Taiwan Taipei Mission

Taiwan Taipei Mission

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Week


Merry Christmas!! What a great Christmas week we had! Celebrating Christmas was much different here in Taiwan than in the States. School is held, everyone goes to work, and it is basically just another day for them. But, we were able to proselyte all day Christmas Day and share a Christmas message on the street of this beautiful island! 

First, dad, I lied on Skype...haha.  There are 4 chapels in our stake and we are planning on splitting stakes this next stake conference.

Some more about my new area: Sister Cardon and I live on the 23rd floor of our apartment building. The buildings here are HUGE!. We do most of our contacts on the street since we can't knock the apartment complexes---most if not all are all locked up. Another huge change from my previous two areas but I LOVE it! There are so many cars, motor scooters, buses, taxis, etc on the streets...I literally am saying so many prayers I don't die every morning :) haha. The members here are amazing and there are a lot of families in the ward. From serving only in the two branches of our mission--this is a huge change. There are a lot more names I need to remember and people I need to get to know--but they are all so nice and serve us missionaries so much! 

This morning after studies to start Preparation day, us and the Tao 3 Elders went to an all you can eat hot pot place with the Tao 3 ward Bishop and his wife. It was really fun and it was good to get to know them. Tao 3 and Tao 4 just split a few months ago and so we pretty much still do everything together except for Sunday meetings. It is fun and it is huge...definitely not used to that part of it.

This last week was filled with some really neat experiences. With it being Christmas week, our Spirits were high and we were able to touch many lives. 
Last Monday night after p-day, we had an evening full of miracles. While we were waiting for an investigator to show up, we made some street contacts and met a really cute school student-洪同學. She has a strong desire to learn about Christ and says that her parents would be okay with her meeting with us! We had an amazing lesson with our new investigator Daniel (吳弟兄) and taught him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. He grew up going to a church as a child a little bit but as he has gotten older, hasn't really gone to church and has 'forgotten' about God. We set a baptismal date with him and we are excited to help him work towards that goal. We visited a part member family-the mom and daughter just got baptized the week before I got transferred here-and we are still working with the dad. He is a very deep thinker and has to perfectly understand everything but I am learning so much from him! We went and wished them a Merry Christmas and had a really good lesson on Christmas and why everyone is so happy during this time of year. AND as we were making street contacts, we went and talked to these two males who were sitting on a bench--turns out they are from the Philippines here in Taiwan working. One of them, Jack, is a Member of our church--has the Priesthood and everything-all his brothers served a mission but he didn't. His friend, Rockie, is Catholic but interested in learning more. We normally meet with a few other Filipino members every Saturday night so we invited them to come! To say the least, we had a very successful Monday night! 
Last  Tuesday was our Christmas Mission Conference. President Jergensen got special permission to get the whole mission together for this conference. We all gathered at the American Inn Hotel and had a day full of eating delicious food (I took a picture--mostly for you dad---from your picture of Thanksgiving dinner) and many missionaries shared talents--sang and all and some were really funny and cute! Our Mission Choir also sang and did their show for us and some missionaries who serve in Taipei were asked to act out the nativity. They did a beautiful job and combined it with Elder Holland's First Christmas away from home story. It was neat and had a lot of power. Wow, I love this mission so much. I literally serve with some amazing people. I wouldn't change this experience for anything. The relationships I have gained with the people here and missionaries are priceless. Words can't describe how incredible it is to be able to serve in the Taiwan Taipei Mission! 
The highlight of Wednesday was that we met with a new investigator we met last week named Chloe. She is a travel agent and frequently leaves Taiwan to give tours-mostly to Japan-but is super willing to meet when she is here! She counts herself as a member of the traditional Buddhist/Diaoist religion here and frequently goes to the temple to baibai but she doesn't really know if worshiping does much. We taught her the entire first lesson and she asked some amazing questions. She is really interested in learning more about Christ. She said she was also willing to be baptized when she comes to know for herself that the church is true! We set a date with her to work towards. She was in Japan this weekend for work but hopefully will be coming to church next week! Wednesday night we had English boarding and English class. Sister Cardon and I will be teaching the Intermediate Class this transfer. I am excited and it is also a pretty good finding tool here in TaoYuan. 
Thursday right after getting out of studies, we got a call from an investigator who wanted to meet so we quickly called a member to bring with us and we met him at MOS Burger. 張弟兄 is a former investigator from about a 1 to 1 1/2 years ago and just could never feel of the truthfulness of the message when he met with missionaries before. So today, we have decided to start from the very beginning and go through all the lessons with him again. I am excited to see the change it makes. He was reading the Book of Mormon while waiting for us and I am excited to see how hopefully this time he will be able to feel the truth! Thursday night we had a member call us and ask if we could do a  little share for her cram school class about the true meaning of Christmas all in English. She teaches about 13 kids in this class so we were able to go and meet all of them and share about Christs' birth. They were all really cute and super shy. They were so surprised to see two foreigners in their classroom when they first walked in and wouldn't even talk-not even to each other. :) But they warmed up and were willing to talk after a little bit. These kids are so lucky to be able to start learning English during school. Yeah...the students here are really really xinku. They go to school from like 7 to 8 am and get out of school anywhere between 5-8 PM. We also ate Christmas Eve Dinner at a family in our wards home! (Pictures should be on FB)
Friday: CHRISTMAS! Sister Cardon and I had a good morning with getting ready quickly after exercises to have time to open our presents. (Yes, we were good at waiting until Christmas.) And then had a great morning of Studies. We had a full day of outside work--with no set ups during the day so we hit the streets and shared about Christmas with all who would listen. Today, we didn't see many miracles--in fact rarely anyone wanted to really talk to us--but the really neat thing about today was I truly learned happiness. I truly learned the meaning of Christmas. It is not about the presents, the food, the snow, or anything. It is about celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. About family relationships and gathering together to celebrate together. I realized more the importance of living a good life and striving to become the best we can. And, Friday night, we had a great evening with a family in Tao 3 eating a Christmas Dinner at TGI Fridays. It felt weird eating American food because in my previous area there was no restaurants with American food or anything BUT I guess we are blessed now :) WE had a great night and we all ate way too much. Tonny and Fiona (You JiaTing) were just baptized this year and are such strong members. The Elders in their ward tell us how much You DiXiong gets up in Priesthood and tells everyone they need to make more time to peike for us missionaries:) haha. 
Saturday: BY FAR THE BEST DAY! I was able to Skype home! AAWWWW it was so good to see you all! I am glad you are all doing great! I am glad you all had a great Christmas! 
Saturday was filled with mostly lessons. We ate lunch with a less active family in our ward. Had a lesson with an investigator who is looking to join a Christian Church but has heard a lot about our Church and is a bit hesitant, had an Recent convert lesson with DingLing and Duan JieMei and met with 志文。 He is interested in church but believes that going and practicing shooting this air soft gun thing is more important than coming to church--so we are working on that. :) Saturday night we were supposed to meet with the school student but she didn't show up and then yesterday, we got a text from her telling us that she was so sorry and that she fell asleep and her phone was off when we tried to call her but wants to meet with us again! So, instead we met with the member we were bringing with us. She just got married and her husband is a nonmember but she hopes with all her heart that he can start taking the lessons. His home however is not in our ward so the other missionaries in Tao2 are going to have to teach him. And, we met with Jay, a Filipino AND he served in the CAUAYAN MISSION a while ago as a missionary! He asked where Bryan was but I could only remember the first area he was in...haha He also said that another member in our ward, Alster, who I have yet to meet, is from Cauayan City! 
Sunday, today, was the last day with 2 PM church. Next year, we start at 8:30 AM....so it will be difficult for some of our members to be at church, but hopefully they adjust quickly! We had PEC in the morning and church was really good. A stake high counselor visited us and in Gospel Principles and Relief Society, we talked mostly about setting goals for the new year. Last night, we were knocking and accidentally knocked into an LA family. They were so nice to welcome us in. Over the last few years they have slipped in and out of activity. I know Heavenly Father was really guiding us last night because this family needs to start having weekly visits! 

