Monday February 10, 2014
I hope you had a wonderful week! Being a missionary really is the best. I had the realization a while ago (although not for the first time) just how many people are praying for me as a missionary . . . and I was so grateful. I realized why it is that we get to see so many miracles. Your prayers are being answered.
This week was the end of Chinese New Year. It was a bitter-sweet ending. I was hoping to experience massive weight swings as predicted by old missionaries, but I'm afraid I couldn't really beat Elder Peterson's 15 kilogram weight gain last year (over 30 pounds!!!) It was fun though! We got a big variety of food, from traditional Chinese to tacos, and all of it was delicious.
We started an amazing journey with Pei XM. We contacted her last Sunday, and then met with her on Tuesday at her house. She is interesting and neat. She joined a Christian church a year or two ago, but has been less active the past bit. You could tell she felt guilty about that. But she was willing to listen, and to take our invites. We met with her twice last week, and she came to church as well. As we were following up between visits, we sent her a text asking what she thought of the Book of Mormon. This is the text she sent us (I'm copying it straight over, so don't mind the English mistakes): "Well, I think it will find the path of my religion. My faith is from God's love. I want the courage to change my life. Life is incredible for we would meet :)" I have rarely seen such sincere desire and recognition of right and wrong in someone so young. She is a little afraid because her old church said she could not go to other churches, but we invited her to pray about it, which she has been doing, so she will receive her answer.
Friday we were contacting, and ran into a super tebie (special, but it sounds better in Chinese) guy, Mr. Lin. He is the first person I have ever met who asked us if we were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints-- perhaps the first person I've ever met on the street who even knows our name! He has studied a lot of religions, but has his own views on God, Christ and how to live which aren’t dictated by any one religion. It was fun to answer the questions that he'd been saving for a Latter Day Saint, concerning such things as plural marriage, trinity, Word of Wisdom, and blood donating. After answering his questions we proceeded to teach him the restoration, the Word of Wisdom and invited him to be baptized, all on the street! He didn't accept our baptismal challenge, but did agree to meet with us the next day. When we met with him our peike saved the day. She is a strong member with a solid testimony and a good understanding of the gospel, and we needed her! She was bold enough to say the things that needed to be said, and she could understand Mr. Lin's questions. There were points where I wasn't entirely sure what Mr. Lin had said. The answers our peike gave sounded pretty strong . . . but then her answer always turned out to be perfect. It was neat to see how Heavenly Father had guided both us and her.
Speaking of peikes finding them this week has been especially difficult. We had appointments with a lot of people we can't meet without a peike i.e. men and anyone under 18. Nevertheless! We did not stop calling people, and Heavenly Father miraculously provided perfect peikes.
An example of this was when we met with our 12 year old investigator whom we haven't seen in a long time. We had a great experience with her mom. Her mom usually just drops her off, and doesn't like to stay for the lesson. However, as she came to pick up her daughter, our peike began to talk to her and they hit it off. After taking her daughter to her dad's house, the mom came back to chat with our peike, and ended up giving the peike her number. Our peike then shared with us that the mom had gone to church a couple of times, but had never felt like anyone was paying any attention to her. She lost all desire to go back. The mom also told our peiki that she doesn't like talking to us missionaries, because we don't understand her and she doesn't understand us. This statement is true--she talks really fast, and if you don't understand the first time, she doesn't have the patience to say it again. I almost never call Sister Chen to peike because in the past she seemed rather uncertain of her own testimony. But that day, when I saw her name, I just knew she was right and she was.
I love working with her Sister Nelson. She is WISE. She radiates righteousness. Sister Nelson is one of those people who you let carry the groceries, because she feels SO uncomfortable having you carry them instead of her. Sister Nelson is also one of the most humble people I have ever met. Not humble as in thinks poorly of herself, because we know that that is really just another form of pride, but TRULY humble. Mom, I always think of your definition of humble, being able to learn from anyone, no matter whom they are, and Sister Nelson is it. Sister Nelson is patient! I feel like I've been so blessed to always have companions that are patient--because I need it. And she cares for me. Sometimes, I have bad days. Well, or bad moments, in missionary work it can never last very long, and she is always there for me. The only thing that might be difficult about Sister Nelson is that she's so good it makes me feel guilty!
I am doing wonderful and I pray for you with all my heart every night!
Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards/ Du Jiemei
Sister George and Edwards with the Duffins an American family, and Angel
Me with Hongbao! The red envelopes are given to kids during Chinese New Year with money, or treats for us, inside of them. Actually because of the date I tend to think perhaps they were used for Christmas gifts instead.
|Pants singed by the heater|
The missionaries with President Chen and his wife on Chinese New Year. How can it be Chinese New Year when the date is
Eating hot pot?
The happy missionaries