This is our Japanese Book of Mormon for Jerry! (even though he's Chinese, he prefers Japanese)
The girl scout cookies finally arrived! Do you get it? Yumm soo good (: I've shared them with my Kabahays and I'll be surprised if we don't eat them all by the end of the night. Thank you so much! I am the luckiest missionary (:
The best zone activity ever!
I got a package!! (visiting the mission office)
This is Rose
I am so thankful to be a missionary!! Some days, though, it is really hard. Like yesterday on our way to zone meeting, I heard some girls talking about Cleveland and basketball and I just missed Nathan and TJ so bad and always having ESPN on at home!! And sometimes in taxis I hear new Taylor Swift songs and I just feel like I might die. Sometimes.. I am riding in a taxi and all of a sudden a cockroach starts crawling up my leg... or we will be teaching a lesson when I see a ginormous rat run across the room. And other days, we leave the apartment at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and all of our appointments fall through, so we are left in the burning sun, while everyone seems to be taking a nap, to try and find someone to share the gospel with. Missionary work is not easy, and to those who don't understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, they might wonder how am I not completely miserable.
Yesterday at zone meeting, an Assistant to the President bore his testimony as he will be going home next week. What he said really hit me. He said, "I wish that on my mission, I could have realized that none of this was about me. None of the work was about me at all. But that I could have remembered that it is about Jesus Christ. And now that I am at the end of my mission, I just wish I had more time to wear His name." He talked about the days where he felt like he wasn't good enough at the language, when people who didn't keep commitments frustrated him. And how some days the mission that he had pictured for himself, didn't seem to be happening at all.
I felt so much like him as he was bearing his testimony.. Some days I wonder why more people aren't baptized. I get frustrated that I'm not better at Tagalog.. I forget the reason that I am really here... to wear His name. I only get 18 months to wear the name of Jesus Christ on my chest. I only have this time to spend every hour of every day serving Him. In the year that I have served here, I have come to know Him in a different way than I ever could have before. I have felt His love for me. I have felt His open arms as I have repented and changed and come unto Him. I have experienced immeasurable joy as I have watched others accept Him and take upon themselves His name.
Being a missionary isn't about a position you hold, how many baptisms you have, even if you hit the goals you have set for yourself. Its about wearing the name of Jesus Christ on your chest for 18 months, and loving Him with all your heart. I still have so far to go, but I just hope you know that every sacrifice that I've made, every Taylor Swift song I don't know, every Cavs/BYU game I've missed out on, every mosquito bite, every drop of sweat has been swallowed up in the joy and blessing of getting to wear His name. I am so thankful that I still have time left here, and I plan on spending the next 6 months enjoying every second of it.
This week was seriously one of the best weeks on my mission! I know I say that all the time, but I experienced so much LOVE and JOY!!! Sunday at church, Sister Narag and I were one of the first 2 in the chapel. We began to greet people as they came in 1 by 1. The first was a man named Jerry!! He is from CHINA! He ran into the missionaries on Saturday and he had come to church an hour early because he was so anxious to learn about the gospel! He said that he had heard things about Mormons in China, but because of the laws there, he couldn't explore it further. Now, he has been here for 5 years, and finally talked to Elders this week, and is now investigating the church. I am seriously SO PUMPED for him! And I can't even explain how lucky I feel to get to teach him! After Jerry, the whole Berdin family arrived.. and then Shane and her grandma, Hershey, Rose and her family, and Reza. It seemed like the chapel was full of recent converts of sister Narag and I, or the missionaries that have gone before us. It was such a blessing to get to literally see the fruit of our labors right there in the chapel. I was overwhelmed with the spirit. And THEN.. another chinese woman walked into the chapel!! Her name is Anna! She introduced herself, and said that she had a friend of a friend that she heard was Mormon, and so on Saturday, she decided to text her and ask what time her church started!! And so there she was.. lead by the hand of God to our chapel on Sunday morning.
I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ lives! He knows each of us. Heavenly Father is leading His children to Him from all over the world. I know that it was no coincidence that Anna and Jerry came to church on Sunday. They were prepared and guided by the hand of our Father in Heaven.
I know that Heavenly Father can and does do the same for us as we let Him. He guides us where we need to be. Sometimes, we may feel like the path we are on is full of sadness and trials and wrong turns. But I know that as we keep our covenants... the path will always lead us back to Him.
I am so thankful to wear the name of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful to be a missionary!!
I love you!!
Love, Sister Lockwood