Dear Family :)
I love you all. Thank you so much for my guitar. I pulled it out today and played a little bit. Oh it felt so good. Last night I opened the case and found that one of the strings was broken. (I am not blaming anyone ;) ) But, I found out that my years of being a boy scout payed off when I remembered that in the pocket with your note I had a brand new set of strings :D It sounds great and thanks Audrey for taking such perfect care of it :)
This week has been a hard hit on me. I have had many trials but things are working out. Mainly I am finding all of my weaknesses and I never knew how many I had. Some of those weaknesses I also thought were strengths. But I have also found many strengths that I didn't know I had. Also this week, on monday we went and had a great lesson with Justin he was very happy and filled with hope and peace. He was also very excited to have seen Jing Hao get baptized and was excited for his own. Then we went to see him on Wednesday and he had changed completely. It was as though we had just met him and he was bringing up past ideas and concerns that we had talked about before. The whole lesson my heart was aching. I truly felt hurt inside that I wasn't able to help Justin. I felt that he was not sharing his true feelings with us and he was trying to cover his doubts with others. At the end of the lesson I felt that I should ask a few simple questions. After asking these questions and striving with my broken mandarin to share my feelings of the lesson with Justin simply he opened up. We truly understood what he had troubles with. As I look at him I see a child who because of certain circumstances doesn't know where to turn and desires only one thing. He desires peace, he needs to feel the love of his parents. I learned the way our Heavenly Father sees Justin and truly understood him. I wasn't able to keep 100% chinese but he was able to learn a little that night of the love God has for him. This was a sacred experience. Justin still doesn't have another date set but we are striving to work on his true needs and help him to personally gain a testimony of this gospel. He isn't sure if Heavenly Father can help him. He hasn't been sincerely praying for himself and reading the scriptures. I ask you to pray for him. With our combined efforts we will be able to help save this one precious soul. He is also a very deep thinker but I have found that being a deep thinker isn't all that is needed. It is not enough to believe something is true. To really know something is true requires action. We need to step out into the unknown and use our faith. It is like the scene in Indiana Jones with the invisible bridge. Indiana Jones throws some dust out an reveals a bridge and so he sees a bridge there but he is still nervous to take that one step. He then jumps and finds that there is a bridge that will hold him. We must take that leap of faith and do our part to allow our Heavenly Father to show that He will catch us.
Mom, Dad, how did you study mandarin on your missions? I found that a big weakness of mine is studying and balancing the studies I do. I have not had language study for a while and didn't notice the damage it was doing to my language until recently. I can hardly speak with anyone! Tanner how did you study mandarin? I am reaching out to as many people as I can for help.
I love you all. You are a great family. (The Winns told me that as well :) )
Don't forget to each GENTLY give Uncle Bob a hug for me. Tell him how much I love him and pray for him. I am so grateful to hear the he is out of the hospital. Then give each other hugs.
I have learned to a small extent how much our Heavenly Father loves us and how he sees us. Think of President Eyrings son who tried to walk home alone. Tears rolling down his face, he chose to pray. So many in this world are lost spiritually. Tears rolling down their face, they don't know to pray. They are lost until they are shown the way home. You all can be that influence in the lives of others. We as members of the church are guides to those lost. The single most important thing we can learn to do in this life is to pray. Learn to truly, sincerely pray. That is what Joseph Smith did. And because of that prayer he was able to learn from his loving Heavenly Father all things. God desires to show unto us all things and "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39) He does this through guiding imperfect hands to make perfect results. We only need to be humble enough to be guided. I know that prayer is powerful and leave this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.