Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Transfer 6 Week 6: Death and Personal Trials

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 3:43 AM

It's week 6 of the transfer!  That means next Preparation day is Monday, not Wednesday so you need to email me by Monday night.  And I need everyone's phone numbers.  I don't know them.  And how it will work when I call.  Like will you guys three way?  I used to be the one to figure all that out, does anyone else know how?  Who should I call first?  Who will be together? 

So yeah, so for all we missionaries know, we'll be with different companions, districts, etc for Christmas, and we still don't even know them!  They don't have a Christmas party this year, but I guess our district will get together and do service activity and then we will proselyte at night.  Nobody will be sure what their area will be until Friday night, and we won't know our new district (area if we move) until move day Monday, so it will be quite a Christmas. 

There is so much that happened this week, but I think I'll actually travel back to last Wednesday after I emailed, the long day that happened there.  So...last Wednesday, we emailed and then all the Sisters (all 4 of us) biked back to the church, went to the bathroom really quick, and ran and bought lunch to eat on the bus to Taipei.  It was our zone's temple day, so we were all excited to go to Taipei, go to the temple, etc.  Well, we get on the bus and I start to eat my fried rice, just eating, talking, all good. 

But lets back up to last transfer in week 4.  Something I never mentioned, because I forgot because a mission goes by fast, is...well, I have one root canal right?  It fell out when we went on exchanges last transfer.  I was with a Taiwanese missionary, Sister Zhang.  And I freaked out.  Teeth are expensive, and I don't think you guys can afford for my tooth to just be falling out.  I remember what a hassle Gen's teeth were on a mission.  And mom's teeth too.  Teeth are expensive.  So I cried.  I don't cry a lot or often, but I cried a little when my tooth fell out.  I told Sister Zhang, "I'm going to look like a Taiwanese man with no house, with no teeth, teeth are expensive." And another reason I was scared, is partly because  I'd never learned dentist words, I only learned tooth because sister Zhang kept saying my "yachi" fell out.   Well, it was too late to do anything, so we planned to find a dentist in the morning.  The next morning we went running, and on the way to the school track, we found a dentist right next to our apartment.  We found out it opened at 10 and went and moved language study to the afternoon.  Well, lucky that I am insured in Taiwan and Taiwan has a government run medical health care. It cost 150 kuai to get in and see the dentist.  That's like 5 dollars.  Well, he took my tooth, looked at it and talked about how my American doctor didn't put in a good support, and he hoped to save me money so he'd see what he could do.  He popped it back in, said it was still at risk because it wasn't done well in the first place, but it'd cost around 200 American dollars to fix (I think cheaper than America though?), but he hoped I wouldn't have to spend that... and Sister Zhang and I  were out and on our way to normal missionary work.  The dentist knew a little English and we were able to use Chinglish to communicate. It ended up being fine.  After that day it was fixed, I forgot it happened, minus a picture I have.

So yeah, I'm sitting there, last Wednesday, I'm finally not paranoid about my tooth, it's been a little while.  And I'm eating, and I swallow, and there is a HOLE in my mouth.  I swallowed my tooth.  (Which, now I know how to say swallowed in Chinese).  I got a little emotional, and maybe shed a tear or two (but not outright crying) my first reaction was, "Sister Kunzler!  I've been through this trial, but last time I didn't swallow it, why did I have to swallow my tooth." I didn't think you guys could afford 200 dollars right with Christmas coming. Then I was a little freaked out as I tried to figure out if I should puke it out on the bus.  We were stuck on a bus for 45 minutes.  My companion and Sister Chen said THEY would puke if I forced myself to barf in front of them.  I prayed and ended up not barfing, I couldn't imagine how people would react. I thought maybe we'd get on the bus and I'd puke right before going into the temple.  I hoped in 45 minutes it wouldn't digest too far.

