Hello everybody! Boy oh boy, what a week it's been! I'll be sure to tell you all about it.
It's such a refreshing feeling to go to the temple, especially after a long time of not going. I suppose it's a little different as a missionary, but no matter who you are, attending the temple will refresh your soul.
So I have a really interesting story to tell this week. I'll start by saying that my companion's name is no longer Elder Chen. He's now Elder Zhou (sounds like Joe). He's no longer from YuanLin, but from Xi-Hu. No, he didn't get an identity change. Last Wednesday I got a call from one of the assistants to the President, and he asked to talk to my companion. After a twenty minute series of phone calls my companion came over to tell me that he had to return home that night. His parents, you see, did not know he was going to be a missionary. His dad filed a missing child report with the police and a detective had called the mission office thinking Elder Cocke (the assistant) had kidnapped my companion. He had to take him home and fill out some papers at the police station. I, meanwhile, had to go spend two nights with the Elders in Dakeng, the next area south of me.
We finally found a kid in the ward over there who was willing to be my companion for the weekend until the replacement could come, so I got to proselyte in Tanzi some more. Then on Monday the guy who was going to come be my companion kind of just decided he didn't want to come after all, so I had to go spend a night in Fengyuan (the area north of me--the other area in my district) while the assistants frantically searched for another replacement. Then on Tuesday morning Elder Zhou came up, and he plans to be here until the end of the move call.
What a crazy crazy week! But it's been an experience to remember, and I really feel like I've grown a lot in these weeks. The thing is, and I'll be honest with you all, it's not easy having a short term. All three of the short terms I've had have been awesome and have been able to teach me things and help our investigators progress. And yet they're not full time missionaries; they haven't had the training and experience most missionaries have had. I sort of have to make tough decisions all on my own. This has forced me to rely heavily on the Lord, even more than in the past. I feel like one thing the Lord is trying to do to me is make me less indecisive and force me to take the lead. That's certainly been one result of having this crazy situation with my companions. When I can't really discuss something with a companion, I always have my Father in Heaven who can guide me through the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Anyway, now that I've got my long-windedness off my chest, our investigators are doing well (few as they are). I really feel like we're about to see a few new investigators progress, so I'm really excited to see how that goes. (name), the one who was too unmotivated to eat, has started to feel the beginnings of a testimony. The main reason? He has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day. It's just that simple: the Book of Mormon has the power to change lives and soften hearts if we are just willing to humbly read it every day.
That's about all I have time for this week. I sure love you all! I'll send pictures from the temple trip next week. Did you get the big mission picture last week?
Love you all!