Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Family & Friends,
I’m alive. My last Pday was a week and a half ago. We had transfers last week and in the process with my new schedule, I lost a Pday during my first week. To say I am exhausted is an understatement but all is well. This transfer has been pretty exciting, though. Lots of different things are happening and I’m excited to tackle on this new transfer. Oh yeah, my new Pday is Tuesday now, not Friday anymore!
Last last Friday (8/1/14), the assistants called me into their office and extended the calling of a district leader to me and asked if I was willing to accept this. For my not-Mormon friends, a district is basically a group of missionaries, about 6-8 of us. Multiple districts make up a zone and we have zone leaders who watch over us. Finally, multiple zones make up a mission and we have the assistants to the mission president as well as the mission president himself who watch over us. Hope that made sense. Anyways, since that Friday, all the craziness, stress, and exhaustion began. The following Monday, we had transfer conference, which was at 7 in the morning. Only in the Temple Square mission do we ever have meetings this early. Even church here is at 7:30 on Sundays. When I was outbound, we never had anything this early! Oh well, I’m not complaining. It just means we get an earlier start on our day and can accomplish more things. Anyways, this last transfer conference brought a lot of changes.
First, I am a district leader, so that means I have many more responsibilities than ever before. I no longer have to worry about just me and my companion, but I am also responsible for 6 more sisters, so a total of 8 sister missionaries, including myself and my companion. Oh yeah, I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Lopez and she is from Mexico! I have been praying for a Spanish speaking companion (preferably from Mexico since I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD) and this prayer was answered! I have been learning a lot of Spanish again and it is so fun to practice my Spanish with her. Sister Lopez is in her 5th transfer now and has had all American companions her whole mission. This is the first time she has taken tours in a language she doesn’t understand, so taking Chinese tours is new for her. As you can imagine, between speaking Chinese and Spanish, we are always busy. To top that off, I now serve in the Beehive House! The Beehive House was Brigham Young’s house and the Temple Square missionaries take tours through there, too. I spend almost 20 hours a week at the Beehive House, so that means I no longer have a lot of time on the Square, which also means way less Chinese motorcoaches. In fact, I don’t think I’ve taken a Chinese motorcoach since this transfer started. At first, this really bothered me – my thoughts were always on the Square, agonizing over the fact that I was missing a bunch of Chinese tours. We haven’t taken any Chinese tours through the Beehive House, which is probably a good thing since I have a whole new set of Chinese vocabulary that I need to learn. But anyways, I was not a fan of my new assignment of serving in the Beehive House and didn’t feel effective being there. But what I really needed to do was to change my attitude and just accept that right now, Heavenly Father has different plans for me, and it is to serve in the Beehive House. The most challenging thing about serving there is bridging the gospel with the history. On Temple Square, it is so much easier to do that since you have the buildings around you and it’s so much easier to connect everything with the gospel. However, with the Beehive House, visitors are more focused on whether or not things in the house are original. In the beginning, I struggled. I didn’t know how to bridge the gospel and I felt like I was a tour guide, not a missionary anymore. It was frustrating. However, my companion and I have been practicing taking Beehive House tours and focusing on how to bridge the gospel with what we have. I know that after this transfer, this will be a valuable skill that I will learn and I will become an even more effective missionary and instrument in the Lord’s Hands because I will be able to connect some of the most random things to the gospel. I’m excited about that.
The day after transfer conference, the Taiwan sisters plus me met at 7:30 in the morning to film something for a Taiwan Youth Conference that is coming up in a couple weeks. I really don’t know much of the details yet, but when the time gets closer, I will fill you guys in about that! The theme was “Come Unto Christ” for them and we were basically encouraging them to prepare themselves to be worthy to enter the temple. Maybe you guys will see this video when I’m home. I haven’t even watched the finished product yet. Anyways, right after filming, I had to move for 4 sisters, including myself…oh the perks of being an American and having a driver’s license. For the next 2 and a half hours, I climbed up and down the stairs and lugged around a bunch of suitcases. After moving a bunch of stuff, I had to run back to the Square to finish filming for the Taiwan Youth Conference.
Wednesday was Transfer Day. That morning, I also had to drive Sister Cheng, my trainer, to the airport. Yup, she is home in Hong Kong now. Ugh, saddest day of my life!! She had to go home one transfer early to prepare herself to go back to school. She is so awesome and has made such a huge influence on my life. Everyone friend her on Facebook! Haha. But seriously, I miss her so much. It is weird to be here at Temple Square without her. I miss her dearly and I hope I can see her sometime in the future. We’ve seen so many miracles together and I just love her so much.
Anyways, this transfer has just been busy busy and so different. I love taking Spanish tours though. The Spanish people are so humble and prepared. The majority of the Spanish people cry during the tours. What a change from our Chinese and German tours! Whenever I hear them share their testimony or see them cry, I want to cry with them. For example, we played the Christus recording for a family and the grandmother could not stop crying the whole time. They accepted the Book of Mormon and asked us to keep in touch with them so that we can continue sharing more about the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. But really, it doesn’t matter what languages my companion and I speak. The work is the same and the Lord has prepared so many people.
Well, this email has been a pretty long one. I guess it makes up for the fact that I didn’t send one last week. I was really stressed out at the beginning of the transfer, but things have calmed down now that I’ve gotten the hang of things. I really do have no time for myself anymore though. Actually, I got a letter from my dad and Jeremy on a Thursday and was so busy I couldn’t even open or read it until Sunday night…..I feel like my companion and I are always rushing to the Beehive House or scrambling to take another tour. I don’t think we’ve been able to sit down for a full hour for dinner this whole transfer yet. But I like being busy and what can be better than being busy doing the Lord’s work? I am excited to get to know the sisters in my district and serve them. Being a district leader has helped me develop greater love and has helped me become less focused on myself since they are now my first priority, along with my investigators. My district consists of Sisters Torino (the Philippines) and Toa (Vanuatu), Sisters Khaomuangnoi (Thailand) and Rangel (Brazil), and Sisters Davis (St. George, Utah) and Merrill (Idaho). We are a pretty diverse district with lots of differences, but I’m excited to work with them. This morning, I was in a 5 hour meeting called Mission Leadership Council with our mission president and other mission leaders and I learned so much! I am grateful for this calling and excited to serve others. I know I am going to grow so much this transfer.
Sister Olivia Ying
2014年 8月 12日，星期二