I've always thought that when you fast for things, that extra spiritual power/strength is manifested in ways that are inconspicuous to you. But that is a lie! At least that's what it's been feeling like these past couple of days. On Sunday I fasted to feel more confident in my Mandarin speaking skills. Soon after we started the fast we got a text to take 4 Mandarin people on a tour. I was terrified that it would be scary business men, or apathetic college kids, It turned out to just be one lady who recently got baptized and was the sweetest person in the entire world. She let me fail and practice multiple times, and it was awesome. The longer I talked to her and the more times I messed up and had brain farts, the more I felt confident and started remembering all the terms I needed to. I loved her so much!
Later that night we got a call to take a Japanese tour while we were assigned to be in the Assembly Hall just before a concert for the West Point Brass was starting. Truthfully we felt a little inconvenienced since we were hoping the catch the first few minutes of the concert, but we went anyways. As we were walking over for the tour, the sisters in West Gate (the little booth that texts out and organizes tours) called out to us and said, "map desk called; turns out it's actually a Mandarin tour!" Still a little irked and a little nervous, we introduced ourselves to the guests. They were also members that found it more endearing rather than cheated that my Mandarin was not perfect. They were a really sweet family and I felt privileged to take them around. And the coolest part: in the middle of the tour, not thinking properly, I said, "now we'll take you to the Assembly Hall!" And my companion whispered "theassemblyhallhasaconcert wecan'ttakethemthere"
And the dad said, " what concert? Let's go! We're stopping by for a little bit, I want to see!"
We shuffled around awkwardly. "okay I guess we'll end the tour here?"
"No! Come join us! We insist! No, we request that you come with us!" And since we try to fulfill every guests request we sat and enjoyed the concert for a good 15 minutes, which is way more than we would have gotten to stay if we stayed in the Assembly Hall. I felt spoiled. Hehe.
The moral of Sister Takeshige's email today is this: do all the things that make you uncomfortable. And laugh about them. There are good things ahead.
Also, fast. It works.
1. West Point Brass:
2. "The field is [bread]" D&C 4:4
3. "Already to harvest." D&C4:4
4. Temple Square fun fact: the Star of David decorates the Assembly Hall. It has nothing to do with Judaism and everything to do with the fact that the pioneers who built it were looking through a catalogue of stained glass and simply thought the Star of David was pretty, and at he time it was not widely recognized as a Jewish symbol. Silly pioneers.
Sister Kaede Takeshige