I have so many things I want to tell you about this week!
First of all, we had Specialised Training . This is such a special meeting that I always look forward to (we have it every 3 or 4 months I think). It's basically a zone meeting but President and Sister Ulrich come as well as the Assistants. The Assistants trained us in the morning for basically 2 hours about DESIRE. Now this, I loved. I feel like one of the many themes of my mission has been learning to change my desires. Something that has become very clear to me since October 2013 is that it's so important to be REAL with yourself about your desires. Step one to changing is admitting you have a problem (AA anyone?) and I've seen myself and a lot of other missionaries waste time because they won't admit that their #1 desire is NOT to serve the Lord. We all just say "I love my mission! I love being a missionary!" and are too scared to admit those days when really, our #1 desire is to sleep, to go home, to curl up in a ball and disappear, or to just give up.
But once you actually admit to yourself and to Heavenly Father that your desires aren't in the right place, THEN and only then can you start the wonderful journey of repentance and change. I LOVE when Alma says, "Do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say-Lord, our [desires] have been righteous [desires] upon the face of the earth-and that he will save you?" (Alma ). I love that question because it really makes us accountable. Heavenly Father already knows my desires, so it's no use lying to myself that I'm fine and don't need to change. Eventually, I'm going to meet him at the judgement bar and "have a perfect knowledge of all [my] guilt" (2 Nephi ) anyways. The first 6 months of my mission it was all a desires test. Do I desire to serve the Lord or go home? It was April 1st 2014 when I really started to change. I sat in President Preston's office at the mission home, the day before I was to start training Sister Shih and balled. I simply balled. I told him that I'd been homesick for 6 months and that I was SICK of it. I told him I was anxious about finding, scared of giving my all, and worried that I would fail. He was able to give me some great spiritual help, but he also gave me Sister Peery (that phone missionary therapist lady) who helped me learn how to change my desires. And you know what? The past year has been an absolute JOY! I've still gone up and down with my desires, but I've learned how to change, repent, and start again. Needless to say, I LOVED specialised training.
Here's a pic of us waiting for it to start.
I also got to go on another exchange to Liverpool this week! And I got to serve with my little sister in the mission. Sister Lau, my trainer (mom) also trained (birthed) Sister Li, therefore making her my sister. It was so funny because Sister Li is basically a mini Sister Lau. Even her handwriting was exactly the same! She cooked me really yummy food.
We also got to see the one and only Alfred! I've missed him so much! I had to miss his baptism in November for a few different reasons and I feel like I've never been able to make up for that. But this week we finally got to just sit down and catch up. It was seriously true joy...I cried. I really did! Because I was so happy! Alfred wants to serve a mission! He'll be the best Elder ever. I'm hoping he gets called to Seattle Chinese speaking :)
I thought I'd also send you this gem. I was bored night during our district phone call (sometimes they can go SO. LONG.) so I started trying to do a hand stand. Yes, I'm wearing a onesie. They are big in England!
Well, I think I'll end on that note. I love you all and hope you have a great week!