Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Goodbye to Sister Pinkston, too! (and now I'm a trainer!)

Wow, okay thanks for the update. I will pray for Nina's recovery. (Her 17-year-old sister was hospitalized with a liver ailment.) I'm glad she's been watched over and gotten blessings and that people have taken care of her. The TS ward is awesome. I'm glad there were so many people willing to help in a time of need.

This week the main news is that my companion, Sister Pinkston, is leaving for Singapore. I am going to stay here in KL, and train a new missionary coming fresh from the MTC! So, tomorrow I am going to be bussed to Singapore with Sister Pinkston to pickup the newbie -- the "greenie" as we call them -- and we'll be there for a few days for orientation before we come back to KL.

The last few days have been a whirlwind! Sister Pinkston has been here in KL for 6 months, and so she's gotten close to many people. We've been visiting them--members, investigators, former investigators. It's been fun, and very busy :) We are still not packed up!

Even though I'm staying in KL, I feel like a lot of things are changing. I didn't expect to train before the end of my mission. I'm nervous, but looking forward to it as well. This is going to be a new challenge, and I will need to step up my game. God knows what he's doing. I am excited to be training, and to be training in KL of all places! :) Life is great.

I will update more next time :) The Gospel is true! 

Sister Gopinath

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Goodbye President Clark!

​So, President Clark is going home, and President Mains will be coming to take his place. President Clark asked us to write him a meaningful email ("things of the heart") that he could collect and save to look back on in the future. This is most of what I wrote:

Dear President Clark,

Probably the thing I am most sure about is that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us, and hears and answers our prayers. I have had many sacred experiences (recent ones also) when I have prayed in my heart to God, asking a question about something very important. It has been things such as whether to carry out a decision I have made, how He would have me act, questions regarding the truthfulness of a Gospel Principle, or a question regarding His love for me. All of those have been major themes for my prayers in the mission field. What I have found is that Heavenly Father is infinitely patient with me, and generous with answering my prayers. I have found that He wants me to feel His love--whether it is His love for someone else, or His love for me. 

Just like real life, my mission has been challenging and has targeted many of my weaknesses. I have stumbled a lot but I have found, again, that God is infinitely patient with me and isn't bothered by the fact that I am not yet perfect. Learning that He feels this about me has helped me understand those around me; to be patient with and love them--especially my companions and those that I teach. As I've learned more about how God feels about me, I've come to understand more about love. I am learning how to love others. How to love others, in a small way, the way that He loves them. 

I have come to believe that love is the underlying principle of Christ's Gospel. Everything that He did for us, everything he taught us and showed us and sacrificed for us, was done purely out of love. The closer we get to God, the more love we receive from Him and feel for Him and for those around us. Love is more than mere affection. Love is deep and undying and cannot be lessened by outside factors. True love endures. It takes strength of heart, strength of character, patience, faith... many things. Willing action is a fruit of love, and love is strengthened by service and sacrifice. Love is an endowment. I am learning this by experience. I didn't realize how little I really knew about love before my mission, but I'm grateful for an infinitely loving Heavenly Father who knows me perfectly and has me in His mighty hands. He cares enough to teach me and allows me to go through heartbreak and hardships to refine me, even when I don't understand what is going on. I know He has great things in store for me if I will only be faithful. I know these things are true for each and every one of His children, my brothers and sisters, as well.

We are not perfect, and will not be in this lifetime. I do not yet love God or His Son perfectly. But I know that through Jesus Christ, though walking the path that He paved for us, we can be refined and cleansed from sin and strengthened and made worthy to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. I know that the Savior lives and loves each of us in a very personal, "hands-on" way. I have also learned that from experience. I know that He is real and alive and perfectly understands us because he has literally been there as well. I know that His Gospel has been restored in its fullness. I know that the Book of Mormon is His word. I am not ashamed of that, no matter who listens to me declare it. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. I know that it is real and that it works. I know that by walking this path, our families can live together eternally, and that that is the greatest and most glorious purpose of the Gospel.

Sister Gopinath

Thursday, June 14, 2012


This week... I don't have a ton of updates because I've actually been sick for the last three days. My stomach was fine when I was on Borneo, but for some reason here I've had more trouble. I'm getting better now (I think) but I haven't eaten anything in a while. Yesterday, Anton (the Chinese Anton) bought me some traditional Chinese herbal medicine that I took. I feel all right :) It was kind of fun to take traditional Chinese medicine. It smelled nice :) I think they were called Po Chin pills? Maybe that's wrong.

