Translation, please?

Last Sunday, I found myself translating for Sacrament meeting. Perhaps the roughest part of the translation (or interpretation, thank you Tan Jiemei!) process is feelings. Getting the right “feel” from one language to another… and doing it quickly. Needless to say, my brain hurt after an hour of that. And I realized there are some gaping holes in my Chinese that I long to fill in. Motivation for more diligent language study? Done. 😀

On the other hand, though, last week we ended up at an investigator’s house with the Elders. Her son was deathly ill and we invited the Elders over to give him a Priesthood Blessing. Our investigator is Vietnamese, so we pulled out the Vietnamese Gospel Principles manual to explain to her what the Priesthood was in terms of giving blessings, etc. Kind of chatting and getting to know each other. But when the Elders placed their hands on her son’s head and the whole atmosphere changed. The blessing was given in Chinese and after the Amens were said, no one wanted to speak. I looked at her son and he was just looking at his hands. I asked him what he felt. “Happy.” He looked at me and you could see he needed no translation. I told him simply that feeling was the Holy Ghost and he needs to always remember it. He nodded earnestly and went to bed.

This Sunday the Sacrament meeting topic was Communication — specifically within your family, making time for family, etc. But as I sat (translating again!), it occurred to me that… yeah. Communication is vital. Sometimes, just knowing you’re being communicated with and how that message is being received makes all the difference. We have a few long-term investigators right now who, through some strange turn of events, have not yet been taught about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. One of them has been praying sincerely for the last several months and still not getting answers. We taught her the characteristics of the Holy Ghost, who He is, how he communicates with us, and what having the Gift of the Holy Ghost means. Spent an entire hour on it, which still felt like it wasn’t enough. But she took the information home with her and studied herself… then prayed about it. Showed up to church the next day and looked completely different. I asked her what changed. She said, “Turns out, I’ve been getting answers all along… just didn’t know it!”

And now I’m at a loss for what else to tell you… as I thought about this email today, I had so many feelings I wanted to convey. But it’s boiled down to three meager paragraphs and no real point. Well, maybe not completely devoid of a point. This week, I’ve come to appreciate that the Holy Ghost doesn’t need a translator. Sometimes we has human beings need to be able to recognize the feelings we have as divine communication, but once we’re on board with that — the sky’s the limit! 😀


In other news… it’s Banjia Tian! Dai Jiemei is moving down here to XinZhu to hang out with me. Uh. I mean, be my companion. 😀 In keeping with His pattern, God’s let me know my companions before they become my companion. Dai Jiemei’s firs three days On Island, she was in my apartment. Together, we had the most incredible “babysitting” experience and I’m stoked to have my little miracle worker come out to the West Coast with me. This week has been quite a bit of changing gears and everybody can feel it. Ramping up for something big and exciting — doing actual missionary work! 😀 This does mean your little missionary is all grown up and being Senior Companion. I’ll be the oldest sister in our Zone, and while I’m not Coordinating Sister (thank heaven! That means I still get to treat exchanges like vacation!) it’s weird to think about being the oldest all of a sudden. I feel like I’m still sorting out how to be missionary…. and yet, people are turning to me for advice!?

At the same time, though … “It feels normal now to head out the door and go straight for my bike and then proceed to try to talk to every single person that crosses my path. It feels normal to invite people I’ve just met to come sit down with us for half an hour so we can talk about how this gospel can bless their lives. It feels normal to be bearing testimony in just about every conversation. It feels normal to feel excited to tell people that they are literally children of God. It feels normal to start getting nervous about time the closer it gets to 9pm. It feels normal to be so grateful to fall on my knees at 10 30 pm and offer a prayer. It feels normal to be completely dependent on my planner that now, I don’t trust myself to just “remember” to do something. I blame it on the fact that I’m in my 50s…… :D”

That’s the latest. Until next week!


Hua Sheng Jiemei


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