Down and Out in Tao Yuan & XinZhu

This was from today. It is quite interesting. And it has a picture, could it get any better? Yes, actually, when I get the package she sent last Monday…. Love, Lisette

Loads of things to report. Are you sitting down?

First — I’ve graduated to senior companion. Whoohoo? πŸ˜€

Second — I’m moving to XinZhu. Sounds fun, right? Good food… windier than Tao Yuan (zenme keneng!?)… and the Sisters cover THREE wards. Ong Jiemei called me last night and told me if there’s one person in the mission she’d trust to handle three wards at once, it’d be me. I’m stoked! My dearest Hu ZhangLao also handed me a list of names. I asked him what for. He said, “XinZhu members… all single… all shuai… and they will all like you. Xiao xin.” I died laughing!

Third — God’s pattern is just that, as predictable as the sunrise. I already know my new companion. In fact… we’ve been companions before. It’s Bu Jiemei from the MTC. I’d be lying to you if I told you I was excited about this prospect. Friday night was a mad house. I was crying and feeling overwhelmed. There seemed to be no hope — I was getting torn from my home and getting thrown out to the far reaches of the mission with a person I didn’t like. I called Meng Jiemei and she talked me through 1 Nephi 3:7. I felt resolved, but no better.

The next morning was General Conference. Yes, we get it a week late out here because of translation and broadcasting logistics. Well timed, though, if I do say so myself. I walked into the English session (upstairs… pretty much a Zone party, complete with food and every missionary within an hour or so radius), and could see it in their eyes. Everyone knew and everyone had already started praying for me. Don’t kid yourself — if you’re a difficult companion, word spreads quick. Faster than wildfire. I sat down and started taking notes. Still not sure what I was feeling, but knew it wasn’t good.

Then, something remarkable happened. One of the speakers cracked a joke and I laughed. My ears, and more importantly, my heart opened to hear the words of the Prophet. My spirit lifted and then came President Eyring on mountains. “Bring on the mountains!” is the theme for this transfer, people. I fully expect the unpleasant experience of being humbled through seemingly unsurmountable trials… but I’m stoked! By the time the rest hymn rolled around in that first session, I turned to Meng Jiemie and told her “I love Bu Jiemei. I’m ready for XinZhu.” She smiled and said, “That’s my girl.”

During the break, we wandered downstairs to say hi to our members and see whose investigators had showed up. The next challenge was ahead of me — breaking it to my favorite members that I would be leaving in two days. And to do it without crying. The first wave hit, and I survived. The young women, though, were all shocked and started to tear up. They’re brave girls and we had a huddle in the foyer. Their parents were excellent cheerleaders, and started talking about all the good food in XinZhu (mostly because they have all heard my testimony of how much I love Taiwanese food!). That got everyone good and distracted… thank you, parents! πŸ˜€

The rest of Conference flew by, a wild mess of members giving me tons of food (which I took upstairs and shared with the Elders… thanks y’all!) and bye-bye books. And here I am, Banjia Tian morning, feeling great. I went to see the Seminary kids before I sat down to email. They’re too sleepy to cry, which is great! Old Testament, in Chinese at 5:30 am… I’d be asleep, too. πŸ˜€

There’s more to report on… but time is short. Point being — God knows you. He knows exactly what you need and how you need it. I’m grateful that I have such a close relationship with deity. I can’t imagine facing life’s daily and more challenging problems without Him in my corner. If you are looking for a little extra hope, a spring in your step and don’t know where to find it… try prayer. God is there. He wants to talk to you. But you have to pick up the phone first.

I love you all and next week, I’ll be hailing from the West Coast. πŸ˜€


Hua Sheng Jiemie


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