It's been an hourglass kind of week...
Well I am currently sitting at this computer with my legs and feet soaking wet. Not because of the rain though. Because the church building's water heater pipe burst last night and the entire bottom floor is flooded.. Sister Defranchi and I got off our bikes and we noticed that there was water just gushing out the bottom of the front door. When we opened the door we realized that the entire floor had become a small wading pool.. No big deal though- as of right now it is getting fixed.
Also it has been about 98 degrees every day here... I am officially 10 shades darker than before I came on island.
Ok so for this week, I don't even know where to start...
In my email during my second to last week at the MTC I talked about an hourglass analogy, if you don't know what I'm talking about here it is- "In an hourglass, the grains of sand build up to a peak ( those are the high moments in your life) but eventually the peak has to collapse to build an even firmer base so the grains of sand can build up even higher. A collapse just leads to something better. Before we can grow stronger, we need to fall first- and that is going to happen a lot on our mission, but we just need to remember that it will lead to something greater."
So, that's exactly what this week was like, I felt like I was doing great and the blessings were coming in, and then a collapse happened.
Monday. April 27. Day 111.
We visited a less active, her name is Lin Pei Xuan. We shared a scripture and talked to her about prayer. She has been really busy with school, so we are trying to motivate her to want to come to church again. Her little sister joined in, and we were able to have a great lesson :) Later that night, we went contacting at the night market, no one was interested, so we tried a new approach. We went up to people and said " You look like a Mormon. Are you one?" And guess what? It totally got their attention and interest. These two ladies were interested in coming to church - they said they had so much extra time that they didn't know what to do. They said they wanted to go to church with us and asked us how to join- we said "baptism" Then they asked " How do we get baptized?" We said " you can meet with the missionaries :) " and they said "ok!" Too good to be true? Yup. turns out, they don't live in our area so we have to refer them to other sisters... But hey, the approach worked :)
Tuesday. April 28. Day 112.
Miracle of the day: We got a call from Li Jie Mei, who is a member in our ward, she asked us " What are you doing right now? I have an investigator for you, meet me at the bishop's shaved ice shop." We got there as fast as we could. She took us to this lady's shop where she sold jewelry. We taught her right in the back of her shop. We found out that she actually met the missionaries a while back, but slowly stopped. We went over some of the first lesson and read parts of the book of mormon with her to answer her questions. She has a coffee addiction, so we are going to try to help her overcome that. She really wants to get over the addiction and is very receptive to what we said. Members really are a big part of missionary work and I am so grateful for members like Li Jie Mei who are always looking for people to refer to the missionaries :)
Wednesday. April 29. Day 113.
We decided to powerboard for english class at 1. Big mistake- it is probably the hottest time of day. I could literally see the heat moving. But- everyone felt so bad for us that they took all of our english flyers :) Turned out to be a good thing because we got more students at english class! And there were 3 girls that left their contact information with us! It was great because usually not many people from english class have been leaving their contact information.
Thursday. April 30. Day 114.
We dropped off a little gift for Lin Jie Mei, who got baptized on saturday! She has been investigating the church for over a year, her son and husband are already baptized. She was already pretty much a member, so I didn't even know she had a baptismal date when I first got here! Since she has been investigating for so long, and was already taught the lessons, the missionaries just visit her once a week. We have been doing that between us sisters and the elders. Anyways, we were able to have a great visit with the Lin Family and I can really see their testimonies strengthening each others. It is so cool to see the last family member finally getting baptized :)
Friday. May 1. Day 115.
On friday we tracted and contacted. a lot. We ran into a woman who's actually a less active! We were able to just introduce ourselves and really get to know her. I hope in the next couple of weeks we will be able to remind her of why she joined the church in the first place and how it can really bless her family. Her husband and daughter are active in the church and they are really hoping that she will come back- so Sister Defranchi and I are going to do everything we can do to help that family :)
Saturday. May 2. Day 116.
Saturday we had Lin Jie Mei's baptism! A lot of the ward was there to support her, her son was so happy to see his mom get baptized :) It was such a precious moment to watch the last one in the Lin Family get baptized. All the other missionaries who have also taught her came to her her baptism- ahh it was great. At night we visited Kelly and her family ( the girl we taught last week when we helped out the elders) The two elders who were teaching that family got transferred, so Kelly became our investigator :) We taught her the Plan of Salvation, and her mom even sat in! (She has never sat in on a lesson before- even when her husband was taking the lessons, so it was a miracle ) Kelly has a baptismal date for the 30th of this month!
Sunday. May 3. Day 117.
Well here comes the collapse of the week. For the past week we were told that the ward is going to be split up, and us missionaries are only staying with the Chao Zhou ward- the other half is becoming a new ward with new missionaries. On Sunday we figured out which families were staying and which ones were going. Turns out, Li Jie Mei is in the other ward, so she won't be able to come with us to lessons anymore. Kelly's family is also in the other ward so we might have to give them over to the other missionaries. The ward mission leader is also in the other ward, so we will be getting a new one. Everything will be rearranged next week. It was a hard day just trying to figure everything out and wondering who we would still see and be able to teach. I think it was especially hard for Sister Defranchi and I to see our investigators move to another ward right as we just got them.
So that was the collapse. But like I said earlier, sometimes we need a collapse to build up higher. I know Heavenly Father has the big picture in mind- he knows exactly what we need and what will make us grow. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission and I know that no matter what- everything will work out in Heavenly Father's time. I love you all so much.
Always, Sister Michelle Liu
劉 姐 妹