First of all, I have to apologize to everyone I haven't been able to email. These last few weeks have been crazy, and it seems like there is always something that needs to get done. I will try to keep this email short so that I can have more time to catch up on my other emails.
This has been a great week for missionary work (obviously every week is good for missionary work, right?). We have done a lot of contacting on the street and through housing, with very mixed results. There are the people that immediately refuse our message, those that politely decline, and then there are those who are genuinely interested, and want to learn more. My heart almost jumps out of my chest every time we find one of these people, or when we get a return appointment. In just a few short weeks, we have taken a newly opened mission and filled it with a few solid investigators. We are always striving to find more, but we are feeling like we have a good base to work with now.
One of our new investigators is Yan San. I can't remember if I already talked about him, but I'll tell his story again anyways because it's amazing. We were handing out fliers for english class one day when a man pulled up in front of us on his bike. Without any invitation from us, he asked us if we had a church and if he could come. We told him that he could definitely come! He didn't show up the next week, and we were disappointed that he actually might not come. But then he came to General Conference this past Sunday. We met with him afterwards, and he said that he loved the atmosphere at the church, how everyone seemed like a family. He also told us why he had wanted to come to church. He had some Protestant friends that he was talking to, and they brought up the idea that he should start going to church. He didn't think much about it, but the next day he saw us and was excited to talk to us. Who would have thought that our first referral would come through a group of protestant friends? The Lord truly works in mysterious ways!
Speaking of General Conference, this last conference was truly amazing. I received so much counsel and so many answers to my questions. I know that all of the men and women that spoke are truly called and inspired by God. This is definitely the most I have ever gotten out of a General Conference, as my preparation and focus have been somewhat lacking in the past. I think staying awake through the whole thing might also help, too! All kidding aside, i am realizing now how amazing our opportunity is to hear from God's servants and receive their advice and warnings. I also feel like it is becoming more and more important to heed their words as the standards/morals of the world continue to digress. I know that I need to return to the fundamentals of the gospel. Through prayer, scripture study, and church attendance my life has improved so much, and can improve even more. These things give me the strength to keep going when I feel like giving up, give me direction for my life, and provide opportunities to grow and attempt things I never would have done on my own. I can see them change my life, and I have the added blessing of seeing them change the lives of those I am teaching right now.
It is so hard to be away from my family and friends, people that I have grown to know and love, but it has changed my perspective on what is important in life. I testify almost every day to people how families can live together forever, and I know that I want that for my family. I miss seeing my family after only 3 months, and I know that I will see them again in two years. I can't imagine not being able to live with them for all eternity. That is the joy of our message, that we can all live with our families together forever, and we can all be saved through Jesus Christ and His infinite Atonement.
That's all for my (not so) short email. As always, I love and miss you all!