Sunday, June 6, 2010

5/30/10: drama, miracles and moving mission presidents‏

Dear Family,

It has been quite a week! Sometimes I think I will have an ulcer, but generally it's okay.

First of all I hit my year mark last Wednesday. Just think, this time last year I was still worried about how to pronounce "Jesus" in Chinese and now I'm spewing Chinese all over the place.

Firstly, this week we had a baptism! Wu Xing Yu (Xing Hui's older sister who is 11) decided that she was ready to get baptised and did on Friday. It was veyr nice. We took the two of them to McDonalds again (this time their youngest sister Xing mei didn't come). Her baptism had a TON of members, I was really impressed - there were probably about 25, there was hardly a spare seat in the room. Her baptism was somewhat damped by a little experience that happened afterwards.

We have a member, Huang jm who has a serious ADD or ADHD problem (I still am unclear on the difference). Trying to teach her a lesson is madness, I don't know how the missionaries taught her. She is married and has a son, who is a devil child, made worse by her ADD and her tendencies to protect him when he really needs a good spanking. He comes to our English class and mostly just makes the other children wild and throws markers. If anyone won't give her son what he wants or tells him to stop doing something he cries, gets mom, and she yells at whoever it is. The yelling never really bothered me much, possibly because her ADD won't even let her keep focused on yelling for more than about 10 seconds and then she wanders off and has forgotten about it. She has a good heart and a desire to love others though and I love her, even if she is a bit outside the social norm.

However, after Xing Yu's baptism, Huang jm yelled at our other investigator and made her cry, which was bad enough. Then Xing Yu (who is only 11) stood up for our investigator and told off Huang jm, which made Huang jm cry. And then Huang jm was just so mad and crying and yelling at everyone and Xing Yu was yelling at an adult, which is also unacceptable.
and it was just...dramatic.

And that investigator did NOT come to back to church yesterday.

So that was the bad drama for the week.

On a much better note.
We have a really awesome Phillipeana investigator named Rachel. Back in February, the Elders gave me a "golden" referral with this miracle story.
Miracle number 1 - Elder Stubbs and Elder Vaterlaus were in some distant part of our area, walking down the street when someone called out in English, "Hey, Elders!"
It was Rachel, who had met the missionaries in the Philipeans and is working in Taiwan. Rachel's family are members except her and live in the Philipeans. She had been wanting to meet the missionaries and then Elder Stubbs and Vaterlaus just happened to be walking down the street in some remote part of our area at a time she happened to be able to see her. The Elders gave me the referral. I called her, she said that she didn't live in Yuanlin but in Zhanghua, which is NOT in our area. She told me how much she wanted to get baptised and how she wasn't ready before but she was now. I hesitantly referred her, confused about where she lived. The Elders said she was in our area so I should call her again. I called her once and she didn't answer and sort of forgot about her in the rush of the movecall though.

Recently, I found her card again and told my junior companion to try to call her. She did, got ahold of her but we still couldn't figure out where she lived. She only could read pinyin*, not characters of her street address, and she herself had no idea where she lived. The pinyin is different than the one we use so it is hard to know how to pronounce it, let alone what street it is, let alone WHERE in our enourmous area. Somehow, literally through the power of the spirit, I figured out that she said that she lived in Xizhou, the farthest part of our area - 2+ hours away on a bike and 45 minutes on a bus, far, far into the country. I wasn't even sure how we would get there. I was really nervous to take a bus out to a place I had never been and didn't know the bus schedule, to try to find a street onfoot that I wasn't sure was the right one. Her directions were hazy at best (look for the 7-11, there is a highlife near it) which is sort of like saying look for the casino sort of near the other casino in Elko. Or the starbucks near the barnes and nobles.

Somehow, literally miraculously, we found her, because she had no idea where she lived our how to give us directions to her. It was my first time teaching in English, and rarely do I teach someone who already has a Christian background. It was unusual but very strange. It was a very spiritually powerful lesson. She was so eager and willing to learn and to do everything we invited her to. She wanted to get baptised, and we said, how about next week and she said okay. Rebecca doesn't have any days off work, just one hour off in the afternoon from 1-2 that she can rest. We got permission from President Hoer to baptise her without her going to church and he agreed. We are going to try to baptise her by this Saturday, which will take some miracles because of her job and there is no way she can get to the Yuanlin chapel and back in an hour, even if we can find someone to drive her. Sister Dewyea are committed to damming up the creek if that's what it takes. It's an adventure.

The last thing of note this week was Combined District Training Meeting. President and Sister Hoer are leaving in a month! It makes me really sad. It was our last interview with President Hoer. They had a Q&A about the new mission president, where Hoer's will go, etc. As of right now, they don't have a plan. They sold their houses in Hong Kong and in Utah when they went on their mission so don't have a house. Their last child is graduating this year and starting college, and President Hoer doesn't have a job yet. I'm sure they will be fine - any one of any intelligence would want President Hoer to run their company.

Oh, my times up!

I love you!

Sister Johnson

* using ABC letters to spell out the sounds of chinese characters

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