Another great week out here in the constantly above 85° Cali!
This week was kind of sad but also exciting! Sister Lin who I talked to you guys about last week had her baptism canceled which was the buns. 😢 She called her parents and they disapproved of it. She told us she couldn't go through with it but would continue to come to church and learn... we haven't seen her since. This has happened now 3 times so it's getting super frustrating but hey, keep on fighting the good fight!
After being super sad about that we taught Hank & Tina who are getting baptized this Sunday (hopefully). They already have picked who they want to speak and they keep telling us how excited they are! They really have brought me so much joy and I can't begin to express how grateful I am for them! So stay tuned for that!
This week was harder to find new investigators, however I always find joy in contacting Asians. Every time I contact them I speak English really fast so obvs I can get to that part where we speak Chinese easier. But without fail they do this Matrix move, you know the part where he dodges all the bullets and stuff, ya they do that every time I speak Chinese to them. It always makes me laugh because they are super confused how this white kid knows Chinese.😁
Overall not a bad week. We are just going to keep pushing along and finding those hunk of Asians wanting to learn about the Gospel!
Wo Ai Nimen, hope you all have a great week!
孫長老 Sun Zhanglao!
One of the things I have admired about Ben even since he was little, was his way of ALWAYS trying to look on the bright side of things or to find the silver lining. This gift has come in handy on his mission. We know missions are full of up and downs, joys and sadness, surprises and disappointments but all the while Ben has kept his head up. Having a recorder was one of the BEST things we sent him with. Not only can I hear his voice, but he can't "fake" how he is feeling, I can hear it in his tone. This is such a blessing for us because it gives me a heads up on how we can help from home. What words of encouragement we can send to help him through all the transitions you go through out there serving the Lord.
This last week was especially hard for him. Hearing him talk about the cancellation of Sister Lin's baptism was heartbreaking. The sadness in his voice was overwhelming. He has been there from the beginning on her path back to Christ and has seen and felt the spirit with her. To have it come crumbling down because her fear of her parents is too great, is so disappointing. It's hard with the Chinese culture. Ben feels like you not only fight the normal obstacles that Satan puts in your path, but you fight years of honor and tradition too. He knows that honoring her parents is a good thing, but to have her miss out on all that her Heavenly Father has to offer, is just so unfortunate. We are all praying hard that her mother's heart will be softened and she can again set a baptism date.
Ben's words: "I have never been this sad before. I just sat there in my chair staring at the floor. I just prayed and prayed for help. I thought, did that just happen? She is one of our most solid investigators and that just happened. Even though she said she would keep coming, I knew when she walked out the door that would be the last time I saw her and it was killing me. This is just a testament to me that we have to be so careful. Satan can get to even the strongest of people. No matter how well you think you are doing he can get at you in so many different ways."
The next day Ben met with Hank and Tina which was a highlight and uplifting experience for him. They are so ready for baptism and doing so well. He says, "They are better members, not being baptized than 1/2 the members now." 😁
Hank and Tina have made a goal to be sealed in the temple 1 year from now and on the mission you can go if they invite you. Ben said, "I'll be baby! I will have gone from meeting them on UCR Campus, to teaching them and baptizing them to seeing them get sealed for time and all eternity. They are our light right now and I am so grateful for them."
One thing that scares me as a parent is when your kids are older will they only share the negative things you instilled in them or will some of the lessons and positive things you tried to teach them be something they remember. I know I have instilled many things I DO NOT want them to emulate, but this week on the recording Ben shared that he has a fighting attitude and sets his goals high. He doesn't give up easily and keeps getting back up even when it seems tough. The best part for me was..."I attribute that to you Mom! Thank you for teaching me those life skills you knew I would need to succeed." 😢😢😢 ♥♥♥
The water works were real! What a compliment from my beautiful son.
Ben and Elder Yang met another man that offered them to come in and talk with him. He had been taught before from another missionary, Elder Murray about 2 years ago. Ben's telling of their encounter is hilarious!
"I asked if we could read a scripture. I said, Fa Bou, do you have a Book of Mormon? He excitedly said, "Oh ya, it's over there. Can you hand it to me?' I turn around to grab it and it is under a HUGE stack of Playboys, that look like they have gotten some use. I am like OH MY GOSH-REALLY! LOL Every other book is super dusty, including the Book of Mormon except those. It's good to know his priorities are straight😏. That's alright though, we'll be teaching him about that soon enough."
Ben talked awhile ago about how some of their investigators have to walk quite a ways to get to church. Super impressive! Simon showed up late to sacrament, really sweaty from walking and came up to Ben after the meeting while it was very quiet and reverent and in a really loud voice said, "Ahh Elder Nelson! It is a pain in the a** (only he said it) to get here!" Ben couldn't help but chuckle a little.
"After that he went to Elders quorum, introduced himself and then testified of investigating the church and that he believes it will help him and it is the thing he has been looking for."
Even though this week has had some sad points, the Lord has blessed Ben and Elder Yang with some tender mercies. He listened to a talk by President Eyering called, Mountains to Climb. He knows Heavenly Father has his back and that he will help him get through some of these trying times while serving him. So proud of him! ♥
Ben and Elder Yang with a car! Woot! Woot!