So much happened this past week that I hardly know where to start! But first I guess I should tell you about how training is going.
My trainee Sister Mac Isaac is so funny! She is really bold and not afraid to run (literally) up to people and start talking to them--but her Chinese is really struggling and so she will give them a pamphlet and then look at me with a look that says "Help! Fix it and get them to join the church!" It is really funny and is teaching me how to talk to everyone and always have my line in the water. I don't really like talking to people so it has been a struggle for me since I came on island, but Sister Mac Isaac is helping me break out of my mold and talk to a lot more people! Yesterday we were sitting in a restaurant eating dinner and she said, "The person behind us is wearing a cross--that means she is Christian! Talk to her, maybe she will set up with us!" I told her that she needed to talk to her so she turned around and said, "Are you Christian? Where do you go to church? Why do you go to church in Taipei?" And then she looked at me and said, "Help!" And what do you know, she did set up to meet with us next week! I was really impressed with my companion and how she wants everyone (literally) to hear about the gospel! And it keeps us laughing because she says a lot of weird things in Chinese that really don't make ANY sense. :)
(And a side note: in my former life I liked to blog. I try to focus on my missionary purpose as a missionary but occasionally I think, "I wish I could blog!" Mostly for the blog headlines, because I have so many clever ones! But if I was writing a blog about language, I would title it, "Would you like prophecy with that?" My language is coming along quite well but sometimes people say things and I think, "Did you just say what I think you said?" This happened the other day when I ordered a drink and the woman said, "Would you like prophecy with that?" She was saying something else but I swear it sounded exactly like prophecy.)
Secondly, I will tell you about Elder Bednar's visit. It was AMAZING. I was so spoiled as a BYU student because I saw apostles all the time--and remember when I lived with Elder Holland and his wife in Jerusalem? :) But Elder Bednar came and gave a fireside for the members in Taiwan, which we went to with one of our investigators and some new members, and then Monday morning we had a 3 hour "mission conference" with him. It was amazing because instead of just giving us a prepared talk, he had people ask questions (questions that an apostle could answer) and then he answered them using the scriptures, personal experiences, and in a way that everyone could learn a lot. It was absolutely incredible!
Since I started my mission I have been really curious about angels--both earthly and heavenly--and how they interact with mortals. So I asked Elder Bednar what it means to hold the keys of the ministering of angels and how heavenly beings interact with earth.
His answer was really interesting so I thought I would share it. He said that the Lord will never send a heavenly being to do the work that a righteous priesthood holder can do. !!! Wow! Of course it makes sense but the way he said it was just like, if you respond to the promptings of the Spirit to help others (as a priesthold holder) you are exercising the keys you hold of the ministering of angels because you BECOME the angel! He said that priesthood holders don't direct the angels--that is what heaven does. They just have the keys to become those angels. And then he told me that home teachers, for example, are angels. So wow! I hope home teaching is going well for all of you!
And then he said something else in response to another missionaries question. He said that we all know flaky missionaries who baptize and excellent missionaries who do not. He said that this happens because God's work doesn't depend on us--these are God's children and He is aware of their circumstance and will help them come unto Christ through His gospel. But he said that if you are a bad missionary and have success, it is to your condemnation.
Wow, apostles are bold!
And finally, one of our investigators, Chen Zheng Hui, is getting baptized next week. She is absolutely amazing and I wanted to share some of her story. Her sister is a member and got baptized a little more than 2 years ago. At that time Chen Zheng Hui did not even attend her sister's baptism because she wasn't interested. But recently, she had been feeling like there was something missing in her life and asked her sister why she was so happy. Her sister told her it was because of church and brought her to church with her, gave her a Book of Mormon, a Gospel Principles book, and the Liahona. We started meeting with her and she already knew almost everything. Basically all we had to do was answer her questions and watch her testimony grow and develop! She even bought Preach My Gospel and the institute manuals because she wanted to know what was going on in institute, which she attends every week.
We were talking to her yesterday about who she wanted to speak at her baptism and she was telling us about her sister. She said she would be eternally grateful to her sister for introducing her to the church because without her sister she would not know who God was and she would not be happy. I almost started crying when Ithought about how important this work is and how amazing it is when members share this gospel with their friends and family. So don't be afraid! Pray about who the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel and get to work! :)
I love and pray for you all. Good luck with the rest of April.