Sunday, March 31, 2013

Not going to finish being trained!?!?


So I don't know why, but I am not going to be finishing my training...I guess it is sort of understandable since we TECHNICALLY had 2 transfers (one being a mini-) But still, all the others are finishing.  So I don't know if you have heard about the 12 week program but the point is to have missionaries ready to train after 12 weeks...and I am going to be doing just that...I can hardly speak the language, my amazing trainer is leaving me and I am going to be training someone who possibly knows less Chinese then I do (which would be hard to do considering how my chinese is not so great haha). But I am going to need extra prayers this week for thank you all!

So I have a lot I want to talk about in this email! Lets hope I can get through it all! First off...APRIL FOOLS!!!!! I am not being transferred haha. So I am still in xiaogang with Elder E. and we will be together for ATLEAST 3 more weeks and most likely 6. haha okay PHEW now that that is out of the way :).

Oh and just so you all know, OBVIOUSLY this picture is posed :) haha. I just felt bad because I had no pics to send this week! (might be the same next week). So I had Elder E. take a picture of me studying! haha...oh jeeze. It was so funny posing for that pic :) we were laughing so hard. We are always laughing!

Did you all hear about the Earthquake in Taiwan!? It was 6.1 or something I guess. It was a pretty weird feeling haha, but we didn't really pay too much attention to it, we just went on doing our studies! I just thought it was funny because Elder E. didn't even look up. I of course looked up and around at everything and said do you feel that....that it really started moving and he just kept studying and said "yup" haha. I don't know if that is a common occurrence here but it was pretty funny to see him pay ZERO attention to it and just focus on studying! 

So I have one kinda funny and ehhh story and then I want to dive into the good stuff! :) So just yesterday we were at this mans house named L. J. Now, let me start by saying I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE! The only thing is that there are a few people here, usually single older men (like L J ) who do not have very good hygiene, and its usually with stuff like not washing feet or clipping nails or something. But anyways. We were at this guys house and he is really into all the "fads" that the world provides, such as compression socks to make your leg stronger! So in order to show us he took off his sock, and handed it to me...telling me to try it on....well I looked down at his feet...looked at the sock...then looked at Elder E. who was just trying so hard not to laugh. Well... to be kind I took it...and started to put it on. But I guess I was doing it wrong. You start by putting it over your arm....gross...haha. Then slipping it over your leg by pulling it off your arm and onto your leg...idk, it was weird but I guess that is how it works. I got it about half way on and it wouldn't go further. So this nice man started grabbing the sock and my leg and trying to force it on haha oh my gosh it was so funny! And eventually It got on and wanting to take it off as fast as possible I said "cool" then started to take it off, well then he told me that I didn't even walk in it and try we did the process all over again. And the sock was totally normal except it went high on your leg and was tight on your foot, really nothing special haha. But of course I am walking around saying oh yeah that’s amazing haha. [Shannon here: Just have to add this. Elder Gish is a serious germ-a-phobe. As his mom, this makes me both laugh out loud and want to give him a paper bag so he can breathe.]

Well thats my funny story haha I have a few things I want to say real quick so I am going to list them real quick and maybe give brief explanations of a few.

1) Uncle Josh! I have been keeping a prayer journal and lately you have been popping up in my mind! I don't know if you read these or not, but I just want to let you know I am thinking about you and praying for you :). I sure miss you and love you a lot! I hope everything is going well for you back home! Give everyone my love.

2) Q is the name of one of our investigators. [Shannon here: Investigator is a term meaning someone who is officially meeting with the missionaries to “investigate” or to know more about the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]. I want to mention him because he is a really depressed kid that doesn't like Taiwan and seems to not have any goals or anything. When we started meeting with him I saw him change, he started smiling, he started to read the Book of Mormon and in one night read from the Start and got about half way through. I really realized through him, and through meeting with others how much this gospel means to me. Lots of others just feel that they don't have much purpose or goals, they seem to be sad more than they are cheerful. I have really recognized this week the blessings that this gospel has brought to my life! The joy and peace, the feeling of belonging and of purpose. Knowing how I need to act and what I need to do, who I can count on. I love it. And I love that I have the amazing opportunity to serve my wonderful god and share this amazing news and this amazing joy with everyone! Infact the gospel in Chinese is Fu(2) Yin(1). It literally means News of Blessings. This Fuyin really is the News of how to bless your life!!!!

3) New favorite scripture! 2Nephi 4:16-35 I love this! JUST AWAKE! This is real! The Lord is real, he lives and he loves each of us! And even better news is he IS COMING AGAIN! Why give way to any sin or temptation? Just remember the Lord and go forward being the Child of God that we were meant to be, shinning like we were meant to shine! SO GREAT!

4) A great principle...UNto verses INto. (2Nephi 33:1-2) It says that the Holy Ghost will carry it UNTO the hearts of the people. But that they give no place for it to be IN them. I love this so much because it teaches so many amazing principles, one being that everyone has their own agency to choose to accept or reject the truth of this message and there is nothing that any outside force can do about that, they have to choose to let it in! The other principle is that I think that many teachers or missionaries will get discouraged when they don't see the success they hoped for and they start to doubt whether they are teaching with and by the spirit. Well this scripture is the answer! We can be 100% filled with the spirit, we could preform miracles and we could do all things by the power of God, but if someone is not going to open their heart and give will all be to no avail. One thing I loved that we taught a recent investigator named Ray Lian is that he has to open his heart and give way, let the spirit work, because the spirit will never FORCE you to accept. It will wait until you are willing. He has been keeping all of our invites and says that he still isn't really feeling it so much. He has had some great experiences but just says he still can't fully believe it. We talked about comparing our faith to a seed (like in Alma 32). We asked him where has he placed his seed? Is it actually IN the ground? Is it In his heart? Has he put in the effort to open his heart and let it in? If the seed just sits on the surface it will never grow, we can add water and sunlight and nothing will ever come of it. But once we open the ground (our hearts) and place the seed inside. That is when we will see it start to grow! I want to testify that this really is true, this being the gospel of Jesus Christ. If there are any within the sound of my voice who say other wise I would ask that you just look at where has that seen been placed. Did you water it and add the sunlight but not really stick it in the ground? Because I promise you that if you do, the seed will take root and you will see it grow and you will know for yourself that it is true.

Us missionaries have one purpose and that is to INVITE others to come unto Christ. We will provide the seed, we will tell you how much water and sunlight you need. We will be guides, but we can't do it for you, no one can and no one should. The greatest gift you have is the ability to choose. But if you don't open your heart and give it a chance you won't know. The seed will always just stay a seed.

On this amazing day (the day after Fuhuo Jie or Easter) (Oh P.S...Easter in Chinese literally means Resurrection great is that!) I want to add my testimony to the many that I am sure have been given. That Christ lives. He loves us. He was born, lived, suffered and eventually died for each of us. And it is because and through Him alone that we are able to have the amazing blessings that we have. It is through Him that we can again live with our Heavenly Father and it is because of Him that we can live for eternity with our families. That is the best blessing of all! I love my family, I want nothing more than to be with them forever. I am so grateful to Jesus Christ that he has provided the way for me to be with them forever! I this work, I love this gospel and I love all of you!

Have an amazing week!

Elder Gish

P.S. I will try to get better pics either this week or next. Nothing too exciting has happened recently... :( haha