We had a cool day yesterday. We were finally were able to go out (after almost 2 days of me having to stay in), and we met with a referral from some other missionaries. His name is Freddy and he has a cool story. He was raised in the traditional Chinese religion (not Buddhism... I'm not sure what it is though), but he has 3 kids and he and his wife wanted them to learn English. So every Sunday they would take their kids to a Christian church, so they could learn English. They did that for years, just waiting outside or running errands until their kids were finished. But a few years ago, Freddy told us, he started to "feel something" about Christianity. I asked him what it felt like, and he said, "Peaceful." So for a long time, he has been visiting different Christian churches with his wife and children. A few weeks ago, they visited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Freddy is interested. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and the lifestyle of the members, how it promotes strong families. He talked about how he gave up gambling when his children were born, which was really cool to hear. We talked a lot about families. Now it just all depends on whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. He is really humble and sensitive to the Spirit, seeking truth, so I know he will get a testimony of the Book of Mormon. And then he will lead his family in the right path (his children have told him they want to be baptized into a Christian church). We will work to make sure that happens. It was a really cool lesson.

Also, later that day we got a phone call from a random number. I answered and a guy said, "I want to join Christianity. Is that something I can do?" I gave him an emphatic "yes" and we are meeting him soon. 

The knowledge of a Savior is spreading throughout every nation. Like a stone cut without hands this great work will roll forth. It's humbling to stand at the front lines and see it happening. I know that the Savior lives and that His Atonement is real and has infinite healing power.

Sister Gopinath

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trusting in God's Timing

So this week was good also. Some noteworthy lessons are as follows: We taught Dr. C the Plan of Salvation, and he was touched by the doctrines and felt many of his questions were answered--especially about what happens after death. He's felt no other Christian teachers have been able to clearly answer that question. He said that our answer comforted him and felt true and encouraging. It was a sweet experience. He had asked us what the prophet today was telling us, so Sister Pinkston gave him her copy of May's Ensign magazine.

He texted us an hour or two after we left his office: "Thank you for the Ensign magazine. I am touched by the many articles about the importance of parenthood and children and family life being the main purpose of us being human. And I see many pictures of big and happy families."

He loved it. It was awesome. Although very educated and well-off (a practicing heart-surgeon from Harvard), trials in his live have humbled him and he is sensitive to the Spirit. He can sense truth very easily. The main challenge is that he is moving an hour away from the church, so we'll see if he can come on Sundays. I really hope something happens and he will be able to. But I know that he will be baptized, whether it's now or in the future.

That's something I've been learning/thinking about lately. Although I am here to do work, part of loving people for me is also trusting them with God. Trusting in God's timing. For example, I teach someone and I feel love for them. But something prevents them from making it to baptism. My natural response is to be frustrated and discouraged. But lately I've been able to let it go. I need faith that God has a plan for them, and if I can do everything in my power, God will take care of the rest. Maybe I won't see the fruits of my labors now, but my labors will be fruitful.

That is something that's been hard to remember. Even if the fruit of my labor is just that I went through something hard and became a better person from that, and am thus better prepared personally for a future experience, that is a valuable fruit. I shouldn't get discouraged. Something valuable will always come from love-inspired labor.

We have also started teaching this girl named Lynda, who is from Beijing. So she grew up without any kind of religion (often we think of China as being a Buddhist country, but actually any religion is usually totally foreign to mainland Chinese people). She's a single MBA student. She has looked into Buddhism and Islam as well as Christianity, and she has a lot of thoughts about it, and feels that Christianity has the most positive impact. She has also visited several Christian churches and feels the most "natural" here at the Church of Jesus Christ. She is really awesome. She has only prayed a few times, but prays well and sincerely, which is amazing to me since she has only been learning about God for a short time. Yesterday she talked with us about how she feels that some of the richest people are also the most lonely people, and so we talked about focusing on things that matter most--things that will last forever, including a relationship with God. She is super sweet. I am excited to see her faith continue to grow. Again her main challenge is that church is hard for her, because she has school on Sunday mornings. We are trying to convince her to skip class :) She really does want to come, because she asked us what she needs to do to be baptized and we told her come to church on Sundays. I hope she will be able to, and hopefully it will be soon.

I am continually impressed by the impact that prayer has on my life in every aspect. When my prayers are good, when my relationship with Heavenly Father is strong, the Spirit of God is so much more present in my life and my personality even has changes. I am more patient, loving, forgiving, faithful, happy... those are the fruits of the Spirit. I know that there is power in prayer. The better our prayers, the better everything else is. I mean literally everything--it affects everything. I'd challenge each of us to be honest with ourselves about how close to God our prayers are getting us, and to make an effort to put more sincerity, faith, reverence, selflessness, honesty into our prayers. I know it'll make a difference.

Sister Gopinath