I like this one. -Lisette
“Do you remember that night we were wearing skirts, riding bikes in Typhoon-force winds, under a full-moon … punctuated by Taiwanese police men pulling us over informing us about bicycle safety laws –TWICE!– all in order to get two Vietnamese women in XinZhu to meet each other?”
“Yes. Do you remember what I love best about that night? That it ended with cold crab pizza.”
This is how the bulk of my dialogue with my companion goes… the two of us in fits of laughted on the floor afterwards. Life is THAT good. Mostly ridiculous, but we’ve learned as you really and truly prepare yourself to follow any and all promptings God gives you, you get taken on a wonderful ride. You see the most beautiful moments in life and begin to understand how much our Father in Heaven loves each and every one of His children.
In order to follow promptings, you’ve gotta have two things 1) faith in God 2) willingness to go and do. Sometimes the going and doing is just waiting for a minute. Sometimes the going and doing is starting without first knowing where you’re going, trusting that God will just put you were He needs you to be. Two stories to illustrate this point:
Last week, we’ve had a short list of things (gifts, copies of talks from the Liahona, prayer rocks, flowers, etc.) to take to people. Somehow, that didn’t happen. So, we made it a priority for the beginning of this week. Good thing, too! The first one, we’d just finished dropping off prayer rocks (lemme tell you, busy Asians love them) to an Architect friend of ours. On our way out of her neighborhood, we got stopped at an intersection and just couldn’t leave it. We contacted a few people there, and a few people contaced us… but when people were scarce we decided to move on. Both of us didn’t feel really great about leaving… so we looked at our current plans (we were ahead of schedule for the day) and contemplated some nearby options. Then, we prayed. Amens were said and I looked up to see a very lost-looking foreigner headed our way. We said hi, asked if he needed directions. He dropped some keywords and we knew instantly he was a member of the Church. Sorted out he was here working for the Summer at a big tech company and has no real plans to go on a mission. Turns out he’s having some struggles with faith and kind of pulling a Jonah. We told him the belly of a whale is not a comfortable place to sort out the will of God… much better is on your knees in your own room. Committed him to pray about going on a mission — just thinking about it is NOT enough. As we were about to go, he asked what was a good gift to get his mom. My companion looked him straight in the eye and told him getting an answer about going on a mission would be the best present he could ever give his mom. He felt it and wandered in the direction of a card store.
The second one (same day), we were headed to take flowers to the Bishop’s wife who just had their 5th baby! Ah! Walking up the mountain to her house, we ran into a gorgeous Aboriginal girl. She goes to high school in XinZhu, but lives in a village in the mountains of ZhuDong. She doesn’t have a phone and doesn’t really have an address… but as we talked about how to know more about Christ through the Book of Mormon, her eyes lit up. Not two minutes earlier, I’d been teasing Dai Jiemei about passing copies of the Book of Mormon out like candy. So, of course, she pulls a clean copy out of her bag and gives it to this girl. She wrote her name down for us, and we gave her our information. She promised to read it and get in touch with us some how. That night, our District Leader was telling us about a new convert in ZhuDong who lives in this village in the mountains … and apparently she’s super popular. We asked if we could give a name to him and help find the girl we just gave a Book of Mormon to. Done and done. We cheered and realized THIS is how missionary work gets done. It looks like a complete mess sometimes… but there is a method to the apparent madness. It’s called God knows what He’s doing — when you can’t trust anything else, you can trust Him.
As far as a fun teaching tip for current missionaries…. the last sentence on page 3 of Preach My Gospel is one to memorize and apply. This is ONE message. It needs to be taught together, simply and completely. If you break the Lessons up into multiple visits, it’s much more difficult for your investigator to make the connection between them. The First lesson is WHY we have the authority to teach this message. The Second lesson is the MESSAGE. The Third lesson is HOW you use the message in your daily life. If you’re doing your following up and what not between visits, keeping up with near-daily contact, then your actual lesson time can be filled with doctrine — which is what every spirit longs for and will lead to true conversion faster than anything else. There’s a reason Transfers are only six weeks long. People you meet in the first week, should be getting baptized by the sixth, barring any major catastrophes. Then, just like the rest of us they continue to study the doctrine for the rest of their lives… just deeper and deeper each time. This week was full of examples — first commandment taught to a lady with an incredible zao gao life was the Law of Chastity. She loved it because she was taught the Doctrine of Christ, understands the Gift of the Holy Ghost and is willing to put aside anything and everything in order to have that. She’s even taken to memorizing the For the Strength of Youth book! The entire Plan of Salvation taught in twenty minutes, resulting in a mom and a daughter realizing their first steps to the Celestial Kingdom needed to be setting a baptismal date. They’ve been through countless numbers of missionaries in the last two years…. and the Bishop is their neighbor. But now that they see the whole plan, they understand the need for baptism. So, yeah. Try it. Read over the end of each Lesson in PMG, look at the structure of 10 minute, 15-20 minute and 30 minute lessons. PMG is true, people! 😉
In other news, Dai Jiemei and I eat twice as much as the Elders and are both losing weight like crazy. For the last two weeks, at least three times a week we bike the full length of XinZhu… from XiangShan to NanLiao up to the Science Park. Win. We also received some really legit revelation this week … Dai Jiemie and I realized we didn’t need a Smart Phone… because we pulled up to a light last night and while I checked the map she ask the person next to her for the latest news on the Typhoon landing. It only took 30 seconds and we were off. Who needs technology?
Hua Sheng Jiemei