Great week. No one here really cared about the election. But we had 7 investigators come to church, which is way more important! Hooray! We have been seeing a lot of miracles here.
This week was one of those weeks where nothing seemed to happen for the first 5 days, like where we went all day long without a single person being interested, a single lesson, etc., just feeling really ineffective. But then all of a sudden the weekend was packed full of awesome stuff.
Mostly, Brother Zhang who is awesome. He is this really humble guy who paints walls for a living. He is great and really just wants to be happy, and he was met on the street and now he meets with us and his girlfriend for the past few weeks. And last time we met we discussed baptism and he just felt this is what he needs. We said if he wants to do it he has to start coming to church, and he has to quit smoking. And he initially told us both of those were impossible, but then he just got all thoughtful and then "Okay. I need to do that." He has been smoking like 2 packs a day for decades. But that day he just threw it all out, and this week he didn't smoke once! And he showed up to church and loved it and stayed for the whole time. What a miracle. That is the power of faith in action.
And I don't know if you remember that investigator we were trying to help quit binlang(beetlenut - that red stuff) about six months ago. The super fat one. He was doing so well, coming to church every week and just awesome, but then he failed at the quitting his drugs thing, and got all depressed. He disappeared at the end of June, and we couldn't contact him. Then we finally found him again in September, and he had opened his own noodles stand and business is bad so his life is still really hard. But we go and sit with him and eat dinner there and teach him. We got him to slowly start praying again and reading scriptures, and now this week he showed up at church for the first time in 5 months or so. So that was a cool miracle. God doesn't forget about anyone.
Last week we went to Costco and my companion and I bought 8 pounds of peanut butter each. So good. And I have been trying to sneakily encourage him to eat it at every opportunity possible, and it worked and he is several pounds into it after only a week. That is funny.
Reading in the Bible (totally forgot the reference) about "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump". Aside from the funny words, the main influence this scripture had on me was with in relation to these spiritual experiences. Thinking about why they used this imagery. Like when investigators get an answer to a prayer, or have a super spiritual lesson, or come to church. When you think about how much of our life is actually a spiritual experience, with all the other stuff we do, it is probably the same proportion of leaven in bread, like maybe 1% of the mass of the bread mix. Yet that leaven has such a huge effect on the finished product, gives it form, makes the bread what it is. So even though it is a small part, leaving it out makes a big difference, because once it is in, it turns the rest of the mix into something it wouldn't have been otherwise. So just thinking about how important it is to strive to have the spirit in our life as much as possible, because these little events have such an influence. They end up changing every other aspect of our life if they are there.
I can testify that the Spirit is real and it changes people, when they feel it, the influence in their lives really is there.
Realized that I forgot to send the Picture of Brother Su's baptism last week. So here it is, he is so great.
The picture I sent last week was me and my two sons. They are both taller than me. So proud.
Also sending cool night pictures we took from an investigator's house during dinner.
It is almost winter. When did that happen? Have I really been in this area for about 6 months? Because it definitely doesn't feel that way...
Thanks for everything! I LOVE you!