I feel as though my Sunday’s will not be complete once Vanessa comes home. I will not sit waiting for her emails. 😦 -Lisette
I’m pretty sure you could film The District 3 in XinZhu right now… not because of anything Dai Jiemei and I are doing, but because our investigators are saying things word-for-word that the investigators in the District 2 say. It’s kind of trippy. 😉
Here’s some thoughts from the Desk of Dai Jiemei:
I think being a missionary is like being a good stage hand. Your only job is to get people ready for the relationships and chemistry that happen on stage. It’s not that there isn’t TONS of work that goes into that, lighting, sounding, setting the stage, but in the long run you’re just an extension of the Director. The relationships that really help these people are the ones with the ward and with the Lord. You’re his representative. It’s a brand new form of relationship than any I’ve had before in my life (except on the stage:) ) and extremely special. I’m so grateful for it.
We have been doing so much listening this week. We put the effort and prayer and coordination into our lessons before we get there — finding the right place and the most fitting peike for this investigators current needs and personality — then when we arrive we just listen. We say an openining prayer, and then the peike and the investigator just go. The peike knows what we need to be teaching and she guides the investigator in that direction, overcoming problems and objections and answering questions we didn’t even know were there. It’s absolutely miraculous to watch the Holy Ghost just do his work. Members really are the best missionaries!
We just got a new piece of paperwork to deal with… well, I guess it’s not new, but it’s the first time we’ve been instructed on how to use and been encouraged by the Mission President to find ways to use it. At first, Dai Jiemie and I were less than thrilled… three wards of investigators already generates enough paperwork to sink a battleship. So… we’ve just kind of sat on it. However, this week we received some revelation on how God wants us to use this particular tool. 😀 Last time we met with the Relief Society President she gave us a few names of some less actives she felt could benefit from a relationship with missionaries. Last week I called one of them and she sounded a bit taken aback that we’d want to meet with her, but she agreed. Two days ago, we sat with her and asked her simply how she was doing. She has a really great job in the Science Park and doesn’t really take or make the time to spend on her spiritual life. But last week her mother was in the hospital after a surgery. Sitting by her side for a week gave her plenty of time to think about her life, what she felt like she was missing, etc. She thought briefly about coming back to church…. and later that day, my call came about meeting with the missionaries. We discussed why she stopped coming to church originally and helped her to refocus on the real reason we come to church — to partake of the Sacrament. We asked if she wanted to come back to church. She said yes, but looked overwhelmed at the thought of it. I thought about this new report and realized I had several copies in my bag. We pulled out this piece of paper and told her coming back to church is not an immediate thing, it’s a process. It breaks down activities and milestones into a timeline over a year. Of course, starting with getting back into the kinds of habits that build a strong foundation — daily prayer and scripture study. She looked it over and said that it all sounds do-able. We set some goals and some dates for interviewing with the Bishop, and her first Sunday back, then gave her a copy of the sheet and sent her on her way. She looked so relieved and grateful that not only God had answered her prayers, but gave her such a clear and managable way to do it. Yay! 😀
Finding the Lord’s Way, where investigators find you 😀 — No kidding. We have four new investigators this week, and with no time set aside to “go finding.” One lady pulled us over on the road. We were biking to an appointment, when she pulled up along side us and asked in wonderful English if we could pull over and talk to her for a minute. We were in shock, but obliging. Another lady walked into English class and said, “I don’t want to learn English. I want to know about the Scriptures and how God can help me have more light in my life.” Another woman flagged the Elders down this week and asked them “how long does it take to get an answer from God and how do I know if it’s really from Him?” I’m convinced Preach My Gospel is right — so many people are searching for the truth, they just don’t know where to find it. I’m also convinced that because we’re doing what God wants us to be doing — strengthening His kingdom in XinZhu by serving the members and helping Less Actives make a plan for coming back — He’s putting us in the path of these people on the street who are ready for answers to their questions. And because the wards know and feel we love them, they trust us when we ask them to take care of an investigator of ours. Eventhough they don’t know this person, they know they were found on the street, they welcome them with open arms as if they’ve been friends forever. It makes all the difference in the world!
And I don’t think this would be complete without some kind of personal reflection…. I think I’m sorting out this humility thing. Yeah. Not ready to put it into words yet… but give it another week and there’ll be some kind of profundity. 😀