Wow! So it feels like someone flipped a switch with the weather and just turned on summer. This week has been super different. Lately it had been so nice! It had always been really cool and not humid and then one day it just got super hot and really humid and has been like that the rest of this week! Its nice, but we just get super sweaty biking around everywhere!
So President Bishop and our office senior couple, Elder Liston, are boyhood friends and are also really into biking. Elder Liston has a pretty nice road bike that he bought out here and on the first day on island, we talked about maybe one day going for a ride. So for the past month or so we had been planning for our ride, but it kept not working out till today!
So this morning we got a bunch of other elders to come with us and we all left at 6am. We had the zone leaders, the assistants, and then the other elders in our district all come! It was such a blast! I felt like I was back in my home element, just biking straight up a mountain. We went for about a 2-hour bike ride up into the mountains of Dakeng!
Some of the Elders didn’t know what they were really in for when they said they wanted to come. As we biked up a really steep part of the mountain, Elder Palmer (the assistant going home in 3 weeks–he is the one with the big BYU shirt on) and I talked about the parallels of that hill, trials, our attitude, and life. Oftentimes our lives do not go as ideal as we think they should. We have tough times and experiences that will try our patience, courage, and even our faith. Elder Palmer said something really interesting. He said, “This is hard, but when we get to the top, only good is going to come from riding up this mountain.”
I started to think what he had said and as we discussed, we really saw that it is in the middle of the trial that determines our outcome at the end. We could complain and mutter how hard it was and when we finish be begrudging and never want to do it again, and walk away from the situation leaving a valuable learning experience behind. Or, as we face our trials with excitement and faith, we can see the value of the trials that stretch us and as we finish and stand atop our mountain of a trial, we are better for it for we have seen our personal growth from the experiences.
I invite you all to examine your lives and question, “What is it that is trying me in my life right now?” After that take a step back and look how those things the Lord has given us are actually helping you become better tomorrow! Our attitude today determines our outlook of tomorrow!
More exciting than an average bike ride up the mountain was the baptism and confirmation of Chen Jun Hong. This man is so dear to my heart. From the day he self-contacted us drunk on the street and tried to buy us coffee to the day that I watched him stand at the head of our congregation and bear bold testimony that Christ lived and he knew it most certainly because of the experiences he had had. It is only the gospel that can continually give people the ability and strength to change through the atonement. Chen Jun Hong, an alcoholic of 35 years, quit in one week and testifies he is happier than he has ever been in his entire life! More special was we had Su Hong Sheng baptize him. Su Hong Sheng was sealed in the temple just last week! He is Chen Dx’s member friend and it was a beautiful and great baptismal service to attend!
This morning we had a member from the other Elders’ ward tell all of us missionaries to go to this hot pot and eat and she would pay for it. It was kind of funny, cause she says she has no time to come eat with us but wanted to treat the missionaries. So we had a great district party!
Well I love you all, you mean the world to me!! 😀
Keep the faith, pray, read every day and don’t forget to smile. For the Lord would that we have joy!