Overall, this week was filled with greatness! We also have a great week ahead of us planned! I am grateful I have been transferred to NanKan/TaoYuan. This area has a lot of potential and it is definitely not an easy area but I love the challenge! I know this work is true and am so grateful I am a missionary. This work is incredible, life changing, and miracles literally occur everyday if we open our eyes to see them! I know Christ lives and am so grateful for his birth and the life that He lived. His perfect example and for establishing His church on the earth! 

Sister Haacke 
 Sisters Kunzler, Harvey, Cardon and I.

 Sister Huang and I.
 Sister Good, Lindsay, Qiu JM, and I.

 All from the Christmas Conference we had. We all walked to the grand hotel--the lower steps are where Taiwan got 'set apart' for missionary service.

Sister Coleman and our matching coats. :)

 Christmas lunch--chicken and rice.
Christmas dinner with You JT.
Lunch today.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Transfered With A Familiar Face

GOOD MORNING FROM NANKAN! Yes, I got transferred this last week! I am now serving in NanKan, TaoYuan! I was welcomed into a big ward (the first ward I have served in Taiwan-the only two branches Sisters serve in (out of three) I got to serve in!) filled with kids and families. I felt like I was at home! It was crazy!! AND even bigger news, SISTER CARDON AND I ARE COMPANIONS AGAIN! She is what is called by 'breaker' because I was companions with her right after getting out of training and now we have the wonderful opportunity to serve together again!!

