Friday, July 18, 2014
Here’s a list of things I’ve learned these past few days. It sums up my week pretty well.
1. I can never live in or near a forest.
On Saturday, we went to Girls Camp up in Brighton again! I went there during my first transfer with my trainer, and Sister Hadzik also got to go with her trainer, me! There are so many good, spiritually uplifting experiences that build unity and help us gain a stronger testimony. My favorite activity was still “Lifeline.” We have to navigate through a bunch of trees while being blindfolded and it was a bit frustrating at times (I ran into quite a few trees – don’t worry, we had helmets on). But at the very end of the course, our mission president took us by the hand and told us welcome back. All this is done while we are totally blindfolded, so we never knew when we were reaching the end. But it was so comforting to finally get to my mission president and hear a familiar voice. It reminds me of how badly our Heavenly Father wants us to return home to Him. Anyways, while I was up in the mountains, I was eaten alive by mosquitoes. Some of you might remember….I’M DEATHLY ALLERGIC TO BUG BITES! I got bit right smack dab on my forehead…..and of course it SWELLED UP like crazy. It looked like a huge tumor on my head. Luckily, I have bangs so I was able to cover it up pretty well. But for a few nights, I had to make a special paste (the nurse told me to) and smear it all over my head to basically suck out all the poison. And then I slept with a huge band aid on my head. Don’t worry, there are pictures for you to see. But hey, pictures don’t do this bite justice. The swelling has gone down for the most part but now I just look like I have a bruise on my head.
2. China will open one day!
This week, the mission posted the statistics of scheduled large group tours for the months of May and June. Get this: for Mandarin, it was over 16,500 Chinese people. How crazy is that?! And that’s not even counting the unscheduled large groups that randomly show up at West Gate or the small side tours. And this isn’t counting this month yet! I can’t wait to see this month’s statistics. Temple Square really is the best mission ever. This transfer (it’s only Week 4), Sister Hadzik and I have taught over 500 Chinese people already (she’s been keeping track of the number of Chinese people we take on tours). How lucky am I to be in a place where I get to preach the gospel to literally THOUSANDS of people? This week, I took a tour of 20 Mandarin and 7 families referred from that tour! Literally, almost every family in that tour referred themselves. Unfortunately, they all live in Mainland China so we can’t teach them right now, but I know the Lord has prepared so many of them. We also had a baptism on Saturday. His name is L X and he is from China and was baptized in my outbound YSA branch in State College! The sisters there met him after I left and they asked me to call and teach him over the phone ’cause of the language barrier. They sent me pictures this past week and it made me so happy to see some familiar faces! I’m sad I never got the chance to meet L in person, but he sounds so positive and ready to endure to the end. He’ll be a great addition to the branch. They also told me they JUST moved into the new church building this last weekend. They have been praying and fasting for this building for literally years. We always met on campus because there weren’t enough members to have an actual church building yet. I’m sad I wasn’t able to see it (it was supposed to be finished in May, right before I left), but I’m so excited for the Penn State students/members!
3. Life is precious.
As I mentioned earlier in my email, we never actually know when the end is near. We never know when we will meet our Maker. This week, we felt prompted to send a quick text to our less-active. He told us that his younger sister suddenly passed away. It was hard on all of us. He is trying so hard to come back to the Church and it seems like he’s just hitting trial after trial after trial. But I hope you can all remember to cherish one another and to love one another because it’s true – we really don’t know when our time is up here.
4. Heavenly Father hears our prayers and communicates with us through the Holy Ghost.
One night, I got an inbound phone call when we were in the Teaching Center. It was from a man who said he was going through a hard time. His tone was rough and he was very defensive. He wanted to talk to someone but didn’t tell me what was going on. I was caught off guard when I received this call because it showed on my screen that he had called in to order a free DVD about Jesus Christ, but he didn’t even bring up the DVD. The next thing I know, he said that I didn’t care about him and hung up. We decided to call him back to see how we can help him. He ended up screaming on the phone, calling me some not so nice names, and saying how I didn’t care about him. That night, I went home feeling pretty horrible about myself. I thought, “He’s right. I don’t have enough charity or patience. I shouldn’t be allowed to serve a mission and claim to be a representative of Jesus Christ!” The next morning, I prayed to know what I should study to feel better about the whole situation. I had originally planned to study charity because I felt like that was what I really lacked. But I paused for a moment and the thought came to me, “What would Jesus Christ say to me right now? Would He tell me what my weaknesses are? Would He help me feel better about myself?” In that moment, I desperately wanted to know, “What does He think of me?” I decided that the next best thing I had was the words of our prophet and apostles. I picked up the April 2014 General Conference Ensign edition and planned to read one of President Monson’s talk. But I felt myself directed to President Uchtdorf’s talk from the priesthood session. I really enjoyed his talk but I didn’t feel like anything really stood out to me for my current situation. I finished up my personal study and got ready to go to the Square for the day. As we were walking past the temple, I had a feeling and thought to look at the temple grounds. I didn’t know why and when I turned, I noticed some people walking around. The temple is actually closed for maintenance right now so no one is allowed on the grounds. My first thought was,” How did the people get there? I thought it was closed.” I turned back and continued walking. A distinct voice in my head told me to look again. I looked again and this time, I recognized President Uchtdorf, walking around the grounds with his wife. Long story short, we ended up talking to him and his wife for a brief moment. I told him that I literally just read his talk 15 minutes earlier! We shook hands through the gates and in that moment, I knew how aware Heavenly Father was of me. I wanted to know so badly what Jesus Christ thought of me and only an hour later, I met an apostle of our Savior and had the honor of chatting with him and shaking his hand. I know that Heavenly Father was giving me answers as he put those words in my head. And I am so grateful that I listened to that still small voice.
Sister Olivia Ying
2014年 7月 18日，星期五
我們上個禮拜六再到布萊頓那邊去參加“女孩露營！”在我的第一個搬家期，我和我的訓練者一起去那邊。這次是昊姊妹和她的訓練者（也就是我）去那邊！這個女孩露營的機會很特別，它使我們這些姊妹們變得更團結，而且它也使我們的見證變得更堅強。我在那裡最喜歡的活動還是“救生索。”做這個活動時，你先需要矇住眼睛，然後在樹林裡跑來跑去。它有時會讓我覺得太麻煩（我我撞到了幾棵樹，但不要擔心，我們會戴安全帽）。在最後一部分，我們的傳道部會長就會伸出手而跟我們說，歡迎你回來。這一切都是在我們的眼睛被蒙住的時候發生的。所以呢，我們在做時，根本不知道目的地是多遠。能夠終於聽到我傳道部會長的聲音的確讓我感到安慰。這個活動也讓我更加了解天父所想要的，也就是我們每個人回去祂那裡再次與祂同住。在另一方面，我在山上時，被很多蚊子叮了。你們有些人可能會記得…. 我對蟲咬非常過敏！我的額頭剛好也被叮了…. 然後它當然腫起來了，腫得很厲害！我的額頭那時看起來好像有個腫瘤在它的上面。我現在幸好有劉海，所以我的劉海會蓋住我額頭上腫瘤的樣子。但是有幾天我得自己弄一種藥膏（這邊的護士叫我這麼做），然後把這個藥膏塗在我的額頭上。這樣子，它就會把蟲咬裡面的毒吸收掉。我上週每天晚上在睡覺時，也需要帶著綁帶。不要急，我會把幾張照片給你們看。但是這幾張照片並不會有效地表示真正的樣子。腫脹已經縮小了很多，所以現在看起來我的額頭上有一大塊瘀青。