Had my last zone meeting this past week. It was lots of fun and we all learned a lot together. As an object lesson for our training on faith, we brought some pots, seeds, and soil so everyone could plant their own "seeds of faith." Hopefully I don't kill mine before I go home! It's sprouting! We had everyone wear floral stuff for "Floral Fridays." We're making this a thing - adding it to our "sock-tie Saturdays."
Gloria got baptized on Saturday and confirmed at church the next day. It was a great experience teaching her. You can just feel a difference teaching those people that are prepared to receive the message and those who are not. She was one that was very prepared. Her mother passed away recently and she is excited to do her temple work. In her testimony, she gave a very powerful witness of God's love and that no matter what we do, as we repent and return to Him, he will forgive us.
We had a barbecue at a members house and had lamb meat-sticks (I guess you would call them kebabs in the US - not everyone understands Shanghai expat lingo). They were really good, better than the ones I remember in Shanghai! Probably because the meat was of known origin and they were really big pieces. No rat meat here!
I realized this past week that I am the "oldest" missionary in the mission. By length as a set apart missionary, I have a week on all the ones that came in with me because I stayed that extra week waiting to come out of the MTC. That was a while ago, whew.
We were at Costco to pick up some snacks for our zone meeting (they don't call Jurupa paradise for no reason). I heard some Shanghainese as I was walking down the aisle. I turn around and ask this guy in Shanghainese if he's from Shanghai and he just looks at me, blown away. Turns out he lives close to where we live at home! It's a small world. He's talked to Elder Zeng at a park in Eastvale too. It's always fun to freak Chinese people out with languages. Especially when it's a dialect.
At church on Sunday, we had to translate for Relief Society. Room full of women, but the lesson was on tithing. We did mostly English to Chinese translation with the headsets, but it was awesome to hear from two sisters from our Chinese group. One shared how excited she was when she was able to pay tithing for the first time. They're both converts. The other one is someone Elder Zeng and I baptized last year. She raised her hand and said today was the first day her husband, representing her family, paid a full tithing and how blessed she felt. Like that, other women started clapping, cheering, and even crying. You don't get that in Elder's Quorum. But it was amazing to see the faith of someone that I have worked with since day one. She said about half a month ago, her husband decided they needed to do it (he was baptized about a month after her last year). It's a miracle to see people's true conversion.
With Gloria at her baptism!
with our recent convert, Liu Ting Ting, right before she went to the airport to go to China
We planted these flowers with the zone as part of a training Elder Warren and I did on faith. We also gave them "Remember Him" rocks to help them remember the Savior in their work. Had to get the camera out and be all artsy with my pictures.
floral fridays with our new plants
zone - floral fridays
Bishop Garcia's last P-day a week ago :(
picking teams where am I?!
model shots at the temple, with Elder Pennington. Throwback Monday
the whole mission when Elder Christofferson came. Where's waldo (I mean, Elder Dyer)