Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Report from Jilong

Gigi, thanks for giving me Nena's address, I actually finally got her letter yesterday with the address on it.  haha.  But the thing is I wrote her like 3 transfers ago, and keep seeing the letter sitting there every week, so I kept asking.  Yeah, I realize there are a couple people I'd like to write I don't have addresses for every now and then...but my opinion on writing letters has changed completely from when I first started a mission.  I used to want to write people I was used to communicating with often...Not sure why, probably because I wanted to still feel an attachment to the outside world or something...Now as my time is more pressed (the older you get on a mission, the more responsibilities you have to take on) I focus on taking the time to write those I know are wondering how I am, so I put the letters I get in a pile, and slowly work on responding.  It is nice to hear that a large majority of my friends keep up on my blog from time to time.

So yeah thanks.  As for this week, it was actually not as bad on Thanksgiving as I thought.  I was actually really sad.  I mean, I am really blessed because I'll only be gone one Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday, etc.  A large majority of missionaries miss 2...but yeah, it was my first one away, and in a culture with people who don't celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas really, so I was thinking Thanksgiving would come and go, and hardly be recognized.  However, we have the most awesome Elders in our district ever.  We decided to have a Thanksgiving dinner.  Something simple.  Every companionship would make one of two things.  Well, we had a lesson that started late, we were all supposed to meet up at 5, make our things, eat at 5:30, and the Elders had lessons at 6 and 7.  We had a lesson at 7:30, and had to bus out.  So yeah, we get there ridiculously late, like 30 minutes, we can't help it!  And the Elders have really gone out of their way on this dinner!  There was a nice blue table cloth, flowers, plates and chopsticks, with name cards on each plate, candy corn on the plates...and the Zone Leaders (E. Cai Zonghan.or actually he says his English name is E. Cael C. Carter... and E. Adam Hammer)had cooked a chicken ...and E Hammer had even stuffed the chicken with bread and celery...which I hear was a hilarious endeavor they have on camera.  And E. Westin Leavitt and E. Cazier (sorry dad, I still haven't ' asked him his first name, he's newer) had made corn and mashed potatoes.  They mashed the potatoes themselves, without any kind of masher, so that had to have been hard!  When we got there, we started making pies, the Elders hadn't eaten at all...well, we keep waiting for the other sisters to eat, but they don't show up until 5:50, and the Elders had a lesson at 6.  So yeah, they go downstairs to try to start the lesson early, but then we called them upstairs really fast so we can take pictures together, then we decide we will probably just all eat separately when we have time.  Well, the funny thing, is S. Tawny Phillips thought she and S. Chen Shuting were on time, it was 5.  So she was super confused why the Elders all left right after taking pictures.  So we were just talking, they were making the fruit salad they were doing, and we were finishing up the pies, and Sister Phillips is like, "Hey, is it 5 yet?" And we were like..."'s after 6!!!" and she was like "HOW DID I LOSE AN HOUR OF MY LIFE?" It was so funny.  She felt really bad, and she really just didn't know how she didn't know how she mistaked it for being 5, not 6, but it all worked out in the end.  We got to take pictures together, and eat together for like 10 minutes, and the Elders came back later and were able to eat, and it was really good food, and we loved it sooo much.  And we made all our lessons on time, every one of us.  I'm really glad, even though it was all staggered out to eat, that we were able to all make a dinner together, even a small and simple dinner like it was made us all extremely happy. 

This week has just been amazing!  Seriously.  My companion and I have just been having a really great time together and our investigators are sooo good!  We have a really golden investigator.  Her name is Jasmine, or Li Wen.  She lived in America for 12 years growing up.  Not sure if I wrote about her last week or not.  She's just so good and sooo cute.  We taught her the law of chastity, and she was totally willing to follow it.  We even mentioned that we only only wear one set of earrings in each ear, and she had absolutely no problem, she immediately took out her extra set of earrings after the lesson, and the next day at church, she had one set.  She told me she'd been wearing 2 for a long time, she didn't need to wear them anymore.  I am just really impressed by her faith.  I learn so much from her.  She really applies the scriptures to her own life...and teaches us from what she learns.  I've never had an investigator who just could read a scripture and teach me from it after reading it once.  She's an English teacher here, and she always has ideas how to help Sunday School be more interactive and everything.  She's so cute, she even was quoting the bishops ward missionary plan to help us see why questions during the Gospel Principles class is essential and important.  I love her!  Her baptism goal is the 26th of this month.  It's right after transfer calls, but that's okay, if we move, we are going to ask President if we can come to her baptism.  It's that Saturday.  I think he'll probably let us, as long as we don't move 3 hours away or something ridiculous.  So yeah, Sister Kunzler will probably move, she's been here for 10 months in Jilong!!! So she's like...oh!  I will go where the Lord wants me to, but I really hope I can see Jasmine get baptized!  She's so excited because her mom is coming into town from America and can attend (her mom really supports her) and her birthday is the it's right after Christmas and before her birthday.  Yay.  She's even joined with us missionaries and single adults in practicing for the ward Christmas performance, we are singing 8 songs, so we practice twice a week, so we get to see her a lot, and it's great!

We are also still working with Lin2 Li4zhen1 and her two boys, and they are really progressing.  She has a lot of questions and her and the youngest talk late at night and have started discussing how they are really coming to believe in God and Jesus Christ as they have seen answers to their prayers and seen his hand in their lives.  They are really great!  They come to church every week.  The oldest boy is a little slower in progressing because he's busier, but he is very willing to read the book of mormon and loves church!  I know they are really being prepared by the hand of the Lord.

The last investigator I'll talk about this week is Lin Weitong.  She's really cute.  She has 2 little kids.  She has just been doing really great!  She's progressing towards baptism.  She's really excited.  She really sees the blessings of baptism and eternal families.  I've never seen someone with such a strong desire to make it to the celestial kingdom, but she really has a strong desire and it's so cute!  I love her a lot too.  I just have learned so much from my investigators these last couple weeks.  I'm so amazed by how much they teach me in the end.  We prepare to be the teachers, but we end up being taught so much.

Our area is really going great.  Our investigators have been progressing, we have a lot of fun in our district, and in our apartment with four sisters we just really have a lot of fun.  I'm so happy!

I love you guys!  I hope you guys are as happy as I've been!

Don't forget to send me hot cheetos and funfetti cake mix for my birthday/christmas.  hahaha.  And write me of course!

Sister Flora Bruno

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