I tried Persimmon this week. It reminded me of Apple and Cinnamon instant oatmeal, but in crunchy apple form. Pretty good.
This week we had Zone Conference, and leading up to it I was pretty desperate. I wanted some answers about how I could improve the current situation. And, as usual, it seemed that Zone Conference was exactly what I needed. Many of the messages presented were all about focusing on becoming more like Christ, rather than dwelling on numbers and achievements. I realized that I had an even bigger problem than the ones I mentioned last week: I was not taking responsibility for the things I could improve; rather, I was blaming my current area for my shortcomings. In reality, every problem truly can be overcome, as long as I live worthy of the Lord's help.
One thing I realized this week during my prayers and study is that our planning quality was suffering. I knew how to plan, but I didn't really apply myself to the planning process. As a result, the plan would always feel half-baked, and I would never feel particularly committed to it. In the end, we'd always stray from the plan, hardly looking at our planners. Our days were full of randomly dropping by peoples' houses and pathetically hoping that we'd get a lesson out of it. My poor companion has been trying to put together plans, mostly on his own. I was usually doing follow-ups, which is good, but I didn't really make much of an effort to make planning a 50/50 process. So on Saturday night we both hunkered down and focused for a full 30 minutes on producing a plan. And after those 30 minutes, I realized I was actually *excited* for tomorrow. Not that the next day was particularly different than usual, but I felt like I was being productive. And the next day, our plan actually worked exactly how we wrote it. AND we saw miracles.
I'm still learning the power of a positive attitude. It's easy to find the things that are going wrong, but hard to see the things that are good. Naturally, this will be a life-long struggle for me, but thanks to the Atonement of Christ, I can repent of my mistakes and keep moving on.
After Zone Conference, I had the opportunity to meet up with 李弟兄, Rich, my recent convert in Lingya. Turns out he's doing really well: he's going to live in America over the next year to study English! He'll be in the States when I get back, so we'll try to meet up on his way home and chill for a day or two. I's super happy for him; going to America has been his life dream.
My companion and I also had the blessing of being able to exercise our priesthood and give two of our investigators priesthood blessings before one of them left to study in America as well. Both have been investigating for nine years. Or should I say, one of them, because the other doesn't have any interest in gospel discussion. So it was a miracle in itself that he asked for a blessing. The spirit was strong, and they were very grateful. I'm glad the Spirit prompted us to offer them blessings.
Another investigator, 劉爸爸 (Liu BaBa), is quitting smoking and BinLang, over the course of just a few weeks. We're super happy about his progress. And after investigating the church for many, many months, he came to church for the first time. He's a good friend, and we're overjoyed to see these changes. He's clearly happier now.
I love this work! If I had my way, you'd all be out here experiencing this stuff together with me. But all I can do is tell you that this is the Lord's work, and that the power of God is evident in all that we do. I hope that you can feel it as I do sometime in your life.
Have a wonderful week,