We also met with a former investigator and had such a good lesson with him! He is about 17 years old and lives with his grandma and has actually never even met his mom or dad before. He has had some hard times, and when he last met with missionaries, his grandma burned his Book of Mormon because she didn’t want him getting involved in church things (she’s a really traditional grandma who believes in ancestral worship). But this kid is so amazing! We met with him, and as we were teaching he grew silent for a minute, and we asked him what he was thinking. He said that he felt he needed to be reading and praying more, even though if his grandma saw him she would get really mad at him. He was so determined and we gave him some ideas of what he could do to be able to continue to do the things that he knew he needed to. At the end of the lesson we all pinky promised to read and pray every day, and he was smiling so big! It’s really hard to contact him because we have to be careful with the whole situation, but I really hope to be able to meet with him more!
I also found a member yesterday who was baptized forty years ago, when she was nine, but hasn’t really been to church since! We were just talking, and then she talked about how she was baptized, and then I soon realized that she was baptized into our church and even had a cousin who served a 2-year mission for the church! We talked for a while, and then I got her number, and she said that I could call her any time! It’s so cool that we just happened to be able to cross paths; I hope that we can bring her back to the church, and she’ll remember why she was baptized even if it was such a long time ago. The prepared really are everywhere, and sometimes they are already baptized, haha!
On the train yesterday the cutest little popo chatted with us and gave us both a toffee candy and then skipped away–she was so cute! We also had dinner at a member’s house with the elders, and the member gave us so much jello that, even though it was a few days ago, I don’t know if it’s all digested yet. I don’t know what it is, but people in Hong Kong absolutely LOVE jello, and you can find it at a lot of restaurants. They give the people in Utah a run for their money! 😉
While visiting another member this week, her husband was talking about how when he was younger he hiked for seven days and then swam for ten hours straight in order to make it from Mainland China to Hong Kong! I am so grateful that I haven’t had to make sacrifices that big, though I suppose that my trials and challenge have just come in different forms. Also I don’t know how to swim, so that would be pretty hard for me to accomplish!
As we teach investigators, we teach them how to pray sincerely in order to get answers to their prayers. Sometimes we invite them to pray about the Book of Mormon, or the restoration, or even just to know that they have a Heavenly Father that loves them, but no matter what we invite them to pray about, we also emphasize the meaning of “real intent.” But then I got thinking about my own prayers, and as a missionary you do so many of them each day that the “praying with real intent” part of it might get a little lost. Shouldn’t every prayer be sincere and earnest no matter what we are asking for, or even if we’re just grateful? After all, WHAT you say in prayers doesn’t matter nearly as much as HOW you say it, or as much the feelings and desires of your heart. Some of the most powerful prayers that you’ve heard uttered were the shortest ones, yet you could really feel something stir within you. This week my invitation is simple: think about your prayers, and then think about what you can do to make them more sincere and thereby more effective. Heavenly Father is eager to answer our prayers, but we won’t be able to recognize the answers if we’re not ready!