Well as two years comes to a close I've been pondering. Pondering a lot. I remember leaving home the very first night laying in my bed wondering, "What have I got myself into?" "What am I gonna do for the next two years. I remember that there were many days where I wondered if I was going to last the full two years.
I spent a good amount of time in the MTC learning to work with a companion, to be patient, to seek the spirit. I remember wondering if Chinese would ever be learned or if I'd spend the entire two years faking my way. Eventually I made it to Taiwan, I quickly learned that my chinese was not even close to learned. I got sent to a faraway rural area called Gangshan. There I was trained by Elder Jensen, I started learning a lot about missionary work. I learned that miracles do happen. That people can change. That no matter how many flat tires, times your trainer's bike brakes. the work still goes on. I learned that there is a thing called the Gift of tongues. I also learned that moving on a mission sometimes is harder than moving in real life.
Taizhong brought me to learn that the world is really small, I was able to be companions w/ Elder Gummow a classmate of mine that I'd never met, I was able to work w/ a mongolian, I was able to meet so many great people, I learned that we can be companions w/ anyone. I was with a great companion who I know is very different from me. Elder Pao. He taught me so much. Then I headed to Guiren.
Guiren taught me more than I ever thought I'd learn. I remember at the beginning of my mission people would say missionary work is hard and I'd tell them that was the biggest lie I'd ever heard, then in Guiren I learned missionary work is hard work. I have never spent so much time praying, fasting, studying w/ all my heart. I learned that even if we can ride fast or work hard, if our companion does not we need to slow down, we need to help them before we help others. I also learned that we are most happy when we are working hard. I was w/ Elder Lieske. Oh my goodness the fun we had. From running into a million crazy people, to contacting every single person in Guiren. We worked like crazy everyday. Always came back exhausted and ready to do more. Never "plateu". I learned what true comp unity could feel like. Then I trained, I learned a ton right there I learned a lot of skills, I learned that I myself lacked in a lot of areas and I needed to improve. But I loved it so much. Then I got the call I was going to be Elder Gummow's companion again, as a zone leader.
There I learned that busy was not fully understood by me until that point. I've never been so busy. busy busy busy, and also I learned how much an influence one day w/ a missionary can have. We do have the ability to help a lot of people. The people around us can all become better, it is our purpose to invite all to come closer to Christ. Even our companion. I had so many companions there (great companions) Elder Gummow, Elder McCulloch, Elder Gassman, and Elder Shelton.
Then I got to be a white washing wizard. The funnest experience ever. I love pingdong it is a great area. I was blessed to train a great missionary Elder Tatton. This mission has taught me a lot. I think I'm starting to understand what the mission is, I can testify that it is God's work. I know that the scriptures have power. I know that The Savior's atonement really can allow us to change, give us comfort and make us who the Lord wants us to be. I know that the spirit needs to be the center of this work. I have loved every single second of it all. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is indeed the restored church of God. And that by following Jesus Christ we one day all will be able to receive salvation. We must remember if we have faith there is a way. 有信心有办法
Love you all!