Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 21 - Am I on a Foreign Mission

Hey all!!!! 

OK so this week nuts! SO GREAT!  

So first things first,let me tell you about the Ren's! They just moved from China for dad  to work for an engineering company here in town for a year. Mom and dad (I will leave out there names for legal purposes...just kidding I just cant spell them) are both members of the communist party in China and they therefore are forbidden from joining ANY religion. Which is pretty much the WORST because they have amazing testimonies, and they know and WANT so badly to be baptized, to be members of the church, and to one day enter the temple and to be sealed together for all time and eternity. Sadly they cannot. So the missionaries were teaching them, but when the news came that they couldn't be baptized they and the Ren's decided it was OK to stop with the lessons. The Ren's continued to come to church every week and to follow all church standards, including paying tithing, and fast offerings! They worked to do the best that they could, and to learn all they can while they are permitted to. Last Sunday Sister Hervoyavich and I decided that instead of going to a ward we had an investigator in, we would go to 29th ward, the ones the Ren's are in. We didn't know them yet, and we had no idea why we were going to that ward, but we went. The bishop saw us walk in to sacrament, and he announced our presence over the pulpit, so awkward, but at least he didn't make us stand up! But it turned out to be an amazing miracle! No one would have known we were there if he hadn't, and then this even greater miracle wouldn't be happening! So after sacrament everyone and there mom was talking to us. like EVERYONE. Finally this quiet man comes up and in broken English he introduces himself and says he's Brother Ren (he said his first name but I so couldn't understand it). He tells us a short story about how he had returned from a business trip in china the day before and how they wanted to have a lesson with us. We of course said yes and set one up for the next day. I may have told you about this last week, but I cant remember. So Monday comes, and we go to the appointment. Sister Hervoyavich and I felt very prompted to invite them to be baptized, even though we knew they legally couldn't be, so we prayed about it, planned a date, and went in to teach a lesson. The start of the lesson we just asked about there religious beliefs and past way through Brother Ren stopped us and said I just returned from China, and in that trip I asked again about being baptized, they said that my wife and I could not, but our daughter Yusixu (you-sue-shoe) can be, and because she is a minor, my wife and I will be permitted to attend church with her when we return to China. WHAT?! Yusixu then goes on to say that she wants to be baptized on her mothers birthday. Which is February 7th. So from the time we met them, to the time Yusixu will be baptized will be 13 days, yes just under 2 weeks! MIRACLE? I SAY YES! It is terrific to see the Lord at work in there lives! The Ren's make my second investigator who speaks mandarin Chinese, and I previously had one that spoke Russian, it makes me wonder was I really meant to be called as an English speaking missionary...Just kidding I of course was, but more than that I was called to speak the Language of the spirit. Something I have really been realizing, especially with needing translators for most my lessons, is that no matter the language you speak the spirit testifies in the exact same way. While the Ren's speak very little English they can always understand when a testimony is born, the spirit speaks the same language even when you do not. It's just a greater testimony to me that the spirit is the real teacher, and that no matter the situation if you have the spirit with you, you will touch the hearts of those whom you are teaching. I am so blessed to get to carry that spirit and share it with others, it really freaks me out to go home, I feel like I'll have no real purpose. I was thinking about it yesterday and I've been out for almost 6 months now, to say the time has flown by in an understatement. I don't know where it's gone and it's freaky me out! If the rest of my mission goes this fast it feels like I'd be going home tomorrow, I am not, and I don't know what I would do! I am addicted to the work and I am petrified to leave it! I can only give it my all now, and do my best while I am here, so that I can be the most successful missionary when I return home! 

So on top of setting a date with the Ren's this week we also got 6 new investigators! CRAZY! we/I (we were on splits) taught 2 lessons with the Elders...that was really confusing, and they kind of pop out of nowhere,SURPRISE teach a lesson! It was a great testimony and example though of how Elders and Sisters teach differently though, it was really interesting when I looked at though. We also saw meet the Mormons like 10 trillion times, OK only 3, but that was a crazy amount for one week! We found so much success last week it was nuts! LIKE NUTS! 

Not only as a companionship, but as a Zone we have been on fire! I didn't realize but our zone is just going crazy! When Elder Martino came he layed out 4 phases that we should hit, Phase 3 was as a zone we hit the standard of excellence, so 2 baptisms a companionship. In phase 3 the zone baptismal number just has to reach the standard, so not all companionship's baptize 2, some more, some less. So our zone has 11 companionship's so in order to hit phase 3 the zone as a whole has to get 22 baptisms, check! We totally have done that twice now! BOOM BAM! The Lord is preparing the way. We are the first and only zone to hit it, and that's nuts to me! I know we aren't doing anything differently, but for whatever reason the Lord has just prepared this area! What even crazier is zone is now on track to hit phase 4 in February! So every companionship baptize's 2, for a total of 22 again! Well the zone currently has 33 dates for the month of February. 33! That's crazy! Now some companionship's have more than 2, and some have 0, so we aren't quite there yet, but it is so close that it just amazes me! The zone leaders themselves are set to have 11 baptism's in the month which would set the mission record! That is seriously insane to me! Whoever has said that there is no work to do in Idaho I would implore them to look at those numbers, and tell me there is none! The Lord has prepared a great work! we just have to find it! 

Well the only thing I have left is that we once again got hit by a car. That's twice now! Frank is looking way sad!!! Don'​t worry I wasn't driving, we were parked and got backed into, yet again...What's with Idaho drivers?! Oh well, ultimately we're all safe and that's all that really matters right? Well that's all I have for this week, I hope you all had an awesome week, and stayed safe! 

Also we went out to bone again! dont worry we didnt get stuck in the snow this time, but it was super pretty! Also have you met Abby? HAHA I crack myself up! Have a great week! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup! 
My Mission President when he was called.

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