Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 2nd

Let me set the scene really quickly:

 There are 3 sets of missionaries in our ward (2 sets of Chinese Sisters and 1 set of English Elders) and, as transfers came closer, we knew that some people would be moving. The other Chinese sisters had been in the area together for about 3 transfers (18 weeks) and the elders had been there a while as well. Sister S and I had just been in the area a month and had started building up an investigator pool. So, when the transfers call-out came this last weekend, we were pretty certain that we would be in the area for much longer. 


We both are getting transferred to open TASMANIA together! Yeah. Tasmania. The island at the bottom of Australia. It has a population of about 500,000 people overall (number of Chinese speakers uncertain) and is about as close you can get to Antarctica without actually going there. We are so excited. We are the first Chinese sisters to ever go to Tasmania in the history of the mission (and might even be the only set of Chinese speaking missionaries on the whole island)! We leave next week! 

These last month has been amazing, especially the last 2 weeks. We have seen huge miracles and were able to start teaching such a really prepared Chinese family just a few days ago and received about 4 referrals from members. It will be really sad to leave everything behind (the ward, members, investigators), but we know we are going were the Lord needs us to be! 

One of the elders in our ward recently printed out a copy of the talk, "Beware of Pride" by President Benson and I had a chance to look through it again. It is so good; I always feel like I get a lot of insights about how I can improve when I read it. As I was looking through it, I recognized one of the paragraphs that had stuck out to me the first time that I read the talk in the beginning of my mission. It states:

Most of us consider pride to bsin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. (See Ne.9:42.) There ishowever, far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking upIt is manifest in so many ways, such as fault finding, gossiping, backbitingmurmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.
Reading that paragraph reminded me of something that had occurred about a month ago. It was when Sister S and I had first become companions. We doubled into the area that had for a long time been occupied by Chinese speaking elders. The Chinese elders had just been moved out two weeks previously and we took their flat. When we got to our area the first day, the other set of Chinese sisters quickly introduced us to the area and gave us an area book. We did not have time to look at the area book right away, but when we finally got a chance to look at it that night, we realized that it was completely blank. The only teaching records that were still in the book were about 10 former investigator forms in the back. We called the elders who had lived in our area before and asked if they had any investigators they had been teaching before they left. They responded that yes, they had some and one even had a baptismal date set, but, not knowing that a second set of Chinese sisters would be filling their place, they had given all of the investigators to the other set of Chinese sisters. Awkward situation. We called the sisters, asking if there was anyone that we could teach and they responded by giving us two numbers for potential investigators and a binder of former investigators we could call, but not one of the progressing investigators the elders gave them. I did not want to complain or press them for more investigators, because I had already gotten to know both of these sisters before I came to the area and knew they were great sisters. They had been in the area a long time and had struggled a lot previously. But the whole day after, I was pretty bugged by it. As I thought more about the situation the next night, however, I began to realize that the feelings I were having really was another form of pride, the bottom looking up type, and was hindering me from completely loving these sisters and feeling happiness in their success. I realized I had to accept things as they were, rely on the Lord, and move on. It was a humbling pill to swallow and there were still a few times after, such as when we saw them with their many investigators at church or heard about how they had moved that investigator's baptismal date up a half month, I still felt a twinge of jealousy. But, as Sister S and I started to work, we definitely saw a LOT of miracles. In four weeks we found more investigators in a rural area that my companions and I averagely found in 2 weeks in the city.  And, when the Chinese elders' investigator was baptised last week, I was able to really feel happy for him and the sisters instead of selfishly feeling bitterness or resentment just because we were not the ones to teach him. Looking back now, I really think those sisters were the ones he needed in order to get to the waters of baptism anyway. And I feel like the last few weeks have prepared Sister S and I for serving as Chinese-speaking missionaries in Tasmania! 

Ah. Pride. I feel like its pretty much an eternal struggle for me. But, I am so grateful for the scriptures and living prophets that help me recognize it and the Savior who gives me a way to overcome it. 

Love you all! 

-Sister Bennion
Sneak peak at the beauty of Tasmania!  

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