I feel like my title for this email is super duper lame, but it pretty much describes how whitewashing an area is going: AWESOME!
At first it seemed totally impossible. When Sister Davis and I first got to this area, we had absolutely no one to teach. We didn’t have any desks, or an area book, NOTHING! On top of that, Sister Davis is a brand new missionary, and training is not the easiest thing to do, let’s be real. BUT this week proved to us that when we trust in the Lord, and I mean COMPLETELY trust in Him, everything will work out, and we will see miracles. And we have!
Zhang Hong Zhi 張閎智 is our most progressing investigator. He is SO awesome! We have taught him the first 3 lessons, and we give him passages in the Book of Mormon to read, and guess what, HE’S ACTUALLY BEEN READING THEM! And he prays before he reads! It is amazing to see him progress spiritually! We started teaching him Lesson 4, which includes all of God’s commandments, and we were really nervous for our lesson with him this week because we know he has a Word of Wisdom problem. He’ll smoke outside the church after our lessons with him, and he brought a bottle of black tea to church once. We knew that if he could trust Heavenly Father and have faith in Jesus Christ, he would be able to quit drinking tea and smoking, and to become clean of physical harm. The day of his Word of Wisdom lesson, we got to the church a bit early, and our member who would be joining our lesson comes up a bit later and tells us that Brother Zhang is outside…smoking a cigarette. “Perfect!” we thought haha. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and Follow the Prophet, and really focused on how we receive these commandments from God through a prophet. Made sure it was clear that these commandments are given to us not to restrain us from doing what we want to do, rather it does the opposite. We are given these commandments to that we may have freedom. If we don’t drink alcohol, we’ll never being an alcoholic, and if we don’t smoke, we will never be addicted to tobacco. We ended the lesson by showing him last year’s Easter Video “Because He Lives”. It was such a spiritual lesson, and it you could really feel him come to a realization that these commandments really to help us. He accepted it so well! At the end of the lesson, he pulled out his baptismal planner and we scheduled the days we were going to meet with him this week! BAHHHH I AM SO EXCITED FOR HIM TO BE BAPTIZED! Oh, and he also brought another bottle of Black Tea to the lesson, and I asked him to give it to me. He did so willingly! We had a pretty good laugh about it!
During companionship study this week, I asked Sister Davis what she wanted to improve on her teaching skills. She said she is having a really hard time asking inspired questions from Heavenly Father. Asking inspired questions is so essential in teaching the gospel. We can teach the doctrine, we can bear our testimonies, and all of that is great. But if that is all we do, it is impossible for us to know exactly how an investigator feels about when we are teaching them. So asking questions that require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, is key to understanding our investigator’s needs. We decided we could to a role play, and teach a simple principle: the message that God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. We role played , me playing the missionary and Sister Davis playing the investigator, so I could give an example of what kinds of inspired questions she could ask. After the role play Sister Davis was overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. “That was the perfect inspired question, and I can’t even think of one in English, let alone ask a question in Chinese!” In my mind I was thinking, “Aha, this is a great teaching moment!” I explained to her that we are not here just to ask questions to get the investigator talking. But these questions are called inspired questions for a reason. These questions do not come from us. These are questions that are inspired from Heavenly Father. So we did a re-practice, where Sister Davis played the missionary and asked me an inspired question. I told her to not think beforehand what question she wants to ask, because if she did that, the question would have come from her. It may have been a good question, but we are looking for questions that will inspire these people. I told her just to start teaching me about Heavenly Father, and trust that he will prepare a question that I (the investigator) needs to hear. During the roleplay, she asked me such an amazing question, that it even got me to thinking what Heavenly Father really means to me. I know that the question she asked was inspired, and came directly from Heavenly Father. He will NOT leave us all alone to do is work. He will support us in all that we do, but ONLY if we TRUST him.
There HAS to be a funny Sister Davis greenie story in this email somewhere! I have been letting Sister Davis hold the phone in order for her to take on responsibility in speaking with people over the phone in Mandarin. I was talking to one of our recent converts, and our phone rang. It was one of our investigators who we were meeting with for the first time (we’ve never met her before) and I told Sister Davis she could take it. I continue talking to our RC while Sister Davis talks on the phone. Later I asked what the call was about…
Sister Davis: “Sister Dong wanted to know how she would know who we were and what we look like, and I told her my hair was ‘lu se’ (緑色). Does ‘lu se’ mean yellow?”
Me: “No, Sister Davis, ‘lu se’ means green! ‘Huang se’ (黃色) means yellow!”
Sister Davis: “I told her I have green hair? How is she going to know who we are?!”
Me: “Well, we’re probably going to be the only Americans in McDonalds, so I think we’ll be fine!”
Life is good! That is all 🙂
Sister Davis and I had a drawing contest. My dragon breathes fire, therefore, I win!
Ward finding activity!
The lifespan of a Taiwan Taipei Sister Missionary’s skirt: 7 weeks.