Monday, November 22, 2010

It is finished. 11/21/10

Miracle baptism yesterday. I'll tell you more in person.

My work here is complete. I honestly feel like I have done the work my Father has sent me to do.
I feel at peace.

I'll see you soon.

Forever my love,
Sister Johnson

Monday, November 15, 2010

Last preparation day!‏ 11/14/10

Dear family,

This may be my last email home. Yes Amy I will still try to check my email next week but I may not have time to respond. It will be a crazy day.

On Tuesday was my last Zone Conference. I gave my reflections talk - all the returning missionaries give one. I was really afraid I would just cry all the way through it but I was okay. I talked about angels and miracles. It was really powerful. Maybe I'll share it sometime with you.

Today for my last Preparation day, Sister Brownell and I rode our bikes back up the mountain to the waterfall. It was beautiful in the mountains, I felt close to God. We did our study up there and most imporantly, buried a time capsule. We put in photos, stick figure drawings of our future families, our life goals, tracts, and some other fun things. I wish we had more time to prepare it... The plan is to come back in 20 years and get it. I'll be 43 then - it's near impossible to imagine being nearly twice my age but it seems like every year moves a little faster now.

The most notable investigator lately is Sister Wu. She is blind and absolutely golden. I bet she will be baptised in two weeks. I'm disappointed I won't be around for it. Teaching her is...amazing. She is so receptive.

The problem is how to help a blind person gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. As far as we know, only one Braille copy of the Book of Mormon exists in Taiwan, which Elder Opper found in Gaoxiong randomly just a few hours before I called asking him if such a thing even existed. Don't tell me angels don't direct this work. Things like this happen all the time. The Braille Book of Mormon is huge - seven volumes of enormous blue binders about five inches thick. Poor Sister Wu though, it is in braille English and it must be near impossible for her to understand. Imagine trying to read a book of scripture in a second language that you haven't studied in 15 years...in braille. We are trying to find a recording but so far have only been about to find an old translation in Chinese. We are working on it. Anyway, she is gold. I have to think more about what I want to say about her. She is brave and sweet and lovely and I'm so lucky to be teaching her.

I was looking around my dear little Beiqu ward this Sunday and I felt so proud of it. It is the most diverse ward I've seen in Taiwan. There are a lot of people with special needs and they are all met with love and compassion. There we were with blind Sister Wu, in another corner we had translation for a deaf sister, we have a parapelegic man in a wheelchair that the aaronic priesthood takes turns pushing a couple miles to and from church each sunday. There is crippled and homeless Brother Yang being the class leader in Gospel Principles. This really is the best ward that I have been in.

This week I started calling my new members and telling them that I am going home. I also wrote them each a letter with pictures and our address in Elko. It was nice. I called Song Shao Yi - my first new member back in Douliu. She said that she knew it was me by my voice even before I told her who I was. I couldn't say the same for her - the last time I had seen her I hadn't really been able to understand her lol. Sister Lin with the amazing smile is coming up from Yuanlin to take Sister Brownell and I out for dinner on Friday. Everyone I talked to was just so sweet and excited to hear from me and really missed me. I've been really blessed to be able to help so many people.

Alright, time is up.

FML
Sister Johnson



Cami's email to Donna:

Thanks for the detailed info on my return. It sounds like conference was nice. Did you remember to make sure that President Shumway will be available to release me?

I love you! Thanksgiving is almost here! The goose is getting fat lol.
FML
Sister Johnson

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cami Johnson

Dear family,


Well it has been a smashing few days.


So, Sister Brownell decided at the beginning of this movecall to set some goals and one of them was to do our own version of a taipei 101. Then we decided, who wants to run just to the top of the highest building in Taiwan? If we are going to do this, let's do it right. So we asked around, found out the tallest storied building in the world is in Dubai and is162 stories and set 165 as our goal. So for the past few weeks we added stairs to our running agenda. We had originally planned to run Dubai next week, but we have been doing 105 flights consistently without problems and were getting a little bored of stairs. So we decided just to do it today and free up next week for another mountain biking adventure. It didn't take us very long, about 45 minutes total and about 29 minutes running*. It was fun, I mostly recited The Living Christ in my head while I ran (which we are memorizing, another goal). It was cool because achieving our goal didn't take us as long as we thought it would, and we thought it would be harder than it was. It's nice to know that you can do hard things, even with ease. We are all capable of more than we put ourselves up to.


This week was a ward activity. It was so much fun to watch. Taiwanese people may be a bit tonedeaf when it comes to singing, but they more than make up for it in their skits, dancing and acting. They are always awesome. I think of a skit and I think of people spending a half an hour before it starts trying to figure out what they will do. The Taiwanese are super creative, really good actors and spend weeks getting ready. It was so fun to watch on Saturday night. Every auxilary organization choreographed a dance. The young women did an amazing Prince of Egypt performance, the priesthood danced**, we got to watch our new members dance with the relief society did some kind of "cowboy" dance***, it was so cute. We left before the primary but I saw them practicing and it was pretty intense for a bunch of little kids NOT enrolled in a dance class. None of this put your left leg in put your left leg out business. There was also in attendance one of the best violinists I have ever seen. The whole thing was just heartwarming. As Sister Brownell put it, "I felt filled. Like someone was literally pouring goodness into me, and like a glass now I am filled." It was really nice.


Remember the little 8 year old boy, Yang Dun Li that we baptised last week? His mom told us that every night in his prayers he asks for the remission of his sins. It was honestly the cutest thing I have ever heard. He is such a good kid.


Pictures~


The first one is my district. I think it captures everyone's personalities. Going counter clockwise, first you have Sister Brownell, my bff. Then you have Elder Yang, the recorder, who came on island with me and has been a help to me from the first day I met him. He also served in Douliu so we have a special bond. Then there is Elder Johnson, who we like to tell people we are cousins. He is one of my zone leaders, was in the MTC with me 6 weeks ahead and only speaks in exclamitory statements, I'm not even kidding. Talking to him is half like going to a pep rally. He is the most energetic person ever. Everytime I talk to him on the phone, he says Sister JOHNson this is Elder Johnson!!!! Everytime he speaks Sister Brownell and I are about rolling on the floor laughing, he is ridiculous. I like him but have a hard time taking him seriously. Then there is Elder Opper, the Operations manager who has already saved my life 4 times in the last 4 weeks! JK. But he is awesome and heartfelt and sincere and everyone's dream home teacher. I love doing followups with him. Then there is Elder Moes, pronounced Moose, which describes his build. I like him and don't know how to put my finger on why. He isn't too serious, and isn't too ridiculous. He takes his calling seriously but when I called him yesterday to see if they had apostasy cups I could use for a lesson, he spoke the whole time, unexplainably, in a british accent. I'm not sure I can explain Elder Moose any better than that.


The second one is Halloween!

But time is up. So thats all for this week folks. Love you and tune in next week.

FML

Sister Johnson



PS please check with President Shumway to make sure that I will be able to be report and be released or whatever it is called on Wednesday and he isn't going out of town or something for the holiday. Love you!



*It takes time to take the elevator back down once we reach the top. We could run down but I vetoed because of my knees. A lot of people told me stories about hurting their knees after running stairs so I was careful. I've been really blessed that my knees have healed so well.

** The highlight was the soloist Brother Yang, a homeless but extremely awesome member who broke it down to Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson. Oh, priceless.

*** Yes, there is such thing as Chinese country music




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