BRRRR!!! It really does get really cold around here when the wind starts blowing really hard and the humidity is as high as normal. So I'm thankful we actually did pack that long underwear instead of laughing it off as unnecessary. Well, I'm happy to read another letter from you all and hear you're doing well. It sounds like everyone was really busy this week. And yeah, people sometimes like to comment about my "jin se de tou fa" (gold hair).
Well, next off I want to say thank you all for that great package! I was not expecting it at all, and it could not have come at a better time. See, we got home and the guan-li-yuan (security guard) gave us the package. I was surprised and happy to see it, but we had to go plan for the day, and after that I called that golden family to follow up on their Book of Mormon reading. The mom answered and kind of politely but curtly told me they weren't really interested in joining our church because they can't commit to the rules, and they'll continue to slowly study our church "when they have time." She didn't even want to let us come visit again because it makes them "too tired." So it was about 10 pm and I was really devastated. I poured my soul out to them about how vital it was that they read and pray about the Book of Mormon...and they didn't do it. They didn't even want to try. So I kind of wandered around the house and saw your package. I can't tell you how glad it made me to open that up and see how much you all love me ;) Even the really simple things, like the hot cocoa, the sugarfree drink mix, and the mac-and-cheese, were just great. I was just saying the other day how I missed mac and cheese. Thank you all so much for thinking of me and putting the time in to send me that package. Now I just need to make sure I discipline myself and don't eat all that candy in one day. :D And I figured out Dad's cryptic message: "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." That's the truth right there. And Dill, I loved the animal cracker. Is that going to be your trademark from now on?
I'm still sad the (name) family doesn't want the greatest thing I could ever give them, but I know that the Lord is pleased with me. Preach My Gospel says a successful missionary is measured by his devotion, diligence, and commitment to Heavenly Father's work. It's interesting that our latest district training meeting was about how to help people commit to read the Book of Mormon. PMG calls it "your most effective resource in conversion." It is vital that people read and pray about the Book of Mormon every single day and gain that conviction that it is true. No matter how eloquent or good looking the missionary is, nobody will be truly and lastingly converted until they receive that spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon's truth. So I know you all study the scriptures every day, but I just really want to encourage you to read at least a little part of the Book of Mormon every day, even if most of your study time is in another book of scripture. I know that that book is God's word, and no other book can help you get closer to God.
This week we met with a doctor studying law (so his English is really good) who is a devout Christian. He had serious doubts about our church because he said there was no evidence that the baptismal authority was ever taken away. He stubbornly insisted the Bible was the one and only word of God, and nothing could be better. The Spirit directed us to ask him how he knew the Bible and Christianity were right, and he really opened up his feelings to us. I could tell he loved the Bible and had a true testimony of it. Then we bore testimony that the Book of Mormon was just as good, and he could feel just as passionately that it was true if he'd sincerely read and pray. I saw a change come over him and he said he'd do it--he'd put his doubts aside and really seek that answer. That was a great lesson.
Well, this is a long letter, but hopefully you won't mind. I have a lot to say this time, I guess. Did I mention our district is singing at zone conference next week? We found this really beautiful arrangement of Our Savior's Love and I Feel My Savior's Love. It's really great, and I'm excited for the chance to perform it.
I'm trying to think of some fun cultural thing to share this week. I can't really think of one, so I'll just wrap things up. I sure love all of you. Have I ever said that before? I know that this work is true, and I am helping Heavenly Father to bring about His work and His glory. Always make the Savior the center of your life, and He will support you in your trials. I love you all!