Shall we start this email with Ting?
Because let's be real, she is our favorite part of every week.
Or we could talk about walking around in the rain for hours in sandals, or we could talk a little bit about the zombie apocalypse, or there is also the crazies or how “weak” sisters are.
Na, we'll defs start with…
We had planned this awesome joint-teach appointment with Ting at the home of a family in our ward and were looking forward to it the whole week. Ting is a sucker for cute children and this family happens to have two and can speak English, so we thought it was a good match. Our appointment was supposed to be Friday at 5:00pm, but at 3:30pm, we got a text from Ting saying that she wasn't going to be finished with her work early enough. She's getting a PhD, plus she's Chinese, so she kinda overworks herself, but either way, we were super sad about this fallen out chance.
BUT she said we could come by her office later so we did and had another WONDERFUL lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what she needs to do before getting baptized. We started talking about faith and before we even got too far, she cried out, "I have faith!" and did a fist pump.
Except Chinese people always say "face" instead of "faith" so it sounded like "I have face!"
Plus the fist pump J.
Oh gosh, we just love her faith, and her face.
When we talked about baptism, we told her we thought she'd be ready to be baptized sooner, namely July 6th. Her eyes got pretty big and she exclaimed, "JULY 6TH?!?" And so we started to backtrack and explained we could wait and then she asked what month came after May and we told her June. Then she realized we were not asking her to get baptized in a week, rather in a month, and she happily agreed. She's doing great in every area so far--she turned down coffee this week and simply drank hot water (hot water is her favorite drink anyways apparently). So things are going well!
The zombie apocalypse...
was less cool than it sounds. There is a holiday in Germany called Christi Himmelfahrt, which is kind of like Father's Day except that everyone just drinks a bunch of alcohol and goes a little (or a lot) cray cray. Therefore, missionaries are supposed to be home by 6:00pm for safety reasons. We were cutting it kind of close on our walk home from a lesson and had to pretend everyone turned into zombies at 18:00 and would get us so we would make it home on time. But we schaffed it (made it) and didn't even see any zombies from our windows.
That was a lame stories of things that didn't even happen. So moving on.
Sisters are strong!
We helped a family in our ward move this week! Which was grand because we got to wear pants, help people, and move around. Except that people sometimes think that sisters can't do anything except carry doorknobs or toothpicks. Which is mildly offensive and strikes a match in my inner, somewhat dormant, raging feminist. We persuaded them to let us carry some heavy things, but...tell the world: sisters are strong. Let them help. We play sports and don't easily break.
And the crazies keep coming...
Remember that crazy lady who showed up the church last week? Well she came again this week, just like she said she would. She was so excited to see us that she attacked Sister Hansen with a hug and then flung her arms around me and gave me a huge kiss on the cheek. She then promptly apologized and said, "I couldn't help myself."
Life lesson time.
#5. Prayers are answered differently than you expect them to be answered. But they are answered.
I have two examples to support this statement. One comes from a lady in our ward who wanted to go somewhere with her two children, but it was raining super hard and they couldn't find an umbrella. Her 3-year-old daughter suggested they pray to find it, and so they did. Except that they kept searching and still couldn't find that dang umbrella and so the trip was going to have to be cancelled. Just as this thought came about, though, the sun came out, and there was no more need for an umbrella.
Then there's the story with my camera. Remember how I was so distraught that I'd lost all of the pictures from the second half of my mission? Well I prayed hard that somehow I would find it or someone would return it to me, but alas, it did not come. BUT...God provided a way for me to still have most of the pictures that I'd taken (minus Christmas and my videos) because I had saved most of them on a computer in Marzahn and my dear former companion who is still there sent them to me. I didn't get the camera, but God provided another way for me to keep these records of wonderful memories J.
I think these examples illustrate trust. Richard G. Scott said, "To trust means to obey willingly without knowing the end from the beginning."
Sometimes I don't remember the beginning. I sure as heck don't know the end. But I trust that everything in the middle has a purpose and God hears my prayers. He answers them in His time and in His way. Sometimes we don't need an umbrella because He'll bring out the sun.
Keep on keepin' on.
--Sister Claire Michelle Woodward
P.S. Also if you meant to write me a letter while I was on my mission and haven't yet, you still can do so without feeling embarrassed if you write within the next three-ish weeks.
Just thought I'd throw that out there J.