In Tao Yuan, we defy gravity.

I’m pretty sure Newton is going to have a few sharp words for me when I get to the Spirit World…. but that’s okay. I’m still sticking to this next statement:
What goes up does NOT have to come down.
That truth applies to every single aspect of my life this week. Temperature, humidity, goals, expectations, spirits… the list goes on. Things just keep climbing! And I love it. Yesterday, after church the YW/YM and I were singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs in the church parking lot, we were so happy. My companion asked me, “Why are you especially happy today?” I told her I didn’t have a clue. It was just a great finish to a great week…. and, to top it off, we’re going to a theme park today with the whole district for Pday.
A recent convert shared her testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday. She said, “Sometimes I can’t believe I’m so happy. What did I do that I deserve so much happiness? How is it possible that God loves me THIS much?” The whole congregation caught the spirit of her testimony and by the end, there was an inexplicable grin across every face. Welcome to every day as a missionary!
Some funny stories….
I’m becoming a fan of asking for referals from EVERYBODY.  Saturday afternoon, talking to a lady on a scooter at a red light. We were talking about the weather, and she saw my tag. “Are you a Christian?” “Yup. In fact, I’m a missionary for a Christian church.” “Oh, really? My daughter is looking for a church.” “Sweet! Can I have her number?” Called her daughter that night and invited her to church. Houlai, she showed up! With her husband, two kids, and her mother that I’d contacted on the street. That was one of TWO families that randomly showed up to church and are now progressing towards becoming an eternal family. Hello, Tao Yuan: The Promised Land.
Contacted a real estate agent a few days ago. I was across the street from the church, talking to my favorite Guard. Turned around to see a guy on a scooter outside the church, with a map. He looked incredibly lost. So, naturally, I went over to help him. “Are you lost?” He just looked at me like he was seeing alien life for the first time, “How do you speak Chinese?” “Um…. I live in Taiwan. So… yeah. I speak Chinese. You? How do you speak Chinese?” He realized how dumb his initial question sounded and we laughed. He proceeded to tell me this was his second day at a new job — real estate. I told him I was a missionary for this church, right here. Told him it was really famous and he’d probably heard of it before. He looked over his shoulder at the name plate. No sign of recognition. I read the name to him…. then added “The Mormon Church.” He laughed, “You’re a Mormon? Well, I won’t judge.” “Judge me? Please. You’re a real estate agent!” Pretty sure this was the funnest contact I’ve ever made — once we both realized we weren’t going to outsmart the other, we cut the banter and got down to having a real conversation about life. He’s great and as soon as he settles into his new job, he’s coming to church. His office also happens to be right next to our house. 😀
Ugh… I tried my hand at interpreting (live translating? Tan Jiemie, help me out here… what’s the correct term?) yesterday. A foreigner from Tao 3 had work yesterday morning, so she came to Tao 1 ward. She sat next to me and asked if I could translate for her. I thought she was joking! Up front, I told her I’d  never done that before in my life and didn’t have the greatest Chinese. She didn’t care… just sat there, and waited for me to start. Luckily, we’re friends and she’s the nicest person in the world. An hour later, my head hurt but my heart was full. It was probably a disgrace to both the Chinese and the English language, but what did manage to get translated was the feeling of the Holy Ghost. And that was enough. 😀
Yesterday, I was accompanying two teenage girls to Young Women’s… so I got to go to Sunday School with the 16 year olds and then Young Women’s. Which was probably more fun than it should have been… haha! Just so happened that each lesson was on missionary work. These kids are so prepared to serve missions, and they are all excited about it. In fact, the Bishop’s son turned in his mission papers that afternoon! We talked about missionary work, his guesses on where he would go, and then he got whisked away by the Elders to peike. After their lesson was over, I asked him what he thought. He just grinned. He’s totally ready to serve. 😀 
So, if I have to wrap this up and leave you with something profound (before I go put on a pair of jeans and head off to go have fun) it’s this: If you aren’t laughing and smiling every day, you need to change something. God exists. He’s your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He wants you to be happy. Once you know that and start relying on Him, you will get ridiculously happy. Strange, but true. 
I love all y’all and hope you’re doing well! Write me! 😀 
Hua Sheng Jiemei.  

One thought on “In Tao Yuan, we defy gravity.

  1. Well after reading your post today (or would that be yesterday for you) I couldn’t help but end up with a very definite grin on my face and uplifted spirits! Sounds like you are having great contacts and I wish you many more. Keep asking people wherever you meet them.

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