Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8/23/2010

Dear Daddy, Mother, Tina, Shelly, Amy, Miles and Benjamin -

It has been quite a week. I don't even know where to start. We saw a lot of little miracles. We also had a lot of small bumps in the road. A lot of our investigators have sort of. disappeared. Anyway, I don't want to worry about it to much.

Remember Shu Fang and the crazy baptism last week? Well, we are hoping to help her daughter Yi Xuan be baptised. She is eleven and wants to, but her mom is being a bit crazy. ShuFang's baptism was quite traumatic (she will talk about it until the day she dies, I guarantee you) and she is worried about her daughter. She is also mad at me for being insesitive about her daughter's homework. Apparently, Yi Xuan has not done months work of homework and school is starting again soon. Well, Yi Xuan blamed her procrastination on her mom for not helping her, and her mom blamed us for making her use all her energy to quit smoking...* It's a bit ridiculous. I guess that I will just blame the Taiwanese school system for thinking up something as stupid as homework during summer vacation.

Anyway, we will see how things go.

We saw some good miracles this week. I will tell you one story.

Last Monday night, we had a lesson and our backup plan fall through, so we decided to tract near our next appointment. I told Sister Cooper that she could pick where she wanted to go. I had a small feeling we should turn down a certain alley but ignored it because it is a good rule of leadership to not tell someone they are allowed to choose and then tell them they chose wrong. So I let her pick a street and we said a prayer to start tracting. As we prayed I saw a sign in my mind that had a street number on it. So I forgot the good rules of leadership and told her we needed to go look for it. It ended up being the alley I had seen earlier and passed. It looked extremely unlikely - it had an open gate across it and looked like the entrance to a warehouse or manufacturing area. I had seen the sign and number distinctly in my mind, so we went in. It was extremely sketchy, for some reason there was a large untended fire burning and not a soul in sight, let alone a place to tract. We saw an old woman through a screendoor and tried to talk to her - she only spoke Taiwanese. But we kept going. Around a corner it opened up and there was a house with a family sitting on the front porch watching TV. They were a beautiful family; parents and five children and they turned off the TV and we taught them about God's plan for families and the restoration and the Book of Mormon. It was such a little miracle lesson, I would never have thought to look for people in that place.

So this is why you should follow the spirit! It will lead you into all truth and light. Usually my impressions are small feelings and thoughts and ideas.

Alright I have to go

Love you
FML
Sister Johnson

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

dramalama 8/15/2010

Dear Family

I am excited to report that our dear investigator Hu shu fang got baptised! We were so excited. She quit smoking after months of effort; the patch finally worked for her. The patch is really a blessing- she had been trying to quit for weeks and hadn't been able to smoke less than three a day but with the patch she was able to finish quitting in two days.
Her baptism was one for the books. The dear wonderful priesthood brother that baptised her nearly drowned her. She came out of the water screaming like a banchee. First of all, the water was hot. The cold water facut doesn't work, so going under hot water in hot weather I'm sure was miserable - like submerging in a hottub. Then she forgot to plug her nose and got water up it. So she tried to stand up and he pushed her under because she hadn't submerged all the way. Then her feet came up, and while he was looking at her unsubmerged feet he forgot to realize that her head was still submerged and she couldn't breathe.

When she came up, she came up coughing and gasping like she was drowning...and then skrieking and yelling and crying. I was a bit afraid she actually DID have a devil like she had told us previously and we figured was just mental illness. She said her heart stopped beating*. She was so scared.**

I've never been so scared that an investigator was not going to get baptised because she was so close! So close to being baptised - she had done EVERYTHING but be submerged completely! And so close to walking away - I didn't know if she would go through with it. Her mental illness flared up after she came out of the water and she sort of had a fit in front of everyone. After some praying and calming down in the bathroom while the congregation sang through half of the hymn book, we got her to try again. My brave darling! Unfortunately once again, it was unsuccessful - this time the dear priesthood brother said the prayer wrong but immersed her successfully. After another angry yell and punching the glass, she braved it a third time. She was literally scared to death and a little mentally unstable.

The third time was successful but I don't think she felt particularly spectacular about her baptism.*** She wanted to know why everything was so difficult for her - even being baptised was harder for her than for other people! My heart just broke for her. I was afraid she would never show up for church again, let alone for her confirmation on Sunday. Her baptism was- well, horrifying.

On Saturday we really wanted to meet with her but she didn't feel good and so she rested all day. We were super busy all day with other important lessons and and several miracles and didn't get time to go see her. Then, last miracle of the night, we called her and she said that she would come to the church and meet with us. We taught her a lesson, built up her faith and confidence again, and she said she felt better. Then on Sunday, she showed up to church with her mom Huang You and her daughter, all wearing dresses and looking so wonderful and normal. It was an amazing transformation. Her confirmation had a really good spirit so I hope that she recognized it and won't be tramatized for life.

