Monday, July 5, 2010

Staying Focused and Finishing Strong at the End of Her Mission

Okay, we are coming into the end of my mission and everyone who emailed this week told me to focus at the end of my mission, so that's nice of you all to try to help me focus but I thought you should know you don't even need to tell me that because I am SUPER FOCUSED. And do you want to know why? Because this area is CRAZY busy. Haha. It's actually a really good area to end my mission in, because I have no idea when I'm going to have time to start to worry about going home, and my companion and I agreed we won't even think about it until next week on Preparation day. Plus I have a surreal view on time, so even though I know I'm going home soon, it still feels kind of as far away as it did back in transfer 1. Kind of like leaving the MTC, I didn't quite believe it would ever happen, until I was in Taiwan and with my trainer, and not understanding anything anyone was saying.

Sister Zheng was transferred this Wednesday to a new area not far from here called Shuanghe. A lot of people have been moving in the middle of the transfer. Today we were called and they needed the extra bed because someone else is moving in in another area as well, so there are moves like crazy, and my only Taiwanese companion was only with me for 4 days. Haha. Now it is just Sister Andreasen and me.

Okay, funny thing about my companion and me. We have a connection. Yes, I know this is a small Mormon world, but I rarely actually find my connections with people. Thursday we were the Temple Tour Sisters...and Thursday is a slow day, so we got some time to chat, as a threesome that was a little harder to get done...but Thursday we just sat and chatted, and she was telling me about how she feels about her future..and at one point she said..."It's not like I need to be the future Supreme Court Justice's wife..." And I said, "Ha, I had a good friend in High School who had that ambition." And she said, "Actually in college I did too...Wait...what is your friends name?" And I just knew she was expecting the exact name I said, for some reason...and I was like David James.... And of course she freaked out and said she knew exactly what I was going to say because she knew I went to high school in Texas. It was crazy...because I guess they were super good college friends, he was her home teacher and all, and spent a lot of time with her and her roommates...So then that started a good conversation with a couple David James stories, and I showed her the thing Gigi sent me with his wedding picture that night...and then from there we talked about other things...and now we are super good friends and maybe just maybe chat TOO much in companion study and before bed (my journal is getting neglected, my companions are just too fun to talk to in that 30 minutes at night and in the morning time). But it's super fun and we have been working like crazy and seeing a lot of miracles in Banqiao. That is the next topic.

This week we have been having lessons like crazy, and have been rushed and just...BUSY...and it's a super good busy, because this week, we have had 4 people pass their baptismal interviews. If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is. The sisters here have been doing super good work, and now we are just seeing everything set up...Heavenly Father is really blessing this area and these people are solid people too. Three people will get baptized Saturday at 6...and 1 person at 4. So Saturday is going to be quite an experience...a member has to drive us from one church to the other so everything can happen in correct timing.

One is a Yan Jingmin. She just got married recently to a member...and at first I guess she moved slowly with being busy with the wedding and all, but now she is pregnant and really has a desire for eternal families. She was met with missionaries 6 times only..the large part of her fellowshipping was by her husband of course. I was there for the last lesson and going over the interview questions. She passed with no problems and is excited for her husband to baptize her this Saturday at 6.

The next one is Wu Chunmei. Elder Wolfley, from my Xinzhu district actually found her last transfer with his trainer Elder McNair. It was the first door he ever knocked. This lady is a cute old lady. They've been working with her quite awhile, because her memory is not the best, but she's really good, she remembered everything for the baptismal interview, as long as she could use her pictures. I think she is actually super cute and has good starting of a testimony. She is super willing to come to church, and I'm sure they will be seeing her at church every week, because she loves church. I think it's really amazing when investigators love church because I think that is an important thing for the conversion process is a desire to go to church.

