I know… sounds like a sweet, sappy story about Sister Missionaries that you might pick up from some hole-in-the-wall Mormon book store…. forgive me!
Baptisms — on Saturday, two of my favorite investigators were baptized, and yesterday were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and received the Holy Ghost. 😀 The service was incredible! The first time in a very long time that two wards had to coordinate a baptismal service, and it went off without a hitch. 1pm on a Saturday, sun was out and shining, everyone was there on time, the Relief Society brought some refreshments, Dai Jiemei and I provided Triples, flowers, and cards… Sunday after their confirmations, the Ward just took over and it was like the two of them had just always been members. Instantly had callings and visiting teachers, were singing in the Ward Choir… ridiculous! But that’s how it’s supposed to happen, right?
Blessings — Sunday during afternoon church, a member who makes the most incredible cheesecakes, pulled me aside and asked if we could help her. She started to tear up and tell me about her mother in law. She’s in her 80s and just found out she has breast cancer. She’s going in for pre-op tomorrow and two days from now will be having surgery. She wanted us to come over and pray with her. I asked if we could invite the Elders and get her a priesthood blessing. She was worried that her mother in law wouldn’t take it because she’s a different religion… we left it in her hands and wandered off to pei investigators through church. Church let out and the visit-mother-in-law group turned into an absolute party. The Relief Society President, the member’s Visiting Teacher who’d had experiences with breast cancer before, the member’s home teacher, another Melchezidek Priesthood Holder and his wife. Dai Jiemie and I were even wondering if we needed to be there… but decided it couldn’t hurt. We landed at the house and the members started in on explaining what a Priesthood Blessing was. Mother-in-Law wasn’t too keen on it at first, and Father didn’t help with endless sermons about how different religions really are. At one point, I turned to the Mother-in-Law and took some text straight from Ammon’s mouth. “Do you believe in a Great Spirit? Do you believe that He has power to help you?” She got real quiet and nodded. I smiled at her and bore testimony that this Great Spirit could help her feel peace and guide her next few days if she was willing to ask for it. She turned to her husband, told him to shut up (“ni bu yong jiang hua.”), and announced she would receive a blessing. 😀 It was beautiful and peaceful in the house while the blessing was being performed. The Priesthood Holder said “Amen” and she announced that she would be going to church next Sunday, bringing her older brother along, and would love to sit next to the missionaries. I asked her what she was feeling right then — she described the feeling of Holy Ghost as if she were reading it straight from the Scriptures. I explained to her that feeling will always come back when she prays, and she nodded. “I want that feeling always.” Beautiful. 😀
Bubble Baths — So, I have an appointment on Wednesday with an orthopedic specialist in Taipei to look at my knees. This week has been pretty painful, but totally worth it. But waking up this morning was a chore. Just before 8, my companion comes in and shakes me awake, saying something cryptic. “I have to wake you up or it’s all going to get cold.” Like the Nephites, it took her saying it three times for me to actually realize what she was saying. I rolled out of bed, grabbed Jesus the Christ and walked into the living room. I expected to see breakfast there… but no. Even better. A bubble bath!! Hot Ovaltine! A hand-made card! I just turned to her and said, “Next time a baby (greenie) asks me what we study on Pday, I’m going to tell them if you’ve been on a mission for over a year, you get to go to the spa.” Then I shut the door and had the best personal study of my life. 😀
So yes…. livin’ is easy here on the West Coast of Taiwan. The Gospel is true and is changing lives every second of every day. 😀
PS — moves day has come and gone. Dai Jiemei and I are together for another transfer, here in XinZhu. Woohoooooo!! We’ve decided our Indie Hipster band will have three solid, record-breaking albums after this transfer is over. 😀