And so begins my fourth move call! And I am very happy to say that I am not leaving Lingya! Yeah!!!
Two interesting foods this week. I tried true sushi for the first time, and it actually wasn't half bad. Now I know what my sister Freja was raving about. The other food is the McPoorMan’s burger. The two cheapest burgers on the McDonald's menu are the Double Cheeseburger and the Chicken burger. You buy one of each (cheaper in total than a BigMac), and stick the chicken burger in between the two meat patties of the Cheeseburger. So good. And it fills you up. Mom's gonna have my neck for this.
As English leader, I have to work with my district in figuring out how to expand our English education program. At the beginning of the last move call, I had set some pretty lofty goals for the English program in our area, including 50% attendance boost and two new investigators from English per companionship (six total). We really threw in a lot of effort this move call, doing combined, heavily planned spiritual shares at the end of class, and renovating our flyers and advertising. Our attendance didn't ever dramatically grow, but last week was met with huge success. We had nine new people come to class: half came because of flyers, while the other half came from friends of students who were currently attending. And we picked up five new investigators. It was really invigorating to see new student after new student walk in through the door. Woohoo!
Elder Lathen, who came on island with me, stayed with us for a few days. We had a funny experience where he was riding our extra junk bike, and while we were riding down a back-road he somehow wrecked and was lying sprawled in the street. There was a man getting into his car at the time right next to Elder Lathen, and he came walking over to him as if to help. But all he did was pick up the bike and move it so he could back up his car out of his driveway. We can't stop laughing about it.
I was really touched last night at Family Home Evening, when Sister Wu who was teaching the lesson asked who in our lives we needed to share the gospel with and how we would do it. Amy, Sister Zhang's daughter, shared about how she wanted to share the gospel with her older brother. I looked over to Sister Zhang and I saw that she was staring intently at her daughter with a huge smile and tears running down her face. It was clear to me that they truly love their family. It reminded me of my own family, and how my mother must feel about me and my siblings. I hope I can grow that kind of love for everyone I meet in my life.
I feel like half of a mission is introspecting and analyzing what is lacking, and needs to improve. For a long time now, I've been very apprehensive toward talking to people on the street. Quite often I'll be waiting at a stoplight, and a guy might be there right next to me, and I don't say anything. I'll start having this inner conflict that seems to consume my whole body, trying to get myself to speak but meanwhile having the desire to just hang back and stay in my own personal bubble.
One night I was talking with Elder Dailey about this and it suddenly all just sort of clicked in my mind. I fear contacting because I fear rejection. I fear rejection because, in my thought process, rejection means I'm inadequate, which in turn means I don't understand myself. For example, my early days in middle school and beginning of high school were hard for me. I had a few friends, but I definitely wasn't popular, and I felt terribly insecure. I remember one instance when a total stranger made fun of me for tucking in my button-up shirt, and I've never tucked them in ever since. I was ruled by the longing to fit in, but what I didn't realize until later in high school is that to "fit in" means to "stand out". It was when I figured out how to be myself that I made many friends. It was then that I rarely, if ever, faced rejection and criticism from peers. To me, having friends and being, well, popular, were signs that I understood who I was.
And now I face rejection on a day-to-day basis. Subconsciously, this rejection indicates that I am not being myself. This in turn means that I don't truly understand who I am. Not wanting to face this thought, I shut down all motivation and resist any situation that risks open rejection.
Now there are many that would say, "No, they're not rejecting Elder Jorgensen! They're rejecting Christ!" But what if they are only rejecting this message because the bearer of it is not being genuine? This would mean that the fault lies with me, not the recipient.
Clearly, something has to be done. Whether it's a change of thought process, or just a go-and-do-it attitude, I have to do whatever it takes to get over this fear. I take comfort in the fact that through Christ my weaknesses can be turned into my greatest strengths. This fear is definitely a great trial of my faith. I do not know exactly what I must do to overcome this challenge, but I do know that God will help me through it, and help me learn and grow in the process.
Thank you for your prayers and support. I hope all is well, and I look forward to writing you again next week!
P.S. Thank Grandma Connie for me for the new pajamas. Much needed, and very comfortable! :D Thank you Grandma, I love you!!!!
“Me, taken by Elder Morgan Chen (professional photographer, currently being trained by Elder Chia, and currently has photos being sold for $10,000). He never ceases to amaze me.”
“Our trip to the Dream Mall . . . “
“The Dream Mall from outside.”
“Elder Dailey and I at the Dream Mall Ferris Wheel.”
“Roxanne in the Ferris Wheel.”
“My English student, Sam Yang.”
“Taking a stroll in the Mall.”
“Sam (right), his girlfriend (middle), and my other English student, Roxanne Huang.”
“Rich lifted up his sweater and asked, ‘I just bought this shirt, what does it mean?’”
“Downtown Kaoshuing (There's the 85!).”
“Mmmm, Peanut Butter.”
“Elder Dailey on the phone.”
“Termites in our apartment.”
“The best Spring Rolls ever.”