Happy New Year!
As I'm sure you all know, Chinese culture celebrates the lunar new year which is in February, but everyone bai-bai ed on December 31st anyway.
Things you will only ever see in Asia: a five story McDonalds Bai-bai -ing. Bai bai is ancestor worship, they put out tables of food and incense in front of their house and do some bows. It keeps their ancestors from becoming "Hungry ghosts."
People asked us what we were going to do for New Years and we said, sleep. We did crack open a mini bottle of Martinellis that Sister Busath's family sent her, and then went to bed. Then at midnight, I was woken by the sound of fireworks. I couldn't sleep through it and had no idea how long it would go on for, so I got out of bed to find my earplugs. I couldn't find them and was stumbling around in the half dark digging through suitcases, my desk drawers. Then I caught a glimpse out the window and saw the fireworks from our 12th story apartment. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Imagine a cityscape, and in just about every direction you can see fireworks. In two particular places (by the bay I think) there are two simultanious firework shows happening, and both of them are the most amazing firework shows I have ever seen. Imagine every single firework show you have ever seen in your whole life going off simultaniously in one area, and you MIGHT understand the number of fireworks going off. You probably still wouldn't. It was amazing.Then I put my earplugs in and went to bed haha. I have a new life goal of being in Asia for New Years Eve NOT as a missionary.
This week has been really stressful. We had a baptism on New Years Day, which sounds lovely until you were actually there. Our Ward Correlator forgot we had a baptism this week so the night before tried to cancel it because nothing was planned. Luckily our ward brothers are also the Zone Leaders and called him and convinced him it couldn't be postponed. We had to call just about everyone to find a speaker. Then Song jie mei came 20 minutes late so it started late. Then she didn't come to church on Sunday to be confirmed. I guess we had some real communication issues this week.
I'm trying very hard to love everyone but they certainly cause us a lot of stress. Then yesterday we had some rough times.
Sister Busath and I had an unsuccessful evening trying to visit previous investigators. After the last rude person, we both were struggling with feelings that we wish we could just be annoying, ring their doorbell again, be rude back or just...just...be justified!"I just wish there was something we could DO when that happens.""We could call the Elders and have them come shake the dust off their feet or whatever that ordinance is, haha" She smiled. I didn't know what to say, so I did what Mother would do in the situation. I sang."I'm trying to be like Jesus, I'm following in His ways. I'm trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say. At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice, but I try to listen as the still small voice whispers Love one another as Jesus loves you, try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught." We sang it through one more time as we rode home and felt better. It didn't matter anymore. The ultimate satisfaction of the day wasn't in being accepted or having people love us. It was following the example of Christ. It was knowing that we had in one more instance, conquered our natural impulses and to follow our divine Savior. Trusting in Him enough to love others, just because He asked us to.
I hope you all know I love Him very much.
Have a good week.
Cami's email in response to Donna's to her:
Re: Happy New Year!
I hope you feel better! I love you! I use my Zicam all the time :) Drive safe today!