Turn outwards, not inwards

1:48:00 PM

Dear friends and family,

This week was way better than last week! Sunday was really really the best. I think because it's the one day we have church/sacrament meeting and most of the day is spent according to how you want to spend it (but just in the classroom). We have Sunday walks to the Provo Temple and there are a tooon of missionaries that take pictures with their districts or friends. We had to walk back quickly because it started drizzling a bit. One of my favorite things about Sundays here is that the Spirit at the devotional is so strong! I almost cried when we all sang opening and closing hymns. It reminded me of YLC because that was how big it was (like the EFY medley). 

The speaker was named Chad Lewis and it was so fun listening to how his mission in Taiwan blessed his life; he previously was a BYU football player, and became a NFL ambassador in China for their Superbowl (who knew China cared about football?? haha), and now works at BYU in the athletic department. One main thing I remembered was how we should ALWAYS REMEMBER Jesus Christ and the importance of His Atonement. We wear his name over our heart every single day so we should always remember to act as representatives of Him (our name tags). It's so true and sometimes I get annoyed at Elders that do things that may not be exactly obedient because I know that when we're out in our missions, we represent God's church on earth and we should do what Christ would do. 

We also watched a talk by Elder Bednar called "The Character of Christ." It sucks because you can only hear this talk at the MTC but it will change your life! He talks about how instead of becoming the natural man, who is selfish and looks inward, we should turn outward, as Christ did. Turning outwards is thinking about the needs of others before your own, and loving them. I just love that because even as missionaries, sometimes it's easy to focus on our weaknesses, but we really have to forget ourselves, let the Spirit do the teaching, and focus on what the investigators need. He shared a story about a single mother who's daughter was in a serious accident with 2 other young women. But when they identified her daughter as the one who immediately passed away, instead of grieving, she told Elder Bednar, "Could you please go identify the other two young girls so you can contact their mothers ASAP?" That is true courage and such a powerful example of turning outward, like Christ did in His ministry on earth. 

Also on Sunday, our branch president talked to me about my assignment as a senior companion. It really helped me realize what I needed to do to help Sister Furukawa and Sister Tu'avao adjusting to the MTC life. He said, "You probably don't even have to be here to learn the basics, but we know that you are needed because you are such a strength to these sisters. They need you." I'll be honest, I tried so hard previously to make sure that we were always on time for everything, even if they were slower than me. But after talking to the branch president, we had a really heart to heart companion inventory (tell each other something good they're doing, and things to improve) where I told my companions how much I loved them and that I'm here for their needs, not mine. That was Sunday night, and Sister Tu'avao was really homesick and was questioning whether a mission was the right decision. But this conversation literally changed everything. From Monday onward, our unity as a companionship has improved so much and it shows in our teaching! I'm so grateful for the leaders here because I know they are called by God, and what the branch president said to me was exactly what I needed to hear.

(I backspaced two sentences ago and my whole email was gone and I panicked but thankfully Sister Furukawa told me Ctrl Z could bring it all back, thank goodness! If anything like this happens to you, now you know what to do! )

One funny thing that happened this week was I met an Elder Wu and he's from Vancouver, Canada. But he started telling my companions and others that we're cousins. So I'm just playing along and totally fooling my companions. We sat with him and his companion a few times and they are hilarious! His mom sent him some asian snacks and he shared some with me, so I feel like we're family, but we're not haha. I wish!

This week we also taught "Beatriz", who was role-played by our teacher. We taught her the plan of salvation because she loves her family so much but sometimes her daughters don't really listen to her. We were bearing our testimonies about how much the gospel blesses families and that it has helped us to love our families so much more. And she started tearing up and cried. We were so surprised but we knew it was the power of the Spirit that touched her heart. I think it was more unbelievable because she was our teacher, so she wasn't a "real" investigator, but the Spirit can be felt by everyone.

One last thing I just want to leave with you is something Sister Hall (another teacher) told us. In order to find "golden" investigators, or people who have a true desire to come closer to Christ and are willing to do anything to do so, we have to be "golden" missionaries ourselves. That means being exactly obedient to all the missionary guidelines, and doing everything we can to come closer to Christ as well. That's such a wonderful reminder to me. I love this gospel soo much because I know that it can change people's lives. I know that going on a mission is the best decision I've made yet and I can't wait to get out in the field again, but this time in Hawaii!

P.S. Shout-out to Miriam for sending me baked goods!

Love, 
Sister Wu

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