Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 30 - Week 21 First Christmas (Sister Webb), Shortest Call?!!?!, Moses, Alison, Guo Qing, Hong Bo

Well it has been a great week.  I am excited to start 2014 this week because this is the only full year I won't see all you guys!  I missed you a ton.  It was nice to talk to you.  I was a little bummed I couldn't see you for most of it, but that is ok. 
Monday: Last week we went and visited a couple of Chinese people that actually live in our area!  They have had tons of missionary contact in the past.  One is a family named the Chus. They have a 35 year old son who Elder Schoonmaker said is dealing with some serious drug problems.  We gave them some treats and visited with them for a while.  Then we went and said hi to that old couple from Taiwan that fed me that a really good dinner the first or second week I was here.  Later at night we met with a student named Peter.  He and Elder Schoonmaker really get along well.  They love to talk about hats and shoes.  Peter agreed to meet with us more to learn about Christ, so fingers crossed!
Tuesday was busy.  (Christmas Eve) We spent the whole morning taking all the presents from the mission office to the stake center where the mission party was.  The party was fun.  There were a ton of missionaries.  We had a talent show to start off.  Lots of parody songs and dances.  Then we had lunch.  They a more spiritual talent show in the chapel with lots of people singing their favorite hymns or playing the piano.  Then Sister and President Smart talked to us.  President anounced the new President who will come in June.  His name is President Mullen.  He is from Oakland.  He is a CPA and served his mission in Chile so he speaks perfect Spanish.  I'm excited to meet him.  Tuesday night we had taco's at a members house and then just chilled at home and played uno.

Wednesday  (Christmas!!)  We got up and rode to Bishop's house to eat breakfast.  They made waffles which were really good.  Then skyping!!  It was so great to talk.  PS We might have set the mission record for the shortest call in the mission.  Everyone else I talked to has gone over an hour at least. [Dexter timed us to be forty minutes to obey mission rules...I should be proud of his obedience but I am jealous...it was not long enough]  Oh well.  It was perfect.  I felt like I got a chance to talk and see you guys without getting too homesick or unfocused.  After skype we went to a single sister named Sister Webb.  She is from Saomoa and has been very sucessful here by owning properties and renting them.  She had a nice house and she invited us, our Chinese investigators, and all her family and friends.  There were a lot of people and a lot of food.  It was a good time.
Our Christmas Tree -Thanks for Ornaments it looks better than empty soda cans

Awesome Chirstmas - Thank you so much.  I use the scriptures everyday!  I looked at the book again this morning. It's been too hot to use jacket or sweater.

Thursday was pretty slow.  We walked arround and hug up new English class signs.  We will be starting class again in January.  Then we met with our best progressing investigator, Moses.  He agreed to keep the Word of Wisdom, Tithing and the Law of Chastity.  He is really busy though,  He is a visiting scholar so he is always working.  We are trying to baptize him in the next 2 weeks.  He is pretty cool.  He has come to Church 3 weeks in a row!!!
Friday, the only cool thing that happened was we got another new investigator named Guo Qing.  He is also a visiting scholar.  He is pretty lonely so he likes to meet with us.  He came to church yesterday.  His family is coming at the end of Janurary so we might have a family to teach.  Update on the family from last week:  They have been out of town all this week.  They get back tomorrow.
Saturday:  We had a couple lessons.  We invited a student named Hong Bo to hear our message.  He said sure!  But yesterday he ditched out on church.  We went to these asian-looking apartments, and hung up some more flyers.
Sunday:  I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting.  It went ok.  There were a lot of Chinese people there, including a less active family who's mom is from Beijing.  So I threw a little Chinese in here and there to help them understand, and in the end I bore my testimony in Chinese.  I think I freaked out all the English members of our ward.  I got some strange looks.  Sunday night we had a really good lesson.  The best Schoonmaker and I have ever taught.  I was really happy.  We went to meet with a student named Alison, and she straight up asked about our church so we taught the first lesson, gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to church and she said yes! 
Today:  This morning we hiked Mt. Rubidoux.  It is a big hill in the middle of the city that has a big white cross on top of it.  It was fun to go hiking and watch the sun rise.

Funny stuff:
I am really bad at using chopsticks.  I have been practicing a lot with the ones you gave me.  It takes me a half an hour to eat a bowl of cheerios, but I am getting the hang of it.
I have been studying Christlike attributes in Preach my Gospel.  I read one scripture.  I think it is 1st Nephi 19:9.  It talks about how Christ was spit upon and treated really poorly, but he "suffered it" because of his "kindness and longsuffering."  I really have been trying to apply this.  No one spits on me, but sometimes people are really rude and I get angry.  I have been working really hard this week to love people like Christ would.  It has helped a lot. 

ILY Have a Great Week

December 23 - Week 20 - Wrong Number Miracle, Does Australia still exist?

Hey everyone,  

Here's my week. 

Tuesday: We couldn't make an appointment so we just went and walked around and found a couple Chinese people, but not any of them were interested.  That night we taught these two people named Jenny and Peter.  We taught them the Plan of Salvation. They thought it was interesting.  I invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to know if the Plan of Salvation was real.  They tried to blow me off and say that they were good because God only exists if you believe in him.  I didn't really know how to respond.  After a few seconds of awkward silence I got some revelation on what to say.  So I said, "Well, I have never been to Australia, but if I chose to believe it doesn't exist.. does it disappear?"  They didn't really have a response.  They agreed to meet again so we are seeing them today.
Wednesday: Schoonmaker was sick and so was Elder Haslam.  So I went on exchanges with Elder Glausi.  We visited a really inactive drug addict guy from Taiwan, who joined the church when he was 9.  The lesson ended in him arguing in Chinese with his mom.  His mom isn't a member yet. She really wants to help him but he just does drugs all the time.  We committed her to pray.  She said she was really glad we came and could come over as often as we like.  So there is some potential there.  We also got our investigators Moses and Simon on date for the 29th that night.
Thursday:  Multizones took up our whole day.  It was really good.  I got to see Sister Pope.  (Dexter's friend and Orchestra stand partner from WXHS that went to same mission about month earlier than Dex)  She is training a greenie and has only been out 3 months.... stress.
Friday:  I went on exchanges with my district leader Elder Fig.  He is such a good missionary.  I had a great time and really learned a lot of good advice. 
Sat.  Weekly planning took forever.  We couldn't get an appointment so we just started walking and we ran into one of our English class students so that was really good.
Sunday:  Church was good.  I was trying to find someone to meet with and I called a wrong number. Turned out to be a Chinese family.  I asked if they wanted to meet and learn more about Christ.  They said sure.  So we met with them yesterday.  Turns out they are investigating a mandarin baptist church right now, but they have a lot of questions.  I felt like we didn't do a very good job teaching them.  They agreed to meet next Sunday.  So we will see.  I hope they come.
Notable Quotable.
Peter "So what do you call someone who likes to go to parties and have a lot of fun?"  Schoonmaker "A party animal." Peter "Are you a party animal?"  Schoonmaker "Yes"  Peter "What do you call someone who doesn't like to party?"  Schoonmaker "a party pooper."  Peter "Murray are you a party pooper"  Me "Yes yes I am..."