I have a baby! It's a boy! And his name is Elder Hintze (pronounced "Hint-see"). He's a big guy, plays racquetball, and loves Homestarrunner. So we hit it off pretty well. He reminds me a ton of my MTC companion. Just a super nice guy who loves to work and loves to make friends. He tries so hard to learn the language, and it has been a big inspiration for me. I'm very impressed with his ability to hear a word and remember and use it afterwards. We have fun talking every night and we've made pretty good friends. He's told me he had a bit of a tough experience in the MTC, so I'm glad I can be a source of relief for him and that he likes talking with me.
I am reminded of when I first came on island, oh so long ago. A naive little squirt. How underwater I felt, not being able to understand anything anyone ever said. How tired I was every morning from trying to take in an entirely new culture. But how exciting it was! Elder Cox, my trainer, wrote me last week: "Honestly Elder Jorgensen, training you was one of the best times of my mission. You were one of my favorite companions and best friends and I am so grateful for that experience. There were times when it was difficult but I never resented that, it was an adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed. :)".
I've changed a lot since then. I'm not so naive anymore, and not so little (I've grown some!). Hearing and understanding Chinese is not so magical anymore, but every so often I will remember the Lord's hand and I will look back and be stunned at how far I've come. Holy cow, I've changed! Maybe not in character or physicality or interests, but I can now say more firmly than ever before that I know my Father lives, and loves me too. And that makes my entire mission worth it. I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity to devote my time and efforts to my God. It is when we lose ourselves that we find ourselves.
Elder Cao and Elder Sun left. Our area is closing down to just one Elder and one Sister companionship. So we have doubled the workload. I was nervous and panicked, but I prayed and re-consecrated myself to the work, and now I feel much better. God is on our side, and He will not let us fall. Meanwhile, I will miss those two elders. They are wonderful friends!
Have a fantastic week!