Dear Family -
Wasn't General Conference wonderful? You know you are a missionary when as soon as it gets over you wish you could watch it over again haha :) I felt a delightful desire to repent and change and got some good insights on how I be do better in the next 6 months. Isn't the Plan of Salvation marvelous? I hope everyone took the apostle's advice and made a new study plan of the Atonement.
I was very concerned I was going to have to watch Conference in Chinese with my companion. I called President Hoer and got permission to exchange with a close set of sisters that are also a bundi/American companionship, but it didn't work out because of schedule conflicts. We called about everyone, and nothing seemed feasible. So, President gave me permission to be companions with the three American Elders in my district haha. So I have officially been a "solo sister," even if just for conference.
On a totally different note, earlier this week, my district leader Elder Stubbs called with an unusual story. He said, "I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is true. Back in February, the office called me and said that a man from Canada called them and wanted to take out the Yuanlin Taiwan missionaries to lunch, and to meet at the King Steakhouse on April 4 at noon. And that is tomorrow Sister Johnson. So, are you sisters coming?" It sounded ridiculous, but I believed that Elder Stubbs wouldn't lie to me, and the office wouldn't lie to him, so we might as well go. I must admit, I still had doubts in my heart. Really, was a man from Canada going to show up in Taiwan and take 6 missionaries out for steak?
He did! A portly American with his Taiwanese wife and Canadian daughter met us at the restaurant at the appointed hour and we all ate steak and ice cream together. It was a dream :) The man went on a mission and served in Yuanlin and said that his whole mission, he only was invited to eat with members twice, so now he takes out the Yuanlin missionaries every time they visit.
It reminded me of how in New Mexico we had the missionaries over every Monday night for dinner and fed them steak before they got transferred. What goes around comes around!
Probably the best part of our weekend was Lin Shu Hua's baptism. I contacted her on the side of the road back in February, and she was afraid of me haha. We met with her once before Guonian and she seemed so noncommittal that I figured we would never see her again. We didn't talk to her for a few weeks, then started to meet with her regularly. She was really good but scared of baptism - I'm still not sure why. So we set a new baptismal goal with her, and put her in an interview as a week D (still having 4 weeks until her scheduled baptismal date - ie- really early to have an interview). I was sure she was not going to pass the question about feeling prepared to make the covenant of baptism, but she did! I moved up her date a week and she got baptised.
Lin jm has had a hard life and you can see it on her stern, sad face. But when she smiles it lights up the room, and she literally transforms. I have read cheesy descriptions like that in books but had never seen it real life before. I always thought it was a cliche overstatement. But she literally changes from a sad, tired looking older woman into something beautiful. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. And the more she came to church, the more she smiled.
And that is why I do missionary work.