Sunday, April 10, 2011

An Interesting Experience

I guess you just never know what each new day will bring. I study Chinese several times a week so I don't lose it. Most times I study a little something everyday. Sometimes I listen to talks in Chinese, sometimes I study vocabulary, and I read the Book of Mormon in Chinese. Sometimes I take a break and let a whole week go by and don't study anything. This week I studied more than I have been lately. Sometimes I just tell myself that I'm not really doing anything with my Chinese but I keep studying anyway because you never know. Today was one of those "you never know days."

I walked into Church this morning a little bit early. I like to be a few minutes early. There are two doors into the church and I decided to take the one which would give me an opportunity to say hello to Jim because he leaves so early because he's the Bishop. When I walked in, I noticed one of the clerks speaking to a woman who was obviously foreign. He motioned me over. She had just showed up to our church and introduced herself to him and asked to visit our church. She is a professional from China. Our clerk looked relieved to have introduced me to her because he knows of my Chinese background. She said she had visited Temple Square last week and met a missionary from Taiwan who invited her to visit an LDS meeting. She was very excited to be here. I introduced myself to her as I was the first woman she met having just showed up at our ward. I explained our three hour meeting block and she was surprised I could speak Chinese although her English is OK too. She was happy to go with me. I introduced her in our first meeting and other people welcomed her as well.

By the time we got to our last meeting which was our Sacrament meeting, she understood a little bit more of what was happening. I explained that the first meeting was a woman's meeting. She was impressed that our teacher was a lawyer. I explained that our second meeting was Sunday School and that we would be talking about Jesus Christ and His teachings from the Bible. When we got to Sacrament Meeting, I explained how the meeting was broken down to two parts. I explained that the first part was when we take the bread and water remembering Jesus' sacrifice for us. We had just learned about the significance of that in Sunday School. Our bulletin had a picture of Jesus on it. I pointed to the picture and asked her if she had ever seen that picture before. She had only heard about Him and seen a picture of Christ on Temple Square last week. I said to her in Chinese as I was pointing to his picture, "The name of our Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This church, pointing to where we were sitting, is His Church." Even I was touched by the simplicity of those words. This was her first time EVER being in a church, ever. She had only heard about Jesus Christ once last week. She felt something and wanted to come to our church. The truth of those simple words were so apparent to me, "This church is His church." That is true. It really is. I had taught her a truth. It was so simple yet that message is so deep.

She asked me when they were passing the bread if she could take a piece. I told her of course. She only understood a little of the significance of that. I had explained to her before the meeting that today was a special meeting. I told her there would be people who would randomly come up to the microphone to bear testimony of their feelings about Jesus Christ and their feelings about His church. As the meeting went on, she started to cry. She listened intently and at first she was wiping away a tear or two. Then she reached for tissues and openly, softly wept the remainder of the meeting. It was very tender. I was touched by her and the opportunity to have her sit with me for those three hours. I was touched by saying those simple words to her, "The name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is Jesus Christ, this church is His church." I was touched to know that the Spirit was touching her heart as the meeting went on.

The gospel is so simple. Those who spoke today spoke about how much Jesus loved them and about how much Heavenly Father loved them. That is true. The Spirit touched her that she would know that that was true.

I kept thinking during the meeting how much my Chinese lacks and how much more I could be studying. I never know when I will need my Chinese or when I can serve the Lord because I have whatever limited ability I have. I thought about how sad my comment was yesterday on my post about the air quality in Beijing is and how selfish a comment that was.

Today is one those days where you see the Lord's hand all around you and acknowledge your nothingness but mostly your gratefulness.

I invited her to go with me back to Temple Square sometime this next week when she has time. She said she would like to. I also invited her to dinner before she leaves to return to China and to come back to Church next week if she wants to. She was happy for all the invitations.

I guess you just never know what each new day will bring. Today, God brought me a new friend from a far away land and we are both His daughters and I could speak her language and teach her about Jesus Christ. I felt in my heart that today was an important day for her. It was for me too.

5 comments:

  1. This is a LOVELY story. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  2. Thanks Stephanie. It was quite a wonderful experience for me, the kind that makes you stop and ponder a lot.

    I'm so happy Elisa gets to come see you soon. You will enjoy her so much and she is so looking forward to seeing you and Rachel and your Mom. Have fun!

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  3. We are super excited too!! I can't wait for her to see the boys! It will be so nice to see family I do not get to see very often!

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  4. Liz...I saw this posted by Elisa on FB and now I am sitting here crying...reading about this experience you had with your new friend from China! Another example of Christ's tender mercies for each one of us!

    That was an awesome experience you shared, thank you! We were reminded during conference sessions last week, that prayers are more times than not...answered through other people! YOU were that "one" today!

    Thank you for your diligence in helping to bless the life of another sister today! I loved this!

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  5. Dixie,

    Wow, so nice to hear from you too. I never know who is reading my blog and I write and write and then all of a sudden I find out that people are reading it. This was a wonderful day and I am looking forward to tomorrow too because she and I are going to Temple Square in the afternoon. She is a lovely, lovely woman.

    By the way, your nephew is one great man in case you didn't know it. :)

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