I must tell you all again how much I LOVE CHINESE WORK! Seriously.. I have been away from this work of miracles for too long. I am so grateful
to be teaching these sons and daughters of God. I know they are precious in His sight. Every time I walk away from speaking or teaching in Chinese I just have to marvel that I have been able to obtain this gift of the Spirit. Disclaimer: I am still no where near being fluent. I don't know everything but I know enough.
We are starting to teach this Chinese girl named Ya Nan. We had followed up with her last week and set up a return appointment. She never really confirmed the day before that we could still meet but the day of she said it was still ok. She is so golden because she met with us even though she was sick! We taught her a really great lesson on the Godhead this past week. We related her relationship to her best friend to the relationship she has with Christ. We taught her how Christ died for us and was resurrected (fu huo) three days later. She never knew this before. She made the connection her self that Easter (Fu huo jie) was about the resurrection of Christ.
This week we were truly guided by the Spirit in deed and conversation:
-Our appointment and back up plan fell through one day and Sister Lee and I said a prayer that we would be guided to find the prepared. This doesn't happen too often but during the prayer two images flashed into my mind. One was this passage way and the other was the millennial bridge not too far from town. We followed that route and met some incredible people! The greatest miracle would have to be that everyone was too busy to stop and talk to us until we got to the bridge and stopped this man named Martin. He is so prepared! He has a great understanding of the importance of the Spirit. He accepted the invitation to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We will follow up with him soon.
-After having a really great lesson on the spot at the Uni one evening, we stepped aside to say a prayer of gratitude (we are doing our best as a mission to double the quality and quantity of our prayers) and asked the Lord to help us find new investigators that night. The next person we stopped was a Chinese girl named Iris that we found a taught my first weekend here in Lancaster. She agreed to a return appointment and became a new investigator!
-We felt impressed one day to call by Anna, an English recent convert that the Zone Leaders passed to us. She has been really hard to get a hold of and she hasn't been to church in ages. Guess what? She was home! Wow, it is such a blessing to be guided by the Spirit in this week and help Heavenly Father bring back His wandering sheep. We had a great chat with her. She has been busy working on her Masters dissertation. We have an appointment to see her this Wednesday. This taught me to never give up on trying to get in contact with someone. Everyone was starting to lose hope we would be able to.
This week was full of funny and crazy moments:
-We went to visit one of the elderly members, Jenny, in a nursing home. In the middle of the spiritual thought this old lady in the corner started singing opera style. Jenny quickly shot her glance at this lady and with irritation in her voice said ''shut up Joyce!''
-We were warned by a member in the ward that the day before Guy Fawkes (November 5th) was ''mischief night'' and we were on high alert. We were taking the bus to a tea appointment when all of the sudden I saw sparks and heard a POP! POP! Living near Chicago and reacting to it like it was gun shots, my first instinct was to drive for the floor and I thought ''get down!'' On my way to the floor I saw no one else had moved or even flinched. I quickly realized that they weren't gun shots but just some chaves lighting off fireworks. Awkward. I tried to play it off like nothing happened.
-I was almost attacked by a swan. Ok maybe I wasn't in real danger but it was getting too close for comfort.
- I taught an Italian man the restoration in Chinese! It was so weird. He teaches Chinese at the uni.
-We may or may not have watched the Lancaster Fireworks Spectacular show that was twenty minutes in the hopes that this golden family we had talked to 5 minutes before it started would become potential investigators.. They are the cutest little family! Sadly they were rushing off back to their home after the fireworks ended but at least they took a mormon.org card.
In all honesty, this week was probably one of the hardest ones on my mission. I am walking away from it with more experience for the future and a lesson on how the Lord can help my weakness become strengths.
Our investigator Jun that was working towards baptism went onto the Internet to research the church to ''make sure she was making the right decision'' and ran into some stuff about polygamy. We did our best to help her understand the history of the church but this has really shaken her. She is a feminist and has a hard time accepting this. All of the good feeling she had that gave her the faith that what she had been taught was true is currently being overshadowed with a big dark black cloud of doubt. It was only a matter of time before opposition was to creep into her life. The full and complete story is too long to type but let it suffice to say that we were so close to losing her as an investigator. It is a mighty miracle that in the course of 4 days she has softened her heart and is willing to be taught by us still. We know we need to help her build her faith back up by helping her be more sincere in reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and recognizing her answer.
I have always been very independent and never really allowed my true emotions to show but one of the lessons I have really had to learn on my mission is how important it is to not hide my emotions and to seek and accept the support of others. I would not have been able to get through this week without the comfort and guidance of my mission president, district and zone leaders, and my companion of course. Please don't worry though. You know it doesn't take me too long to bounce back from set backs.
I have also come to learn a lot more about the Savior and what He went through. Never had I full understood what it would feel like to truly give your time and energy in the service of others only to suffer the pain of heartache when others don't necessarily appreciate what you are trying to do for them.
The most important person we can ever lean on is our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. He understands our heartaches and disappointments. He will give us strength to overcome.