After she went to church, Taiwan Grandma started meeting with missionaries. Taiwan Mom had been asking her to meet with missionaries for forever, but Taiwan Grandma had never accepted the invitation until she came to church in September.
After a couple weeks of meeting with the missionaries, Taiwan Mom told me that Taiwan Grandma had decided to be baptized in December. I was surprised.
To be honest, I had been skeptical while Taiwan Grandma was meeting with the missionaries. From what I’d seen of her, she was an aloof person who liked to do her own thing. The people I’d taught and baptized on my mission were open and curious, excited to learn more about God and faith. When I’d gone to church with her, Taiwan Grandma hadn’t seemed very interested. So why was she getting baptized? I figured she was probably doing it to make Taiwan Mom happy.
So last weekend, Taiwan family and I drove down to Kaohsiung (where Taiwan Grandma lives) to see her baptism.
Turns out, I didn’t know the real Taiwan Grandma. At the baptism, she was bubbly, huggy, and super friendly to everyone who came. Taiwan Mom said she’d always been that way. I just hadn’t seen it because of the language and cultural barriers between us.
Her baptism was very cool. She said that she chose to be baptized so that she could be with her family for forever.
I think that people who aren’t familiar with Latter-day Saints assume that missionaries are basically salespeople taught how to give a sales pitch about joining the Mormon church.
But, in reality, the only way to be an effective missionary (or be an effective ANYTHING) is to be yourself and care about other people. I think in the past missionaries were pretty wooden, but nowadays, there’s a huge emphasis on being natural, really believing what you’re teaching, and listening to what people say. (To watch a cool documentary about what it’s like to be a Mormon missionary, click here.)
The missionaries who taught Taiwan Grandma were both Taiwanese, which is super cool since she speaks more Taiwanese (a dialect widely spoken here) than Mandarin.
What a good way to start out the New Year! Taiwan Grandma got baptized and I realized that even though I’m a “world traveler,” language and cultural barriers still prevent me from seeing some really cool things. I still have so much to learn, man!
That’s me, Taiwan Brother (he baptized her), and Taiwan Grandma.
To read the Taiwan Grandma Saga, click here: