Monday, May 2, 2011

Cookies in Taichung!

This week started out really fun because we got to do one of my most favorite activities in the whole wide world... make cookies!! It was kind of a gamble because I wasn't sure if we'd be able to find all the ingredients and supplies to make them, but with the help of one of my favorite member families (Zhou Jiemei and her daughters Zoe and Annie), we were able to pull everything together and make them in the kitchen at the church. We even found leftover brownie mix there that another member said we could use. Oh yeah, and Zhou Jiemei decided to bring along a chocolate cake and chocolate milk we had plenty of sweets! It was kind of ridiculous :)

Zoe (10) and Annie (6) were such good helpers, and soooo cute! You can see from the pictures we had a lot of fun, especially Annie with the brownie mix! We used the "Arvid's Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies" recipe but since we couldn't find chocolate chips we used a few Dove dark chocolate bars all cut up for 1/2 of the dough and M&Ms for the other half. I bet you can guess which ones were my favorite!

Sister Ko was amazed at how many cookies there were and asked if I knew that the recipe would make that many, to which I replied, "yes, I knew it would make that much. I can't stand having to limit people to how many they can eat." My favorite part of making cookies is watching other people eat and enjoy them and then when they ask if they can have another one I say, "Of course you can! Have as many as you like!" It was fun to share them with our investigators, members, the Elders in our district, and even a few random people we contacted :) The only funny thing was that many of the Taiwanese people thought they were WAY too sweet. The chocolate cake Zhou Jiemei brought had NO flavor in comparison, and we had a good laugh about that. But that's just the way it is here, hahaha :) Ok, so enough about the cookies...

This week was also great because we got to meet with our fabulously golden investigators, Li Wen Ting (tones are 3,2,2) and Lin Li Hui (tones 2,4,4. I identified her as Anne last time). They both LOVE to come to activities, especially singles Family Home Evening. Each of them have wonderful developing testimonies of the Savior, especially through the Book of Mormon. When we met with Anne a few days ago she said, "I love the Book of Mormon!" And she showed us the parts that she loved and highlighted, and I was amazed to see that many of the pages were almost completely marked with a yellow highlighter! Wen Ting is basically a member already. In fact, whenever she comes to church and meets the members they're shocked to find out that she's not a member yet! It's really funny because I always feel a little odd extending commitments to keep the commandments to her because either she's already keeping them or she responds with "yuan yi" (I'm willing) before we even finish the sentence! Those two always brighten my day whenever we meet with them. (By the way, even though I always talk about them together they meet with us separately and are in no way connected, except that we found them around the same time and they know each other because they come to the same ward and activities). Anne is planning to get baptized on May 14th and Wen Ting will get baptized on the 21st. The only reason why she's a week later is because she's taking a trip to Thailand! Oh my goodness, I'm SO excited! I just hope I don't move next week. But I'm pretty sure I'll be staying here with Sister Ko. But still, there's never a guarantee!!

As always, there are ups and downs to missionary work. Yesterday after church Sister Ko and I decided to make a quick visit to one of the members that we noticed wasn't at church. She has a problem with her brain that makes it really easy for her to fall down so she often has lots of bruises and cuts and sometimes can't come to church because of it. But we always love to visit her because she loves it when we sing to her, and is so thankful that we come and show our love. Well, yesterday when we were riding down her street looking for her house we accidentally passed it because there was a funeral procession getting set up. When we realized we had passed it already we turned back to look more closely, and my heart sunk as I realized the funeral procession was at her house.

In Taiwanese funerals they have a stand set up filled with flowers and Chinese gods and other traditional things, as well as a picture of the one who passed away. When I looked at the stand and saw that it was Chen Mama's picture I was heart broken. I stared in a few moments of horror before I told Sister Ko (she was still a little confused and thought that we must be at the neighbor's house) before some family came out to meet us and told us what had happened. She had taken her own life with poison. It was too hard for her to deal with her physical and emotional problems and wished she could rest from her troubles. We were all really sad, but also enjoyed a sweet moment of comforting the family. Even though they don't have the same beliefs (only Chen Mama was a member), they were appreciative of our company and were incredibly grateful and said they would come to church sometime after all the funeral proceedings were over. Sometimes the Lord works in myserious ways, but always, the love and light of the gospel can bring peace to those seeking for it, and perhaps her death will open a few doors. I love Chen Mama and will miss going to visit her dearly.

I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life and the stability and comfort it brings. I know that no matter what, the Plan of Salvation is true and that there is always hope. Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to all live together again, with perfect, resurrected bodies, and if we are faithful, with those we love, and with Heavenly Father. I know this gospel is true with all my heart, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to share it.

I love you all, my dear family! Keep being happy and cheerful and serving others and showing love. That's the best way to have a happy day!

All my love,
Sister Morey :) 

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