Well, other than that, Sister Cooper and I are doing just great. We hopefully have a slew of baptisms in the next couple weeks - I have to finish up my work here before I get transfered.

I love this island. I love the gospel. I love you.

FML,
Sister Johnson



* She said that when she was under the water her heart stopped beating and her spirit started leaving her body and a voice told her to come up out of the water and breathe. I'm not sure what happened. She wasn't under for more than ten seconds.

**Most Taiwanese people are afraid of water, probably because most Taiwanese people can't swim. Swimming pools are rare. I think bathtubs and bathing is even pretty rare. Most bathrooms I've been in just have a showerhead on the wall with a drain in the floor that serves as the shower.

***I was extremely happy that we did not have any investigators there because it was the most dramatic baptism I have ever had or ever heard of. Baptisms are often quite dramatic- I had no idea! The only ever baptisms I attended at home I found peaceful to the point of dull.




Cami's note to Tom:

It will be fun for you to see your college friends. You can take them out for a good Walmart ramble or perhaps to rake gravel at the bunker :) I'm sure they will find Elko charming.

I am trying not to think about it too much, but I need to get my plans sort of figuring out for Decemeber?

Amy wants me to drive back to Elko with her across the country so we can bring her car back. I wouldn't mind going and doing some seeing the East Coast.
Tina is talking about taking a week or so off to go maybe to Europe with me.
I'd be up for either. Maybe Tina and I can go sightseeing in the East and then Amy and I can drive back together when her school finishes? Plus I don't know the family plans. I'm up for anything but won't have money because I put it all towards my mission. Plus I don't know what Christmas/holiday plans there are. I won't be busy so I'll be happy to do whatever. Feel free to plan my time with any combination of adventures.

Love you all!
- Cami



Cami's email to Donna:


Dear Mother -

I got the package! Thank you so much - it was everything I wanted and more. I hope you know I am wearing the green dress you sent me and have worn the other two dresses three times. So they are a big hit. I hope you didn't pay to much for them since I will probably leave them here but I certainly am enjoying and getting my use out of them. And everything else was just want I needed and wanted. Love you!

FML
Cami

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 4, 2010 Re: ‏

Dear family-

This week was the temple trip so this is a couple days late. The temple was good. God loves me and the church is still true.

They are implementing a new mission meeting and training program that is an adjustment. We have less meetings now and more training I guess. It should be good because I've always sort of felt neglected in training as a sister. The Elders go on companionship exchanges about 2-3 times more than we do, and with really solid missionaries like the Zone leaders that can give them specific feedback and examples when teaching their own investigators. I hope maybe as a Sister I can have similar training. I'd like to be a better teacher, contacter, have better Chinese...

Thank you for emailing Sister Greene. Okay, let's clarify - I am flying into Elko on Tuesday November 23rd at 10 PM. Now we all know. Everyone nod. Now please don't bring it up again unless neccessary, or at least until November. Love you!

This week we had another halarious story. Sister Cooper has had trouble sleeping and mentioned it to one of our investigators, Shu fang. We have been helping Shu fang quit smoking for weeks now. She has some kind of illness that makes her in a lot of pain and then she breaks down and smokes. Today she started using the patch and SO FAR hasn't smoked a single cigarette today. Temple blessing! Yeah!

Anyway, earlier this week, Shu fang is a sweetheart and wanted to help Sister Cooper be able to sleep better. So she brewed up this drink for her of Chinese medicine. She put in five kinds of "ku." We thanked her profusely and took a sip...it was the most bitter thing I have ever tasted in my whole life. Nothing in America ever has nor ever will taste that bitter. If it did, it would be immediately spit out. Anyway, Shufang kindly poured us HUGE glasses of it. She also mentioned that she is worried it may give us diarrea, which I did NOT mention to my dear junior companion haha. When my companion tasted it and somehow came to understand the potential side effects, she couldn't stop laughing. It was really funny but I tried not to laugh. Shu fang really wanted to just help us. She was so sweet to brew us up this absolutely noxious beverage and was worried about our health. So I said a prayer for my insides, figured Chinese people drink it all the time and they aren't dead and drained my cup. So far I've been fine, no noticable health changes for the better or worse. Shu fang sent us merrily off with 2 2 liter coke bottles full plus another two more 20 ounce bottles. They are in the fridge at the church and we will probably dump them out tonight. Bless her heart.

Well, I will email again on Monday as the normal schedule. I love you all.

FML
Sister Johnson

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