Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas, again!

Sorry this letter won't be everything I wish it could be cuz we don't have very much time. We're going to the beach! :D But I'll share a little of my testimony and some things that I wrote in my President's letter.
I LOVE being a missionary! I wish I could say I've loved it every single second, but what's most important is that I've made it through--that the Atonement has covered for those parts that were harder than I thought they should've been, and that the Lord has been involved in the details from the beginning. I've grown to love and trust the Savior so much more. I'm so grateful for the Atonement, that has made up for all my imperfections and will continue to make all things right in the end. What a marvelous gift and promise. I'm doing to keep doing my best and, as I learned in personal study this morning, that we ought to walk as He walked. I'm determined to keep helping people live righteous lives focused on the Savior and helping people recieve the restored gospel. That's what I'm here to do, and I'm grateful for the reminders I've had over the last few days.
I'm so excited for this new year and the changes that I'm still going to make to be a better servant of the Lord. I feel so motivated and encouraged to be the missionary I've always wanted to be, and I'm determined to work in faith to be the missionary the Lord has exptected of me. I LOVE Gangshan and I'm SO grateful to serve there, to bring less active people back into full activity enjoying all the blessings of the gospel, and to see the miracles of finding people the Lord has prepared to receive the restored gospel in Gangshan.
Sister Chu is doing so good and is SO strong. I know the Lord has been strengthening her a lot. I love being companions with her. Also, just to let you know, our recent convert passed away this week. Her husband is also SO strong and is determined to go to the temple to be sealed to his precious wife. The mother, however, has been devastated and it was a precious experience to be able to be there for her (the last time we visited the hospital) and just hold her in my arms and let her cry on my shoulder. "Comfort those that stand in need of comfort." She has since said that she's willing to have the missionaries come visit their family. We gave that referral to the QianZhen Elders at the Christmas activity. The Lord works in miraculous ways. I'm just so grateful for the Plan of Salvation that puts things into perspective and for the Atonement that makes everything right.
I love the gospel. I love being a missionary. I love the Lord. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I love you all SO much!!
Sister Morey

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wow, time has flown by and it's already Christmas again!! It really snuck up on me this year--I guess I just lose all track of time (like I totally forgot which day was my year mark and didn't realize it until the day after, haha). 

Thank you SOOOO much for that WAY fun Christmas package! You should've seen my face when I opened it up :) I was seriously like a little kid in awe and just beaming with joy. I carefully made a "Christmas Corner" in our study room where all the presents are sitting, along with the stocking I saved from last year that is now filled with all the candy and small gifts from the package. They're going to be sitting under the ribbon Christmas tree, once I find time to put it up! Most likely tonight :) I'll send you pictures of it next week before I open all the presents :) Sister Zhu and I have also been enjoying a Christmas Advent activity from the Christensens. Every day has a card with a scripture and a Christmas song to sing, as well as a piece of candy to eat! The sad/happy thing is that Sister Zhu has an ulcer so she can't eat any of it... so I get more to eat... and to share with others :P I'll just have to share more of my Christmas candy at the Mission Activity this week so I don't get sick off of it myself! Yay! :D

This month's mission goal has been to have every companionship baptize and rescue. It's been such a sweet experience to go out and find many less actives that are so ready and willing to come back and experience the full blessings of the gospel. I was so happy yesterday to see 4 people that we had invited back to church there at Sacrament Meeting yesterday. If that's not a happy Christmas present, I don't know what is! It was also a sweet experience last night to go on splits with some Relief Society sisters. We went to go visit some sisters who didn't come to church yesterday and shared a little Christmas message with them. We gave them some pictures of Jesus Christ as a baby with a note with a whole bunch of scriptures about Jesus Christ glued onto the back. They were really touched and said they'd read their scriptures more diligently, starting with those scriptures about Christ. It is such a joy to bring people closer to Christ, especially as we celebrate His birth.

As my dear Mission President reminded us, the message we share is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from death and sin. This message has been particularly meaningful to me lately as I've seen how much this message means to some dear people around me. Last Monday one of our recent converts has a serious accident (the cause is still not quite known) that caused her brain to hemmorage and has been in a coma for a week now. She had to have surgery to have part of her scull removed to relieve the pressure. She is basically brain dead and we have all been heartbroken by the tragedy. Her husband, also a new member (they've only been married for 3 months and baptized for 1 month) has been acceptionally strong as he's faced this trial. We went to the hospital on Thursday with him and some other members to visit her and I was so touched that everything that came out of his mouth was full of faith. He knew Heavenly Father was watching over his precious wife and that if she left, she would be going to the Celestial Kingdom. I was even more touched yesterday as we showed up to church and we saw him practicing with the ward choir for their musical number. I can hardly believe his faith and diligence in giving service to others and to the Lord, despite the tragedy. Not more than 2 hours ago, my companion also recieved a call saying that her father had passed away. I was floored at her response. Her mom (non-member) asked how she could stay so calm and she answered, "Because I know the Plan of Salvation. I know where those who die go." What comfort and peace the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement bring to people, especially to know that life goes on, all because of Jesus Christ.

I know that this gospel is true, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that I get to share this message of comfort and peace with others around me. I hope that each of you will have a special Christmas too. I'll get to be there next year with you :) Have a Merry Christmas, and I'll talk to you soon!!

All my love, Sister Morey

Monday, December 12, 2011

There's Nothing the Atonement Can't Heal, December 12

Oh my goodness, it has been such a crazy week! But the Lord has been blessing us so much here in this new area. The members have been wishing, hoping and praying for Sister Missionaries for years and there isn't a day that goes by that someone doesn't tell us that. It's a really interesting challenge starting an area from scratch, but we've got some awesome Elders, really helpful ward counsel and a "duan chuan" (short-term missionary) Lin Jie Mei. She's from this area so she knows it really well and has been helping us learn the ropes here. It's been really helpful because she knows where people live so when we go to visit people there's already people we know of that are in the area to drop by and visit. She's preparing to serve a mission in Germany so this has been good for both us and her. She's getting a great experience of missionary work before she hits the field, or even the MTC! She has an incredibly strong testimony and conviction of the truth as well as a sweet, tender, loving heart and an attitude of service. She does the dishes for Sister Zhu and I all the time because we're always so busy doing other things and getting a ton of stuff organized. I love her and Sister Zhu so much!

Some of the most precious experiences this week have come from visiting less-active members and helping them come back into the "arms of safety." There's one sister who we had no idea who she was but Sister Zhu found her on the ward list and had a feeling we needed to go visit her. When we showed up on her doorstep she was really timid and opened the door just enough to poke her head out. It was amazing what happened over the next few minutes as we just expressed our love for her and that she doesn't need to worry about anything and that we were going to help her. Even though we knew nothing about her or her situation the Spirit spoke to us that her heart was really broken and needed mending. I turned to D&C18:10, 15 about the worth of souls and there was such a special spirit there. I was also so grateful that I had 2 native companions with me because when this precious sister expressed guilt for still drinking milk tea they both chimed in with a good substitute and said that we'd come over one day and help her make it! They are both such tender, loving sisters and I'm so grateful that they knew how to relate to her in a special way.

We later found out that she's been struggling from depression, anxiety and has no self confidence. She hardly goes outside because she's scared of anyone taking advantage of her. Oh, how these precious souls, especially these tender-hearted daughters of God get tortured inside by the tricks and lies of Satan and the evil influences all around! It's so heartbreaking, but it just goes to show the protection the gospel brings and the very real healing power of the Atonement. When we went back to visit her a few days later she opened up to us even more and we shared spiritual experiences, cried together and assured her that she is a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father and that we were going to help her. I'm so grateful for the Gospel. There's no other way to be fully healed from the scars of life than through the Atonement of Christ and His Restored Gospel. I know because I've been saved by it before. I'm so grateful I now have the opportunity to reach out and lift others out of the depths of despair and depression and bring them into the light of the gospel and the tender, loving arms of the Savior.

After learning more about the situations of a few other sisters we're working with Sister Zhu raised the question "Why does God let such bad things happen to such good people?" I had just read a scripture that morning that said it convicts the wicked and justifies God in punishing them, which I told her, but I didn't think that was all. As we continued to talk I felt the Spirit help me understand that there is nothing another person's agency can do that the Atonement can't heal. The bad things that happen in our lives give us opportunities to come unto the Savior to be healed. Otherwise if there was nothing that needed mending in our lives we would have absolutely no appreciation (or need) for the Atonement. But despite what tragedies that happen in our lives, the choices we make, or how evil the world is around us, if we come unto the Savior we can be mended, healed and strengthened. And that is my purpose as a missionary, to find those people whose hearts are open, broken and seeking for that healing power and bring them to the Savior. We've felt His help so much as we've been led to those who are seeking for that healing power.

I love being a missionary so much. I love the Lord with all my heart and I'm so grateful to be in His service. I know the Gospel is true with all my heart! I love each one of you so much as well and hope with all my heart that we can be together in the Celestial Kingdom forever. I'm working towards that goal!

All my love, Sister Morey

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gang Shan... The Final Frontier... To Go Where No Sister Has Gone Before

Guess what?! I'm opening a new area!! I got the call on Saturday night that my new companion, Sister Zhu (who has been serving nearby so I know her well already), and I would be moving to Gang Shan together to open the area for Sisters. President Bishop said that the Branch is small but has been growing rapidly and he gave us the special mandate to baptize enough people that they would have to split because the chapel is too small! What an adventure! Of course I was absolutely heartbroken to leave where my heart has been for the past 7 months, but Sister Zhu and I are excited for this special assignment.