This past week's highlights:

Monday night I got the call that I was leaving YuLi. It was a really sad call because I didn't want to leave the friendships and relationships I have created there. I learned so much from the people. They are so humble. They don't have much but happily live their lives as best they can. It was hard to say goodbye, but goodbye isn't forever. I know I will see these people again!
Tuesday, we had district meeting and during district meeting we got a call from a number that wasn't saved in our phone. We decided to answer and to our surprise, it was a former investigator Ma JieMei! She works at a fruit stand and is from Indonesia but married a Taiwanese. She stopped investigating the church because the temple Gods told her she needed to stop. BUT she called us and told us she really missed us and wanted to meet with us again. So right after district meeting we had about 30 minutes so we went over and said hello to her and shared a little scripture with her. She had her Book of Mormon out and had even read a little bit about it. We read Moroni's promise with her and invited her to start reading the Book of Mormon daily! HUGE MIRACLE! After,  Sister Coleman and I took the train and spent the rest of Tuesday in RuiSui. We visited Lai JM and followed up about why she wasn't at church and visited the family we are teaching. Tonight, we taught Zhong JiaTing the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom. They we very curious about the Word Of Wisdom and had already asked so many questions about it so we decided to teach it to them. Lai JM wants her husband to give up all the addictive substances he has--bettle nut, cigarettes, and tea. Zhong DX seemed pretty embarrassed about it but I think it created a desire in him to give it up. We also set a baptismal date for their whole family!! For January 23, 2016!!! It was really hard saying goodbye to them but I know they will continue to progress and learn! 

Since transfer meeting was on Thursday, we had to take the 12:00 train on Wednesday up to Taipei. Sister Parkin was my temporary companion and we spent the hour we had in Taipei English boarding and talking to people on the street. We were also asked to help with the English Party for a zone up in Taipei.

THEN TRANSFER MEETING: So, this transfer meeting was one of the biggest transfer meetings so far in the mission. In fact, most of the missionaries in our mission were present due to the fact of getting a new companion. We welcomed in so many new missionaries and visa waiters going to the United States. But, we also said goodbye to so many amazing missionaries. There were so many of the Sisters that I have served with who faithfully completed their mission. One of those including my trainer, Sister Fisher. It was another hard goodbye but a good one too! Transfer meeting was one full of excitement and huge changes. As mentioned above, I am now companions with Sister Cardon in NanKan. In Taoyuan county. It is a big change from serving most of my mission in small towns. There are huge 30+ story buildings, huge buses honking their horns driving down the street, motor scooters EVERYWHERE, BUT I LOVE IT! Nankan is also the Sister Training Leader area so I took on some new responsibilities as a missionary. I am nervous for this calling to serve but I am excited to be able to exchange and learn from all the Sisters here in Taoyuan! 

We've had a crazy last few days. Thursday, we spent the night making street contacts (I am starting to get used to that--there are so many people here). We met a cute couple who live out of our area but are really interested in learning. We also met a new investigator named Jennifer who is a psychology major and so we had a really good conversation on how we know the difference between our own feelings and the feelings of the Spirit. Thursday night we also met with a rc/la named Ruby. She is adorable but would rather go and adventure with her family on Sunday then come to church..

Friday we had a day full of finding and a few lessons. Recently the investigators in this area were all dropped so we are really focusing on rebuilding up our investigator pool. We spent pretty much the whole day out on the street wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and sharing the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.We saw some really cool miracles. We stopped and talked to this man, Wu DX, he is a young man in his 20's just getting off of work. He grew up Christian but hasn't attended church since his younger years. He is really interested in learning more and we are planning to meet with him tonight at 7! We also got some really neat potential numbers who we are hoping to follow-up with this next week. During the day, we met with a pretty new investigator, Zhang JM.  She is really involved in the community and I know would make a great member! She is planning on coming to church this coming Sunday for the first time. Hopefully that will happen! 

Saturday! MY first day doing temple tours! So, each transfer the sisters who serve closer to the temple in Taipei have a day where they go and be the Temple Tour Sisters. So, we spent the whole day on our feet giving tours to members, non-members, RC's and LA's. It was neat and the miracles we saw were incredible. A senior couple in our mission brought one of their potential investigators in and we had a great tour with him about the life of Christ and the Restoration. The Spirit was so strong during this tour. Especially when we recited Joseph Smith's first Vision experience. It was really neat! AND, at the very end, we invited him to baptism and he ACCEPTED! We figured out where he lived and sent that referral right away to the Missionaries in that area! We also gave a tour to a newly wed couple who the husband is a 2 year member and his wife is getting baptized on Saturday! We gave a tour on Temple Marriage and they are excited that next December, they will be able to enter the Temple together and be sealed for time and all eternity. 

Sunday was crazy. Our Church starts at 2 but will change to 8:30 at the new year. So, I had my first set of studies on Sunday yesterday! We then biked for about 20 minutes to get to the church and had meetings, met a few members. During Sacrament meeting they had a cute Christmas program. After church a member, Qiu JM, opened her mission call and she is going to the Leades, England mission speaking English! She reports to the MTC in March! It brought me back to the time when I opened mine. She wasn't in tears and shaking as bad as me but she was super excited! What an exciting time for her and her family! Sunday night, our ward had it's Christmas party. Our ward, Tao 4 split this last year--just a few weeks/month ago so we had a combined Christmas party with Tao 3 and Tao 4. It was really fun! They sure do know how to throw on a party! There were games and activities and a fun gift exchange! 

MY time is about up so I can't write much more but I CANT WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS!!! LOVE YOU ALL!
Sister Haacke 
 Sister Coleman and my last picture together.
 Dinner in Taipei.
 My mission mama.

