Oh man the day has come now that I am up to the top row. Didn't ever think that would come. Kind of scary that it has come... :/ But anyway super cool the Elder Fyffe got to report on his mission and share his testimony, especially his desire to love others and help his older sister.
So as for packages, yes I got the first package. Actually quite funny is that Elder Ulrich got his Christmas package on the same day as I did. So it was well here in time. I actually during part of my study time this morning spent making my little Lego Christmas tree from last year (so I have a tree up now). We actually got a bit of decorations up now. And yes I finally figured out this morning that the clothespins were meant for the ornaments to be put on the tinsel. I will have to take a picture of what it will all look like after I get the lights figured and strung up as well.
I would imagine that this year the decorations would not be as much as what next year will be like. So that will be fun to get all set up and done next year.
So the conference was really good actually. Elder Gong from the 1st quorum of the seventy (who is the Asia Area President) came and toured our mission. Gaoxiong was the first stop. He really talked and emphasized a lot on focus, energy, and faith. Which are all things I feel are key and what I need to keep building more than ever. Without the faith you can't believe in miracles (which do happen!). Without the focus you can't even guide and direct yourself to keep at what you are doing to the fulfilling of miracles. Without the energy you can't even accomplish the miracle because you give up right when the moment is most needed to have a push through.
Something really interesting that has stood out to me over the last week and was even talked a bit in the mission tour is the fact that each of us in our trials and tribulations will have to walk the path that the Savior did. That means there will needs be a time when we will feel abandoned. This happened to the Savior and was the only way he could partake of the bitter cup allowing the Atonement to be fulfilled and for us to be able to be redeemed. So why would we be exempt from the same things that the Savior suffered through that repentance may be possible. So that is where faith and trust really count. Not up front at the calm before the storm. But rather in the rage when you feel all left to yourself and still act on that faith and trust that God will not abandon you (which he will not abandon you!).
As for the musical piece I was running through it rather well before the conference. But when performing I got to a part and I slipped up a little that got me off and dropped out for about 5 or 6 measures to where I finally could jump back in. Afterwards Elder Ulrich commented how that it sounded like it was a little different from practicing and I told him why and he remarked wow, you did a really good job that your face didn't even express anything that you messed up. So I guess I have gotten better than what it was like those years ago performing that one piece. Even Elder Ng (who I accompanied) afterwards came up and asked what happened. I told him and he was like yeah I was having such a hard time of not having my hands clenching up. Note to you, it can be really hard to perform the piano when you get adrenaline pumping through your body.
As for our group I think we are still in forming stages. The other companionship is whitewashing so they got to the area same day as I did. Only Elder Ulrich is the experienced one here in Lingya. As for storming I haven't seen too much yet. We will see.
You want to know something. My mission has really taught me to see how much of different things the adversary uses to set up snares and traps. For some reason I can sometimes tend to see more of the underlining reason behind things and why things happen certain ways. That is why sometimes I get really annoyed about advertisements of any sorts. They are very very annoying because it really just stands out so much for the short term happiness it is expressing.
I hope all goes well with your group projects and papers for school. As well as preparing for finals. I will pray for you. Is there anything else I can do to help you?
Here is President's Letter:
This past week was a wonderful week of love and outpouring as well as good counsel and direction. I really appreciated and need to look back over my notes of all that Elder Gong taught. As well as I agree with what you replied to last week's email. I need to listen and accept more within myself all that others say of the good I do and can do. Even you yourself say that I am doing good. So I will act and make change going forward that I am good missionary. Which I guess feeling to share and say, I feel confident more in myself that I can handle the tasks the Lord can give me and asks of me. I won't lie I enjoyed the privilege to serve as a district leader in Taiping and wouldn't mind to serve in similar capacity again. But as well as I really love my area here in Lingya and know that I would love to be here even for the rest of my time. All I guess I wish to express is that you and the Lord know that I am willing and will give my whole effort and heart in serving in whatever capacity and calling you ask of me.
As for miracles and cool things this past week, it has been rather miraculous and cool seeing a new investigator we have that comes from a different Christians church (where the minister bashes on Mormons) desire so much to meet with us, come to the Shi Zhong Elder's baptism, and even ask during the intermediate part of the baptism for a Book of Mormon (we hadn't done the first lesson yet and were going to sit down with him afterwards). His name is Richard and I really see in him such a strong desire to learn the truth but also really seek out God's truth. We are really excited for him.
In my studies I have read through about the sons of Helaman, which is where I have gotten to in my personal reading actually. It was actually interesting a part about how that when they are fleeing they don't turn left or right but keep going straight, which taught me that in my challenges and trials I can't turn but need keep going straight and true to what the Lord asks.
I love you lots and lots!