Sorry this letter will be relatively short because I was so caught up in reading each of your letters, but thank you, thank you for writing me. I love you all so much, and your letters have brought me to tears from how much love I feel from you and for you. Thank you for your continual encouragement, love, and sharing of special experiences (and everything in between!). It really gives me more courage and strength to fulfill my calling and serve the people here, especially to know that the Lord is taking good care of you while I'm gone.
This week was so much fun because the missionaries that came into the MTC with me, but weren't accelerated, arrived in Taiwan. Sister Fleming and I were invited back to the mission home to go through the New Missionary Training with them, since we went straight to work when we got here 2 weeks ago and missed a few things. It was so good to see them, and to get the spiritual uplift and rejuvenation the training gave. We had a lot of good food (and I even went out on a limb to try cow stomach... which was disgusting, by the way. I would not recommend it!) and did some more sightseeing of temples, as well as got lots of contacting practice.
The first night of training we did something called "Dan Jones," where we got up on a box in the middle of a night market and basically bore our testimonies at the top of our lungs with a Book of Mormon in our hands. Then we went out and talked to as many people as we could. It was an exciting learning experience! It was interesting to feel the adrenaline rush through my body as I got up on the box, but then the complete peace and calm that came to my mind and heart as I shared what I knew to be true. That's often how the Spirit works--gives feelings of peace and calm, despite all the "adrenaline rush" that's going on around us. If we can tune into that instead of becoming fearful and nervous, the Spirit will be able to speak to us clearly and give us the peace and strength we need.
I'll be honest, this week was hard. Our investigators have not been progressing like we've hoped, we got stood up many times, and contacting has been hard as so many people say they "don’t have time!!" I've wanted to say so many times, "you have NO idea whan you're passing up; can't you just sacrifice 20 minutes? Make time for this incredible gift!!" But I have to be patient with these people. I've struggled a lot with myself as I've seen my weaknesses come out a lot. The biggest thing I've learned through it all is that I have to stop focusing on myself and how I'm feeling...forget myself and get to work. I have to trust that the Lord has called me for a reason, and that He will still be able to accomplish His work despite my inadequacies. As I serve with everything I have to give, the Lord will make miracles happen and refine my inadequacies. Instead of concentrating on myself and what's wrong, I need to focus on how to serve, and by serving, my needs (refining) will be met. I'll be focusing more on charity this week, and serving with all my heart as the Savior would.
I love you all sooooo much! Thank you for your prayers. This is such a wonderful blessing to be out here serving the Lord and God's children here in Taiwan. It's a tremendous learning and growing experience (which is painful sometimes), but also a work that brings SO much joy. I know the more we give to the Lord the more He gives to us. Those things He gives are more precious than anything else: peace, love, comfort, truth, guidance,.... and I don't have enough time or words to say it all. Trust in Him. Turn to Him. He will provide for all your needs.
All my love,