Monday, March 9, 2015

Power Week!

Ni Hao Ma Everyone,

Well, the first week with a new companion is always a little different. You feel so comfortable working with your last companion and you think it's impossible to work that well with someone else. But Elder Anderson and I got right into the swing of things. This week was what the mission calls power week. Which means that we only have an hour of studies in the morning and then get right out the door at 9 am. Then we only have a couple minutes for lunch and dinner and we are contacting, tracting, or doing whatever for the day. It was cool to have even more time to find people to teach.  We did have less time to study the language.  I really love studying Chinese and look forward to studying it everyday.

During the week we had some lofty goals of new people that we wanted to find to teach, but nothing seemed to work for us. Actually Elder Anderson was really surprised by how different the people can be in this area compared to everywhere else he's been. We were pretty disappointed with how the week was going, and were expecting to end the week without a ton of success. As it is though, missionary work is reliant upon miracles, and that's exactly what we got! Right out the door on Saturday we started riding around talking with everyone, and randomly a lady drives up next to us and says that she has people that want to talk with us and we needed to follow her. I was pretty stoked and we followed her to the house of the lady's mother, who lived with a caretaker lady from Vietnam. They weren't home when we arrived, but the lady (who is a member in YongKang) said to come back later in the day. She said that the Vietnamese lady's husband had died a few years ago and had heard about our belief in eternal families and was interested.

Later that day we had an activity with the ward in which a bunch of the young guys and girls in the ward would come to a mini MTC activity and then pair up with a bunch of missionaries and go out and do some missionary work. It's a sweet activity to pump up the guys preparing to go on a mission. But what was even better was that our investigator came!! J... is a super cool kid and he decided that even though he isn't a member, he wanted to come out and teach about the things he's learning! It was a great opportunity for him to strengthen his beliefs and to better understand the importance of the gospel. He wasn't really the best at talking with people, in fact everyone was actually really unkind to him because he was so courageous at inviting everyone to meet with us. I hope that didn't deter him. What was really sweet though was we planned to teach a lesson with the Vietnamese lady at the same time we were going around with J.... So he got to help us teach her and the other lady. The Vietnamese lady is named Q...X... (I think, she has a heavy accent) and I couldn't understand the name of the older lady. They were both super golden and Q...X... was super excited about finding a way to be with her family forever and seeing her husband again. Q...X... readily accepted a baptismal date for April 4th and was happy to have us come back again on Sunday. When J... talked about what the gospel meant to him, everyone got really quiet, and the feeling in the room was so special. He really is a great guy and I really think he will be baptized in the future. It's tricky now though because his parents don't really support it and he's only 17, but he wants to. He really enjoyed the experience of doing missionary work with us!

  We also had a great lesson with V... yesterday. She's been meeting with missionaries for a very long time and has heard everything but just isn't willing to make the change. She was really touched by the blessing last week, and that was the subject of our lesson. We talked about God and how He knew her personally. We just gave our testimony of how important the gospel is to us and what God wants for her. You could tell that it really hit home with her. She still said she wasn't ready to be baptized, but she really is. We told her to pray and ask if the end of March was the time that God wanted her to be baptized. The decision is all up to her. She knows it's true.  She knows she needs the change, but whether or not she follows through with it is out of our hands. I am really praying that she will receive her answer. Could you all pray for her as well. She's so close!
  Well that's about it for the week. This week turned out to be one of the best so far and I'm looking forward to serving more with my new companion. He's a really chill guy and has a great desire to get work done! Things are going to get done! I love you all very much. Thanks for all your support. I still haven't received the package yet, but I hope it comes in soon!
Zhongxing, Jiayi, And Tainan Zones
Training From President Blickenstaff
Elder Stevens Sitting With Companion Elder Anderson (Right) 

Elders Stevens and Anderson (background), Sister Hancock (foreground)


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