This past week has been wonderful. I got to go on Sister Exchanges with Sister Vandegrift (from West Bountiful, Utah), who is a trainee. She is so sweet and it was so wonderful to be able to encourage her and assure her that she was doing a wonderful job as a missionary. I remember what it was like--it's stressful being a new missionary! Trying to get a handle on everything all at once. It was a precious opportunity to serve and strengthen her, and make a new friend. We had a great time, including having a REAL Thanksgiving dinner, thanks to a less active here who is from America (of course Sister Gibson was bummed she missed out on that one). It was SOOOO good and I was shocked that it was so "feng fu" (plentiful) even though he's a single man and an English teacher, and he'd never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before! It was just like home :) ... well, almost. We got enough leftovers to have 3 more rounds over the next week!

It was heartbreaking to leave everyone yesterday, especially my recent converts. Zhou jie mei was so hilarious, as she always is, and brought us cold, smushed apple pies from McDonalds that I'm sure were a day old, wrapped in felt so they were all hairy when we unwrapped them, HAHA. She often brings us random food from what seems like McDonalds but has been re-packaged and re-distributed, sometimes as free-floating chicken nuggets amongst some hamburgers and then a few more buns with just mayo on them! It makes Sister Gibson and I laugh so hard every time. We find it quite endearing. Anyway, she shared a precious testimony about how her conversion all started because I loved her so much. She started treating her family differently and then when they, in turn, treated her differently as well, whe wondered why and then realized it was because of the influence of the gospel. She said she was so touched that I would say I love her every day, and through that love she was able to feel God's love. Now she's a strong, active member and absolutely loves the gospel and wants to share it with her family. That was such a tender moment for me. Lin jie mei (the one with cancer who most recently got baptized) also cried when we had to say goodbye. I love her so much! I'm so grateful the Lord blessed me to be able to serve in San Min for so long and to be a part of these precious people's lives.

Today has also been a HUGE blessing moving from San Min to Gang Shan. Heavenly Father helped the packing go smoothly, and all the last minute things we had to get done before I left were also completed in good time. Sister Zhu and I met at our apartment and traveled together, with Sister Gibson (we dropped her off at the train station to meet her next companion, who is my previous companion Sister Smith who got booted out after 2 1/2 weeks for Sister Gibson to be trained here... but now she gets to come back!) on the MRT, with our bikes. It was quite the adventure! We were so excited when we got off the subway and saw our new area, and we were surprised it was a little cooler as well. We're definitely getting out the winter clothes!

Even though we had absolutely no idea where we were going, we found our house very quickly (asking for people's help on the road). It is such a nice apartment! It will be really nice to have a completely new start here. We had to go get a few supplies (broom, pillows, stuff like that) and by the end of our shopping trip we had accumulated so much stuff that there was no way to get it home on our bikes, but the miracle was that the people at the store offered to take it home for us. We were shocked! Heavenly Father is already blessing us so much. I've just never seen so many huge cockroaches in my life!

I love you all, and I'm glad you all got to attend the Christmas Devotional together.

All my Love,

Sister Morey

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Joys Overshadow the Heartbreaks‏

I'm grateful for YOU!!!
This week was really crazy, and we almost forgot that is was Thanksgiving, except that we had purchased some canned pumpkin a few weeks ago to make pumkin cookies. I'd really been looking forward to that, and every time I opened the cupboard I was reminded that "shi jian kuai dao le!" to make the cookies! I started making the batter Wednesday night and Thursday morning we cooked them in our toaster oven (I'm getting to be an expert at that!) so we could give them out to everyone we met with that day :). They were a big hit, especially among the Elders! They were shocked that it was even possible for us to have made them, haha!
We also celebrated the day by eating turkey rice (little bits of turkey over a bowl of rice---really yummy!), pumpkin (which is a fairly normal dish here) and apple pies and vanilla ice cream from McDonalds, Sister Gibson's brilliant idea :P They were pretty good, except for we had a lesson before we could eat them so by the time we were done, the ice cream was melted so we dunked our apple pies in the vanilla ice cream instead :) I was just laughing the whole time picturing your reactions to us having McDonalds apple pies for Thanksgiving dinner, and here I am laughing again. If anything, it was worth the memory!
Other than that, Thanksgiving day was pretty much a normal missionary day, but to give you some hope that we still got some sort of celebration, one of the wards threw a Thanksgiving party Sunday night. It was a great success with lots of non-member family and friends. Of course, most of the food was chinese, but there WERE apple and pumpkin pies, as well as 3 big turkeys that had been roasted in a bonfire on the empty "temple" lot across from the chapel. (I put temple in quotations because everyone believes that there will be a temple built there in the future--there just hasn't been any official statements yet. The church owns the property and everything, plus the chapel is a stake center with huge windows facing the empty lot. Just sayin'...) Anyway, it's funny to think how they roasted the turkeys. Needless to say, it was pretty good! We ate a lot of delicious food and got some great referrals from it, too :)
As far as the work went this week, it was harder than normal. We're not exactly sure why, but it just seemed like a lot of things went wrong. One of our most precious and solid investigators said she had to take a break from meeting and coming to church because her family said they'd disown her if she refused to worship the Chinese gods with them. It's so interesting to me that idol worship really is such a huge issue. In western culture that isn't even a problem, and in my mind I always thought it was just something the ancient Israelites got called out on--but it's very real and very deep rooted here. Another one of our investigators also had a run-in with her mom about it. Luckily that one wasn't as severe. Although I've had to deal with family opposition with other investigators, it's never been as severe as it was this week and it was very frustrating and disheartening for us. But we're not giving up. These people are too precious! And we love them too much. We're determined to have a "white christmas" whatever faith it costs. 
Even though it's hard at times, the joys overshadow the heartbreaks. We were watching a training video segment about some missionaries in the States and one of the testimonies really stuck out to me. One of the Elders said that of course there were many hard and challenging times, but he couldn't remember any of the specifics of them. But the joys he remembers in vivid detail. That's how I feel. It's such a blessing to be helping others come unto Christ because it truly is the most rewarding work.
I love you all so much!
Lots of gratitude for all your love and support,
Sister Morey :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miracles Happen!

Dear Mom, Dad, Adam, Jake and Jordan :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!! It's so hard to imagine that this is my second Thanksgiving out in the field! I'm grateful that this time I won't have to deal with the snow in Idaho, but I'll also miss the delicious Thanksgiving dinner we had with our Stake President's family. At least we're going to have a Ward Thanksgiving Dinner here, but who knows what kind of food will show up :P It's going to be fun none the less!! :)

I'm so incredibly grateful for what a blessing serving as a missionary has been. Even though it's had many rocky times, my faith has been strengthened and I have such a strong testimony of endurance in faith and hope. I'm so grateful for each one of you and your loving support. Whenever I'm feeling down I remember how much my family loves me and it gives me comfort. Mom, Dad, Adam, Jake and Jordan, I love you.

I wanted to fill you in on all the details of Lin JieMei's miraculous conversion. She's the one who has cancer and is the mom of one of the Elders' recent converts. Three weeks ago I remember a bike ride when Sister Gibson and I were discussing her progression in the gospel. Her goal was November 12th, in two weeks from that time, which meant that she had to be ready for a baptismal interview in a few days. At that point in time Lin jiemei had been voicing a lot of concerns about keeping the commandments because of her circumstances and because of that we weren't able to teach her very fast since most of our time was spent resolving excuses. I have to admit I was a little frustrated with her attitude. Sister Gibson was expressing to me that she had a strong impression that we should do all we could to help her meet her November 12th goal and I remember turning to her and asking, "Just think about it logically for a second. Even if we DID finish teaching her everything, do you think she would really be spiritually prepared for baptism in a week? I don't want to get someone baptized who's not really prepared just for the sake of reaching a goal. She's still got a long way to go." She agreed that she wasn't where she needed to be at spiritually, but she couldn't deny the impression she had and still insisted that we needed to help her prepared.  

I  tried to humble myself and think of what we could do instead of what we couldn't. After all, this isn't a "logical" work, it's God's, and most of the time we don't know all the ways the Lord is working to make miraculous things happen. We thought about teaching her a lesson on spiritual revelation and how she should go to the Lord to help her understand how to apply the commandments to her particular situation. Personal revelation is meant to help God's children, "adapted to the circumstances in which His children are placed" (Preach My Gospel, ch.2). We thought of D&C 9 where the Lord teaches that we need to think it out in our own mind then ask Him if it be right. Then we move forward and He'll confirm or let us know if it's wrong through our feelings. Basically if she had an attitude of "how can I keep this commandment?" and then did all she could, she wouldn't have to worry about whether or not she could get baptized because of fear from not being able to keep the commandments due to any extenuating circumstances.

When we went to go teach her that lesson, it was completely inspired. By the end her heart was much softer and we didn't have to deal with as many excuses. Still, she had a long way to go in getting ready for her baptismal interview. We met with her every day that week trying to help her understand the doctrine and miraculously she accepted it all and was ready for an interview last Tuesday, before her possible chemotherapy on Wednesday. That was the big catch... if she had chemotherapy she would most likely be feeling to weak and sick to get baptized on Saturday, but there was the possibility she wouldn't be able to have chemo because her white blood cell count was too low. We never prayed that she wouldn't be able to have chemo, but we prayed that the Lord's will would be done, even though it'd be pretty miraculous if she could still reach her goal after getting chemo.

The morning of her baptismal interview came and it was such a humbling time for me. We found out that she needed a second interview and when she came out I could tell that the burden of sin was weighing on her. After the paperwork was done and the Elders left we asked her how she was doing. She said it's not very comfortable to finally face God with all the things you've done and confess her sins before one of His representatives.  We shared our testimonies of the Atonement and read the story in Alma 36 when Alma is tormented with inexpressible pain from the sins he had committed, but that it was all replaced by joy and peace after he had repented. I had never felt the power of that story so strongly. We testified that sometimes the repentance process isn't very comfortable, but that the end would be so beautiful and joyful. Through baptism all this guilt and shame would be washed away. When we knelt down in prayer she pleaded with the Lord to help her body by healthy enough to get baptized. I was so touched by her sincerity, faith and desire to be healed both physically and spiritually by the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Then it was the game of waiting. The next evening we would find out if she got chemotherapy or not and if she'd be able to get baptized on the 12th. It was torturous! When I picked up the phone to call her Wednesday night I was praying so hard that whatever happened would be what needed to happen. I was a little bit surprised and a little let down when she said she had gotten chemotherapy after all (and she said there was no way to have her second interview and get baptized on the 12th), but at the same time, I felt like the Lord wasn't going to let her slip through the cracks. As we kept in touch with her over the next few days we just tried to be as loving and caring as we could. We prayed our guts out, as well as all the other missionaries who knew about her.

In the end she really didn't feel well enough to get baptized on Saturday, which turned out to be a good thing because it was a really hectic baptismal service (Ruby, Wang jiemei, and a little girl from the ward) with a ton of people there. It would not have been good for her health or delicate situation. We were grateful for the Lord helping us understand that she needed a quieter, more safe and reverent environment.

Still on Monday she wasn't feeling very well, but we had confidence that the Lord would still help her recover quick enough so she could get baptized on the 19th, before the cycle would start all over again with her going in for another chemo treatment. The miracles started catalyzing when we called her for a normal follow up on Tuesday night. She told Sister Gibson that she was feeling a lot better and that we could go visit her! We knew we needed to take the chance while we had it... but the problem was that we already had an absolutely packed night with another baptismal service and 2 other lessons. We "you ban fa-ed" it and found some members who could help us peike and fen kai gong zuo (split up!) Needless to say, Sister Gibson did an incredible job teaching on her own, and she had a wonderful pei ke by her side :)

When I went to go visit Lin jie mei with our recent convert it was such a miracle that she was completely willing to set up for her second interview, although she wouldn't give us an answer about getting baptized on Saturday--she said she'd still have to see how her body was doing. Fair enough. We showed up the next morning with President Chen. The interview went really smoothly and when he called us back when they were finished he started giving us specific instructions on how to help her. He first said that  years before he had struggled with the same kind of cancer so he really understood exactly what she was going through, and it was really xing ku. I was floored at how much of a tender mercy that was that President Chen could relate to her in that way. He then proceeded to tell us that now the decision of when to get baptized was completely up to her and that we shouldn't ask her about it any more--she'd tell us when she was ready. I was a little nervous by that, but it gave me the opportunity to trust in the Lord a little bit more. He also gave us specific instructions for her baptismal service: few people in attendance, none of them could be sick, air conditioner off, and have sisters out with towels to dry her immediately after she gets out of the font. We were determined to follow his instructions.

Then another waiting game--she'd tell us on Friday whether or not she'd be getting baptized the next day. We followed up with her lovingly every day, and soon enough, Friday arrived. Sister Gibson had the impression to find a scripture that would help her feel inspired and open to baptism, and turns out the scripture she chose was exactly that. It was D&C 59:4 about loving the Lord with all our heart, might, mind and strength, and as soon as we read the scripture she started opening up and telling us that it was a miracle she was feeling so good (even better than she had in the past) and that she thought it was the Spirit telling her she should get baptized. We left that lesson in absolute awe at all the miracles that had happened to get her to that point. She was going to get baptized!!

I've run out of time, but needless to say, the baptismal service was beautiful. She shared one of the sweetest testimonies I've ever heard a recent convert share. The line that particularly meant a lot to me was that she was willing to keep all the commandments--that's exactly what our concern for her was in the beginning. She wanted to get to the Celestial Kingdom and she was willing to do anything to get there.

I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of such a beautiful miracle. Heavenly Father loves us and her so much, as well as her family. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and for the Lord's bounteous blessings.

I love you all so much and I hope each of you can have a wonderful week filled with gratitude for all the ways the Lord has worked miracles in your own lives and of those around you. I know Heavenly Father loves us, and works miracles every day because He loves us. :)

All my love,
Sister Morey :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Temple is Our Goal!

This week was wonderful as we ended with two people getting baptized! One is a 14 year old daughter of a less active. She's really solid and has been completely fellowshipped by the Young Women in the ward. We're so grateful for their examples and spirituality. We hope that Bi jun's example will also influence her less active mom, and her dad (who we have invited several times to come with her to church/to her baptism... he hasn't come, YET!) She has a sweet testimony of the Book of Mormon. "It answers the questions in my heart," she says. We love her so much!

Our other precious recent convert completed a part member family. Wang jie mei has been carefully prepared by the example of her husband, the coming of a new baby into their home, and the members, particularly the relief society president. As soon as we started meeting with her she kept all her commitments and started praying with her 5 year old son. Now they enjoy regular family prayer and scripture study. It's the cutest thing to watch their family pray together. The gospel blesses families! They have a strong desire to be sealed in the temple in a year. I'm so jealous that Sister GIbson gets to go with them near the end of her mission. I keep thinking about all my most recent converts who are planning on going next July-November, and I want SO badly to be able to go with them, but I'd have to make several trips back, unless I just want to come back and be an English teacher for the summer, just for the purpose of being here for my recent convert's Endowments, haha :) Who knows. But the most important thing is that they go whether I'm here or not. It's such a beautiful thing to see them all working towards their temple goals.

Our recent convert Zhou jie mei has been working like mad on her family history, originally so she could take some names to the temple yesterday for the stake temple trip. Unfortunately because she's such a new member and there have been some problems with her account, she couldn't get the names printed in time to make the trip. She was really sad when she told us and I tried to encourage to go anyway, that she could do baptisms for other people besides her family who had passed away, but she said, "No, I want so badly to take my own family names to the temple. I'll just keep working so I can take even more to the Temple next month." I was so touched by her faith, diligence, and intense desire to help her whole family be able to receive the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and especially by her testimony of the importance of the temple. It really should be and is the focus of all we do. A few weeks ago in Sacrament Meeting the Taipei Temple President and his wife came to speak in one of our wards and his wife made the comment that the straight and narrow road is from home, to church, to the temple, to the Celestial Kingdom. I really like that purpose and focus.

We've also been working with a miracle less active who hasn't come to church for 10 years but met missionaries on the street and decided she wanted to come back. She also has a new baby and a really sweet husband who has met with missionaries before but never got baptized because he wasn't able to quit smoking. One day we were visiting Wu jie mei when her husband came home so we got to talking about the temple. I didn't know why, but that morning on the way to their house I had been singing "I Love to See the Temple" and when we started talking about the temple with them, I knew why. I shared my experience of singing it on my bike that morning and then asked if I could share the lyrics. Sister Gibson whispered the Engish words to me as I translated the lyrics for them the best I could, and the Spirit was so incredibly strong the whole time. When I finished I bore my testimony, and then the husband asked what the requirements were to enter the Temple. His gaze was rivited the whole time as I explained that you must be baptized and keep the commandments. I've never felt so strongly the power of the Spirit bearing witness of the Temple. It was a really special experience and we felt as Sister Gibson and I were talking afterwards that he would eventually come around. :)

Thanks, Dad, for reminding me that your anniversary this week is not just of you and mom getting married, it's the anniversary of the start of our eternal family. I really am so incredibly grateful for the blessings of the temple, for the hope and blessing of a temple marriage, and for the covenants the Lord makes with the faithful so we can receive His power and strength to overcome the challenges in mortality and safely return to His presence. The gospel is so perfect and so beautiful. I'm so grateful I get to help people come unto Christ and experience the fullness of life that comes from living the restored gospel for themselves. I know it's true with all my heart :)

I love you all so much!

Sister Morey

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pure Love & Joy

I love you all so much! Thanks for all your wonderful letters :) I'm trying so hard to keep in more personal touch by writing one of you each week... but then I find out that my time to write the rest of you is run out (I wrote to Jake this week). Please forgive me! I'm still trying to get a handle on it. But just know that I love you and am praying for you! Mom, you're doing SO good on your classes! I know the Lord is blessing you, expecially because you seek the extra help from His hand. Thanks, dad, for praying for mom :) I know you're such a foundation of faith for the family. Jake and Jordan--when you get to be experts at pool, please dont cream me when I get home, ok? Or at least teach me your skills :P Adam, I hope you're healthy and safe. I hope to hear from you sometime soon.

I've experienced SOOOO much joy this week as I've been spending more time with my recent convert, Zhou jie mei. She's helped us teach a few other investigators, and she's been coming on wednesday nights (while we're teaching English) to do family history work. I am simply blown away at her enthusiasm for learning and serving in the gospel. On Sunday in Relief Society when everyone in the room said what their biggest hope was she said, "To help these two missionaries to share the gospel, and to help my own family enjoy the blessings of the gospel too." OH! How my heart leaped in pure joy at that comment! I've often reflected at the purelove and joy that I've experienced as my recent converts really take hold of the fulness of the gospel. Whenever I just LOOK at them, I'm filled with this immense joy and love! Being a missionary is such a blessing, and will be for the rest of my life.

I love you all SOOOO much and I hope that the weather isn't too miserable. I wish I could let you borrow some of the pleasant weather here :) Keep being faithful--that's what matters most.

All my love,
Sister Morey 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It's so weird to think that I was in the MTC at this time, a year ago! I remember getting several pumpkin pies and cupcakes in the mail and sharing them among the Sisters in our zone. But my most favorite memory of Halloween last year was getting a box full of all of Jordan's Halloween candy!  It wasn't the candy so much that made it special rather than the thought and love that was put into it--Jordan sending his precious candy that I'm sure he'd been carefully collecting. :) Thanks Jordan, I'll always remember that.

I also really appreciated your Halloween card with the little extra funds to "treat" ourselves. Two preparation days ago Sister Gibson and I enjoyed a very needed and very appreciated massage. :D The best part is that it only used 1/2 of the money, so we can go back once more! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Oh yeah, and Sister Gibson and I went shopping at a special store this week and guess what we found?? CANNED PUMPKIN!! So, please can you send me the pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe? We bought some and we're wanting to make some for the missionaries here as a fall treat :D

We got to celebrate Halloween here by dressing up as missionaries and attending a Zone Conference with Elder Gong of the Seventy and his wife, who are here on a tour of the mission. (Hence why I'm writing a day late... sorry they didn't tell us till late last week that preparation day would be changed to Tuesday!) It was a wonderful day of training with the theme of being "quick to observe" (Mormon1:2). (By the way, he interpreted "sober" in that verse to mean focused on things that matter--of spiritual importance. I though that was very insightful as I had never understood exactly what it meant by that. He said that we need to useevery sense we have to find out what people's concerns are, not only our ears. He also emphasized that only with spiritual senses can you grasp the entire picture. I'm trying harder and harder to use other senses to grasp the full measure of the needs of our investigators, other missionaries, and all we teach or talk to. I know Heavenly Father has been helping me to develop that gift. I'm sure it will be a precious gift as a parent!

The weather has been really pleasant lately, and I don't want it to get cold! Luckily, we've still got a little more than a month left of this really good weather. However, the thing I've noticed is that the church really is the same everywhere... including the freeeezing air conditioning! Hahaha... mom, I think of you every time I get cold in Sacrament Meeting :P Maybe I'll finally have to wear my long-sleeve blazers again.

The work here is going really well. Of course, not without the bumps along the way, but we've been blessed with 4 wonderful progressing investigators. Interestingly enough, they are all member referrals--just goes to show how important the members are!  We've been working hard to try and help the members here more fully participate in missionary work. This last Sunday we had a 5th Sunday meeting in one of our wards in which the Bishop outlined the ward plan, the Elders taught about members helping us in our lessons, we Sisters taught about inviting friends and family to investigate the church, the RS shared about how to help less actives, the Elders Quorum President shared about members and missionaries working together, and the sister who gave us one of our progressing investigators shared her testimony on doing missionary work. It was a wonderful meeting, full of the Spirit. The theme was Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-4, the Spirit of Revelation. Often the Lord works through the thoughts in our minds and the feelings in our hearts to tell us who He needs us to help. Those are impressions of the Spirit that when acted upon draw people closer to Christ and help them receive the Restored Gospel. I'm sure you have, as I have several times throughout my life, had someone in mind that you've wanted to share the gospel with, or someone that you feel like you should reach out to.  "This (the Spirit of Revelation) is thy gift... apply unto it." We invited everyone to write down any names they thought of (especially during the meeting) and to go home and pray about them, then to extend an invitation to them throughout this next week. We've been preparing carefully for this meeting and have high hopes that it will bring a lot of success in this area. We feel so blessed to have a ward that is so willing to work with us in this kind of a way!

I just love being a missionary. Even though it's hard, I feel secure in that the Lord is blessing and guiding my life and is blessing you all back home. As I've been a little more worried I've prayed more fervently, but one night I got a clear impression that this was the best place I could be, because if I just focused harder on the work, the Lord would take care of everything else back home. I know Dad also gave me that counsel before I left, and I'm so grateful that my whole life I've been taught to trust in those promises. I know that I have no need to fear when I'm in the Lord's service. I love each of you dearly :) Keep "enjoying" to the end!!

All my love,

Sister Morey :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sheng Yi Kuai Ler Chai Le!

My dearest family :)

The funny title comes from my dear companion who tried to wish our District Leader a happy birthday this morning, but got it a little bit mixed up. :) We both got a good laugh from that!

Today I've spent most of my time typing up this poem written by one of my Zone Leaders, Elder Gluch. He read it aloud in District Training Meeting this past Tuesday and it really touched my heart. I know everyone can relate in one way or another, and I hope it can touch you too:

I'll tell you of a sorry tale,
A tale that's mine to tell.
This tale I tell is about the time
My soul was saved from hell.

This tale's beginning has a start
At about age twenty-one,
When life was all a game to me,
My focus merely fun.

I do not mean to say to you
That fun is Satan's game;
But used with caution it must be,
"Cause fun is not always so tame.

What started out as innocent play
Quickly slipped a page.
What started as fabulous fantiful free
Quickly became a cage.

My innocent fun had shifted some,
Not so innocent it became.
I started down a slippery slope;
I couldn't see my aim.

It didn't seem that much to me;
It didn't weigh on my mind,
But it was then about this time
I found myself to be blind.

It's funny how the story goes.
It's interesting to envision,
The pointed purpose plainfully displayed
Points to poor decisions.

Not long after all this "fun,"
With boredom it seemed to mix.
I had to think of something more
To satiate my fix.

My family, friends and loved ones, oh,
They tried to turn me 'round.
But no, I couldn't hear them,
For my destination I was bound.

The leaders, members, prophets, all
Had warned me of my actions,
But being blind, I couldn't see
Their side of satisfaction.

Almost all had given up,
For I just wouldn't hear.
The still small voice, it's sad to say,
No longer ringing in my ear.

The chains had slowly bound me tight,
The devil seemed to have won,
But his venemous laugh I must have missed
For deaf I had become.

We'll take a pause for just a sec
And look at plain hard truth.
You think it's bad now? Just you wait.
The story isn't through.

My life, at least what it once was,
Had degraded some.
The pressure builds for a gospel life,
The weight, it weighed a ton.

I soon began to see effects
Of being deaf and blind,
But on this path I barreled down,
These consequences mine.

My destination seemed so fixed,
I couldn't change my path,
So onward charge until the end,
There ain't no lookin' back.

"Now all is lost," that's what I said,
"Impossible to try.
I might as well enjoy my stay

Instead of asking, 'why?'"
For God, He cannot change the past
No more than I can drink the sea.
Besides, He's got so many friends,
Why would He want me?

It's then that I refused to say
That God's hand was in all things.
'Cause in my life, or so I thought,
The miracles had ceased.

To confess, I needed Father's help.
That courage I could not sum.
Becauase of this, my blind, deafened state,
My mouth, as it seemed, became dumb.

You might be thinking, "Oh, so sad,"
But don't pitty poor, old me.
I took these things upon myself
Just wait, you look and see.

It seemed as though my life had been
Cut off from blessings given.
To me, I thought they'd already shut,
The wondows up in heaven.

Then coldness enveloped my heart,
The bitterness so deep.
How could He have abondoned me?
These thoughts did slowly creep.

For I refused to realize
It wasn't Him, but me!
That's what happens when you rely
On selfishness, deceit.

In my pathetic, crippled state
I stopped along the path.
There was no more progression,
My only focus, aftermath.

My legs would not continue on,
My life a shambled mess.
I chose to let myself go lame,
Impossible to progress.

I'm hoping now that you can see
The sorry state I'm in.
I hope you learn from my mistakes
This path, do not begin.

A sickly, sorry, despicable sight,
Hardly anything left,
The once impressive sight I was
Had come nigh unto death.

Empty, cold, a barren plot,
I'd left myself to die.
When in the corner on my room,
A book caught my eye.

I hadn't touched that little book
In who knows how long.
I picked it up, a feeling came,
Surprisingly so strong.

It had been a while since I had felt
That feeling stir in me.
I opened to a raondom page
And then began to read.

Have ye any that are sick?
Bring them hither, here.
Have ye any lame or blind,
or dumb, or deaf of ear?
Bring them hither, them I will heal.
For I percieve your need.
For you I have compassion;
Your faith is sufficient for me.

The multitude with one accord
Did go forth to the Son,
And them that were afflicted so
He did heal them, every one (3 Ne 17:7-9).

The tears, they refused to stop,
Flowing freely down.
It had to be a miracle,
This scripture I had found.

It applied to me so well,
This couldn't just be luck.
Proof of a loving Father above
Through my old, abandoned book.

I dove right in, the fire burned,
It came from deep inside.
My mouth, my eyes, my deafened ears,
They opened one more time.

I couldn't hear, see, walk or speak,
Spiritually speaking so,
But through my Savior's loving grace
I once more began to grow.

So if you think you'd like to try
To walk the path of sin,
Just remember the moral of my sorry tale:
True happiness comes from Him.

I know Jesus Christ is our Savior, every one of us. If we're just willing to turn to Him, especially through prayer and the words of the Book of Mormon, we can feel His healing power. The Atonement is real; I know because I've experienced it repeatedly throughout my life. Elder Gluch has felt it too, as well has generations of God's children as recorded through prophet's writings. It starts with simple faith and willingness to change. Humility is the key. It's not worth anything to live a life without the full blessings of the Atonement that come by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that will all my heart.

I love you all and pray for you often. Thank you for your prayers too.
All my love,
Sister Morey