Well, we get to Taipei and we are in between the temple and the big chapel, my companion and I are on our way to the big chapel so I can see if I can puke it out...well, we run into my old companion Engela Chen, and she gives me an envelope with a hymn book I left in Zhongli and a letter.  My companion stopped to talk to someone, so I take out the letter to read it.  I read the first sentence.  It says, "Sister Bruno, sorry this is kind of abrupt, but Chen Huiping passed away."  I didn't continue the letter at that time.  I just had a break down.  I seriously sobbed.  In a LOUD voice, in front of tons of missionaries headed to the temple.  It was a combination of the new member that got baptized when I first got to  Taiwan passed away and I never wrote her a letter after I left Zhongli, and I swallowed my tooth and my dad was going to be really mad at me.  And I cried and cried.  I couldn't get ahold of myself very well.  And then, there was no time to go puke, it was time to go to the temple session, or we couldn't go to the temple at all.  And so we went in, and got dressed, and I just was crying (softly now) and everyone kept looking at me, and I felt like an idiot, because I think crying looks dumb.  But once the temple session started, I felt at peace and calmed down, and stopped crying.  I'm glad we can find peace in the temple.  It is an amazing place and I'm glad I got to go.

As for my tooth situation, I won't go into extensive details, but I will say, I have the tooth in my mouth (although it's still a risk) and it's sterilized by me 3 different ways and the dentist sterilized it and said I didnt need to worry, it was perfectly clean.  So I trust in that and figure I'm a stronger person for it, and we don't have to worry about it...for now.

As for more details about Chen Huiping, she was hit by a car and needed surgery.  They called the missionaries in search of family.  She got surgery and it didn't go well.  The family decided to pull the plug a week later.  (nobody in her family was close to her, she lived alone and just had a daughter and grandson in the Taipei area 2 hours away) I know before she passed away she wished to see her grandson. That wish came true while I was in Zhongli and she was very happy that day.  I still remember.  She really wanted her daughter to join the church and their relationship to become better.  Her daughter gave Sister Enge Chen her number at the funeral.  She said her husband wasn't ready to hear our message, but at least her number is in our records now.  I know one day Chen Huiping will see her daughter/grandson blessed because of her decision to be baptized. In a way it was, she'd wanted to see her grandson since he was born. She did back in August. 

In other news, we've had quite the week!  Lin2 Li4zhen1 and her 2 sons are doing great.  We taught them the law of chastity.  And oh. my. goodness.  My old district leader told me we HAVE to teach no masturbation in the LOC, so, we did.  Well, I know the formal word for it, but Chen2 Sen1 didn't understand that word, so the mother says, "Ni bu ke gen ni ziji xiao jiji wan."  And to make it even more awkward, the older brother loves English and translates something we already understood into English, "You caunt play with your own little chicken!" And I was so red and felt so awkward, the rest I don't need to explain, but pretty much, Taiwanese people are very open and I know why Elders teach boys the law of chastity and not sisters!  But in great news, the boys are obeying the law of chastity and doing SO GREAT.  They set a baptism goal for my BIRTHDAY.  Let me tell you, when they set that date, it was like one of the happiest days of my life.  I don't even care if I stay here this transfer or not, but I will try my hardest to be here when they get baptized.  They are just so great and progressing and keeping all the commandments.  I love them so much!

Also, Jasmine is doing AMAZING. I love her so much.  She teaches us more and more every week.  She talked this week about how she never felt the protective love of a father in her life until she came to THIS church.  We taught prophets and listened to the prophets voice and all felt the Spirit SO strongly in that lesson.  Her interview is this Saturday.  Also this Saturday we are singing 12 songs and doing a Christmas pageant, time is running out, talk more about that next week!

Love you guys so much!

Sister Flora Bruno
Fu jiemei

1 comment:

JR and Dani said...

WHAT THE?!! Did you really puke out your tooth?! OH MAN! Wow, Sister Bruno. WOW. That's all I have to say. That is an awesome story and you are a real warrior. Holy Cow, you puked out your TOOTH?! Unless it came out another way? The suspense is too much! DO TELL!