Sunday, May 22, 2011
Transferred to GaoXiong... and It's HOT here!!!
So I don't know what the weather is like in Utah right now, but you can be grateful that whatever it is, it's not like GaoXiong! It's HOT here!!! We are SO blessed to have a great air conditioner in our bedroom :) As for the rest of the apartment, well there was one morning in particular that was quite pleasant when we first woke up... but then I opened the bedroom door and it was like walking into a sauna!! It reminded me of when we first moved to Taiwan and as soon as the sliding doors of the airport opened to the outside world I remember thinking, "I'm going to drown just by breathing!" Anyway, needless to day, despite the heat, I LOVE it down here!!
It's so fun to be companions with Sister DeVictoria again. It's great because there's so many things we reminisce and laugh about from the MTC, and we already know each others' personalities (at least the basics) so it's easier to avoid/resolve conflicts. It's such a blessing! We've also got a lot of Sisters in our zone, as well as more in the next zone over, so it's going to be way fun on preparation days to go out and do things with them.
This morning we went bowling with almost the whole Zone, and it was a blast! We got some fun pictures.
It was especially fun getting to know the Sisters a little better, and I found out that Sister Smith (the one in the pink in the pictures), who moved to Taiwan as an exchange student soon after we moved away is good friends with the Mickelsons, Chiles, Perkins, and more of our dear friends. I LOVE hooking up with people like that, and it's crazy how even though we've moved away, the circle of friends keeps getting bigger and bigger :) Sister Lew (the one who stuck her head in between Sister Smith and me) and I were in the same Mandarin Conversation class at BYU and I was there when she announced her mission call! Ahhh! It's just so cool to be here in Taiwan with so many amazing people and to be making so many wonderful friendships that will last for forever!
Speaking of amazing people, the wards here are incredible. Sister DeVictoria and I serve in two wards, the Yuan Shan and San Min wards. Both of the Bishoprics and Relief Society Presidents are so awesome, and the ward members suck investigators right in. It's such a blessing to work here. We've also got some great investigators that I already love and care for so much. I feel so invested in their journey and want to do all I can to help them progress and build their testimonies. It seems like the problems we're trying to help them overcome are different than in other areas I've served in, but they all come back to Faith in Jesus Christ.
This morning I studied just about that--Faith in Jesus Christ, what it means and how to build it. As I studied the faith section of chapter 3, lesson 3 in Preach My Gospel I was amazed at how many times it said "obey," or "keep the commandments," or any variation of the two. I had never noticed that before. I learned that faith in Christ is a principle of obedience, but it's obedience because you trust Him and believe He has the power to keep His promises. Ether 12:6 talks about faith being tried "because ye see not," but the blessings are sure as we exercise that faith and the testimony comes when our faith is sufficiently tried.
I am so grateful to be serving a mission. It's hard work, and I feel like every day is another hurdle to jump, but I've also experienced so many blessings through it all. I have so many dear friends that I've made here, and I've seen how the gospel, when it is lived to the fullest, changes people's lives and brings incredible blessings. As I learned in this past General Conference, the path of a disciple only gets narrower and steeper, but the blessings get richer and richer. I'm so grateful for this path I've chosen to take and the blessings that have already come of it. I know that every time we choose to follow the Savior, we've chosen the right path, and blessings will follow whether they're immediate, in the long run, or in the eternities. The promises are sure. This I know.
I love you all SOOOO much!! All the love an older sister (or daughter!) can send in an email,