I hope you've had a fantastic week. Time flies, and I look forward to seeing you in a little over 6 months. Updates as of late:
Far out, I love the City Zone. Our investigators Lei (from China), Chris (from China), and Ian (from Hong Kong) were baptized and confirmed earlier this month. I had the opportunity to confirm Chris and Ian. The power of the Spirit itself is a miracle, because I'd have no idea what to say in a blessing by the power of my own thoughts. But somehow, through Heavenly Father's way of speaking through us, thoughts come to my mind and feelings come to my heart, revealing things I never would have known about these special people. I'm always amazed at how consistently and distinctly the Spirit speaks to all of us if we simply open up to listen.
Our recent converts are incredible: the day after Lei and Chris's baptism, they organised dinner with some other YSA (Young Single Adult) Chinese members and all hung out together completely unbeknownst to myself and my companion. Now they make sure each other is going to the YSA Family Home Evenings and other activities without missionaries even asking them to come. They ask to teach lessons with us, even offering to cancel work if we need their help teaching. You would think they'd been members growing up and the missionaries are just the background support.
The City Branch will begin in February. What that means is a new branch (with classes in both English and Chinese) will begin in the City itself, in an office building. The branch building has many different rooms, and it will be a hub where YSA can come to study, play ping pong, attend church, and teach lessons with the missionaries. The new building is 3-4 times bigger than our Teaching Center we have now. The main purpose is to bring the YSA to the Chinese in the City, rather than bringing the Chinese out of the City to the YSA in the surrounding wards. We're super excited for this new change, and we'll have more opportunities than ever before. We're still studying Mandarin, with our Chinese Elders, Elder Chen and Elder Li teaching the whole zone together three times a week. Our Chinese recent converts/investigators often come to the class and teach us along with the Elders.
I thought I was called to serve in Australia, but now I'm helping build the Church in China with all the other missionaries here. I'll keep you updated on the new branch and our new investigators as time goes on. Thank you so much for all your support! Have a splendid week :)