Week one of Project Purification... was tough. Trying to change gut impulses and base desires is really draining. I found myself pleading with Father to forgive me for messing up on every item on the list this week. Here and there I will feel discouraged, but I'm trying to, as invited by my Zone Leaders, "roundhouse-kick the devil in the face", and tell myself that I can repent and do better the next day.
Elder Cao got a call from the Assistants last Monday, informing him that he would be taking the place of a Zone Leader that broke his foot for the following week. It was quite the surprise, and we were sad to see him go. We decided to spend the P-Day at a theme park (Lihpao Land), and we had a good time riding roller-coasters and bumper cars together. Pretty inexpensive too! There were only about 20 people in the whole park, so we just walked on any ride we wanted. After that we raced home and sent Elder Cao off with the Assistants to his new area.
Elder Cao's companion, Elder Sun, stayed with us, and we became a three person companionship. Teaching was a little tough because we all wanted to say stuff, and it just got a little overwhelming for our investigators. But after practicing a little bit, we got used to each other's teaching styles. It was a lot of fun working with a Taiwanese companion, because he'd teach us Chinese and we'd teach him English. He taught us useful words like, "character strengths", and, "post office". We taught him important words like, "Sup, dawg", and, "powning noobs". He doesn't speak any English at all, so in the week that he was with us, he progressed a lot, at least in the slang department.
On Tuesday I was to run a District Training Meeting. I didn't feel particularly excited about it... I had gotten the topic of the meeting the day before, and not only was I not very inspired by the topic, but I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be. Then, twenty minutes before the meeting, the Mission President's wife called, telling me that they were going to attend, and that they were bringing "fresh pineapple!". Great. We rushed over to the church as fast as possible so that we could be there a tad early. I then proceeded to run DTM in Chinese, but I was so nervous that I forgot a ton of vocabulary and I kept stumbling all over my words. I was really perturbed by this: I knew President Blickenstaff was a nice guy, so why was I so worried? Was I too focused on impressing the big man?
I realized that lately I had been thinking a lot about my potential as a missionary. I know it is wrong and evil to compare myself to others, but sometimes I can't help it. I think about the Elders in my generation and younger, and how it seems like all of them have trained and are going Zone Leader and such. So, because I'm not getting these kinds of experiences, I draw two conclusions: 1) I am where the Lord needs me to be, or 2) I am lacking in some area or doing something wrong, which is preventing me from having more trust from the Lord and my Mission President. I tend to gravitate towards the latter of the two, and internalize everything. It looks to me like I still have quite a bit of learning and growing to do. We have interviews in a couple weeks, and I look forward to talking with him about it then.
English party was a blast! We went with a birthday theme, and the highlight was watching a 50-year-old man beat a 3-year-old kid at musical chairs. He was very proud of himself.
Have a wonderful week! Love,