 CoCo's once again!
 Christmas Party. I believe the wards have Facebook pages and tons of pictures were taken...look there. :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Working in the Rain


What an amazing week this has been! I don't even know where to begin!! Hopefully, I will have time to give a quick run down of all that happened:
Monday: Last Monday our new FAMILY investigators took us out and gave us a tour of their whole town--RuiSui! They were so excited to spend the day with us. Mostly the dad but it was fun to be with them while their kids we at school. They went and showed us Hot Springs, went to this rafting place, a small zoo (with just a few animals--the cutest--mini horses!) where we drank REAL cow milk. However, I have come to absolutely love Soy Milk. Another Tropic of Cancer line monument, a place where you can see all of RuiSui, and a Aborigine Shop. It was really fun to spend the day with them in the car. Today though, they got pretty much the whole lesson of Word of Wisdom. They asked us if we wanted some tea or coffee and we told them we don't drink. They asked why and at first they thought it was just while we were on our missions then when we said it was a lifetime, they asked if it was a religion thing and the mom got the whole lesson while her husband was using the restroom and taking a smoke break. She is pretty surprised and taken back--their faith just needs to grow and then it will be okay! Monday night after Preparation day, we spent the night finding in RuiSui. We met this cute older couple who invited us to eat dinner with them. When we asked if we could pray for and with them, and what they wanted us to pray for, the man started to tear up and there was complete silence in the room for a good minute. He then looked over at me and asked that we pray for all the wickedness in the world. It was a very powerful experience.
Tuesday: We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders in Hualian. I went to Hualian and spent the day serving with Sister Hendricks! It was really fun. We are in the same generation so it was crazy how much we have grown and changed! We laughed about previous memories and got caught up! But, we also saw some miracles while we spent the afternoon street contacting. One of the saddest things is that their 19 year old investigator was planning on being baptized this last Saturday and we went to go meet his parents and they didn't give him the permission he needed to be baptized. They told their son that when his grandma passes away they will think about it again because if he got baptized now, it would totally affect the relationship that their family currently has. The desire this boy had to be baptized was huge. In tears, he said goodbye to us and to the Elders who taught most of his lessons but they had to give him to the sisters because he lived in their area. We also taught a lesson to a part member family who has a 9 year old who wants to get baptized. It rained most the night and we didn't have rain gear so we got pretty drenched but it was worth it! I love missionary work in the rain!
Wednesday: I came back to YuLi and spent the day finding...in the rain. It was crazy but we had so much fun. All of our lessons fell through so we took out the umbrellas and went knocking away. We were able to meet some really neat people but none who really had interest in learning about the gospel. Wednesday nights we also teach English and at English class is when we received our big miracle for the day! In our advanced class, we had two new students--Sam and Jasmine. Jasmine stayed after and talked to us for a while. We asked her how she found out about our English class and her aunt is a less-active member who told her about it. She just recently moved over to the east coast and is working up near RuiSui. AND she wants to learn more about Jesus Christ so we set up for next Wednesday after English Class!!
Thursday: WPS day. Not much happened. We visited some Less actives and did some finding.
Friday: Our RuiSui day where all the miracles come flooding in. In the afternoon, we visited Lai Bi Yu and had a whole lesson on faith. She goes back and forth from debating if she is too old or not to change religions. We always promise her it is never too late. We have it set up for a member to go pick her up for church but this week Lai JM decided not to come but she promised our member next week she would come! We also did some finding and found another really potential investigator. She just moved to RuiSui and is Christian but has yet to find a church that she likes to attend. So, we invited her to come her and her brother where there (they are adults but her husband is out somewhere else working so they live together) and they were both really interested and curious about the Book of Mormon. WE promised them that if they read it and prayed and pondered, they would come to know of its truthfulness! We are going back this week! Walking to Zhong JiaTings house, we talked to a man on the street who was taking a pit stop from Taidong up to Taipei and had a really powerful lesson with him. He used to believe in God but that belief has kind of left him. We invited him to start praying in his life again and he agreed. He agreed to missionaries contacting him in Taipei where he lives! AND our family! 
重家庭 is phenomenal. We taught the first part of the Plan of Salvation with them up to earthly life and then invited to baptism. The dad was super willing and ready to go but the mom brought up a concern. The mother-in-law comes by their home everyday to make sure they worshiped their God and gives her a basket a fruit twice every month that then she is supposed to take to the temple to do a sacrifice. She is really worried and knows she will fandui if she finds out if they become christian (even though they are already telling everyone they have become Christian) and that she wants them to put a big alter in their home but we told them that it is a problem that can be worked through and that if they had to, they could still baibai with her just to show her kan. Right after we solved that, we realized we had 5 minutes until our train was leaving so we had to hurry and close and quickly get to the train station. So this next week we are hoping to set baptismal dates with them!! BUT THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!
Saturday: We went to visit a new investigator and taught her the first lesson. It was an absolutely amazing lesson filled with the Spirit. When leaving that lesson, Sister Coleman and I turned to each other and said, "Wow, that was crazy. That was such an amazing lesson." It honestly was probably one of the best lessons we have ever taught together. And we take no credit, we give it all to the Spirit but it was amazing!
Sunday: MIRACLE DAY!!!!   The Zhong family came to church yesterday!! All four of them! It was the biggest surprise! Our whole branch was also so surprised that a family came and they were all great at welcoming them and introducing themselves. They are a great family who really have a strong desire to  learn. Wang Zhi Wen also came to church for the second time yesterday! He is still on date to get baptized on Sunday, December 27th! We are still working with him to completely get rid of drinking tea but other than that, he is pretty ready to get baptized! A long time English student also came to church-Vivian. She has been an investigator in the past but due to her husband fandui has yet to get baptized. She hasn't been to church in a long time except last week for an hour and this week for an hour and it was all because of just a simple invite during English Class!! IT WAS HUGE! The whole branch was SO excited! They were so shocked how many of our investigators came to church!
Back to the family: The Family stayed for 2 hours but then had to leave. We called them last night and followed up with them about church and they said that they loved it! They know absolutely nothing about Christianity and in Gospel Principles the Elders taught about the Scriptures and it was all new to them--everything about the Bible included. So, they learned a lot but we told them to not worry about remembering everything and that it will come over time!
But, yet again, at the end of Gospel Principles, Zhong JM asked us why we can't drink tea...we answered her and then will be covering that next time we go to their home in more depth.
Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting, all four of us missionaries gave talks and Sister Coleman and I sang Silent Night. It was a really good sacrament meeting. But the family that was supposed to speak couldn't come because her dad passed away so we all got to cover for them.
Our Recent Convert, Zhu Hui Ling, is doing much better. She is so much happier and is not as depressed and sad as she has been in the last couple of weeks. The light in her eyes is is back and it is so great.
It was honestly an amazing week. We saw so many miracles! It was so amazing!

