here is Mindy's Oct 3rd email. Behind again, like usual. ha!
hope you enjoy her long email! she's amazing! :) also, PICTURES!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful week and enjoyed your conference weekend. I'M SO EXCITED TO WATCH IT!!! Sister Christensen and I are counting down the days and are so excited to have some questions answered.
Today, I'm going to get a little deeper than i have in the past couple emails because this is something that i've been feeling prompted to share about for a couple weeks now but haven't really wanted to.
So, i'm going to talk about what it's like to not have investigators for months of your mission. As i explain this, I want you all to know that i LOVE my mission and everything that i say is my own thoughts and feelings. This is not the feelings and thoughts of every missionary in the whole world. We call it a "dry spot" but honestly it's more like a "hurt spot." In Preach My Gospel, we read, "Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach." I can testify that this is true. When you don't have people to teach, you spend A LOT of time looking for people to teach. When you get rejected and ignored for weeks and weeks and weeks, it start to hurt. You start to feel like you're a terrible missionary, like there is something wrong with you. "Why don't these people love me?" You spend A LOT of time on your knees, a lot of fasting, asking so many people so many questions. Every week you show up to church and you can feel the ward members, the bishopric and the ward missionaries watching you and wondering why you STILL haven't brought an investigator to church. You're trying everything and sacrificing so much and yet, no one wants to listen to you.
This isn't the hardest part though. The hardest thing to accept is that every time someone rejects YOU, they are actually rejecting their Savior. They're rejecting the chance to be free from sin and regret. They're rejecting the opportunity to have peace and LIGHT fill their lives and make it into something incredible. They're holding themselves back and it hurts because you LOVE these people. you WANT to see them happy and see their family make it to the temple. You want to be able to see them in the Celestial Kingdom again. It hurts but it's also been the sweetest part of my mission.
I wish that I had the time to write down all that i've learned so far. I am so immeasurably grateful for my Savior. Now, more than ever before. In the MTC, they tell you that "you are sent to find the elect and BAPTIZE them." We're promised that they're out here. I know they are too. I can promise they are here in TST. They are. I have learned that having faith and HOPE closes the gaps between "you are sent to baptize" and "why will no one listen to me?!?!?!?!" I have learned that having a grateful heart and a happy heart is a CHOICE. You can choose to let trials in life break you down until you're nothing. You can choose to be bitter, to compare yourself to others, to let Satan stop your mouth. OR you can choose to learn what God wants you to learn. You can choose to be optimistic and strive to learn how to build yourself back up it's hard but it's worth the fight.
I have also learned that "all sunshine makes a desert." Life needs the rain to make it beautiful. It needs trials to make it worthwhile. Life needs rain.
In 2 Corinthians 6 verse 10 has become close to my heart. "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, as poor, yet making MANY rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing ALL things." I'm learning to rejoice in my sorrow. I'm learning that although I have nothing, I have a knowledge of my Savior and of His TRUE church and that is "ALL things" in my eyes. It's a "pearl of great price" for sure. I may be poor (in spirit as well as a missionary LOL!) but I truly truly hope that I am making many people here in Hong Kong feel rich. I'm learning to be grateful and figure out what's most important.
The last thing that i've learned comes from John 16:33- "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." We WILL have tribulations. As humans and especially as followers of Jesus Christ. We WILL have trials. BUT we can always be of good cheer because He's walking this path with us. He's lifting us every step of the way and lifting us when necessary. Having no investigators is not the hardest trial in this life by far, but i know that Heavenly Father gave me these trials so that I can walk through harder paths later on and hopefully be able to lift those around me while we walk. I know that miracles are around the corner. I know that miracles and blessings are coming. This trial is worth it. The hurt is worth it.
There are miracles in Hong Kong. Just because I have no investigators does not mean that my area is a dad area or that Hong Kong has no hope of being saved. Sister Christensen and I see miracles everyday. We change lives everyday. Hong Kong has some incredibly wonderful people. I love them so much. The missionaries that serve in Hong Kong are BLESSED to be here.
I love my mission. I love Hong Kong but more than all that is the love that I have for my Savior and for Heavenly Father who knows me so perfectly that I get tailor made trials. ;)
I hope that you all are loving your missionaries back home. I also hope that you remember that it is NOT just the missionaries responsibility to find people to teach. It is EVERY SINGLE MEMBER'S duty to share the gospel. Do your part in this work of eternities. You won't regret it.
i love you all. I AM happy, I promise. Thank you for your prayers and love.
P.S. Thank you for not sending conference spoilers.
|The view from Sister Mindy's roof where she exercises every morning.|
|A small part of Sister Mindy's zone. Kowloon East!! <3|