Dear Elders and Sisters,
I often hear missionaries and members use the term “li4 hai4” to describe certain missionaries. It is interesting to note that my online Chinese dictionary has nine definitions for “li hai”: difficult to deal with, difficult to endure, ferocious, radical, serious, terrible, violent, tremendous, and awesome. Only the last two would normally be thought of as desirous qualities for missionaries. Since we hear this expression so often, perhaps we should try to understand what it means and how it might apply to us as missionaries.
One of our recently returned missionaries wrote this poem for her reflection:
Lihai Missionary by Sister Courtney Johnston
A lihai missionary is one who doesn't always know just exactly where to go,
They turn to the lord in earnest prayer and pray the spirit will lead them there.
A lihai missionary wants to do the Lord's will
They testify of him without thought of skill,
A lihai missionary has the desire to change as they help others to do the same
A lihai missionary loves, serves, listens, and laughs with their companions
According to President that's what makes us champions.
A lihai missionary goes out no matter what the weather,
Typhoon or sunshine with Christ on our side we can do this together.
A lihai missionary doesn't ever give up on themselves or others,
Because we are all sons and daughters of God we are sisters and brothers.
A lihai missionary is converted every day,
Through Christ's Gospel it's the only way.
A lihai missionary may not always give their best,
But they do what they can and trust that God will make up the rest.
A lihai missionary is one who can look back when all is said and done,
And say man that was hard, but I've learned a lot and changed; look how far I've come.
Here are some thoughts about being a “li hai missionary” taken from two recent missionary emails:
I think a 厲害的傳教士 has five qualities: 1) they are obedient, 2) they work diligently every day all day, 3) they are bold, 4) they follow the Spirit, 5) they are motivated by love for the Savior and fellowman in everything they do.
In what way can you improve in order to be a 厲害的傳教士?