Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Elder Winters - January 25, 2012 Xin Nian Kuaile!

Hello everybody not on a mission, with the exception of Becca, and Xin Nian Kuaile, or Happy New Year.  This is the year of the dragon, and you all know what that means.  It means Chinese people are now frantically trying to have kids so they will grow up to be exactly like dragons, who I hear are very wise, powerful, and surprisingly friendly.  We missionaries celebrate it by putting on red ties and cleaning up our classroom on New Year's Eve - yes, very wild.  But, I wouldn't have it any other way, unless another way included eating a lot of dumplings. 
This has been a good week.  Like I said before, we had an excuse to wear red ties and clean our classroom, but also I had the privilege of seeing my good freind and my sister Becca's even better friend Dallin Quinn at the temple this morning.  He had no clue I was going to be there, so we took it as inspired that he was there.  In addition to that, this past week the 35 or so new missionaries arrived into our Mandarin-speaking zone. It's been my immense pleasure to help them learn the ropes and whatnot, while at the same time getting to know a lot of them.  They are all really great and are excited to be here.  A Samoan elder in particular is especially excited to be here, specifically in the cafeteria.  It was an amazing sight that I will not soon forget as I saw him consume five donuts, two pancakes, a plate of hashbrowns, eggs, and sausages, as well as three cream cheese-laden bagels one breakfast.  All washed down with a couple of glasses of chocolate milk.  Incredible. 
In Chinese news, things are picking up at a pretty good pace.  We are finishing up teaching all of the lessons and are actually hosting a baptism this Saturday.  There have been a few innocent yet hilarious mistakes recently, though.  For example, ´´hen,´´ when said in the lower pitch of the voice, means ´´very.´´  When you change the tone and say ´´hen´´ like you say ´´hey!´´ to somebody, with your pitch falling, it means ´´hate.´´  A few prayers have had their quiet reverence disrupted when it has been said, ´´We hate love thee.´´  But that's all water under the bridge. 
In spiritual news, we have been looking to some of the greatest missionaries in the history of the universe for some of the greatest examples of humility.  Ammon is one of these, specifically in Alma 26.  He is always aware that he is an instrument in the Lord's hands.  And, just like the instrument, he is aware that is the Master that does the work and produces the incredible blessings, and that it is all the instrument can do to perform exactly as the Master would have him perform.  I'd invite you all to read that chapter and ponder about it for a while.  The scriptures are great, our message is true, and the Church contains the fulness of Jesus Christ's Gospel.
You all are wonderful, so have a wonderful week.
Elder Winters

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