Monday, June 7, 2010

Mon 6/07/10 a week of miracles‏

Dear family,

This has been the most miraculous week of my mission.

To start off, Sister Dewyea and I decided to have our own "power week". We didn't stay out late or leave early but we set high goals - we wanted to break all of our highest weekly indicators in a day. We really had been putting our all into our work lately. We saw a lot of miracles and success poured out on us as we did.

Xing Yu's baptism last week accomplished our movecall goal of 2 baptisms. When we accomplished it last week, we set a new goal - and felt, strangely enough that we needed to help an additional four people be baptised, though we just had one week left in the movecall. We only had two week B's, both of which had dropped out numerous times before, and Rebecca, the Philipeana we called you about, who we had only met with once and didn't know if we could find a place to baptise her. We felt strongly about four, so we set the goal. We had no idea who the fourth person could be.

I don't know where to start with all the miracles, so I guess I will start with Chen Guan Ying, who has been my investigator since Guonian. I have been so close to dropping her for the better part of the movecall. She couldn't seem to progress, to have the faith to say she believed God was her Heavenly Father, she just said she didn't know. She had felt the spirit so many times, we told her it was her answer, but she just didn't progress. The goal she set for herself a long time ago was coming up and she stopped answering her phone and wasn't home when we visited. Finally I got a hold of her and she said she was getting married and didn't have time to get baptised. I reminded her of her goal, but it was shakey. We hadn't seen her in about 10 days, she was in Tainan doing wedding stuff. The day before her baptism she still hadn't come back. We set up to have dinner with her the night of her baptism- she didn't show up. When I called her she said she was at home and her mom didn't want her to get baptised. She sounded REALLY uncertain whether or not she would come. We had a member call her and we didn't know what else to do besides pray.

There we are, twenty minutes before our double baptism (Chen jm and another investigator Xu jm). Neither had come yet. Sister Dewyea and I were praying out hearts out for Chen Guan Ying. Sister Dewyea prayed that God would send us a few more angels and that the heaven's would be opened and give us a miracle. I felt the spirit really strongly, and I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know if it was comfort for impending disappointment or that she would come. It ended up being assurance of divine help.

We got off our knees after one of my most heartfelt, pleading prayers and Sister Chen was in the parking lot, she had come on her motorcycle in the rain. She was so tiny thin, and wet with rain in her blue dress that just hung off her, and sick full of secrets, her family opposing her baptism, perhaps just leaving from an argument, secretly married and secretly pregnant and a desire for a new start. And she came and was baptised. THAT was an amazing miracle enough. She was baptised, and even getting her to her confirmation was a miracle because she still wouldn't commit that she would be at church and not in Tainan. But she was baptised and confirmed and she looked so happy. That was enough of a miracle, that I could see her progression and her big leap of faith at the end. When she was confirmed, it was like the dark cloud that always hangs over her was taken away, and she looked happy.

As if Chen jm wasn't enough of a miracle, the night of her baptism, Sister Xu came, and and asked if her daughter could get baptised with her. Her daughter had passed a baptismal interview back in September, so Sister Dewyea ran home to get her record, get permission from President Hoer to baptise her. It was all very dramatic and you banfa. It was a huge miracle to have another person to be baptised at the last minute.
Rebecca was our last miracle baptism. We taught her in just 8 days. She was so completely ready. When faced with a commandment, she had either already heard it from her family and was already keeping it, or she had the best answer I've ever heard. She said to me, "Sister, I have been thinking about it, and I am willing to give it up. I want to feel clean. I want to be baptised." Sister Dewyea and I didn't know where to baptise her because it seemed impossible to get her to Yuanlin and back in the hour break that she had. Sister Dewyea and I decided to do all we could though, so we took a stick and went looking for any body of water we could baptise her in during our lunch time. I remember praying, "Heavenly Father, I know that we are walking around with a long bamboo pole, measuring the depths of dirty Taiwanese canals, and it is ridiculous. But we don't know what else to do. We are doing all we can, please help us." In the end, her boss gave her permission to have the afternoon off. Her baptism and confirmation were perhaps the best I've ever had. Everything went smooth as can be, everyone really felt the spirit. The members supported her more than I expected, they really reached out to her, some even drove her the 40 minutes back to her house. We taught and baptised her in 8 days.

And thus we were blessed with four baptisms in one week. You are right though - success is a gift from God and not by our own merits.

I am so grateful to Father in Heaven.

What a great week.
I love you

Sister Johnson

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