Monday, May 24, 2010

Mock Sacrament Meeting

你好! What's up in the wonderful world of America? We have had a great week here in Taiwan. 太棒了。

Our investigator Jian Jiaying 简家盈 went to interview this week and passed, so we will be having a baptism this Saturday afternoon. So we are really excited for her. She's been meeting with missionaries for a really long time, so it's really excited to be part of the process when she has overcome her fear of enduring to the end and believes she can do it. I think now is a really good time for her as well, because she just finished testing and so now she can really focus on getting baptized and continue getting more ingrained into the ward here since she has some time. She's a shy girl, so we will take it slowly, and she's in a transition between young woman's and relief society...but I know that she will find her nitch and do great. My companion and I are really excited about this upcoming week.

Also, Tuesday we went and did temple tours. I wrote to 谢惠如, Whitney over in Shipai and told her we'd be in Taipei, so she came to the Jinhua chapel to see us and do a tour. It was great to see her again and hear what she had been up to and been learning lately. I was really excited to hear that by the encouragement and members, she has been reading her scriptures daily and she went to Institute with them in Taipei after we left tours that night. I think that's the most happy thing of a mission, is seeing people who are honestly enduring to the end. It makes me really happy, so I was excited to see her...that and because you make good friends and it's wonderful to see old friends. She said she will see me again when we go back to tours. So I might get to see her a handful of times before I go home, depending on a couple things...but that's cool. You don't get to see people from old areas all the time. It's a blessing when you do. This week was ward conference, so the stake presidencies were there, and it was really cool for me, because I knew everyone...because I've served in every ward in this stake. It was nice to see them, and some people from Zhongli had a cow about how much someone can change in a year. My hair is a little longer...I don't have bangs anymore...I can speak Chinese now...that kind of stuff. Haha. But to be honest, I will be seriously due for a haircut by the time I get home. I've only heard horror stories about how they cut Americans hair here...since our hair is curly, and textured different, so I haven't cut 13 months. Ha. It's kind of nasty, but I just wear it up mostly anyways.

We met a new investigator this week named 陈郁燕Chen Yuyan...she used to be a Christian, and then she started reading Scientology. I don't even really get what that means, but my companion had a slightly idea. We gave her a Restoration tract, which usually we teach people with a picture, but she was too distracted since we were at her store and she went from us to the my companion was inspired when she handed it to her. During the Restoration lesson, she was a little distracted...and seemed only slightly interested...but at the end, she was reading in the Restoration tract, question of the soul section...and she saw the question Does life still exist after death? And she said she'd been thinking about that a lot...and asked for a Book of Mormon and read Alma 40 with us sitting there...ha. That's never happened before.

Then, she proceeded to explain about not knowing who she was, and in scientology it explains that you are your spirit, and it made sense to her, so now she's not sure what to believe. By that time, we were rushed for time, but we briefly explained we believed our spirit was within us, and because of the Book of Mormon we had this knowledge...and could explain to her more about where our spirits were before we were born and after we we will be teaching her this week about the plan of salvation, and I'm excited about it. She has a sincere desire to understand the things we can learn by the knowledge of Heavenly Fathers plan for us. I realized after teaching her, that some people really don't know who they are at all, and they search so hard to know...and because we have the Book of Mormon, we can know and we can share with others about who they are and what they can become. It's such a comforting knowledge. I'm also very thankful for prophets who lead and guide us to this and other gospel knowledge.

This week we got the opportunity to watch The Biographical Film "On The Lord's Errand" about President Thomas S. Monson. I bought it because Sister Ackerson used to own it and I just really love it. If you guys haven't watched it, no problem, I'll bring it home with me. You can watch it in two months...but it's a really great movie that tells stories about the Prophets life and how he became who he is today. Watching it really helped me feel like I know who our prophet is more and brings on a greater reverence and respect for what he does. We watched this film with two new members on Sunday, and I think it was a really great experience for Yuer. We all shed a tear or two...aww. I always do every time i watch it. I can't help it! But yeah, i thought it was a special thing to do with them...because even my companion hadn't seen it before, and we were all really touched by the film (even if Ruiyi slept for half of it, she loved the part she was awake for. HA)...Plus we haven't spent a lot of time with the new members in it was good to spend time with them. They were cute.

English class was also fun and unique this week. For the last 30 minutes of English class, we did what we called a mock sacrament meeting. We showed our English class a shortened version of what sacrament meeting was like. We even had two members come and share a talk/testimony. I thought it went really great, and I was really proud of my companions awesome Chinese as she lead the meeting, since she is the English Coordinator for this transfer. She worries about her Chinese sometimes, but I think we all have those days and that time in our mission...but she actually does really well. We have a really good unity in this companionship. I feel like our lessons are 50/50, so that's really an awesome feeling. That was something I was blessed with as a new missionary insecure I'd ever understand this language...that one day I'd notice that I could have a 50/50 relationship with my companions and work together to help our investigators. So we are doing awesome and our lessons are getting better as we do our best. We are working on getting our lessons to fit the 30 minute standard they have asked us to do. It's hard sometimes, but we are doing a lot better than I thought I'd do at it. Our average time in lessons has been getting less and less. So Zone Conference was 很有用 hen3 you3yong4. Very useful/effective.

This week we were able to go down to 大溪 Daxi and teach 李家珊 Sandy, Katie, and Ryan. It was a good lesson I thought. We taught about the 1st using the cup game, and also integrated a brief 3rd. I love that family and we were really excited to go down and see them. Unfortunately, their mom has to work some Saturdays, and the kids have school at night, so we can't meet them again for 2 weeks! But they said they'd do their best to get to church in the following weeks...and Katie was really cute...she wanted to know when she could get baptized if we couldn't see them for 2 we set a new date in July with them. They have a children's Book of Mormon now, and are excited to read it. They kept asking us when we could get them one, so we got it when we went to Taipei this week. So cute. I love that family so much. Found out that Sandy's mother is a religion they say is "Yiguandao" 一贯道? (I don't know the characters or what it is in English) But I do know that they are the hardest people to teach in Taiwan as missionaries. I've had 2 Yiguandao investigators. It's nearly impossible to get them to progress. Not only that, but she opposes prayer and this church I guess. Sandy said that her mom said if she was praying or going to church, not to go see her. I felt really sad about that. I told her the importance of prayer and knowing for yourself. Teaching families are hard. Sandy has her mother concern, Ryan didn't have tons of fun at church the first time, and Katie is just a 10 year old girl, so you have to be super simple for her. So yeah, hard to hit everyones needs, but you just have to love them and do your best to teach a bit to everyone...and pray for the Spirit to take care of the rest. I'm really rooting for this family...we will keep in touch with notes over these next two weeks while we can't meet.

Well, I still need to write one more email before we head off, and i believe i've written a until next week, adios. Love you guys.

Sister Flora Bruno (傅姐妹)

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