Sunday, May 16, 2010
Happy Chinese New Year! and also valentines day, but that has kind of gotten passed over because of New Years Celebrations.
Since I only have 3 more emails to write I really don't know what to write anymore. You all have been overly informed on my life this past year and a half and, well, lets be honest in saying that I really don't know what has happened to any of you except my mom and younger sister. The letters have trickled down to one each week from Becca (Thanks!) because all of my other friends have already returned from their missions. And I think the only times people write letters to missionaries are when they are on missions themselves, because you have a set time for it and you know how important letters are.
And plus, since I am back in my old area and it is once again Chinese New Year, I feel like everything I write is just the same thing. Over and over. And I hate boring things. So maybe I will wax a little philosophical in these last few emails. Sorry.
But first, the fun stuff. Chinese New Year! All the celebrations that didn't happen at Christmas are made up for in Chinese New Year celebrations. Which means that everyone runs away to southern Taiwan to play in the country for a week, while us missionaries try to get creative with our missionary work.
We eat meals with the members both lunch and dinner for more than a week, which means some really exciting and weird things to eat. Last year I ate cow stomach, which I thought was disgusting, but I ate it again on Saturday and it really wasn't so bad this time around. Last night we had a bunch of Chinese food, steak, and fried ice cream, so we are going around the world in our eating styles. (Have you ever eaten steak with chopsticks? How about fried ice cream?) Maybe when I get home if any of you come to hear me when I speak in church (if I speak in church...ha ha ha (my dad is the bishop)) I will cook up some Chinese food. :)
On Friday we went to our investigator's house, Mei Zhi. She has been an investigator for a really long time because she has several habits that she just can't break, especially smoking. The first time I went to her house I saw more than 10 years of smoke dripping down the walls. No wonder she can't kick the habit--her house is like a cave of smoke temptation! So we told her that Friday we were coming to clean her house. We only had time to wash the walls in her room, which were black with smoke. It was amazing to see what a little bleach and water could do, and when we left the walls were yellow instead of black. Not quite yet to white but much better.
As I cleaned the walls in her house I thought about her life, and many other investigators' lives. Sometimes as a missionary you might expect that one rinse, or even one deep scrub with bleach, is enough. And by this I mean that teaching investigators the lessons and having them pray and come to church a couple of times is enough for them to completely change their lives. But really, there are some people that need 8-10 washings before they are finally clean and can completely change their lives. And there is no need to get impatient with them! Just seeing them progress, however slowly it may be, is exciting. Like wiping a layer of black off the wall and seeing the white underneath. So often in life we become impatient with the process and just leave or buy a new house. But through our faith and dilligence and patience, the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ can completely change our lives. But it does take patience!
Anyway, I don't have much else to say. I have been reading Jeremiah recently and have once again fallen in love with the Old Testament. Give it a try. :)
Posted by breanne at 5:29 PM