Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 21: Update from Elder SabyBaby and Elder MakDaddy‏

Hey everyone!

I'm a bit short on time today, so my email might be all over the place.  Without Dad here to edit all my papers, I think I might get myself into trouble.  Thank goodness for spell check
.
First off, holy cow, what happened to the email you guys sent me?  It was like a mile wide, so I had to scroll right for 8 minutes to read a paragraph's worth of stuff on one line.  Anyway, it made me laugh. 

It was a great week up here in Toronto, and for all you people who told me I was going to freeze, it's 54 degrees right now.  Not tropical, but from what I hear it's way better than Utah :)  Haha!

Anyway, this week has been fun.  Lately, we've really been trying to push the new A Savior is Born video out into the world, so my street contacts have been super fun.  We don't actually carry cell phones with us that can watch the video, so it's turned into a bit of a game to try and get the other person curious enough to pull out their cell phone and watch it with us.  It's actually easier than you think.  Chinese people are awesome.

Also, I wanted to give a shout out to the people at Bayview Ward for being the best members ever.  Sunday morning I was a bit bummed because an investigator we had put a lot of time into had flipped a 180 and decided he wasn't interested.  I wasn't feeling the spirit very strong, and I was just praying for something to pick me up.  Anyway, we got to church, and immediately our Relief Society president comes up and tells us there's like a thousand plates of food in the fridge for us.  Then, throughout the day, members just kept coming up to us and giving us Christmas presents and plates of food and telling us we were awesome.  I know that to each of them, it probably wasn't a big deal, but to Elder Mak and I it meant a lot.  So wherever you are, go tell the missionaries they're awesome. They might need it!

Also, thanks to everyone who sent emails out. I might not have time to respond to them all today, because I don't have a ton of time, but I do read them all and appreciate every single one!

The language is coming along well, and at this point I can read basic stuff, which is really fun.  I have to say, I have never learned as much about English as I have out here while learning Chinese.  It's kind of a weird experience.  As you break apart words and characters into they're most basic meaning, you start to see where translations don't line up and where meanings overlap. Chinese is a very literal language, and so speaking in it actually changes my understanding of what I'm saying in English.  It's a weird a feeling.

For example, take the word "damnation" in the scriptures.  Usually we associate that with fire, brimstone, etc, but in Chinese they use a different word.  The word literally means "set in sin" or "stuck in sin" which I found interesting.  That's the real meaning, isn't it?  Stuck in sin, and unable to progress.  Kind of cool :)

Also, scriptural discovery!  We talk a lot about Joseph Smith in this church (for good reason) and whenever we tell his story, we always say "Joseph Smith wanted to know which church was true."  Not necessarily false, but I think sometimes we forget that the question he asked was actually different. He asked "Which church should I join?".  His question wasn't just a question.  He asked with real intent, seeking to know which path he should take.  He didn't just want knowledge, he wanted a direction.

I think we do that a lot.  We always ask questions expecting to get an answer, when really we should be asking for a direction.  I think that's what Moroni means when he talks about "real intent".  We need to be willing to act on the answer we receive if we're going to get an answer.

So, I gotta go.  I'm sorry I don't have time for the induvidual bits this week, but I'll make them extra good next week. Sorry, and I love you!

Elder Sabin