Thursday, October 14, 2010
Date: Thursday, October 07, 2010 1:01:37 AM
In Chinese everything is good. Hello = you good?, Yummy = good taste, done = do (to the point of becoming)good, "it's hot" = "good hot", fun = good play, ok = good type. So the only adjective I can ever think of in English is 'good'. It's good!
But things really really are good. Elder Chung and I (I think last time I said his name is Zhong, which it is, but that's the Romanization of his Chinese name, while the Americans gave his parents the name Chung, so this is actually his English name, but all missionaries call him Zhong) are working hard and having a good time. As I said, he's really obedient to every tiny thing, but he still has a lot of fun. It's really nice to be with someone who wants to be obedient, but doesn't think that missionary work can't be fun. And the Lord blesses us for it. For example, I will share two contrasting stories about the same stretch of road.
Elder Zhong and I set a goal to teach three lessons yesterday, but by about five thirty only had two with nothing else planned. I felt that if we did what we were supposed to do and went finding we would meet our goal. We did go finding, but I decided that meeting our goal was just me being silly. We got to a stretch of road that I had had previous experience with (the second story) and I told him that every time I walked down that road at least one person would stop. but, nearly to the bottom, no one had stopped.
Then, someone stopped and talked to us. At first he walked past, but I saw him look back, so I turned around. Then he asked if we were Mormons and said he didn't have time and didn't speak good mandarin, so Elder Zhong started talking to him in Cantonese (he studied it before his mission). Despite not having time, the man talked to Elder Zhong for half an hour. A full lesson, complete with opening and closing prayer. And so we achieved our goal.
Once, in my first transfer, I was on exchanges with another young missionary in his area. We set a goal to contact 10 people and then went finding. After two hours we had contacted 7 people. We still had an hour, but the other missionary wanted to go in. He thought it was enough. But I convinced him to stay out and go up and down that road again. "We always stop at least one person" I said. So we did. And we stopped one person. "Ok, 8. Now let's go in" he said. But again I convinced him to stay out and traverse the road once more. One person stopped. "9 is enough. Now we go in." "But we have fifteen more minutes, in fifteen more minutes we can talk to one more person and get our goal." but I don't want to" "But, our goal! One more person! someone stops every time!" "I don't care. I don't want to."
So we didn't. And we didn't get our goal.
So as you can see, Elder Zhong and I are blessed for obedience.
In fact people come up to us and talk. Sketchy 14 year old girls. Groups of them. Blocking our path. Giggling. With questions like "Why do you come here?" and comments like "Your eyes are so beautiful." So we get their numbers and turn them over to the Sisters. I felt bad for Elder Zhong trying to remain serious while telling Sister Hancock that she could try giving Watermelon, Abalone and Cucumber a call. He did his best, but in fact I've never seen him laugh that hard.
We found a really good dumpling place very near our house, so I'm happy. Although there aren't any good chaxiao bao places nearby. We keep looking.
And finally, and most importantly, on Sunday, for the first time, I baptized an investigator. (Technically Elder So and I baptized one in Macao, but I only taught her once or twice and it was just review in preparation). Sister Zheng is so happy and excited and changed. Her husband is really supportive, but doesn't think it's worth giving up tea and coffee at this point. He hasn't really heard the lessons though, so I imagine he just lacks a testimony. I hope he will keep coming to church with his family, and then, like grandpa, he can learn this is all true.
Because it is. I love it and I love you.