She must not have had a lot to write to other people. Not only did she send a dissertation, but also pictures.
Missionaries Love Pictures
I have an investigator who thinks it’s weird that there are no black missionaries in Taiwan…. so when I found one, I had to take a photo with him. 😀 Just happened that he’s cool enough the ENTIRE office hopped into the picture too. 😀 Yes, that’s our new President.
Here’s an eternal principle to try on for size:
If you show people you love them, not only will they love you back… they will trust you with their most precious things.
For some people, it’s their close friends and family members who haven’t yet heard the Gospel. For some people, it’s their recent conversations with God. For some people, it’s that they’ve broken a commandment and need a way back. For some people, it’s their hopes and dreams for the future. Whatever it is, it’s a sacred trust and isn’t to be treated lightly.
This last week, Dai Jiemei and I decided we would not have lessons in the chapel… for two reasons. First, it’s not a place most people feel comfortable. Where they feel comfortable is somewhere that’s already a part of their lives. Their favorite bakery, their house, their office foyer, their neighbor’s house etc. We want them to see that we’re willing to be part of their life… no matter what it takes. Second, we wanted to be out and about in XinZhu. We want to be seen more and have more opportunities to really be at the intersections of people’s lives. And, success! I’ve never biked further or harder in my life… and nor have I ever seen so many incredible miracles.
Our Wards completely trust us — with their family members, with their friends. We have an unbelievable number of referrals, and they are all completely prepared. One woman, Shi Jiemei, doesn’t really need to be taught. We tell her the topic, and she’ll start to tell us how she’s gained a testimony of it through reading the Book of Mormon and starting applying it in her life. We met her three weeks ago, have met with her twice a week, and only have two commandments left. She went to church in Jilong this week and loved it. She’ll be getting baptized on 8/11. Another woman, Guo Jiemei, is a mother of two and all three are our investigators. She’s already finished reading the Book of Mormon, has family prayer, and is guiding her kids through Book of Mormon stories every night as a family. She also came to church on Sunday and it was so good to see that she just fit here. The ward took care of her and she really didn’t need us around at all. 😀 Both of these women are member referrals and have strengthened our resolve to find through members. It feels like the wards in XinZhu have been sitting on their referrals for a very long time… but it looks like they finally have a companionship they trust and are willing to introduce us to them. We’re honored and humbled at this marvelous opportunity.
Our Investigators completely trust us — they all know that we’re missionaries and our purpose is to help them progress to the Celesitial Kingdom through Baptism. They feel that we love them and we are friends with them, but more importantly they want us to be their missionaries. A strange thing happened on Thursday. We went to Nanliao to see a woman we started working with last transfer. She’s done with all the lessons, has faith to move mountains, and is one of the hardest working women I know. Last time we met with her, she sorted out that there’s still one commandment she has a problem with. The problem, unfortunately, is out of her hands and she doesn’t see a way around it. She was devastated to realize she wouldn’t be getting baptized on her date — and I was too. We cried together and it was stressfull to see her kind of give up on the whole thing. We kept in touch with her for the last couple weeks, but every time we’d scheduled to go out to see her… stuff would come up. Sometimes we had to cancel, sometimes she cancelled. Finally, we set to go see her. Not with really a lesson in mind, just to go chat. Showed up and did just that. She fed us and gave us a bunch of stuff she’d bought for us over the last few weeks. We painted our nails sparkly purple, etc. As we were headed to leave, she said “I guess since you didn’t say an opening prayer, we don’t need to say a closing one.” Dai Jiemei and I were shocked. That was her way of telling us she still wanted to Gospel, she still wanted us to be her missionaries not just her friends. She offered to say a prayer right then and it was the most earnest, heartfelt prayer I’ve heard in my life. She prayed for a way to get baptized. After the Amens were said, we asked her when she thought she could get baptized. She said two years from now. So, we set a date and felt it confirmed by the Holy Ghost. It was a beautiful moment and you better believe on 7/14/2014 I’ll be back here to watch her be baptized.
Our Elders completely trust us — every one can feel a good companionship. In one of our wards, the Elders right now have excellent companionship unity. Which translates to the Elders and Sisters have a great working relationship. We met a family at a noodle shop last week that we fell in love with. A man and his sons and nephews. There’s no possible way we could teach them because there’s not a single female amongst them, but when the dad started talking to us about wanting to go to church we knew they needed missionaries. Sorted out where Tien Dixiong lived and both Dai Jiemie and I jumped for joy as we realized it was in our favorite Elders’ area. We grabbed a business card and invited the Elders to go eat there. Two days later, we got an update from Chen ZhangLao — Tien Dixiong is investigating the church and was coming to church on Sunday. Whoooohoo! The next day, the Elders handed us a business card. It was for a Shui Tien Bao shop that they frequent. Jiang ZhangLao told me about the lady that owns this shop and from the moment he met her, he thought of us. That day, they were chatting and he realized his life experience wasn’t enough to connect with this woman. We went to eat there Friday and prayed with her. She’s incredible and totally ready for the Gospel. The Elders biked by on their way to an appointment. To see us there, taking care of someone they loved very much just confirmed their trust in us was well placed. It was a good bonding moment for us all.
I have no idea how my life could get any better… until I look at my planner for tomorrow and realize how full it is of great opportunities. 😀 Even scheduling conflicts don’t alarm me, because I know God trusts me and will set up our time the way He wants and needs it to happen. To have that kind of open communication with God is my most precious thing. It’s taken a long time to get here, but it’s worth it. Say your prayers, repent of your sins, and start living a better life. That’s it. 😀 Show God you love Him by serving His children… and He’ll start to trust you with more of them.
Hua Sheng Jiemie