Monday, September 23, 2013

Jia you

Zaoshang hao,
Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival everyone! I think it was officially on Thursday, but we've been celebrating all week.  Not really (because we're missionaries) but we've enjoyed hearing about everyone else's festivities! Some of the members and investigators were kind enough to buy us Moon Cakes and Moon Gelato for me (gluten-free). So yummy! We all went out for sushi...which is odd since the holiday is a Chinese holiday, not Japanese, but I love sushi so all fine by me!

Trade-offs this week were so much fun! Sisters have recently opened up a new area just 15 minutes south of the city so I had the opportunity to visit there for a day/night. I was on trade-offs with Sister Pio from New Zealand, she has been out the same amount of time as I have. The Sisters typically work with the ward but I thought it would be fun to work on the UNSW campus for the day. On campus, we aren't allowed to wear our proselyting clothes or wear our name tags, so we look like....REAL people! Can you believe it!? I was loving life, skipping down the street in my jeans.  Haha, actually, no it felt really awkward looking like everyone else but trying to approach them to talk about God, we got some weird looks. BUT we also had a few miracles! 

I was posted at the bus stop, chatting with some people, (side note - nearly all the students at UNSW are Asian), when I see a student leaning against the wall with his head phones in. Now, usually I don't like to approach them when they have their headphones in because it's a little awkward getting their attention. But the Spirit prompted me to talk to him, so hesitantly, I stopped in front of him and waved. He took out his headphones and I immediately asked where he was from. He told me he's from China. I impress him with my Chinese and then he was interested to find out who I was and what I was doing here. I told him I'm a voluntary teacher here, that I teach about God and Jesus Christ. He then tells me how he met people like me in Melbourne. He said they talked to him at a bus stop just like now, that they gave him a book. Turns out it was the Book of Mormon that they gave him. He said he's had some questions but never got around to finding the missionaries. Of course, right at this moment, his bus comes and he says, "Sorry, that's my bus..."  As I'm running with him to the bus, I give him our number yelling out, "Call us!" haha, humiliating. BUT, two minutes later we get a text from him. He can meet with us in 2 weeks, as soon as exams are finished. :D WOOHOOO! Lesson to learn, ALWAYS follow promptings from the Spirit no matter WHAT!

The second miracle: Later in the afternoon, we had an extra hour to kill, so we decided to see if we could find some of the less active Chinese who live off-campus. We went to visit one on foot, but of course the house was at the very top of this massive up-hill road. We decided to get the car and drive there. However, we couldn't make a right hand turn so we had to turn left to go the long way around, but when we turned left we ended up on another street. Sister Pio said, "Wait, I think there are a couple that live on this street, let's just quickly stop by." So we did. We decided to go to the closest house and see if a member named ________ lived there.  A Chinese guy came to the door and told us that no one by the name of ________ lives there, which makes sense because lots of these students move around during their study at the University. But I started talking to the one who answered the door, his name is ________, but he goes by Eminem. Haha, we were instant best friends. I told him what we do as missionaries and he said, "You know, I've always known that there was more to life that religion has to explain, but in China we don't have religion. Is there any way that you could...maybe...teach me?" Bless him...I wanted to hug him. As we exchanged numbers, his roommate walks up the driveway and we introduce ourselves. He's heard about our church and has been curious, so we get his number as well. They came into the city yesterday for a tour of the chapel and they are planning to come back next week to learn more. 

The Lord leads us to where He needs us to be, sometimes in ways we wouldn't realize. For example, our laziness to not want to walk five minutes up a hill! Haha, Heavenly Father is so good to us. That night, I traveled back to the city just in time to make it to our games night to see if there was anyone there who we didn't recognize, when walks in ________! He is someone I met weeks ago but I haven't seen him since. He just randomly popped in and scheduled a time for us to meet this week! So great.

The rest of the week was good, as well. We had a few investigators at church on Suday and we were able to watch the CES devotional from Elder Nelson Sunday night. Really good week.  President and Sister Howes visited us this week for a special training. Sister Howes shared a talk with us from Elder John H. Groberg. He is the missionary that "The Other Side of Heaven" is about. I'd like to share a line from his talk about LOVE. "When we understand who God is, who we are, how He loves us, and what His plan is for us, fear evaporates. When we get the tiniest glimpse of these truths, our concern over worldly things vanishes. To think we actually fall for Satan's lies - that power, fame, or wealth is important - is truly laughable, or would be were it not so sad." I love his talk, I invite you to read it if you haven't - it's called "The Power of God's Love". 

I love you all, I know Heavenly Father loves us more than we can comprehend. Have a great week, talk to you soon! :)

Sister Raitt 
Carly's favorite character is now the Minion Missionary!

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