Sunday, June 26, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
This week has been absolutely FULL of excitement!! We got to go on Sister Exchanges again, which is always one of my most favorite part of the transfer because I love seeing all the sisters together and learning from and working with them. This time I got to go with Sister Lew, which was so awesome because we were in the same Mandarin class together when she got called to Taiwan, and I remember thinking that I wanted to go there so bad! Little did either of us know, we'd be called to the same mission, and have an opportunity to be companions! Even if it was just for a day, haha :)
We had a wonderful time catching up, sharing miracle stories (I shared the one about my dear Anne), eating fried rice (one of my absolute favorites) and drinking fresh fruit juice (I got guava-pineapple! The fruit here is just GLORIOUS!!). I loved picking her brain about mission life since she's on her last move-call now, and I was able to meet with some of their wonderful investigators and see Sister Lew's incredible example of teaching, loving, and helping others come unto Christ. She is such a wonderful representative of the Savior and I'm grateful I had the day to serve with her.
Wednesday was my 1/2 birthday on the island! AHHH! How does that happen?! Sister Brownell (and Sister Smith, since she was on exchanges with her from Tues-Wed morning) surprised me with some cute sticky notes on my wall and some dove chocolate with a few pampering face masks :) We're going to have fun one preparation day! Sister Brownell and I also enjoyed a special birthday dinner of one of our favorite treats, green bean soup. Haha I KNOW that doesn't sound very appetizing, especially as a dessert! I think it's funny too, but believe me, its better than it sounds. It's not the normal green beans you think of; they're little, kind of like lentil beans, but they're very delicious and sweet. Sister Brownell and I love it!
One of our investigators, Zhuang jiemei, is progressing very nicely. We LOVE to go visit her because it seems like every time she just has more and more faith. She's been reading the Book of Mormon faithfully and praying every day. Her prayers get more and more sincere, and she keeps understanding gospel principles better and better. She's so cute (even though she's in her 50s), and she seems to get a kick out of converting to Christianity. She told us this week her family invited her to go "bai bai" (the traditional way to worship as a Buddhist) and she kindly refused saying, "wo yao bai Jidu!" (I want to worship Christ!) Sister Brownell and I got a laugh out of that one. Zhuang jiemei even shared with us that she's lost the desire to drink tea, even though we haven't officially taught her the Word of Wisdom yet! She is just so wonderful, and I've loved watching the change in her since day one. We're hoping she'll be able to get baptized in July, which would be so special to be able to see her progress from start to finish! Well, of course baptism is not the finish, but still, it's rare to see an investigator go from start to baptism because we're always at such high risk of moving, especially me! I've had a different companion every move-call and have been in 3 areas already, but luckily sister Brownell and I have been saved for another move-call. I'll most likely kill her (be her last companion) as she only has a move-call and a half left. I sure hope I get to kill her, haha :) I love her!
Anyway, some more highlights of the week were:
- Having a very successful ward missionary activity. Elder Huang and Elder Sasine (our district leader and his companion) worked closely with our ward correlator to organize this fireside to help members catch the fire of missionary work, and especially of the Book of Mormon. We had 10 missionaries at the activity (almost all the missionaries in our zone) and we sang a song in Taiyu (Taiwaneese) called "Yaso eh ai" (The Love of Christ). The activity was very inspiring, and many members wrote their testimonies to place in copies of the Book of Mormon to give to friends, family, or our investigators. It was a wonderful evening.
- We had a few miracle lessons this week. One was when we just so happened to be at the church and a cute 20-year-old girl walked in the chapel. We totally thought she was the other sisters' investigator, but when the other sisters looked at us with confused faces and mouthed, "Is she yours?" we were really excited for the opportunity to teach her. Her name is Marine, and she is one of the most golden people I've ever met. She's already seen the Lord's hand in her life in significant ways (saving her life several times) and she has such high moral standards already. We're excited to keep teaching her.
- Some funnies/highlights of the week: completely shocking a man when he heard us speaking Chinese; saving a bat that was almost dead and laughing at the comparison to the good Samaritan story because we found out later that the Elders passed him by; getting to make guo tie at a street vendor for dinner one day and having her end up coming to church thisSunday! and spending the weekend as a threesome with Sister Smith (the sister who knows the Mickelsons/Chiles, etc because she was an exchange student in Taiwan). Sister Smith is now on the train to TaiZhong to be companions with Sister DeVictoria! Oh, being a missionary is so much fun :)
Anyway, I've gotta go! I enjoyed writing an extra long letter... I LOVE you all SOOO much!
All my love,
Monday, June 13, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
- Our investigator Liu JiaCi siad she was willing to pay her tithing and passed her baptismal interview. She'll be getting baptized this Saturday!
- Another investigator, Zhuang jiemei, said that she wanted to work towards baptism after attending a baptismal service for one of the Elders' investigators. She wasn't quite sure before, especially because she works on Sunday, but she's willing to start finding a way to come to church :)
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Sister Brownell and I have already been through so much together and it's only been 4 days! On Friday morning we were supposed to get up at 2:45am to take the bus at 4:30 with the rest of the southern zones to the mission meeting with Elder Jensen (President of the Seventy) and Elder Watson. I was struck with absolute horror when I woke up to my clock reading 4:30, only a few seconds before the Zone Leaders called us asking where we were! AHHHH!! I was so sad and so scared that we wouldn't be able to make it to the meeting in time, but luckily, through lots of phone calls, patience and prayers we were able to find a way to get to the mission meeting just a few minutes after everyone else by taking the High Speed Rail. It was super cool and it was a fun experience, but I'd rather not have had to taken it under those kinds of circumstances!!! We made it right in time to take the mission picture and go in for the meeting. We got to shake the visiting General Authorities hands, and I was especially excited to see the Watsons. They were super surprised to see me, and Sister Watson caught herself quickly when she first called me by my first name, haha :) That was a sweet exchange.
And, my time is up again... man, I just have so much to say about this week! I wish I could tell you more about what I learned in the mission meeting with the Jensons and Watsons, and then at the nationwide fireside with Elder Bednar on Saturday. It was another Question and Answer session like we were able to participate in in Hong Kong. Absolutely incredible. But I'll just have to save it for next week and tell you how I've been incorporating the things I learned :)
I LOVE this gospel so much and I'm so grateful that I'm serving a mission. The Lord has blessed me in so many incredible ways, and I've been growing a lot. Most of all, I've been able to see other people grow and change, and it's so awesome to see the power the gospel has in people's lives! It's true! It was all reconfirmed to me several times this week. I know it's true with all my heart.