Monday, September 29, 2014

Sept 22 Week 59 - Back in Eastvale again - Sister Sterner is in District; Morgan, Tracy and Winter; Dong Fang and Emma given Temple Picture

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sept 15 Week 58 - Still HOT, Dong Fang, Alan, Shelly in Elder Simmons ward, Lost Korean Student, Louis, Jim Baptism

I am dying reading all of your letters about being in sweats and taking walks in the brisk fall air.  It is HOT here.  I think this is the hottest it has been the whole Summer.  Hopefully it gets a little nicer in the next few weeks.  Alright well this week has sort of been a blur. 

Monday night we met with Dong Fang.  We read the Book of Mormon with him since he hadn't been reading the last couple of days.  Then we gave him the Word of Wisdom pamphlet to prepare for the next lesson.  He wasn't too thrilled with it. 

Tuesday was rough. No one could set up to meet.   We had DDM and then just went out to look for people without a lot of success.  That is basically what we did all day.  We just bike around areas where Chinese people might be, and try to talk to everyone we can.  It is tiring, but also fun.

Wednesday we had a trainer trainee meeting.  It was fun, but I don't really know why we had it.  It was probably mostly for the trainees.  We split up and they met with President while we met with the AP's.  They put in a District video for us and left.  Then came back and realized they had put in the wrong video.  Oh well.  After the meeting we met with Shell.  She is still doing good.

We also saw wen xun, she referred her son to us.  He doesn't speak Chinese though. Darn.  At night no one came to English class so we went and visited this potential named Alan.  He is really cool.  He has been in the US since he was 9.  He knows about the Church from when he lived in Hacienda Heights.  Speaking of that, it is the ward that Shelly is now attending, and guess what?!  Elder Simmons from the MTC is serving there.  Small world.  Alan was cool, but we might have to give him to English too.  He understands things better in English than Chinese.  

Thursday I set up an interview with President.  President told me he is thinking that he is going to move Merriman and I to Eastvale.  I have mixed feelings, because I really love the investigators we have right now, but at the same time, I really want to be with the ward over there.  I have been at UCR a long time.  Thursday night we met with this family that I have oymed a lot, but they always rejected me.  Finally they set up.  Tomorrow they are going to SLC to see the temple, and they to Yellowstone.  They were really nice and talked forever.  We committed them to read and pray and be baptized if they knew it was true.  They are coming back to Riverside Sept. 28.  so we will see them when they get back!

Thursday we met with Emma,  Dong Fang was going to come, but he cancelled.  Emma said that she really wants Dong Fang not to drink, and that she will thank us if we could get him to stop.  

Friday we got our new English class sign.  It looks really good.  We met with Li Rui for the first time this transfer so she could help us write a smaller sign to put out on Wednesdays and Fridays so people see that it is happening that night.  We also talked to her about doing family history, hoping they have Chinese records.  She also asked us a lot of questions about BYU I dress code.  She is hoping to go up in Dec,  Then we went to find.  We ending up helping this lost Korean student find her apartment.  She was going the totally wrong way into the more sketchy area next to the school.  We saw Wen Xun's son that day.  He was a little awkward, but he was nice and agreed to meeting with missionaries when he starts school again in Oct.  At night we had English class and this guy we talked to 2 weeks ago came.  His name is Francis Deng.  He liked the spiritual thought and we set up for the next day.

Saturday was super hot.  We had a good day though.  We met with Francis, he said that he had prayed the night before for the first time and felt really peaceful.. We taught the first lesson.  At 3:00 I was going to Jim's (the muslim from Eastvale) baptism.

  So I invited Francis to come.  He came the baptism was really good and afterward Francis told me he started to cry during one of the talks.  He came to church yesterday too!  Pretty awesome!  At night we went to meet Dong Fang again, he stood us up again.  He has things come up in the lab.  We are going by again tonight.  I hope we don't lose him.  Oh Frank dropped us on Thursday, that was a bummer.  

Sunday was really good.  In the morning while Merriman was at ward council I went out with the Engish Elders and got 3 potentials in 2 hours.  Really successful.  Church was good.  After Church we met with Louis.   He didn't come to church.  We taught the Sabbath Day and committed him to come every week.  He said yes.  He is ready to be baptized on the 28th.  He is doing awesome.  At night we met with Alan again.  He is doing good.

Today we are going with Elder Heaton and Huggie and Morgan and Tracy from Eastvale to the Mission Inn in Riverside.  Should be cool, not temperature wise though :(

Love you guys have a great week!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sep 8 Week 57 - Mid-Autumn Festival, Promptings and Dong Fang, Frank, Louis, Bruce and Daniel, "Set Apart" hair

Well today is the mid-autumn festival.  An investigator gave us a moon cake last night.  Not bad.  We are going to see if we can find some better ones after e-mailing.  

