Ni hao! This week has been so interesting that I am having a very difficult time knowing where to start ha. Perhaps if I express that I know we make the most growth during our adjustments, my e-mail might make a little more sense.
When I got to Diamond Bar on Tuesday, I met the Kilburn's (which is who we live with. Their address is 1921 Kiowa Crest, Diamond Bar, CA 91765- which I encourage you send letters to that address now instead of the mission office) and they are such a great old couple! They took us to dinner that evening and then we went to a meeting about an English class the ward is starting up this week. There was no exaggeration when I said that there were a lot of Asians around here, there's even more than I expected! It'll be neat though. I get to teach the intermediate English class twice a week. There will be very minimal Chinese spoken which will allow them to be immersed completely in English, which that is how they do it in the MTC. Elder Hsu has been teaching me a tiny tiny bit. Before I got here, Elder Hancock said that by the time you see me next, I'll know how to get by with Sign Language, Tongan, Spanish, and now Chinese ha. I'm not sure about that, but we will see.
Diamond Bar has so many giant hills that potentially exceeds me strength to bike around this city, oh my goodness biking here would kill me. But I do want to try it one day. When we walked around the other day, there were many people who honked at us, it was great! It's been kind of frustrating being in a new area because everything is just so unfamiliar and the people are different as well, but every time without fail we are always led to someone who we blessed in one way or another. That's one thing I am so grateful for in a mission. Each time we step outside, our purpose to assist in making someone's burden lighter, but there's only so much we can do until an individual needs to act by reading The Book of Mormon. My studies have been so much more quality and enlightening when I really study the Book of Mormon. I know that it is the word of God. I've been learning such interesting things in it.
On Friday morning we got a call from President Hobbs about a new missionary that went home, so President decided to re-assign Elder Clemons to Hesperia. It was sad, but the Lord knows what He is doing. Ever since that happened, I've been able to get to know Elder Hsu better and he has been so kind to me, it is so great. I wish you could meet this Elder haha! He cracks me up. He is super Asian, I need to send you a picture. He's from Taiwan, but came on his mission from West Jordan. I want to tell you a story and I won't even hide my emotions.
On Friday, we were setting our weekly goals and I just stared at my planner and starting crying because I've got such little time, but so many things I want to improve on while I'm out and while I have the Spirit with me in such a magnified way. I know that this is where I will make the most significant progress in my lifetime because this is where I have come to know Jesus Christ best, and through that I feel more capable of finding more of what I was like when I lived in Heaven. I struggled to vocalize what I wanted to improve on, and then Elder Hsu rushed to my side and put his arm around me and asked me what was wrong and he did it with such compassion. He did it so similar to how Brighton does it. Not that I'm saying Elder Hsu resembles anything like a child, but I could tell that he had the purest of intentions in making me feel better and then he said this to me "It's okay, the Lord has better things for you in January, like get marry." haha! so I just laughed and that made the whole thing a little better. That story basically summarizes Elder Hsu, he's a very good Elder. I'm blessed to have him. He is such a blessing to the population here too. The only lesson we taught this week was when he taught in Mandarin, not that I could understand it, but he did a great job!
I wish I had more interesting things to say this week, but just know that progressively, things are meshing well. We have a clean room now, I'm getting more familiar with the area, and there are 3 members in particular in the ward that are really going to make serving here special, I just know it. This week has proved to me that the Lord knows what we are in need of and that if we don't take a step back to see what He has blessed us with, we won't be able to His grace that is so fully evident. I'm not sure how I failed to see it this week, but I'm grateful that He has worked with me and helped me humble myself to see the wonderful things happening in my mission.
I love you all so much and hope you are all doing great! Have a great Halloween, I'll talk to you in November! (:
- Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion