Thursday, January 09, 2014

Keeping Tabs

One of my Chinese mission companions from 30 years ago is living in China now.  She and I were companions for 2 months back in 1983.  As missionaries, we were together 24 hours a day, and spent a lot of our time getting to know each other.  Last night she and I video chatted through skype.  It's amazing how well I feel I know her!  Granted, we have kept in touch over the years, and she even visited me when we lived in Utah.  But after not seeing her for many years, I still feel like I know her, and it seems like just yesterday that we were together. 

She is all alone in the world now.  About 10 years ago, her brother died during the moon festival.  Then about 5 years after that, another brother died during the moon festival.  This year her sister died.........during the moon festival.  Now my friend is 52 years old, and is worried that maybe something will happen to her, perhaps during the moon festival one year.  I told her that her life has been different from that of her siblings.  She doesn't drink or smoke, and she has lived a more loving and caring life than them.  I think that will bring blessings to her.  But it's sad that even though she has written letters to her nieces and nephews, they do not want to write back to her.  So really, she has no family, and because she works so much, doesn't even have many friends.  I told her that I don't have many friends in China either, so we should skype.  I think it meant a lot to her, and I really enjoyed speaking with her again.

It's interesting that her church Bishop called her and asked her to send him her contact information.  He said, "If something happened to you, no one would know.  I want to keep in touch, and I want you to write me an email every week so I can know you are okay."  He's wrong.  I would know.  :)  Every week I add her to my "skype church" meeting.  Because members of our church are scattered in small groups all over China, we have our meetings through Skype/phone.  I add her to my skype call every week so that she doesn't have to pay.  But I'm really glad her Bishop cares and is keeping tabs on her too.  No one should be alone in this world.

1 comment:

Rummuser said...

No one should be alone in this world indeed but there are millions who are. Even in the old fashioned societies like mine is, the old family ties are getting to be either very loose or non existent with urbanisation and preoccupation with unitary families. Sad, but something like what you are doing will help but not to the extent that the old family ties would have.