Also I have to go get my hair cut by someone I don't know for the first time.  (I have always had mom, myself, or other missionaries do it.)  So we will see how that goes.  

This week was pretty wet.  Tuesday we met with Xiu Huang again.  She is not progressing.  She won't pray to know if this Church is Jesus Christ's true church.  She went on to tell us how the Catholic's were much more "serious and strict" than us "Christians" (we haven't taught her any commandments yet.)  At first I was just frustrated.  I had to take a deep breath and realize all I can do it bear my testimony and invite.  If they won't I have to accept that.
Tuesday I did have a really cool thought while pondering as I rode my bike.   
Preach My Gospel has a quote on how to recognize the promptings from the Spirit.  You'll have to look up the exact quote, but it says something about how anything that invites us to do good, to stand tall, and help others is of God.  So I was wondering if every thought I had to do something good was a spiritual prompting.  For example what if I have a thought to go talk to a guy across the street, but we are hurrying to an appointment and they street is full of heavy traffic.  There is another quote in PMG from Dallin H Oaks that says that while we should desire to be led by the spirit we need to recognize we will not be led in all things.  Sometimes when we pray for guidance we don't receive an answer because both choices are good, or the Lord trusts us to make the right choice and wants us to use our own reasoning power to make choices and grow.  
So he is my conclusion.  We definitely need to pay attention to thoughts and feelings we have that invite us to do good things.  They could be Heavenly Father telling us to do something.  However, if we aren't sure about it.  We should study out the pros and cons.  Then pray about it.  One of 3 things will happen.   Heavenly Father answers and  you will feel that it is right, or He answers you and tells you not to.  The third option is you don't get an answer you still feel unsure.  This means that Heavenly Father trusts you to use you best judgement to make the decision.  
I had a cool experience with this this week.  We were on our way to go look of Chinese people to talk to.  I had a thought to try to visit with Emma and Dong Fang.  Usually we meet with them on weekends because he is super busy.  I wondered if calling and asking to meet would annoy Dong Fang.   So I prayed and asked if the thought I had was what we should do.  After I prayed I felt the answer, yes you should.  So I did.  They answered and were really happy to meet and we had a great lesson.  

Sorry that took up the bulk of the letter.  Ok well I will just write a few things really quick about the investigators.  
Frank didn't come to church.  Worried that he hasn't felt the spirit.  He want's to push his date back.  It is a bummer, but if he isn't ready there is no point in pushing him.  
Dong Fang.  SUPER BUSY.  He still reads and prays though.  The only thing is Church. We can't get him to come.  He has a lot to do to graduate.  We tried promising him blessings of help, strength, peace to deal with the stress he is having, but he still didn't come on Sunday :(
Louis.   Accepted a baptismal date despite Li Rui trying to dissuade him.  It was so funny.  We got him on date.  And right after Li Rui said.  Are you sure?  Have you taught him the Word of Wisdom yet? :)  So we taught him the word of Wisdom and he said no problem!  He didn't come to church either though.  

On Sunday we taught two new guys Bruce and Daniel.  They are cool, but not too sure how solid they are.  We have a return appointment for Saturday.  Oh and Andrew dropped us this week too.  He is moving to San Jose.  We have a final meeting with him next Monday.

On Wednesday we had multi-zones.  On Wednesday President told the whole mission that 4 missionaries went really bad.  Watched a ton of movies, took naps, slacked off, and to top it off drove to  Newport beach.  President said he almost sent them home, but after praying felt he should try to work with them.  He did send in some disciplinary stuff to Salt Lake.  They still might get sent home.  Pretty crazy  

Saturday we had a meeting with all the Chinese.  Elder Heaton and Elder Huggie, us and Elder Dyer and his English trainer.  Elder Heaton is struggling with a non-Mandarin speaking comp. He asked president to switch us.  President asked my thoughts.  I said it would give us both a chance to speak more Chinese.  So we might get sent to Eastvale.  nothing for sure though.  We will see in 2 weeks!  

Alright that is the week.
Some funny stuff.  This missionary spoke up in our meeting and told his experience of how parting his hair every Sunday to set himself apart from the world had helped him have the Spirit.  
-Elder Murray

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sept 2 Week 56 - Dong Fang accepts, Rainy and Zong Family drop, Xiu Hang, Pizza Shop Group, 4am Hike, Jay, Christy Move

Monday was sweet!  We had a lesson with this super cool guy I talked to in the family housing area.  (This place that used to be army housing, but now they rent to student families.)  His name is Andrew Zhang.  When I first talked to him he told me he had been thinking about becoming a Christian that morning.  We had a good first lesson with him and he accepted the invite to baptism if he felt that it was true.  We got a return appointment for Friday.

