Happy end of April!
I hope April has found all of you in distant lands and countries happy. And basically that means all of you, because you are all in distant lands from where I am.
Missionary work is incredible! Incredibly fun, incredibly stressful, incredibly unpredictable...the list goes on and on. First about the incredibly fun part.
Sister Chen passed her baptismal interview and is getting baptized this Saturday. We are all excited beyond all reason! We waited for her while she was having her baptismal interview, and she came out so happy and gave me a hug and started crying. I started crying too. (It was kind of funny because it was after church and these little primary kinds were running around and they saw us crying and stopped, concerned, and asked what was wrong. I told them we were just so happy because Sister Chen was getting baptized!) Sometimes missionary work is hard and feels unrewarding, and missionaries get trunky for their family or their girl/boyfriend or their car (this is my downfall--riding a bike in the rain everyday sometimes causes me to think about my car...) or whatever. And then you see a wonderful daughter of God whom you have helped to prepare to be cleansed of her sins and become a member of the church and start down the path of eternal life...and you wonder if there is any way you can stay on a mission the rest of your life. :)
I remember that in my second transfer I complained that Taiwan is not just overflowing with baptisms like places like the Philippines. But recently I have felt like I was in South America or something! I can't believe how many people are prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ here in Tucheng. People just walk into the church off the street and say they have been looking for a church to join and ask if they can come to church the next day. Yes, I guess they can. !!! And most of them are women so me and my companion are teaching a ton of amazingly prepared women and children! We are so lucky to be sisters :) because, as in all the world, many women are a lot more willing to change their lives and join the church than men. But--the other day we finally met Chen Zheng Hui's husband, who at first was not interested but lately has been very curious about the church, and were able to answer a lot of his questions about the church using the Book of Mormon. I feel that soon he will be prepared as well to accept the message of the restored gospel and he and his wife and their two daughters can prepare to be sealed in the temple. This work is amazing!
And now for the stressful and unpredictable parts. Training is really hard! My companion is really funny and is not afraid to say anything--she is not at all shy like my last two companions. But she is still working on the language and a lot of times she says things and I just want to run away and hide in a corner! Because I have to fix everything! :) It is lots of fun, though, and people here are very patient. She is really funny in lessons, though--she really wants to talk and share her testimony but usually she doesn't understand what is going on in the lessons so sometimes her comments are not really relevant. The other day Chen Zheng Hui was telling us a story about this woman who was returning something at a store and my companion interrupted to share a scripture about giving gifts without real intent. Sister Chen was so cute and was like, so what does that have to do with anything? Don't worry, we made it work.
We have been really really busy lately and have been riding our bikes a lot all over our area, which is quite big. Last night we were riding back from Sanxia, where we had visited an investigator family, which is about an hour bike ride each way. We were more than halfway home, waiting at a red light, when my companion turned the corner to ride partway up this ramp, turned around to ride back to me, and fell off her bike! I freaked out and ran over, only to hear her (still laying on the ground) moaning, "I'm so tired!" I would have started laughing if she wasn't in the middle of the intersection...we laughed about it afterward.
And finally, I am learning how to read and write Chinese the hard way. Imagine being senior companion with a companion just out of the MTC and trying to write a progress record each week, notes for your investigators, cards for less actives, etc etc all in Chinese! It is a little frustrating and takes a lot of time but I am working on it and everyone acts very impressed. :) Maybe by the time I go home I will be able to write a progress record in less than an hour!
Missionary work is great. I realized that at the end of this transfer, my mission will be half over. Crazy! Time is way too short to waste, right?!