You gotta love those weeks when everybody you've scheduled doesn't show up, all the kids are testing in school, and your only instict is to find a comfortable gutter nearby, nestle yourself therein, and sleep.
But you know what we did? Not that! We spent a few hours on the street nearly every day and picked up trash. My senior companion decided that this week it was the best thing for us to find opportunities to serve people. Chinese people don't like to depend on other people; after we found one man willing to let us carry a few heavy things for him to a dumpster, Elder Farnsworth reported to me that this was the first time anybody had ever let him serve them his entire mission. There is a lot of anti-mormon churches up here in the New T's, and we figured that the best way to improve our image and soften hearts was a little extra effort in voluntary service.
I know that what the prophets and apostles have been telling us about service is true. Something I've prayed often about lately is how I can better show God that I love Him, and how I can really develop the Christlike attribute of charity. I recite 1 Corinthians 13 to my companion every day. I always start out making him worry that I have something important to say, and then begin my refined presentation of "Though I speak with the tongue of men and of angels..." He'll miss it one day. There is a very recognizable difference in the way I feel after I've done something good for another person, no matter how simple it is. This transfer will end this week, and there have been lots of growing moments for me on several levels -- from my companion, to members, to investigators, to building the new area. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that I of myself really am nothing. My opinions, my abilities to speak the language, my desires, my way of doing things, they're all about as powerful to make a difference as a feather can withstand the wind.
It is necessary to serve others to the greatest extent that we are able, because it is the only way that we can really learn who our Savior really is. I know that as far our numbers this week are concerned, well, they tanked. But my love has increased, my faith has strengthened, and a more refined definition of "the pure love of Christ" has been engraven upon my heart by the angelic scribes that surround us daily. There really is a gift and and ounce of growth in every day. I know God is with us, and I know that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are in the service of our God. I promise that if you find even the simplest opportunity to serve, help, or uplift somebody every day, you will better understand and more greatly appreciate the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, and you will become more aware of His presence in your life.
I know that this is God's work. This is His restored Gospel. We are here to learn to love.