Tuesday was awesome!  We had a lesson with Dong Fang and Emma at our ward mission leader's house.  We taught about baptism and why it was important.  We bore testimony of how through baptism they could have an eternal family.  Elder Merriman was awesome and when I looked to him to say something, he just invited him to baptism again and he accepted!  We got him on date for after he graduates October 12th.  Thanks for your prayers.  They worked!  Also we met with another cool oym named Louis.  He just got here with his family to study at UCR.  He was really interested in religion.  

Wednesday things got a little hard. We went to go see the Zong family.  They dropped us hard.  All because they are members of the communist party and they said "we can believe in nothing but them."  It was so sad,  We really just bore solid testimony that these things are true, that God is real, and that this gospel will help their family more than anything.  They still said no thanks.  We also got dropped by Rainy.  She is going to China the 19th of September and said she was too busy to meet.  Also we went by that Liu guy that I talked about last week.  He was pretty annoyed that we stopped by and they said they'd just contact us.
In the afternoon we met with Xiu Huang (the lady in Moreno Valley that came to church.)  She can't read, but she has super strong faith in Christ.  I might've gone too fast.  I invited her to be re-baptized by someone holding authority without really explaining the apostasy or restoration very well.  She said she needs to think about it.  It is hard because she can't read the Book of Mormon.  She had her husband read it to her, and they read the part where Jesus gives the sermon on the mount.  So the next time she was like "This is just the bible with a different name."  She came to church again this week.  We are planning on showing her the restoration video today.  Hopefully that will help.  At night we had English class.  People actually came.  They were just 6 high school students that we met when some members who owned a pizza shop invited us to come in and talk to a group they were hosting. (their supervisor sent me an email he was really nice) They were really nice.  I think a lot of them were touched by our lesson on prayer at the end.  They were all really quiet and asked good questions.  One even said she wanted to get baptized.  Too bad she left to NJ to go to high school.  Another one is going to Idaho for school.  He will probably meet the church there.  

Thursday we met with Shell and Alina.  They are both doing ok.  Both skipped church this Sunday though.  We met with Jay/wen xun.  The less active lady that we found.  She is really nice and tried to give us a time when we could "run in to" her son on campus and talk to him.  We missed him though.  She went back home for the weekend and isn't sure if she is coming back though.  

Friday was rough,  No one could set up.  It was really hot too.  We spent hours just walking around this little shopping center thing next to campus, the place where Uncle Chuang's is.  Frank and the other guy we wanted to meet with cancelled.  It was a bummer.  At night we helped Christy move with Bro Caldwell.  Then we had an awesome English class; people came again!  It was awesome.  This coupled named Sammy and Jack came and during the spiritual thought they asked to buy a copy of the Book of Mormon from us.  We gave them one, and got their number.  Haven't been able to make contact so far, but we will keep trying.  Hopefully they come to class tomorrow.  

Saturday we went on exchanges with the ZL's.  I stayed in the area.  It was another hot day.  We had 3 lessons with Kenny, who dropped  us yesterday.  Xiu Huang, and Emma and Dong Fang.  We had to spend a lot of time outside trying to talk to grumpy people and hanging up English class signs.  Dong Fang said he can't make it to church every week he is so busy with work.  I asked him after baptism if he could.  He said maybe.  So we need to work with him on that.  He didn't come to church the next day.  Again I got worried about offending him.  I still need to work on being bold.  Also I tried to teach in English with my Zone Leader there.  I think I do better in Chinese.  I was basically just translating everything I wanted to say, back from Chinese into English.  It sort of came out funny.

Sunday was ok.  I sent Elder Merriman to ward council.  There was 1 hr 15 min before church.  I didn't know what to do with the time.  So I just did extra language study.  Next week I will plan something to do with the other missionaries, while my comp is in council.  At church we had Louis, Frank, and Huang Xiu.  It was good to see them.  After church we did studies and went to the Woolf's for dinner.  I love them.  They remind me of you guys.  Right now they are in a doctor who phase.  They like everything you guys like.  At night we tried to go visit this referral up in the hills that didn't answer, then we went Chinese hunting.  Got some white people who's houses sort of look Asian angry and they went and Oymed in the university village shopping center... again.  There aren't really a lot of Chinese right now. It is super hard to find.  

Monday.  Our whole zone got up at 4:00 to hike a mountain and watch the Sunrise.  I thought it was fun, but now all the missionaries are worried that President will be mad.  I hope it will be ok.  I didn't think it was disobedient, but maybe it is.  If he gets mad I guess I'll just say sorry and not do it again.  At night we met with Louis again.  He rejected a date, but is still willing to get baptized if he feels it is true.  He is an awesome guy.  

Today we helped some people in our apt complex move.  Have good week.  Dex