Hello everyone! This week has been fantastic. There are so many miracles I get to see everyday. I love these people SO MUCH. They really are the best. Here’s some fun highlights from this week.
Last Monday for P-Day we went shopping at Yi Zhong Jie-which is the night market where we Dan Jones-ed the first day- with Lin Jiemei and the Taiping sisters. It was a good time. We also got to go get flu shots! Woo hoo! Health care in Chinese was…fun!
This week we had a really spectacular miracle of a lesson. We were teaching our cute little grandma investigator about the Plan of Salvation and she kept speaking in Taiwanese with the member who was accompanying our lesson. A lot of older people in Taiwan are like that. Taiwanese is the native language of Taiwan, but everyone uses Mandarin now, with the exception of some older people who are too cute and stubborn to use Mandarin. The problem is that neither I or Sister Wadsworth speak Taiwanese, with the exception of a few random words like, “guava” and “good morning.” But our member explained and testified to her of the Plan of Salvation and we added our testimonies in regular old Mandarin Chinese. It was one of the most powerful lessons of my life. Even though they were speaking a language that I don’t even know in the slightest, I could feel the power of God’s plan as they spoke. Both this member and our investigator had a daughter pass away when they were young. As our member was bearing her testimony of how she KNOWS that she can be with her daughter forever through God’s plan, the Spirit was so powerful. Sister Wadsworth and I both don’t have any idea how we understood what went on in that lesson, other than the explanation that it was a miracle. More than anything else, this showed me that language doesn’t matter one bit. What matters is the gospel and the Spirit and our testimonies. I know that our Heavenly Father has provided for us a perfect plan for our salvation and I am so glad to share that with others.
I think that one thing I am learning is to not judge others. We found a new investigator this week who had been chewing binlang, which is this nasty 100% legal drug in Taiwan that turns your mouth all red and gross and disgusting, and was smoking. I hate to admit it, but it’s hard not to judge others in that situation. But we ended up teaching her about the Restoration of the Gospel and as we were teaching, I just felt so much love for her. She opened up to us and I truly felt of Heavenly Father’s love for her. It helped me remind me that EVERYONE is a child of God. We’re going to continue to meet with her and I’m really excited about it.
One of our progressing investigators who has been planning to be baptized next month is SO awesome. She’s 17 and this week we saw some really cool things happen with her. She asked her mom for sure if she could be baptized, and we were really scared because family opposition stops SO MANY wonderful people from being baptized in Taiwan. But, miracle! Her mom is completely cool with it! We are so excited. We’ve also been a little worried about her making friends at church, but the Young Women in our ward have been absolutely WONDERFUL! They have all taken her in and made her feel at home and I am so grateful to them. They have been willing to help us out with lessons and so friendly and kind. Yesterday at church all of them were together and there wasn’t any division. It was so wonderful.
Last thing, we had a significant amount of funny and wonderful moments this week.
1- Because I am a white person living in Taiwan, it’s not uncommon for people to come up to me and speak the 6 or 8 words of English that they know and then just awkwardly walk away. This week a man on a scooter started driving next to me while I was on my bike and said in English, “HELLO! I love you! Can I be your husband?” I just kind of looked at him and then he proposed again, “Can I be your husband?” I politely declined with, “Oh no thank you,” He drove away sad and then Sister Wadsworth and I started laughing as hard as is possible while riding a bike on a highway. We had to pullover. It was hilarious.
- Almost everyone we talk to about the church says, “Bu yao. Wo shi baibaide.” When they say they are “baibai” it means that they worship their ancestors, and will burn gold paper and incense for them every day. It’s a really important aspect of their culture here and it’s really interesting. It’s also a lot like Mulan haha, which is cool. Anyway, this week, some people in our apartment REALLY wanted us to come baibai with them. We obviously can’t and didn’t, but they were really persistent in asking us. At first they just asked us to, but then they were being really persuasive and the last time they asked it wasn’t even a question, it was just like, “you will baibai with us.” Anyway. It was funny and interesting.
- Last week at English we had a really awkward moment in our kids class. Sister Wadsworth and I feel really bad about, but it was also really funny. We have these two brothers who have been coming to our English class for a couple of weeks. And we have referred to them as brothers this whole time, but then when we were talking to the younger one about his older brother, he said that he doesn’t have an older brother. So we assumed it was his younger brother and asked again. (In Chinese, it’s a different word for younger brother and older brother by the way). Then we discovered that this English student is actually his sister. We had been referring to a 15 year old girl as a 12 year old boy for 3 weeks. We felt really bad. I don’t think she actually knew though. It was just kind of a bummer moment.
- Because my companion has been in this area for 9 months now and is going home next week, basically every member in the ward is taking us out to eat. It’s the best. Over the weekend, we had one family cook dinner for us and two others take us out. And every day this week, we have members who have planned to eat with us. Three cheers for my companions’ being in Wu Feng and making lots of friends in the last 9 months!
Love you all so much! Thanks for everything you do!