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.