Wow! This week has been packed with so many different things. Weeks really go by way to fast. It's really sad, on temple square we are only allowed to say over or under a year when people ask us how long we have been out. For the last few months I was just saying "about a year" because I didn't like admitting that I have actually been out this long. Well then I felt like I was lying since I was saying that for a good 2 months so this week I started saying 'over a year' and it's even worse! Now everyone just gives me sad replies:
"so you're on the downhill slope"
"it only gets faster from here on"
"Bummer, now you're almost a veteran"
"You almost have to go back to reality now"
.... I could continue. Being a missionary sure is rough. You even have people reminding you every day! :)
But this week truly was amazing! I was able to finish up exchanges with the sisters, meet some incredible people, help answer some people's prayers, and be able to celebrate President Poulsen's Birthday! Oh and President Russell M. Nelson also surprised us this morning. It was definitely a memorable week. I hope y'alls week was just as good :)
I want to tell you about a few of the people that our Heavenly Father led to Sister Hara and I.
First earlier this week we were signed up to take a scheduled Motor Coach bus tour with only about 10 individuals. It was actually a Chinese tour bus but there were a few Chinese people who live in American who prefer to speak English now. I love the Chinese people, I love every type of people, but they are so open and ready for the gospel. It breaks my heart though that we cannot teach anyone once they go back to China. One day we will, I know it! Well this tour that we took wasn't exactly the best one ever- actually it was pretty bad. The guests were rushed, they weren't paying attention and it was just hard to keep them focused and help them feel the spirit. Well we wanted to end in the Tabernacle but the organist was playing which made it even harder for the guests to focus haha and so we tried to gather them outside to just have like a closing testimony and an invitation. Well that didn't work, once we made it outside they all scattered. But one girl, about my age lingered and we were able to talk with her. Her family is from China but she is going to school in California and has been living here for a little bit now. She has met members at school before and she shared with us that she is a bit curious about God and how she could find out. We testified to her of God's love and how He does indeed know each of us individually. It's a wonderful knowledge to have! We are going to be getting her in contact with the local missionaries when she gets back to California! It was a great miracle, and a testimony to me that even when we think we failed, when we are standing with God we will always witness a miracle.
Another sweet moment happened yesterday, we ran to the bathroom right before we had to go and take a tour. As we were headed back outside we spotted a sweet lady who was sitting by herself and she looked very sad. We sat down and talked with her for a bit and she opened up to us and shared with us the trial that she is currently going through. She was a member so we asked if she would like a Priesthood blessing, at first she said no and it was evident that she was trying so hard to be strong but the longer we talked she finally decided that a blessing might help. We called Elder Bradshaw, one of our faithful Senior Missionaries who serves on Temple Square and he headed right over to us. We found a small theater and went into there for the blessing. It was a beautiful experience. I love being able to witness the Priesthood in action. After the blessing this sweet sister thanked all of us. She then told us the prayer that she offered before she came to Temple Square. She prayed that she would be able to help someone and that someone would be able to help her. Well right as she was parking her car at Temple Square a man knocked on her window and said that he was a few dollars short for his hotel and was wondering if she would mind helping. Then we ran into her and was able to help her receive a Priesthood blessing. She shared with us her testimony of prayer - God really does know each of us and is always caring our burdens with us.
The next thing, and probably the last thing because it's almost about that time. But This morning President Nelson surprised us! President Poulsen has been at a mission president seminar for the last few days but he received a phone call this morning that President Nelson wanted to come and visit our mission...so he did! He spoke to us about a few different things, but mostly about our lineage and how we were saved for this particular day.
He gave us permission to add Doctrine and Covenants 86:8-11 to each of our patriarchal blessings because he shared with us that it was written specifically for us. It's such a blessing to have the knowledge of this church. I truly know that we have living Prophets on the earth today and we get to hear from them so frequently. I don't think there is any other knowledge besides the knowledge of the Atonement that is evidence of God's love for each of us.
I love you all so very much!!
Here is a photo to make you laugh.....this is what she does whenever we try and take a nice photo :)