Have a great week!
Love, Sister Haacke

 Proselyting in the rain.
 Me with 陳家庭--Branch President and his family.

 P-day with the Zhong family.

 With the Sister Training Leaders
 Zhu Hui Ling

A temple in YuLi

 Sister Coleman and I learned pineapples don't grow on trees this week.
 The cutest boys who followed us around while we were finding in RuiSui.
 Me and a part member family--their two oldest kids are baptized.

Monday, December 7, 2015

New Famiy to Teach


What a great week we have had this week here in Taiwan!
First things first, Sister Coleman and I found a FAMILY to work with!!! AND, they are taking us out today for Preparation Day! They are incredible! We actually found them last Friday when we were in RuiSui finding and then went back on Tuesday night for a follow-up stop by and they are totally prepared!!! We shared with them the entire first lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel. When we were teaching how Heavenly Father gave us our families because He loves us, I asked them what blessings have come from their family. Lai JieMei (Mom) went on the explain a whole long story of why they are now investigating Christianity.

So, they are Buddhist/Diaoist and the husband, Zhong DiXiong, has an older brother who has devout his life to his religion and works in a Buddhist temple, Lai JieMei also has a sibling who is basically a Buddhist Priest, basically someone who also works in the temple and people go to them to receive 'council' about their lives--normally these people give them a bracelet or something to wear to 'solve' their life problem. Anyways, their 13 year old daughter has a heart disease a more serious form of heart burn (from what I understood when they were explaining it) and they have been all over Taiwan to try and see if they can do something to help her but the doctors haven't found anything yet. So, they decided to just take their daughter to one of their family members in the Buddhist temple and the person told them that if she drank a little glass of a type of alcohol everyday given to her by them that her disease would be cured and that she would also do some other random things in the temple. After that experience, their daughter came out of it and told her parents she didn't want to be Buddhist anymore. The parents also thought that it was so weird that if it was that easy then the doctors would have told them she just needs to drink alcohol. So the parents decided they also want to change religions because they now believe their religion isn't quite right and they thought they want to become part of the 'Amen' religion. :) Yes, the 'amen' people here are referred to Christians. The Zhong family know nothing about Christianity but are so willing to learn. They are some of the nicest people ever (Mom, you got a Facebook friend invite from someone that lives here, yes that is this family, the dad. add him. :)) This family has two kids the 13 year old girl and a 10 or 11 year old boy. They are both really really shy. AAWWW It brings me so much joy we can teach this family!!

All the Sisters gathered in Taipei this week for a meeting (it has been so crazy all of us from the east coast have gone up as much as we have recently) but while we were there, a missionary who is on her 3rd transfer talked to sister Coleman. Wang JieMei is from southern Taiwan serving in this mission and her aunt ( a member) is in our branch and her grandparents (non-members) live in YuLi. Wang JeiMei actually also came and lived with them for a little bit and took care of her grandma for a bit so she gave us their address and invited us to go visit her. The grandma can no longer walk and her husband can't hear at all but we sat around the grandma's wheelchair and got to meet her. When we told her that her granddaughter told us to come visit her, she broke down in tears and expressed to us her gratitude to her granddaughter. It brought Sister Coleman and I also to tears. It was the most precious thing ever. She said her granddaughter would pray with her and so we prayed with her and she would repeat out loud each line in our prayer. It was so awesome. So neat. So precious.
Our recent convert, Zhu Hui Ling, is doing much better this week. Sadly, the doctors came back and told her there is nothing wrong with the tumor that is growing on her sons brain despite the fact that he cant play basketball anymore, his grades are rapidly getting lower and lower, and he is dizzy all the time. But, we have a member working with her to try and find one more doctor that can look at him. Being the doctor that I am not, I would think there was something wrong with this tumor.
ALSO...GREATEST NEWS EVER!! (Which I totally forgot to say last week) MY PREVIOUS AREA TOUFEN BECAME A WARD TWO SUNDAYS AGO!!!!!!! (I have served in the two branches in our whole mission that I could serve in and it has been a blessing. There are now only two branches left in our mission boundaries--YuLi and one in Taipei but only Elders serve in that branch!) AND FAN ZHU SONG (remember him?) WELL, HE GOT THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AWWWW It makes me so happy to hear this amazing news and so I wanted to share!!

