Monday, June 7, 2010

Invited to Dragon Boat Reception by Government Officials and Final Transfer

Hello and welcome to the wonderful life of Sister Flora Bruno. Starting today, I enter into last transfer on my mission here in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. Juicy information in following paragraphs can identify this weeks happenings and events. In later times, you can stay tuned for the last 4 letters from a missionary with her days numbered. But until then, you can be satisfied with this one.

This week, we went through another move call. And, no suprise...I'm.....MOVING. Ha. That's my life! 我是一个很会搬家的传教士姐妹。 I think I've moved more than any sister on our mission right now, even more than the Taiwanese who have an extra two transfers thanks to their excellent Chinese language skills. They graduate from MTC status in just a mere 3 weeks. Maybe not, but I sure know I have moved a lot. This last 6 weeks, I'm going to Xinzhu to be with Sister MacIsaac from the MTC. It should be an interesting transfer. Missionaries are already buzzing about the dynamics involved, since there is a group of 7 sisters going home with us, and not nearly as many coming in. But no matter, no matter, whatever happens,Sister MacIsaac and I will make sure that we leave Xinzhu with a bang I'm sure. Another interesting fact from move calls, one of the Elders moved here 6 weeks ago with me into the Taoyuan ward. I refused to write in his bye bye book because it was more assumed he and I would stay since we are going home in only one transfer...well, 不用写。 No need, no need. We are moving to the exact same place together. Ha. So that will be pretty sweet. I've already met two of my district members, plus from what this Elder has told me (he's Taiwanese, he knows things...Taiwanese people know everything about everyone...they are cool like that....) our district should be super fun. And super mixed. We are 4 Americans, 4 Taiwanese. Yeah. How's that for diverse?

Okay, enough about all that business, this week was really an interesting week. On Friday afternoon, we were at the church, trying to get in some WPS before MM meeting since we were in Taipei doing Tours on Thursday, when we hear two strange voices calling to see if anyone was in the church. Well, it ends up the that Immigration Agency next door was having a cultural celebration for the Dragon Boat Festival, and they wanted us and some other Americans to come to their party. So I called President, and he said that would be a good thing for us missionaries to go to, since we work with that building very closely getting our ARC (Alien Resident Card) from them. So he gave me the names of what missionaries he wanted me to call and invite... So, my companion and I with some of the Elders went and attended their cultural event. They had us go and learn how to make zhongzi...this thing they eat during the Dragon Boat Festival...and my companion and I were completely the center of attention. It was a little embarrassing for me, it was at 9 in the morning, and we had to bike there in the rain, so my hair was wet, and I didn't have a lot of time to get cute in the morning, you know, since I'm a missionary and everything, and we had cameras of all sorts in our faces. So that was interesting. Later that day, the ARC lady called us and got our Chinese I know we will be in the news somewhere. I'm not sure I'll ever see it since I'm moving, but I told my companion if she finds out where they publicize to get me a copy even if I do look bad. And one of the Elders was really good, and took some pictures with my companions it's mostly my companion, but there are a couple good ones I'm in I'll send. I have to say though, it was one strange to be filmed and people shoving me to stand in the right place and taking a million pictures....I was glad when it was done. Although, I guess it was cool in some ways...they had some really cool cultural performances, and we got to eat the zhongzi...and it was a unique day in the life.

This week, we went and saw a lady from my English class named Joyce. We have visited her before and I really like her a lot. When I first met with her, it was because Elder Lin told me she had cancer and that she could really use visits, so a member helped us set up with her. The first lesson went pretty smooth and she had to go back to work, so she got busy for awhile, and I wondered if it was really true or not that she was sick because she seemed so healthy. Well, when I found out I was moving, I wanted to see Joyce. I felt a connection to her and I really love her. I called. She said we could come over Sunday when she found out I am moving, but told me she was not doing very good lately, and she was very sick and had cancer. She sounded awful. We went over, and it was incredibly hard for her to even meet with us a half hour. It was hard for her to sit up. We shared a brief lesson on the plan of salvation with her, but she is really doing bad right now. She said her body is not reacting well to chemo, and she has not been able to keep anything down. I was really grateful she let us come over...she is very humble and said she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying, and that her doctor said it's really good she has this religion at this time in her life. I didn't know how to help her, but I just felt the spirit so strongly while I was there. We exchanged information and I said I'd keep in touch with her and see what happens. Since her condition is not good, she said she'll rest for a couple weeks, and then when she starts to feel better, she'll let more sisters come and visit her. I was just greatly humbled at that woman's strength. Her trials are big, but she hardly complains. She will just admit it is hard, but she said her mind is still optimistic. She's a rock.

It's been sad to have to be saying goodbye to another area. The members once again barely know who I am or what I am like, but I really like Taoyuan 2nd ward. We were invited over to eat with a member last night. That's never happened that a member wanted to feed us on my last night here. A lot of my companions had that because of their great relationships with the ward, but I was the younger missionary for a long time, and nobody knew what I was saying, and then after that, I was just moving moving moving. A really cute member, Sister Xin, and her daughter fed us. And it was really cute, a Bade member Brother Qiu went over and helped Sister Xin cook from 2 in the afternoon until 6. It was super good food! I don't know if they realize how touched I was to go over there and spend my last meal in Taoyuan with them, but I really was. I really love this Taoyuan ward. Elder Du and I both talked about how sad we were to have to leave it, but I have hope that Xinzhu will be a good place for me to be at for the end of my mission. I'm going to take it week by week. I think this transfer will be a further testimony to me that Heavenly Father loves me and answers my prayers and knows my needs. I have a lot of prayers and hopes and desires for my last transfer...And now, I'm going into it. Wish me luck. Write again next week!

Love you all,

Sister Flora Aimee Bruno 傅文馨姐妹

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