Monday, August 9, 2010

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt. 18:20

Just two days ago in the white handbook it says something like, "Two by two has always been a pattern of the church..."  I've found many scriptures talking about in the mouth of two or THREE witnesses every word is established, and other scriptures regarding THREE. 

I am in a three-some, and it's a freaking party.  I'm nervous to tell President Bulloch truly how fun it is because he could always do an "emergency transfer."  Sister Goettsche is the third Sister who joined Sister Cox and I here in Ithaca on Wednesday.  She is from Denver area (Colorado) and we are pretty much the same person, it's almost scary.  Our lives before our missions are so similar.  She was at BYU lived in Helaman Halls, Liberty Square, from a big family, loves to talk and laugh, huge people person, never thought she'd come on a mission but had a few really spiritual confirmations helping her get here.  She dated a lot before too, and isn't writing the last boy she dated either.  Just everything is mirrored.  I didn't think there were cool sister missionaries.  It's a relief to finally have one as a companion.  Not saying I'm cool.  ha ha.  I didn't mean it like that.  We see eye to eye on everything though, which is NICE.  I guess it's only been a week, but we've hit it off.  We recognize how it would be hard to be in a three-some if two sisters were really similar, and be the one who isn't, so we've made a conscious effort to not talk about life back home.  We don't want Sister Cox to feel left out, because this work isn't about us, it's about working in unity to help the Ithacans.  As weird as this sounds, Sister Goettsche and I are trying to not be alike, and not agree.  We want it to end up being a positive experience for all of us, and never have it be 2 vs. 1.  Sister Goettsche's last name is German too.  I don't think I've told you about this Croation (I think it was Croatian) we met who let us in because of my last name being German and said, "Germans were the first to support us in our independence.  Come on in!"  ha ha.  Gotta love any conversation starter.

I'm kind of sad because I left my camera cord at home and have some pictures from this past week I'd like to email you.  I'll have to just send them next time.

This past week was wonderful.  Every week is just great out here.  The Lord just pours out blessings on his missionaries.  I am nervous to ever leave this calling because the blessings and spirit is just not the same.  I love it.  

Saturday was our last lesson with Lu and Xun Dai, the family going back to China.  They depart this week.  We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the final lesson.  We planned it out where I was covering "baptism" and the spirit was really strong.  I just started crying.  I feel so strongly that they both are going to be baptized some day.  There was just not enough time to help them progress here.  We only had a month with them.  Then yesterday they came to church for their last Sunday.  He brought us gifts, and we got a another picture.  I think we're going to come back to the library later today with my camera cord so we can send pictures home.  He wanted our email address, so Mom, I gave him yours.  ha ha.  If Xun (the father) emails you, just forward it to me please.  He wants to keep in touch so he can, "continue learning about the gospel."  We hooked him up with a lot of church materials and hope he doesn't get in trouble there in China with it all.  They were the cutest to teach.  I love them so much.  I told them I'm going to come visit China one day.  Then in his closing prayer (Saturday) he's like, "We hope the Sisters come to China".  SAD!  I feel like I really have to now!  He always says, "I shink if you be in China you be populaaa."  He means people there would like the message we share.  I can imitate his voice, so when we read the white handbook every morning I read it in our investigator's voices.  ha ha.  Sister Goettsche calls him, "Chinese Elvis" because when we shook his hand for the last time he wouldn't let go.  He kept saying, "Shank you.  Shank you very much."  I was all teary.  Someday that family will be sealed.  

I love Asians.  I always thought I'd be called to Asia.  Don't ask me why.  I just could picture myself there.  But my mission is everything I've ever imagined.  It's the perfect combination of different people and cultures. 

Amanda didn't set her baptismal date until August 14th because she's trying to finish the Book of Mormon beforehand.  Isn't that cool?  She loves the Book of Mormon.  President Bulloch enforces teaching from the scriptures.  He tells us to testify of the scriptures, not to let the scriptures testify of us.  If that makes sense?  My love and understanding for the Book of Mormon has grown in these past 8 months teaching from the scriptures and studying them more than it could any other way.  That's just one of the many little benefits of serving a mission.  Having a mission President who loves the scriptures and teaches from them at Zone Conferences has made me want to do the same.  There is an added spirit when the investigators are answering questions we ask about something in the verse they read.  It just feels so good to watch them search the scriptures right before our eyes.  I was kind of disappointed when Amanda set her date so late, because I was assuming I'd be transferred and not see it.  But then I had to catch myself being selfish and I became so grateful that the reason she was putting it off was "to finish the book of mormon".  There is no better response coming from an investigator than that!  I know it's because of President Bulloch teaching us to get our investigators into the scriptures.  She saw our love for them and how we use them to find answers to questions and wants the same.  We're really excited for her baptism this Saturday.  She went to a Stake party with some members a couple days ago and we didn't even know she went!  I love when that happens.  She's just like a part of the ward now!  They've taken her under their wing.

Well, I have to go now.  I miss and love you.  You're in my prayers.  Have a good week.
Sister Zwick
p.s. Ash,  Mom, and Jeff, I got all your letters.  You are all doing so much better at writing me.  Thank you so much!

Saying good-bye to Xun and Lu.  This is with their fellowshipper, Brother Shum, us Sisters, and AMANDA!  That is her!  Isn't she so cute?

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