I hope you all have an amazing week. It is the everyday miracles that bring so much joy to missionary work! I truly know we are doing the Lord's work no matter where we are in the world. I continue to try to work as hard as I can. I know Christ lives. I am so grateful for this month (can you believe it is already December?!?) that we are able to celebrate Christs' birth. How grateful I am for Him. His Sacrifice. His Love. We are so blessed.
Attend the Temple often. I know in the temple we can receive answers to all our questions and receive the guidance we need as to how to live our lives.
Sister Haacke

 We had zone meeting this week.
 Sister Coleman and I and Wang JieMei's grandma, Lin JieMei.
 Sister Coleman and I found this abandoned house...we think we are going to move into it. :) The view outside the windows is incredible.

   傳ing the 教 :)
 Last p-day we went to some hanging bridges with the Elders, their investigator, Qiu DX, and Lin Zhi Nan.
Coming back from Taipei with some of the Taidong sisters.
 I got to see my Mission MOM!! SISTER FISHER!
 AND Sister Wright.
 AND all the Sisters in my generation!! :) 
AND Sister Cardon and Sister Belnap.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Visit From an Apostle of the Lord

Family and Friends,
I don't even know where to begin today. This week was Crazy!!
First things first. This last Tuesday, the whole mission gathered in Taipei and ELDER and SISTER STEVENSON of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us!! It was such an incredible experience, one I will never ever forget!! It was also a really special thing we were all able to gather together in Taipei. Serving on the East Coast, I haven't gone up to Taipei since I moved over here and it was incredible to walk past the temple again and see so many people! We had a great couple hours of training. President and Sister Jergensen gave talks. Sister Jergensen is so learned in the Scriptures. She shared with us about Moses and how he was tempted by Satan but that Moses called upon God and he received strength. We all in our lives must call upon God daily to receive the strength to overcome the adversary. President Jergensen shared about the Atonement and also sustaining our prophet and apostles. The world is going against the teachings of the church. The church will never change. We must simple support and sustain our church leaders. Do all we can to defend our beliefs. The most important thing we can do is to be an example. Live your life as you would if Christ was by your side every second--because He is! Sister Stevenson did a small training on being PRO. How can we become PRO? Prayer. Read. Obey. When we daily do this, we can give ourselves a thumbs up! We are promised so many blessings from doing these three simple things in Alma 37:37, 1 Nephi 15:24, and Mosiah 2:41.
Elder Stevenson is such an amazing man. Interestingly enough he and the Jergesens are pretty much neighbors. They live in the same ward and Elder Stevenson found the company that Pres. Jergensen worked for before he became Mission President. Elder Stevenson was hilarious! He made us all laugh SO much but he is also such a powerful man. He carried the Spirit with him so powerfully and bore powerful testimony. The thing I loved the most about his training was that he talked about not only creating a vision for ourselves but also creating a vision for everyone we meet and teach. He explained and taught the importance of promising blessings and bearing testimony in every lesson we have. Through our testimonies, only then can the Spirit testify to the hearts of our investigators the truthfulness of our message.
Oh, I almost forgot!! So, at the very beginning, we all had the opportunity to shake Elder and Sister Stevenson's hand and say where we were from. As I said that I was from Idaho Falls, Idaho, Sister Stevenson said No Way?! Do you know the Baldwins? (They have a son my age-Scott) who actually also served in the Colorado Springs Mission while I was there visa waiting as well. What a small world! We quickly made the connection. Then, after the meeting, as Sister Coleman, Sister Lindsay, Sister Komatsu and I were walking to the temple (temple day was last transfer but the east coast missionaries can't go because we live to far away so President took the advantage of us already being there and we did a session) and Elder and Sister Stevenson were standing in the lobby of the temple. Sister Stevenson came over to me and said that she wanted to take a picture with me to send to Scott! So, we went outside of the temple and took a picture together AND THEN, Elder Stevenson and Sister Coleman joined us and we got a PICTURE with an Apostle of the Lord!! It was so neat! So, as you can see pictured below, the 4 of us!
Connections are SO awesome! hahaha Being able to attend the temple was also so amazing. I LOVE the feelings, answers, and peace we receive while being in the temple. Go often. I can promise you you will receive so many more blessings and peace. Our lives will be smoother when we regularly enter the House of the Lord.
As for the work here in YuLi: To be honest, we had a pretty crazy week....
We sadly got dropped by a pretty progressing investigator on Saturday night. Sunday was going to be her first time coming to church. We have been working with her for some time and every weekend, she either goes home to GaoXiong or to TaiDong to visit friends and she blocked out this week several weeks ago to attend church with us and then Saturday night, we received a long text from her explaining that she has decided she wants to continue to follow her mom and be a Buddhist. It broke Sister Coleman's and mine heart. But, with faith, we know one day she will hopefully remember the feelings she felt as she was learning about Jesus Christ.
