Let’s start here.
Our favorite peike (not sure how they say this in English… member present at a lesson taught to an investigator?) has been in Jia Yi all week because he’s graduating. While stuck in XinZhu without his incredible testimony, Dai Jiemei and I have been creating a band. I’m the drummer, she’s the lead vocalist, and our peike is the guitarist. As soon as he gets back in town, we’ll be shooting the debut album cover art and releasing a single called “P-day is an Attitude”…. but in the mean time, all you need to know is the name of this band: Oler, Daye, and a boy named Kim.
Ok. Back to reporting on the Work. Saturday, we spent all day at a Brazillian’s pizza shop (Samba Pizza on Bei Xin Street). Met with two investigators and one Recent Convert and ate a ton of pizza. The Brazillians are members! Whoohoo! It was such a wonderful atmosphere and the Holy Ghost hung out with us, too. 😉 When we wrapped up, Dai Jiemei and I looked at each other. We realized being a missionary is awesome. And being PMG missionaries is even better. And being multitasking Sisters is the best. Made friends with the Brazillians who’ve encountered some language barriers at church, and satisfied a love language of theirs… which is time. Set up a lesson on the second floor with a new convert to help us pei ke. After helping that investigator realize that God is the most powerful being in the universe…. and what that means for her, which is to help her quit smoking… we went downstairs to meet with an investigator who just got engaged to a member. The best part, though, was walking into church on Sunday and seeing all these people just naturally talking with each other like they’ve been friends forever. This is really what missionaries are here for — to make connections, then step back and let the Holy Spirit guide.
Speaking of the Holy Ghost. Dai Jiemei and I have sorted out something important. Missionaries focus is getting people to baptism. Where investigators want to go, though, is the Gift of the Holy Ghost. You’d think that’s pretty much the same place… but it’s not. If you can help your investigator understand that they’ve felt the influence of the Holy Ghost long before they met missionaries, they’ll put together that God really has known them their entire life. Knowing the nature of that relationship, and having the promise that they can receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost is vital to conversion. That one concept is worth giving up everything for and your investigator will come to this conclusion on their own. Case in point — Hong Jiemie. A few weeks ago, I told you about her. Last night, she received a Priesthood Blessing to help consecrate this coming time to quitting smoking. The Elders left and we gave her some paper to write down what she heard and what she was feeling. We left her alone for a bit (there was food in the kitchen… hahah!) and when we came back she was crying tears of joy. She said, “I believe in God and I know that I’m his precious daughter.” That conviction, that assurity I’ve never seen anywhere else… not in life-long members, not in converts, and certainly never before in investigators. She gets it and knows she’s going to the Celestial Kingdom. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get there, which is quite a bit, actually.
And now the bamboo…. Dai Jiemei and I just rode to ZhuBei and back. On the way back, there’s a sign that simply says XinZhu. No city, no county marks… just “New Bamboo.” It occurred to me how wonderfully symbolic that is of this transfer. Bamboo is naturally and incredible strong… new, bamboo has the potential to be that way, but just like anything else you have to start right to end right. Well, this is a new start. This mission thing. This transfer. This week. It’s all new and has the potential to be the strongest ever. It’s gotta be nourished and pruned… but it’ll get there. And that’s my weird, cryptic Asian-inspired thought for the week.
I love you all and thank you so much for all your love, support, and prayers. You all mean the world to me and it’s nice to feel a whole team behind me… especially when I’m facing the winds off the Straight of Taiwan. Zao gao! Here are some photos! I uploaded them this morning, so I’ve forgotten what they are now. But I’m sure I’m in a few of them. 😀