Also, Wu Sijin passed her interview. She is a really cute girl who is the girlfriend of a returned missionary from the Taizhong mission. So, like Jingmin, her boyfriend will baptize her and is the big fellowshipper in this happening. I think she is really strong because Sijin had to give up smoking to be baptized. I know that is not an easy thing to do, but she is a strong girl and she has a lot of faith, so she has been doing it now...and is prepared to not smoke again.

The last one is the one I feel the most personal connection to, her name is Huang Yawen....I've been here for all but two of her lessons...I just missed lesson 1 and 2/WOW. Her getting baptized this week is actually super fast she's been to church just the required three time and this week is a week earlier than her date, but after what happened yesterday, I know she is ready for it. I've never had someone baptized this fast, but Yan Jingmin and Wu Chunmei are also in the same ward as Yawen. The Xinpu ward. This is the ward my companion and I decided I would just go to for the 4 Sundays I was here in Banqiao, because that way I could be closer to the ward members. So, I went alone to Xinpu on Sunday...and had some scheduling issues, with Chunmei not being able to do it too late at night, and Jingmin's husband not getting off work until later at night, so finally after some stressing scheduling conflicts, I was able to figure out 6. At this point (I kept being pulled out of class by the bishop, MM leader, etc) they asked me about Yawen's baptism...which was scheduled for the 15th...because the ward has a camping activity the 16th and 17th, so that week baptisms have to be Thursday. They asked me if we could just move up Yawen by 5 days. They thought it would be nice to have all the Sisters in that ward get baptized the same time. I said I could see what I could do...but I was a little nervous. I called my companion and she said to just ask Yawen how she felt and if she was ready, interview today, and if not, we'd interview Thursday...and call for permission at that point to see if she could get baptized or not...

So I sat down with Yawen after Relief Society and asked her how she was feeling about baptism. She said the closer she got the more nervous she felt, and she was scared of enduring to the end a little bit. I was honest with her and told her that the leaders in the ward wanted her to think about being baptized with the other two sisters that Saturday. She asked what she would have to do in order to do that...and lucky, by inspiration I'm sure....we were not going to teach fasting the time before we'd met, but she ended up asking what it was when she saw it on the tithing slip, so my companion and I split so I could finish teaching her about she had finished the discussions at that time....well, since she'd finished the lessons, I told her we could go over the interview questions and see how we we discussed the interview questions, and her only problem was the last question about enduring to the end. So, I told her about what baptism was, and had a baptism and confirmation lesson with her, sharing in 3 Ne 11 exactly what would happen...and the Spirit was just there really strong, because after we prayed, she said she felt ready to have the interview, whenever we could schedule it with Elder we waited for him to come out of his lesson, and before he went home for lunch...he interviewed with her....

I felt further that she was ready after the interview, she had told E. McNair (poor Elder, he had to do 4 interviews for us this week!)that her favorite part of the week was Sunday at church. I love that these investigators love church. They are too awesome! Her weakness he said was that she hadn't really prayed about the Book of Mormon yet. So, as she was leaving, we had a 5 minute conversation, and I in addition to Elder McNair invited her to pray about the Book of Mormon...and it's truth. That night, she went to the fireside in Taibei with us, and walking there, she shared with me that she had been fasting that day (she ate breakfast and then started fasting) and that when Elder McNair and I both asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon, she felt it was something she needed to do during her she went home and knelt and said a prayer...and then continued reading where she was...which happened to be 2 Ne 3...and she found her answer in vs. 11 and 12. I was amazed that she understood those those verses in the scriptures...she is too amazing...and the Fireside was on the Holy Ghost that night, and just just felt like everything that happened on Sunday was Heavenly Fathers answer to her that is is ready to get baptized and continue preparing to go to the temple one day. I'm super excited about this week, we have hardly any spare seconds and lessons scheduled by the half hour...but I know that we have a lot of work to do to make sure that these people have a good day on Saturday and everything continues to go through. I saw so many miracles this week, but it's been an hour and so I can't even write them all! This is a great area and I'm glad to be here for the last couple weeks. I'll write again next week...see you then!

Love you all!

Sister Flora Bruno.

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