First big piece of news. I've been transferred :( Really sad that I have to leave Bayview after such a short time of serving there. It was really good to catch up with a lot of old friends. The good thing is that because we got transfer news a few days early, I'll be able to use Sunday to say goodbye to some people. I also got to say goodbye to all my old English class students. I was really sad. They were so happy that I came back, and then I only got four weeks with them.
On the bright side, I get to serve with Elder Earley in Kitchener! He's a wonderful elder, and I'm super excited to be serving alongside him. He was my zone leader when I first came out, and I'm really excited to learn from his example. We're gonna get it done!
I really don't have a lot of time to email this week. I know I say that a lot, but today, we are seriously short on time. Luckily, I think most people forgot that our p-day was on Saturday, so most of my emails that I have to respond to haven't come in yet.
In other transfer news, Elder Carroll will be going to Brampton! He will be one of the new assistants to the president with Elder Holt! Now, let me explain why this is crazy for so many reasons. Elder Holt trained Elder Carroll as a greenie... and as a zone leader... and now as an AP. This will be their third time serving together, and both of the Assistants to the President will be Chinese missionaries. Because of this (this is where is gets complicated) we've lost too many Chinese missionaries to cover all the Chinese areas, and so they will be covering the Chinese area in the Brampton zone, as well as the YSA area. It's crazy. Everyone in the mission is kind of freaking out about this.
He'll do a great job. In other news, this week was a week of miracles. The other day we were out tracting in the rain so that our future wives will be more beautiful, and we knocked at this house that looked really Chinese. I don't really know how to describe this quality, but as a Chinese missionary you get really good at stereotyping (not a good skill) and there's a lot of people and houses where you can just "feel" that they're Chinese.
Anyway, we knock on the door, and this guy answers. He's around twenty, really impressed that we speak Chinese, and really interested in Christianity. He was pretty golden, but then his dad came out and asked us "What's that book you have there?"
Elder Carroll gave him the Book of Mormon that he was holding, and the guy say's "Wait, I already have this!" He runs back inside, and comes back with two copies of the book and a triple combination, all full of tabs, notes, and markings. We start talking to him, and it turns out that he was baptized like 20 years ago in some other country and then came here. He didn't know that the church existed here as well, but he's been reading the book of Mormon every day since he left, hoping that one day the missionaries would come again! I stood there on the doorstep dumbfounded as this guy told his story. Elder Carroll and I walked away from that one just astounded at the faith that this guy had. He's amazing, and we're so excited for him.
Anyway, that was definitely the miracle of the week. Aside from that, today we had a huge party at our English class and it was really successful. We got a bunch of them interested in coming to church, and we also played a whole ton of English learning games. The funniest part however was definitely when my students found out I was leaving again and swarmed me. I'll send some of the pictures that I got them to take for me. They're all super great. I'm going to miss them so much.
I was also reading in the new testament earlier this week, and I read the part in Acts about Peter and John healing a man lame from birth at the gates of the temple. It's a touching part of the story, especially where it says 'He leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
It's a short tale, but one that contains a lot of meaning I think. Peter, in the past, had made many mistakes but in the end, none of that mattered. He was able to perform miracles and it says in another chapter that people would lay in the streets of Jerusalem hoping that Peter's shadow would pass by them and that they would be healed. A man of great faith, and of even greater love.
I think sometimes, on a much much much smaller scale, we get to see a tiny bit of that as a missionary. Perhaps we're not actually healing people lame from birth, but we are healing. Many people in the world are crippled, spiritually speaking, and we have a responsibility to bring them hope. To heal them.
I promise you, there is nothing more rewarding as a missionary than to see someone who has been crippled to figuratively "rise up and walk". Nothing compares to it, and the beautiful thing is that it is in no way limited to full time missionaries. We can all help people, members and non-members alike. Although it will take time for some of them to stand, out efforts in helping others will never go unnoticed by God, and they will always be appreciated by others. So let's rise up! Then lets get to helping others rise, because this world has a lot of spiritually blind, deaf, dumb, and lame people who need our help. The Lord will work miracles through us and all he asks for is a willing heart.
Anyway, I'm pretty close to out of time here. I love you all, and I hope you have a great week.
Toronto from the balcony of one of the members:
Pictures with a few of my English students:
Us going to dinner with Anne He (middle) and Ye li zhen (I blocked her with my head in one of them). I know. I look like a doofus in these pictures:
Our apartment building is the middle one in this picture:
Walking around outside our apartment. North York Baby!: