At the beginning of the week we were super excited for Peng jie mei to make her baptismal date of April 29th. Peng jie mei actually got baptized YESTERDAY!
Turns out, she is probably the most prepared investigator that has ever lived. In the entire world, probably. On Thursday she said she only had half a day of work so we spent 4 hours teaching her. It’s kind of funny because we prepared for spending about 2 hours beginning to teach her a couple of the commandments and finishing the doctrine from the first 3 lessons.
We had to finish teaching her the Plan of Salvation, so we did that! And she brought out this piece of paper and said, “Is this right? Please tell me this is right” and she had made this chart…
It had the atonement of Jesus Christ as the “core” and she had literally ALL the principles of the all the first 3 missionary lessons linked together. The restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ (even though we HADN’T EVEN FINISHED TEACHING HER.)
So we just went straight to teaching her all of the commandments and she agreed to keep all of them without even a question. This is crazy because missionaries normally go about teaching the commandments really carefully–one commandment in a lesson, lots of introduction to how God gives us blessings for every commandment He has us keep. But we were able to just plow through the 10 Commandments, the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, Follow the Prophet, the Law of Tithing, the Law of the Fast….everything. (A side note: the week before when we had shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and enduring the end, we mentioned commandments and she just straight up asked us “so what commandments do I need to keep so I can get baptized?”)
And after we taught her all the commandments we went through the 5th and last lesson, talking about the temple, serving in the church, all that jazz. And after we went through everything we could think of we kind of just sat there for a second in a stupor. We literally could just NOT think of anything else we needed to teach her! And we still had time before she had to go home, so through a stroke of inspiration we asked her if she could be baptized on the 23rd since she already knew everything. And she was totally fine with it!
So we called the branch president and he OKed it and then we scheduled her baptismal interview for 8:00 am on Sunday morning.
So on Sunday she had her baptismal interview and passed with flying colors, and then she came to all 3 hours of church and then she got baptized! Our tiny little on-the-2nd-floor chapel has a portable font that they set up. She got baptized by a member and it took 3 times because her foot went out of the water and then her head, but they eventually got it right! Baptism by immersion is the only way to do it, guys! Haha.
But, Peng jie mei really is the best investigator on the planet. She will text US scriptures…and yeah I don’t even know how to describe how converted she is. You guys…I think Peng jie mei actually converted us.
The Prepared Policewoman
So on Friday night we were in Ruisui to meet with the Zhong family–it’s a 20 minute train ride to get there. As we were in the train station afterwards we started up a conversation with the policewoman and we told her about our free Ruisui English class (Tuesday nights.) She suddenly got super duper excited and was like “What?! I need to practice my english! Is it free?? Can I bring a friend?”
As we kept up the conversation Sister Bernhardt said, “We have a message about Jesus Christ that can improve your life!” And then the policewoman got even more excited and was like, “Wait!! I need to improve my life!” And she told us all about how she doesn’t have a very good relationship with her husband. As we started talking more about Christianity she said she had gone to a Catholic high school where they had told her a little bit about prayer. We are super duper excited to keep on helping her.
Did English Class Just Become More Holy?
45 minutes before our English class begins on Wednesday, we have an “English meeting” as a district where we discuss where we’re going to hand out English flyers/what we can do to help the class improve.
As we had like 2 minutes left of English meeting the Elders suddenly remembered that, on their P-Day exploring Buddhist temples, they had found a female monk who had a lot of interest in English class. We laughed about how cool it would be if she actually came…
and she did haha!
We learned some valuable stuff about Buddhist monks! We began English class with a prayer and our friend said she couldn’t pray with us or say Amen, but she listened to us pray and clapped at the end.
And then we found out that everyone serves in the same Buddhist temple/convent thingy has the same name. So she told us her (“their”) name and agreed to let us give her an English name! So we named her Jade! I don’t know why everyone from the same Buddhist temple has to have the same name but she could still have an English name, but it was sure a fun experience.
She told us all about her life as a Buddhist monk and how a few of the monks have to wake up extremely early to make food for everyone, and how they have to read the scriptures (whatever Buddhists read.) She was talking about how they have to read the scriptures fast and it stresses her out…
And she let us watch a Mormon message about Jesus Christ on her tablet and she said that if she wasn’t Buddhist she would join the church! You BET we wanna start teaching her the gospel little by little.
Other than that I don’t have any extremely exceptional stories for this week, it’s just been a jolly grand old time here in Yuli. I am eternally grateful for Sister Bernhardt. She is awesome, awesome!
One thing she has taught me recently is the power of prayer. She prays all the time, more than any of my past companions and I actually love it a ton. I think one of the reasons we have seen a lot of miracles this transfer is because we have been praying so much and opening our hearts to God. It really made me realize that we so often cheat ourselves short because we don’t pray for things that we could be praying for…
There are many times where I’ve had a challenge and I’ve just suffered in silence, just trying to endure through it. I’ve always thought/assumed that I’ve been pretty good at saying prayers (the morning one, the night one, the ones we say before we eat meals). But lately I’ve really been learning the value of the prayers we can say during any time of the day, and the prayers we can say in our hearts when we can’t kneel down or close our eyes.
Sister Anne Marie Watson