There’s a Peanuts calendar hanging in my… closet? The room where I keep my clothes, jiu hao le. April has a cartoon of Lucy holding a football, in punting position, for Charlie Brown. Now, we all know what Lucy’s up to…. and in a second she’s going to yank the football away from him and he’s going to end up on his back in the mud. The text above that? Love is Trust.
Welcome to my life so far in XinZhu. This week is a vast improvement on last week, and so far all I can sort out is that I’ve changed. Strange how that works, right? There was a significant shift in my attitude this week, from one of “oh dear, I’m going to have to carry this area because my companion doesn’t really speak Chinese” to… something much more Christlike. Hahah! Through a myriad of experiences, I’ve come to realize that D&C 4 is true. If you have DESIRE to do the work, you are QUALIFIED. I’ve lost track of the number of times, mid-lesson, whatever I was saying to our investigator isn’t clicking. I turn to my companion and she opens her mouth. Instantly, the Spirit feels the room and though I still can’t understand what she’s saying… I look at the investigator’s face and see that change. That “I get it, I feel it, and I want more of it” look that missionaries crave so much. Let’s just say, I’m learning humility. 😀 And the great joy that comes from seeing her successfully punt the football…. an experience Lucy never got to have.
Also, went on exchanges this week to ZhuBei. Wang Jiemie is down there, training a Ruan Jiemie. She’s super cute…. but incredible comfortable just following her Type-A personality trainer around. I was so excited to go on “vacation” that I kicked into Junior Companion mode and let her lead. She was terrified. But after a moment or two of confusion and sheer horror on her park, she stepped up to the plate and hit a home run (yes, I’m trunky for Summer and Baseball… don’t worry, my birthday is on a Pday and the Elders are taking me out to a baseball game!). I also introduced her to a finding game that my dear Gao Jiemie (everyone in Xin Zhu says hi, by the way, dear!!) taught me. We came home and finished planning, I told her to pull out the map and pray about it. First place she saw when she opened her eyes, we were going to find prepared people. Well, Ruan Jiemie opened her eyes to find a place in XinZhu… NOT ZhuBei. So, no way we were going there on that Exchange, but I told her I’d check it out this week when I got back to my own area. I also had her get very specific with God about WHO she wanted to find… last name, personality, etc. Wrote it all down in my planner.
Back in Xin Zhu, we ended up with some finding time (A MIRACLE!… we have about 30 lessons a week with 40 + investigators… and literally no time to eat. If we get “fanged” our back up plan is to eat dinner) the next day. Bu Jiemie and I headed to this intersection. In that area, I hand a hunch to head down a little lane. Saw a door and knew that was it. Knocked on it and opened to find the most incredible young woman. Talked with her about her family situation and her religious background. Turns out her parents are Catholic, but she has no feelings when she goes to church. Her parents and her don’t have the best relationship…. I testified of the fact that she has an Eternal Heavenly Father who loves her very much and that He wants her to feel that love. Prayed with her and she felt it… turns out she’s never prayed before. She was willing and after the Amens were said, I asked her how she felt. She started to tear up — that was the first time she’d ever prayed. She knows He’s there now, and listening. It was a beautiful moment on a door step in Xin Zhu. We finished the formalities of exchanging numbers and setting up for next week…. as we walked away, I opened my planner. The description of the person Ruan Jiemie wanted to find? Matched perfectly with the girl I’d just prayed with. I thanked God for the miracle.
That night, called Ruan Jiemie to thank her for her faith. She was screaming like I’d just won tickets to a Justin Beiber concert…. hahah! I’m excited for her to get out of her training wheels and see what she can do when she follows even the smallest promptings from the Holy Ghost. That’s what it’s all about, kids. Trust that God knows what He’s doing. He’s God, after all. 😉
Had a wonderful Sunday and am making some traction with the Ward members and leadership. They are all wonderful people and more and more we’re getting on the same page about how to go about helping the Kingdom in XinZhu. It’s an exhilarating feeling! So yeah… short of it is I’m doing great and life is wonderful. Thank you all for your notes and letters!! They mean the world to me, and I still hold the record in the Mission for most mail received in a week. Keep it up! 😀
Hua Sheng Jiemie