This week was one for the books! Sister Cabamongan and I have decided that this week, and all weeks that are successful, shall be called "Tim Tam Slam" weeks!
First, let me explain to all what a Tim Tam Slam is. Those cookies on the right, they are Tim Tams, a heavenly biscuit sent from heaven above down to the country of Australia. On the left is Milo. A type of malt thing that you stir into milk. We put the Tim Tams in the refridgerator for a couple of hours while we were at church. Then to celebrate our successful week we heated up some milk, stirred in some Milo and pulled out the Tim Tams. Next we bit off a tiny bit of each end of the Tim Tam biscuit, stuck the cookie in our mouth, dipped the cookie in the hot Milo drink, and sucked the steamy drink up through the Tim Tam. This creates a sensational party in your mouth. The Tim Tam melts after a few seconds, in which you must skillfully flip it into your mouth to finish eating. Repeat this process until you are slammed! This is a Tim Tam Slam--it does not happen everyday, not even every week--but this week was worthy of a Tim Tam Slam.
I will start with the heaps of people who ended up being miracles from Heavenly Father. People who have truly been prepared to meet the missionaries:
1) Yu Xing. A cute little girl, who happened to only be able to meet at the same time as Eric and Joyce. The only solution was to go on splits. Sister Chen paired up with a member from the ward to teach Eric and Joyce and Sister Cabamongan and I anxiously prepared to teach Yu Xing without a native speaker by our side. To say I was nervous is an understatement, but I studied hard and prayed diligently. Sister Cabamongan prepared a visual and I led the lesson. I was overcome with the Spirit of the Holy Ghost as I spoke the language and I could feel Him filling my mouth with words that I had barely studied. The Spirit was strong and by the end of the lesson Sister Cabamongan and I invited Yu Xing to be baptized on December 28th. Yu Xing paused and then replied, in Chinese of course, "If I am ready, of course." What joy and gratitude filled my soul. We had been able to teach and understand without Sister Chen by our side. It was an opportunity to access the gift of tongues I was blessed with when I recieved my mission call. A true miracle.
2) Arash. You may notice this is no Chinese name. Arash is a man from Iran and an ex Muslim. He speaks Persian and very very little English. Once again we were double booked so Sister Cabamongan and I were together while Sister Chen with one of our other investigators and a member. This time we invited a member from the ward who just returned from the Temple Square Mission. We thought she would be helpful in explaining things simply as she came across all different nationalities at Temple Square. Arash showed up and almost immediatle the Spirit settled in, even though we were teaching outside the KFC next to our office. We weren't able to teach very much and what we did teach was through drawings and very simple English. But, as we listened to Arash, he told us of his journey to finding Christianity. He told us about all the churches he has visited in the past three months, and then said none of them helped him feel closer to God and Jesus Christ; not until he stepped foot into our chapel. He told us as soon as he came to our church he began to feel something. He felt close to God, even though he barely understood what was going on. He has a Persian Book of Mormon and has read through 1 Nephi chapter 4. And get this! He asked us to be baptized! We are working on getting Persian teaching materials and having google translate on our fellowshippers phones so we can better help Arash understand our doctine, but he is already so in tune with the Spirit that he knows this church is going to help him come closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. He will have to be interviewed by President, because he is an ex-Muslim, but it is exciting teaching someone who is in tune with the feelings of the Holy Ghost. Just imagine what he will be able to do when he actually has the Gift of the Holy Ghost!
3)George. An Asian with muscles, not something we have come across a whole lot here because everyone is too busy studying to eat let alone work out! George was GQ'ed at the bus stop and it was there he told Sister Cabamongan he knew God had a purpose for his life, he just wasn't quite sure what it was. It was the perfect set up to teach him the Plan of Salvation, which is exactly what we did! At the end of the lesson George told us he knew he was suppossed to meet missionaries and that he knew he was suppossed to come to our church. He said he'd seen missionaries before, but it wasn't until Sister Cabamongan talked to him on that one day he was thinking about what his purpose in life was, that he'd been open to meeting with us. It was the perfect timing and thankfully the Lord put us at the bus stop that day at that time. Sadly we had to transfer George over to the city because he lives there, but we heard from the sisters there that George came to church and already wants to know who he needs to home teach! He is a diamond!
My last miracle is simple, but a huge blessing. We set goals every week and until this week we have been short in more than one area. Then this week we were all set to acheive our goals by Saturday and surpass them on Sunday. In came the famous rains of Australian summers. Saturday, for the first time since I have been in Australia, I woke up in a completely dark room. I was a little confused because usually the sun is penetrating the whole flat by 5:00am. Then I realized I could hear the steady pounding of rain through our open window. Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Asian culture, they hate rain! They think it is going to make their hair fall out, because in China and Taiwan the pollution is so bad that it is acid rain. They don't realize the rain in Australia isn't polluted. All of our set appointments were calling us by 9am to cancell for their afternoon appointments. Faithfully Sister Chen challeneged them to wait until 2pm to call us. If it was still raining by that time, they could cancel. All morning as we studied and did weekly planning, the rain continued to pour. Then at 1:30pm we decided to have a companionship prayer asking Heavenly Father to please stop the rain so we could meet with at least some of our investigators. At 2:00 the rain stopped. We were able to meet with 2/4 of our investogators. Then the Lord provided a way for us to meet all our goals on Sunday. It was time for celebration! We 'Tim Tam Slammed' it and so we had a Tim Tam Slam celebration!