I loved Sis. Lindsay's (my MTC companion) Title on her email this week..So, I copied it. haha Thanks Sis. Lindsay! I love you!!!
Let me first give you a visa update that I was informed of this morning. Let me first say, no good news..so, don't get your hopes up...but, it's a step forward I guess. I have to travel down to the Mission Office tomorrow for the transfer meeting to sign some papers that are needed for the furthering of the visa application. From what I know, I have little idea of what these papers are.
Better news is that I received two emails from Pres. Day (Mission President in Taiwan). He expressed his love and that all the missionaries are praying there for us to receive our visas. He sent us this language booklet that he wants us to start working on in our reassignments. He told us to not lose hope and to continue praying.
Last Monday, my companions and I went up the the Air Force Academy and toured the Church there. It is gorgeous. They have rooms for all different religions. I was amazed! What is also really neat is that everything is based off of something off of an airplane. You can see in the large cross that it is the picture it is a plane propeller. I believe they told us it is 99 feet...so its huge!
This week we were able to have a great lesson with one of our investigators, Cami. She is very very educated and has allowed me to learn so much about the Bible. I love the friendship that I have created with her. In our lesson on Tuesday, we talked more about reading the Book of Mormon with sincerity. She is not quite sure about Joseph Smith. She feels like he was a very sincere man but nothing else. She is still not coming to church but hopefully we can get her to church soon. Her and her family just moved a couple months ago from out East and it has been a little challenging on her family with all the changes that have gone on in her life. Religion is a very family central thing in her family so she feels like changing one more thing would take them over the edge. We are still working with her and hopefully see some progress this next coming week.
Wednesday night we were able to have dinner with a part-member, less active family. It was really neat and they were all so nice! We talked to them about the power of prayer and asked them if they would come to church this week. Sadly, they didn't come..but, we will keep working on them.
Friday, we had Zone Training all morning. We talked a lot about working with the Ward Council. I have come to meet some really amazing missionaries. Our Zone Leaders are very inspiring and great leaders. After Zone Training, my district and I went to lunch at Drifters. It reminded me a lot of In-and-Out. We had fun and we all guessed on where people were going to be transferred. Speaking of my district, I have gotten really close to all of them. There are 5 Sisters and 5 Elders (Because Elder Diepeveen and I joined half way through the transfer). Only 3 of us are getting transferred--Elder Peterson, Elder Van Patten, and Sis. Tarr, so it is still sad, but I am grateful I will be able to continue working with the others. We have a lot of fun together.
Friday night we were able to get into the Tully home. Sis. Tully is a member and hasn't been to church in many, many years. Sis. Cook has been in this area for 6 months and has never been able to get into their home. Sis. Tully was the only one that talked to us and the first thing she told us was that she is an in-active but she still considered herself Christian. Her reasoning is that she was tired of forcing her children, when they were younger to go to church so she just flat out stopped going. We asked her the last time she read the Book of Mormon and she told us she can't remember. We challenged her to begin everyday to start reading the Book of Mormon and she accepted so hopefully she will do that.
Saturday I was able to get together with Bro. Savage again to study some language. He was the one I met with a couple weeks ago who served in Taipei. He showed me the discussions that he had to memorize when he was a missionary. There was so much to memorize! Mom and dad, I don't know how you did it! With Bro. Savage, I role-played the first couple bullet points in the first discussion-The Restoration-and he helped me with some words and grammar. Before we role-played, I said the opening prayer and he told me my tones were really good...I was really happy. haha...Hopefully I will be able to meet up with him again since I will probably be here for a while longer.
When we don't have appointments, we fill our day with stop-bys, service, and tracting. This week, luckily for me, we were pretty busy putting our ward mission plan together so that took up most of our tracting time.
Church was really good yesterday. During second hour, we as missionaries are teaching an 18 year old boy named Ian. He is deaf and so his dad, who just converted about 1 1/2 years ago, translates for us. It was such a neat experience. Ian doesn't know who God is or anything about Jesus Christ so we are starting from the very beginning. Yesterday, we talked about the Plan that Heavenly Father gave us and the Pre-Mortal life. During 3rd hour, the Relief Society, Priesthood, and Young Men & Women's gathered together and we discussed the Ward Mission Plans that we have for the Ward for this upcoming year. From what I saw, people are pretty excited and hopefully we will see the work to start progressing here in this area. The missionaries in this area are just starting to gain the trust back from the missionaries. So, I also feel like the work will start progressing and we will see some success in the Jackson Creek Area.
Sunday was also filled with meeting with the Ward Council and Ward Correlation. We also had a Stand & Report meeting Sunday night that we had to attend where the stake bishops, ward mission leaders, and missionaries get together and everyone talks about their Ward Mission Plan. Pres. Rehm (Mission President) was also there. It was a little repetitive but good to see what everyone else's plans were for the upcoming year. We had to leave early because we had an appointment but Elder Diepeveen talked to Pres. Rehm after the meeting and asked him about our visas. President told him about the papers that we had to sign and Sunday night when Elder Wasden (Our district leader) called us for our stats, he told me the news that we had more papers to sign. This honestly made me really sad and a bit frustrated. When I came to Colorado, I thought in my mind that I would only be here until transfers or leave even earlier than that. Transfers are tomorrow and when I heard that there were still more papers to sign, I knew that we were still out a couple of weeks. I had a hard time understanding why I am still here but I just need to ask that question to the Lord and knowing that he will give me that answer.
I love what I am doing. I am learning and growing so much each week. Even though this week was disappointing about the visa situation, I need to keep pressing forward and learning all that I can here.
I love you all. Thank you so much for the support I have received from all of you! I know that I couldn't do this without you all!!
Have a great week!! I look forward to hearing from you next week!!
P.S. Shout out to my MTC teachers, Sis Ochoa & Bro. Chia! I think about you both all the time!! Thank you so much for all that you taught me in the MTC! I learned so much from you! I hope all is going well with the new semester in school and the districts you are teaching in the MTC! I love you both!!
One of the rooms in the Church at the Air Force Academy.
My companions and I on a freezing day! There was so much frost on the trees!
Throw back to when I left the MTC.:
Sis. Wu and I. Sis. Wu was only my teacher for a couple days at the very end, but she was so kind and I learned so much from her. She is from Taiwan and is in Provo learning English. (Sister Ochoa or Bro. Chia: Please tell Sis. Wu hi for me!)
Sis. Ochoa and most of the combined district we had the last couple of days in the MTC.
Sis. Lindsay and I saying bye to each other. Yes--probably one of the hardest things I have ever done.