and take care of them.
Today we went to the temple, I love the temple. I can't get enough of the spirit there. Today there was a weird excited, almost urgent feeling I had during parts of the session. As if I really felt how others would feel as they were waiting for their ordinances to be done for them. I really love to imagine how others on the other side of the veil would feel as we did their ordinances for them. I can't imagine how exciting it must be for those wonderful sisters and brothers who now have the blessings of the endowment because we were able to take a couple hours to go to the temple. I especially loved the first time I went through to receive my own endowments and I imagine having to wait for something like that would be so horrible, but wow, to receive them, oh so wonderful. I love that feeling.
I love you all, have a fantastic week!
I love you all, have a fantastic week!