I hope you had a fantastic Christmas! I feel that when I'm around my family year after year for special occasions such as Christmas, I easily take our family members for granted. It's not until we are separated from something that we realize how valuable it actually is. On skype, it's interesting to see how much we change and yet how much we stay the same over time--I'm happy to see that Mason's voice is now deeper than mine, Audrey still enjoys Instagram just the same, and Clara is bright and chipper just like usual. It was great to meet Nicole as well--I'm happy you all had the opportunity to adopt another kid while I've been away :) And it's always great to see that Albert is still alive too.
At this point in my mission I don't think I could have been blessed any more. It's the coolest thing to see how Heavenly Father blesses us progressively. It's like hiking a mountain, where you can see the landscape below you at certain points, and then you finally reach the top, where you stare at the incredible view in awe. My companion, Elder Ruppe, has taught me so much about how to help people progress. We had a lesson with our Chinese investigator, Chris, yesterday: Chris is on date for January 8th but has only been meeting us once or twice a week. We taught him some of the commandments, and he was having difficulty accepting one of them.
We shared our personal experiences and testimonies with him, then we shared what he would feel and who he would become if he followed what we were teaching him. Then Chris asked us, seemingly out of nowhere, "So, why did you choose to do this--I mean, choose to follow Jesus and these commandments?"
I don't think an investigator has ever asked a more perfect question. Elder Ruppe and I shared how we came to understand our identity and our true potential as sons of God. All of a sudden it looked like a light switched on inside of Chris and in the room: he said, "Oh, now I understand." Chris committed to be baptized on the 8th and he is on track to do it.
In the City Zone we just started Mandarin language study. Elder Li and Elder Chen (both from China) are teaching us how to pronounce basic phrases so we can use more effective ways to teach and find Chinese investigators. Everything has been going great here, and I'll keep you updated as we go. Have a fantastic week!