I am in a new country and it is different--more different than I expected that's for sure!
This week Sister Chen and I have been growing as a companionship. We talk to a lot of people and my Chinese is slowly but surely improving. We practice a lot and I have a sticky note to write down all the words I don't know each day. It gets very full!
We are scheduled to have a baptism this week and I am so excited! His name is Steven Zhong and he is golden. Before meeting with us he had already come to the conclusion that drugs and alcohol were bad, then when we told his that we don't drink coffee and tea he just nodded and said, "okay." He talked to our district leader Elder Ladd and asked what he needed to do to prepare for his baptism besides have an interview. Elder Ladd told him to buy white underwear. Then on Saturday Steven called us and excitedly told us, "I just bought white underwear." It made me laugh, but it is a good sign that he is excited to be baptized.
On Saturday night we had a dinner appointment with a single sister in the ward. She lives in a one room flat and my heart about broke as she told us she was between a rock and a hard place. We ate, shared a message, and when it was time for us to leave, I felt very strongly that we should not ask this sister to drive us all the way across town back to our flat (a member had dropped us off). So, with faith that Sister Chen and I would find a way home we said thank you and left.
We walked around aimlessly for a while looking for a bus stop. We finally found one, but it was in a little bit of a sketchy part of town. So we called Elder Ladd and asked what we should do. He gave us the local transportation number and they gave us instructions on how to return to our home through two buses. I felt quite at ease, until we arrived at the second bus station only to realize it was the weekend and we had been misinformed by the operator! OH my heart was papa (nervous/scared)! I am not a public trasportation girl. The only time I have used public transportation is in NYC with my dear Dad who knows that city so well.
Luckily, a kind bus driver helped us out by telling us a round about way to return to SunnyBank. After three buses we finally returned to familiar territory adn were able to walk the rest of the way back to our flat. It was a little scary, but at the end of the day I do not regret it one bit because I followed to promptings of the Holy Ghost. I don't know exactly why, but I know we were blessed and I am fine with that!
1st Picture: a street view of Brisbane near the mission office, all the pink is for breast cancer awareness week
2nd Picture: Lee and me at our last lesson before I left
3rd Picture: my view from the airplane as the sun rise caught up to us...about four hours until landing!