Let me just start off by saying that I love the mornings here! We usually go to a park across the street from our apartment to exercise in the mornings. Throughout the day there will be people there that go to exercise or do whatever, but in the mornings is when all of the old people take over the streets and parks! They all get up early to exercise and the playground is full of old grandmas and grandpas hitting themselves and doing other exercises that are supposed to keep you healthy. Sometimes you see them hanging from the monkey bars swinging around a little bit! There are also groups of them that get together and do Tai Chi and sometimes we join in and they all just smile and cheer us on! Another reason I love the mornings is because you can say jou sahn (good morning) to people and they automatically light up at you as if you were an old friend and then wave and shout it back to you. It’s the old people that mostly like saying it, but everyone always gets a kick when they see two white girls saying it, too. Mostly people don’t like to talk to strangers that much, but morning times are the exception!
We have been working with the Elders in our ward to put on a ward pizza making activity and it all finally pulled through! And what’s more, we had tons of investigators and less-active members show up to it! The only frustrating thing was that a lot of the members didn’t ever show up so we were running around doing a million things and trying to chat and schedule people and make them all happy at the same time. But a lot of good things came from it and we might have some new people to teach! Also, we made WAY too much pizza dough and now have a ton of it sitting in our fridge, but we also don’t have an oven in our apartment so I’m not really quite sure what we’re going to do with it all.
I learned this week that rooster in Chinese is literally just “fire chicken” and to me that is inspirational.
This week we also got a new investigator from calling up the formers in our area book! We have already met with her a couple of times and are hoping that we can help her progress. She has met with the missionaries a lot of times in the past but hasn’t ever really had a desire to do anything or come to church. But we will keep working with her and see how things go!
Something kind of hard also happened this week. We had been working with this 8 year old investigator for a few months now and trying really hard to prepare her for baptism. Her family is all Buddhist and not really interested in Christianity, but have allowed her to keep meeting with the missionaries and going to church. They didn’t show up to English class this week which was weird because they have come pretty much every single week that I’ve been here so I called to see where she and her cousin were. She was acting kind of weird and said that they wouldn’t be able to make it and that we also wouldn’t be able to teach them this week. They also wouldn’t be going to the pizza making activity which they had been so excited about just a few days before when we talked to them. She hung up the phone and I was so crushed. She had a baptismal date for the next Sunday, the 4th, and today was supposed to be the day that we get her ready for her baptismal interview. It was really hard to be so close and then have things just kind of crumble right under your feet when you thought you were on stable ground. But I know better than to let things get you too down or to dwell on the negative and we got back to work and figuring what we could do to help them and where we could improve. If there is one thing that I have learned on my mission so far is that sometimes people are ready to hear the gospel and be baptized, and sometimes they just aren’t. You keep working hard and trusting in the Lord and everything will turn out how it’s supposed to! My faith is in the Lord and I know that he will direct those who give heed to His word and keep following down the path that he has set. Keep following Him and remember who you have put your trust in!
Keep on pressing forward! Work hard and have a great week!
1) My companion and I!
2) A member’s store that we visited. He as everything–including baby turtles!
3) A traditional mooncake that a member gave us
4) The pizza activity!!