It’s weird, but despite the fact that I’m not with you, it seems to me that my love for you has increased ten fold. I guess it’s true that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Really though, I know it is something more than that. I was reading a talk by President Monson from the last priesthood session and he was talking about missions and said something like “although an ocean separates you, your hearts are linked in unity.” I know that part of that unity is because of prayer. As weird as it sounds, I feel connected to you through that, and I know you are praying for me. As I read through the emails from all of you, I felt overwhelmed with your love for me. I think every one of you expressed how proud you are of me, and I almost just started crying right here in the internet cafe. I love each of you beyond what words can express (even those of you I haven’t received mail from….Dannoo and Britoon I’m looking at you, ha ha). One of the most important truths that we teach people are that they are and will always be part of God’s family. I know that the family unit is inspired and is meant for our progression and growth. I think it is good that I have homesickness because it means that I miss the love that exists among our family.
We had two days of training this last week: zone training and specialized training for trainers and trainees. It might sound boring, but they were probably the highlight of my week. Any time we are together as missionaries I feel strengthened, and it makes me feel united in the cause and know more solidly that I’m not alone. Plus, it’s just uplifting sometimes to be with people that already believe the same things you do. You know that you aren’t going to have to defend and explain your beliefs to a room full of missionaries, but rather that you are going to be strengthened in your beliefs and convictions. President Pilkington is an excellent speaker as promised, and I enjoy his sense of humor. If he were an animal by the way, he would be a bald eagle. He looks so much like one, it’s almost scary, ha ha. He said something in training though that altered my perspective this week. He was saying why travel all the way here, across the ocean, leave your family and all other things behind and not give 100%? If you aren’t going to put your whole heart into it then why bother? That really touched me because I am the type of person that wants to give everything to anything that I do, and it just made me re-evaluate what I’m doing here and why I’m really here. When I get on that plane to come back to you next January, I don’t want to have any regrets in how I used my time here, and so even though I’m still adjusting to life here and still miss you, I want to make it worth it here. Pres. P was really cute in the specialized training. He told our trainers to look after us because we are precious to him and Sister Pilkington. We are the first generation of missionaries that are really theirs, and not partly President Lindley’s. Also, he told us that he wants to get rid of this term “greenie” in the field. Rather, he feels like we are special and that each of us are stars, not some sort of vegetable. He said he knows that all of us will rise to be super stars in the field. He’s great.
We were going to go to the beach today for P-day with the two other sets of sister missionaries in our zone because one of them has a car, but turns out they don’t have enough miles left in this transfer to make the trip. Bummer. And the weather is sooo nice today! But it’s okay, I think we are going to go with some of the other missionaries over to the Gibb’s house to watch some movies instead. They are such a great missionary couple, and I’m so glad to have them here! I asked Sister Gibb last night if we could come over to watch and of course she agreed, even though their flat is tiny. I really feel like one of their kids. Sister Shmidt and Sister Acs are coming too, so it should be fun!
Sister Lam and I had one of our best lessons yet this week. It was a lesson with A Ling, and it’s the first time we have been able to have such a smooth lesson, with all the translating and everything, and still teach with a strong spirit as well. It’s encouraging to see our unity in teaching increasing and growing, and it really makes for such better lessons. We’ve had some concerns here about keeping the Chinese group going so we talked to the bishop on Sunday. The normal English ward meets in the morning at 10 and then we hold a Chinese service at the Gibb’s home at 2:30. The problem is that it is kind of isolating the group, and so we want to come up with a way where we are having more fellow shipping and connection with the Chinese and English. It’s actually one of our biggest obstacles right now as we are trying to keep current recent converts strong in the faith. It feels like such a big responsibility and I feel kind of overwhelmed, but the bishop said he is worried about it too and working to find a solution. He said that the stake presidency is aware as well, and even the area presidency has their eye on this group. So that is reassuring, but it is still stressful trying to keep these members testimonies strong and help them adjust to the culture and everything.
My first transfer will officially be complete next week. I still have another transfer to go to complete my 12 week training and then maybe I will be considered an actual missionary, ha ha. So transfers are happening next week, we’ll know next Tuesday if we are getting transferred or not, but I certainly don’t anticipate one at this point. Hopefully no surprises! I’m hoping I’ll be able to get my package and any other mail at the zone conference we have this Wednesday. I’ll let you know if the package gets here or not!
Love you all! Until next week!!
Love, Sister Zurcher