Monday, November 24, 2014

Zoroastrians - Week 43


This week was great. Lots of fun stuff.

Last Tuesday I went on exchanges with the ASL sisters so Sister Turley
came with Sister Liu here and I went with Sister Phillips to their ASL
area. I was in the MTC with the two of them so we flew out here
together. It was really fun and interesting. They do a lot of video
chats with people. They have one girl who was recently baptized that
we talked to and she is so cute. Deaf people are cute. Later that
night we taught an ASL class to some church members so I learned how
to say some animals and colors and family members. Super fun.

Thursday night we volunteered at the annual Interfaith concert. It was
really cool. The Washington DC Interfaith Group has about 10 different
religions including LDS, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu,
Muslim, Judaism, Bah'i, Zoroastrians, and another one I'm forgetting.
The concert was at a Hebrew school/cathedral. There were 3
companionships of sisters volunteering, a lot of senior couples, and
maybe 7 companionships of elders. We got there and folded programs for
a while and then were fed dinner. Us sisters had the job of holding
banners. As each religious group being highlighted this year walked
into the concert during the opening song, we had to walk in front of
them and hold a banner and bring it on stage and then stand with it as
they finish singing. The banners weren't heavy but they were awkward
to hold. My banner was for the Zoroastrians. Their religion comes from
when King Cyrus freed the people from Babylon and it's a
middle-eastern religion. I don't know their exact beliefs but that's
what one of the women told me. Pretty cool. So when it started, we all
marched in and as soon as we were done with banner duties we got to go
sit down and watch each group perform which was fun and interesting.
This year the man being honored was actually LDS. It was Elder Gerard
of the Seventy and he was given the award for starting Day to a Serve
which is a day in September when thousands of people in Maryland and
maybe DC got together to serve and to gather food. In the program,
there were letters from many governors and mayors and Mitt Romney
congratulating Elder Gerard so it was cool that our church was
essentially being highlighted. After the concert we had dessert which
each religious group brought to represent themselves. We brought
chocolate chip cookies. The senior couples didn't get why I thought it
was so funny. It was a way cool night. We also got to see a Muslim and
a Jewish Rabbi hug and kiss each other's cheeks on stage. That's a
rare sight. I love my mission, it's the best.

Friday morning we got a tour of the White House. It was freezing and
we all arrived at 8:15 and the tour started at 9. We had to go through
a ton of security and a few people got rejected even though we
submitted our info a couple months before. It was cool but you don't
get to see much. It's not like I was expecting to see Obama's golden
toilet but we saw like 5 rooms. It was still cool though and the
secret service was fun to talk to. Who knew. Apparently you can go to to apply to work for secret service. We went through the
green room, the blue room, the red room, and the dining room. We then
were in a main room before going outside. I'm glad I can now say I've
been inside the White House.

That night we taught Wendy Cao which went really well. She actually
read the chapters we gave her! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and
invited her to be baptized. She said she will be baptized when she
knows it's true. Perfect. I love her, she's my favorite.

Saturday night we had the adult session of stake conference. It was so
good. We had 3 recent converts speak and also our new Chinese Branch
President. He joined the church 8 years ago. Their testimonies were so
powerful. It's amazing to hear how people came to know that this is
true. The stake president spoke at the end and it was really really
good. He spoke about how important it is to follow the prophet. He
spoke about the October 2001 General Conference. It was right after
9/11 and the world was freaking out. In President Hinckley's talk he
gave them words of peace and comfort and said that God still has a lot
of work to do and that although we are in perilous times foretold by
ancient prophets, we can still have peace in our hearts and do our
part to help and serve amid the newly started war. He also counseled
us to get out of debt, save money, and get a food storage. He then
said, "I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat
and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn." That story
in the bible was when Pharaoh had a dream that Joseph interpreted. He
interpreted that for 7 years Egypt will have great prosperity and then
for 7 years Egypt will have a famine. During those seven years of
prosperity, Egypt prepared and saved food so that when the famine came
they were able to get through it. After President Hinckley said that,
the economy started improving against the predictions of it not. The
economy was great up until September 2008 when it all crashed
resulting in the worst recession since the Great Depression. That was
2008. 7 years almost to the day after President Hinckley spoke of the
7 years of prosperity then famine. Now, most economists are predicting
that in mid 2015, the economy will finally be able to get back on its
feet and end the recession. 7 years later. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.
Follow the prophet. He knows the way.

Sunday morning was the general session of stake conference which was
grand. President Cooke spoke and shared his conversion story. He
converted in his mid to late 20s. He at one point was thinking of
becoming an episcopalian priest. And now he's a mission president. So
cool. He's the only member in his family. I'm starting to actually
enjoy stake conference. I hated it when I was younger. Maybe I'll
actually start going when I get home haha.

After stake conference we taught a man and his two kids that we met
while tracting two months ago. It was a good lesson. First lessons
never go as planned so it was mainly answering the dad's questions. He
sincerely wanted to read the Book of Mormon to know if it's true so
hopefully he does. The promise in Moroni is real.

Last night we had dinner with a family that just moved from the
Chinese Branch to the Potomac Ward. Another family from the Chinese
branch was there and then a somewhat active member and his nonmember
wife and two kids. It was a good dinner and there were lots of little
kids running around. I've decided Asian kids are the cutest. After
dessert we had FHE. Sister Liu and I talked about the importance of
scriptures and we showed a mormon message about scriptures. We then
played scripture charades and had each family and us act out a story.
It went really well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I came up with
the lesson and game on the spot since I didn't realize we were
teaching FHE. Good memories of scripture charades with Aunt Marjorie's
family. (:

I realized yesterday how good I've gotten at finding scriptures.
Whenever the man we were teaching had a question I would just flip
open to a scripture and same with FHE last night. Boom.

This week we are getting fed every day until Saturday. We have 2 meals
today, 1 tomorrow, 1 on Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, and 1 possibly 2 on
Friday. No one has fed us the past 3 weeks but now since it's
Thanksgiving it's feed the missionaries week. I've just accepted the
fact that I'm going to be fat for a few months until it's warm enough
outside for us to start running. Thank goodness for big coats.

Thank you so much mom and dad for the package! I love it! I light the
candle every night using the stove. I was excited when I saw the
summer sausage. I miss Mom's appetizers haha. Thank you Dad for the SD
card converted and cord. You guys are the best (:

1 Nephi 19:23. I read this during FHE last night. It's important to
liken all scriptures to us. The scriptures teach us important
commandments. Also, after President Hinckley's mentioned the famine
story, he said, "I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of
the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew." Guess what I
was studying yesterday haha. FOLLOW THE PROPHET. READ THE SCRIPTURES.
Yeah. Ok. Love you all!


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