We also figured out for sure that our recent convert has been struggling with keeping the Word of Wisdom. It is so hard! But, I hope she can really apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ into her life and be able to completely rid herself of such harmful substances. Please keep her in your prayers!
For a miracle, we were contacting in a park yesterday and were able to meet a man who in the end set a new baptismal date! It was a huge miracle! The neatest part about the contact was when we promised him that we knew Heavenly Father loved him, this man teared up. As tears were streaming down his face, he asked, "Really? He loves me?" What an incredible thing that we know our Father in Heaven loves us.
Another crazy story, Sister Coleman a couple weeks ago called this random LA on our Branch List and she set up with us. She seemed super nice on the phone and everything. Then when I called her Wednesday night to confirm our appointment on Thursday, she was so sweet and nice. It was so so weird and she was really excited to see us. When we asked about her on last Sunday before our lesson, we were told she had joined the Jehovah Witness' church but that we could go anyways. We thought about it long and hard. She lives kind of far away and a member was willing to take us also because she had yet to meet her and wanted to meet her. Well, this lesson was a mess. Long story short, Sister Coleman and I are really close to Chen JieMei, our branch president's wife, now. We had a lot of fun on the car ride there and back. Chen JM shared experiences with us from her mission and we also had really good gospel conversations...here is the experience...so we go into her home/restaurant and there she is..sitting at a table and she brought a friend--their bibles and other textbooks were open out on the table and as soon as I saw, I was like oh dear oh dear...I was saying as many prayers in my head to try and know what to do. we were super nice to them. When we tried to start to say a prayer, they wouldn't even pray with us--they wouldn't even say amen (and they told us this before we even prayed) because they believe we don't pray to the correct Being and so on and so forth.  They tried to pound us with all these questions and each question, we had a perfect answer filled with the spirit. Each bible verse they shared didn't make sense and they wouldn't explain them. But the neatest thing of this experience 1. I will never ever forget visiting them and 2. As we bore testimony of what we knew to be true, the Spirit was so strong. As Chen JieMei bore her testimony towards the end about how this gospel has brought her more happiness than she can imagine, I could feel the Spirit. What a neat thing we have to testify of truth. No matter where we are, if we are worthy, the Spirit will always be in our hearts. What a powerful tool and a special gift Heavenly Father as given us. So just to say, as you were all having a nice Turkey Thanksgiving, I was visiting a Less Active Jehovah Witness :)
Another neat experience as we were proselyting in RuiSui on Friday. We were knocking in this pretty old beat down neighborhood. First, might I add that there are so many stray dogs on the East Coast and there is no pound or anything for them...so these dogs are pretty feisty.  Well, we went into this home where there is only one way in and one way out. Out of now where, these two dogs came running at us, barking, etc. I was thinking, "well, here goes my life..." Sister Coleman and I were just a little nervous...we were praying so hard that the door would open and to our luck...no one was home/they didn't open the door. As we were standing at their doorways getting barked at by these scary looking dogs, Sister Coleman turned to me and said, "We should say a prayer." As we prayed with our eyes half open making sure we wouldn't get attacked, Heavenly Father immediately answered our prayers. The two dogs calmed down, one left, and we were able to safely leave that area :) Prayers are SO powerful--no matter where you are or what situation you are in!
ALSO, As we had about 30 minutes before we had to catch our train back to YuLi, we tracted into this FAMILY! Yes, a FAMILY! They are SO GOLDEN!!! We got to get to know them-a dad, mom, 2 kids and their grandma. They are so happy and invited us to come back! We contacted them when we didn't have much time and they asked us so many questions so we couldn't even teach them about prayer but as we were leaving, the dad turned to us and said next time, we would love to hear about prayer! I am so excited to go back!!
Missions are filled with so many different experiences. I am so grateful for all that I have learned thus far on my mission. I know I say this pretty much every week but I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve!!

And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
As I continue my study in 3 Nephi, my appreciation for the Savior and His teachings continues to grow. In 3 Nephi 19-21 is says:
 19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
 20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
 21 And when he had said these words, he wept....
These are the verses that are recorded just after Christ finishes praying for the people. I LOVE verse 20. We are truly blessed because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christs' joy is FULL when we have faith in Him and Rely on our Heavenly Father's plan personally made for us all. Jesus Christ wept because of the joy he felt from witnessing the faith of the people. Continue to grow your faith by having more in depth personal Scripture Studies and Prayers, Family Scripture Studies and Prayers, and faithfully attending church and partaking of the Sacrament each week.
LOVE YOU ALL!! Have a great week!!!

Sister Haacke

 Lunch in Taipei.
Outside the temple! 

