December 16, 2010

Yeah! Today was my birthday!! And we got to go to the temple this morning. The elders in my new district surprised me with a mexican fiesta for lunch (see picture) and I opened my presents that my family sent me and a present from the vissers. I love them all thank you so much for thinking of me! I am really grateful right now, thinking about all the stuff that has been going on and the opportunity to open this area and having my birthday of course. Well here's the thing, I was thinking about my birthday last night, and mostly what i was thinking of is how grateful I am that I was given the opportunity to come down to this earth and have these experiences in the first place, and how grateful I am that I can learn here and even though I make mistakes every day I can keep changing and becoming someone better. Im so grateful I have the opportunity to share that with other people. I'm so grateful that I know about this gospel. I'm grateful Heavenly Father loves us enough to have 1. sent His Son, Jesus Christ to provide the Atonement, 2. Restore His church with priesthood authority to perform baptism/other saving ordinances, 3. a perfect way we can find truth- prayer and also scriptures like the Book of Mormon or Bible. I'm grateful we have a living prophet now leading us. I know along time ago people rejected the prophets too, and even Jesus, so its not anything new when people here reject what I am trying to teach them. I am grateful that they have the opportunity to choose whether to listen to what us missionaries teach. I'm SUPER grateful for the gift of agency, the ability to choose. But I am also grateful that with that ability to choose comes a big responsibility. We may be able to choose, but we can't choose what the consequences of our actions will be- if we choose to eat way too much food every day... we're pretty much going to get fat, or if we choose not to sleep at night we're eventually going to become exhausted. In essence i guess we can choose the outcome, but it is by choosing the actions first that we choose what we're going to be. I was also thinking a lot about life decisions this past week, and the effects those have on us and on our eternities- like getting married, or serving a mission, and how much that really changes us. Like the decision to get married- that is so scary to me to even start to think about (no worries im not really thinking about it that much ahha) especially without the approving confirmation of the Holy Ghost. Good thing I have a long time until I get to think about that. But having this many missionary companions and seeing how different missionaries serve and who is dedicated/not as dedicated really makes me think about how I can use this experience in the future decisions.
But anyways, I am basically just really grateful that I have chosen to serve a mission and that I have family and friends supporting me- I'm almost halfway done but I feel like I just started! When I think about the fact that I'm senior companion and Sis Lo and I are opening up 6 areas to sister missionaries it is kind of overwhelming, but then day to day somehow we are able to make it through. I am really really lucky to be serving with sister L, she's able to put up with me and we are really similar in a lot of ways- definitely a lot of comp unity so far. We aren't really that busy yet so we've been spending a lot of time finding or making calls, the calls are nice because it is FREEZING here right now. I realized today as we were going to the temple that there was no way i was going to make it the day without a jacket. Good thing it was my birthday so i got one at H&M on our way to the surprise mexican fiesta. It was so fun too, the fiesta I mean. We got to the chuch and elder f had made like this chicken fajita stuff and there was cheese and tortillas and it was SO yummy. Then elder Fe accidently ate a chili pepper and was crying and elder r ate a bit of one too and had a bright red face- this lasted a good ten minutes and was pretty entertaining. I am SO full though and tonight we have a cheng-out with the Ma On Shan bishop... so more food. but no matter what this was an AWESOME birthday and I'm so grateful for all the people who helped make it as good as it was, even though it's really busy. We still have to go get groceries and hurry back to Tai Wai for my pass off at 6pm. I'm hoping Elder Froerer will be nice since its my bday but still fair. Basically I want to get these things passed off so I can start learning characters here and there. I probably know about 100 total, but that's nowhere near sufficient. However i do want to focus on spoken too because in my opinion it is much more important since that's what we do all day is talk to people.

We really haven't had any reallly exciting stories from this week. We kind of toured the areas with each of the pairs of elders and had a couple of lessons. We are both pretty young missionaries so we're trying to step up even though it's pretty hard especially in a new area. But of all the things I learned from my trainer, probably the one that sticks in my mind the most is "any excuse, no matter how valid, always weakens the character" and then that leads me to think of other awesome quotes throughout my life... like president lundgreen's "you move towards your most dominant thoughts" which is SO true- If you are thinking about chemistry all the time and reading stuff and just focusing on that, you're going to progress in knowledge of chemistry. So if you have thoughts of becoming better, raising your vision, you're going to. I love in the bible/book of mormon when people are commanded to "arise." I like to look at this as not settling with mediocrity, with being average. If we arise, and set our sights higher, we will naturally do so. And then another quote I love "only a mediocre person is always at his best" which sums up what I try to remember every day. I am not perfect, none of us are, but when every day we set our heights higher than the day before, when we live our lives working towards worthy goals, when we don't allow ourselves to be persuaded into who we should be by what the world or others around us tell us we should be, we will arise. It is really my hope that in my life I will never become content with complacency or okay with mediocrity. There is nothing mediocre about any person unless they allow themselves to believe that about themselves. You are all so AWESOME!! So this christmas, and every day... arise! :) do something for someone, speak more kindly, serve more diligently, set a good example, lift someone up. If we all did this every day, think of how much better a place this world would be.

anyways that's my two cents. I hope I can live up to what I want to become! and I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, and remember what it's really about... the beginning of the Savior's life. The beginning of something great, that we all have a part in, whether we know it or not, because Jesus Christ is the Savior of the entire world. That's HUGE. and it's true too which makes it pretty much the most important thing ever. I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support and prayers and letters.

Love you all!

Sister Black/Baahk Jimuih