I was reminded today of an incident that happened on my mission that I thought I would share with you. I was living in ILan, Taiwan the last two months of my mission. When we first went to church there, only about 5 people attended. So the two Elders, and we two sisters set up a plan to contact all of the members of record, and see if we could get them to start coming to church again. One of the people that we contacted was a man who I think was about 30 years old, but who was disabled. I'm not sure of the cause of his disability, but I think it might have been something like cerebral palsy. He was very small in stature, and his legs were bent, and almost useless. He could manage to walk with the aid of crutches, but when he went out he usually rode a motorized scooter/motorcycle thing. I think his disability had affected him mentally, because he was quite cynical and pessimistic. I think he was also very lonely. We four missionaries began to visit him regularly because we felt he needed friends. He was a traveling salesman of sorts, and seemed to do okay financially.
He asked our help in choosing a new apartment to rent, so the Elders and us sisters went with him to look at the building he chose. As we walked to the apartment, with him on his scooter, I talked to him about this investment. As it unfolded, he told me that he was thinking about opening a day care center. Then he began to make comments like, "Do you like children?" and "Would you ever consider coming and working in my day care?" I told him that I was going home to America soon, and that I had other plans. He also made several comments about how I looked strong. I didn't think much about that at the time.
Not too many days went by before I was due to go home. He came up to me at church and gave me and expensive watch. I knew that there was something more going on, and I refused the gift, telling him I couldn't accept such an expensive gift. I can't remember the conversations, but the gist of it was that he was interested in me as a future spouse! I remember making an excuse to leave the room, and spending the rest of the time hiding out in the bathroom. lol I was leaving to go home the next day, and I thought if I just didn't come out, I wouldn't have to deal with him.
The next day my companion and I went to the train station for me to head back to Taipei to go to the mission home before heading back to America. As I was waiting for the train, I looked up and saw that same "suitor" CRAWLING across the train station floor to come say goodbye to me. In my gut, I felt he was trying to earn my sympathies by crawling. He could have used his crutches to come see me off, but he chose to crawl. He handed me a package of dried kumquats to eat on the trip. I thanked him, made my excuses, and quickly boarded the train. I was so relieved to be rid of him!
A few weeks after arriving home, I received a registered letter. In it was a copy of a certificate that he had gotten for doing good business in the community. There was also a letter, a photo, and I think a cassette tape. Included on the tape was an invitation to come back to Taiwan and marry him, and run his day care for him. He thought I would be strong enough that I could lift him around, and he thought I would enjoy taking care of his daycare.
Needless to say, I didn't take him up on his offer. I didn't really want to be cruel to him, but I wrote back and told him I had no interest in daycare, or in marrying him, and asked him not to contact me anymore. There really are a lot of desparate people in the world, aren't there?