 AND FRIDAY we had to pull out the tights and coats BUT, today and yesterday is pack to sunny and warm! 
 Two members of a part member family. They are the cutest!
Our Thanksgiving meal with a member from the West Coast of Taiwan...we had Italian. :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Family and Friends!!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all have a great week celebrating with family and friends! I am so grateful for you all--your support, love, friendship, and prayers. They are all felt! Here in Taiwan, Thanksgiving isn't celebrated too much--except our cute little branch had a fun Thanksgiving dinner Saturday night. Just like what Bryan said last week, all the Christmas things are coming out and they are started to play Christmas music--mostly everyone also doesn't know why we celebrate Christmas either.  I am so excited for this next month that I have to spread the word about Christ's birth and ministry!
Family, I am glad you are having a great time in Hawaii! Too bad it has rained a lot but glad the rain hasn't stopped you from having fun!

Saturday was the biggest highlight of the whole week!! 菜仁和 got BAPTIZED!! He has basically been an eternal investigator and now everything worked out and he was able to be baptized!! What a miracle! His mom is currently living in ZhangHua so she took the train all the way here to 玉里 to attend his baptism! She is a nonmember and feels like she is not quite ready to give up some things in order to be baptized! But, she loves the influence that the church has on her boys and wants them to grow up with the gospel principles. 仁和 is really a twin to 仁平 but he is considered the 'older brother' because he was born before 仁平. He is really shy-due to a really really challenging and hard childhood- but has really opened up to Sister Coleman and I this last transfer it is really cute! Every time he was asked why he wanted to be baptized, he would tell us that is it because he is excited to get rid of all his sins! At his baptismal service, his brother 仁平 shared his testimony. It was so adorable. He said that he was so happy his brother could get baptized and become a church member. He also said that he hopes his brother will read the scriptures and pray everyday. :) How cute coming from a little 9 year old :).
After his baptism, our branch had our Thanksgiving Dinner. Bro. Gunn (a member from America in our branch) cooked a turkey--American Style. But, 高弟兄, was the one who cut it up and they have no idea how to cut a turkey..haha...he basically was chopping it up like he was killing it...haha. It is safe to say, there was not a piece of meat left on those bones! Other than that and some Taiwanese style cranberry sauce, the rest was Taiwanese food! It was really fun to be able to chat with a few of our members and spend time with them! We are really working hard to unite this branch. There is so much drama and hatred between the members here but through these activities and showing our love to everyone, it has helped so much. The branch has slowly started to become as one.  Years of built up troubles are trying to be solved. It is definitely not easy but it is needed in order for this branch to grow and succeed.
This week, we went and also said goodbye to our Filipino investigator! She got permission from her boss to take her two week vacation time and is going back to the Philippines for her daughters wedding! We were so excited for her! She told us that chocolate in the Philippines is really expensive so Sister Coleman and I went and bought a few chocolates for her to give to her children! She was SO excited!
Friday night we go the the small night market in 玉里 and English Board. To be honest, I have not always really enjoyed my time during English Boarding BUT this last week was SO fun! We got a new sign to bring and we went with the Elders! Everyone was so much more interested. Because 玉里 is so small, pretty much everyone here has heard about our English class so as we have become more creative, more people are starting to come!! While we were English boarding, I stopped and talked to this cutest female for a good 15-20 minutes. She is from BanQiao--Taipei area. What an amazing lady. We literally became best friends and exchanged contact information and she wants to stay in contact with me when I return home from my mission!!. I asked her if I could ask the missionaries in Banqiao to get a hold of her and she said of course!! Team Jesus!!
Sadly, Sister Coleman got sick this week so most of Wednesday and Thursday, we spent some hours inside so that she could rest and recover. But, Heavenly Father truly blessed us this week even though we had to be inside for a few hours!!
I love serving. I am so GRATEFUL for this wonderful opportunity. I love representing my Savior, Jesus Christ and having the opportunity to spread his gospel to all. I know this church to be true. I know only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can we be saved from sin and death. I know that Christ loves and know us each individually and wants the best from us. Trust in Him. Trust in the plan that Heavenly Father has given to us all. Align your will with His!
I love you all so very much. Thank you for your examples. Thank you for your testimonies!  Happy Thanksgiving!!
Have a great week!!
Sister Haacke

 Our cute little 玉里.
As we were finding this week out in RuiSui, we met this cute old lady---she was a little crazy but SO adorable! She took us into her home, and cut up oranges for us to eat. Pretty much every older person you ask to take a picture with, they always say no. But when we asked her, she was so willing! So we took  a picture with her.
And this is a picture of us and Valis, one of our new investigators in RuiSui! She is AMAZING!
 Our portable font!
 Sister Coleman and I with 菜仁和 and 菜仁平.
 Our branch President, a young man who baptized 仁和, and their mom!

 Some kids in our branch.
 Gao DiXiong cutting the American style turkey.
 Sister Coleman and I Thanksgiving dinner. Dad, sadly there is not any fast food places in YuLi--they don't have pizza, McDonald's, KFC, or anything here...so we will probably be having some fried rice and zhua bing for our thanksgiving meal :) :) 

 Sister Coleman and I with 陳子令 and  陳元怡 they are also twins in our branch and are the only members in their family! They are 15 :) and YiLang photobombed our picture. :)