Taiwan Taipei Mission

Taiwan Taipei Mission

Monday, March 30, 2015

Earthquake, Rain & Miracles

This week has been absolutely amazing!!! I cant believe I have already been in Taiwan for a month! It seems like yesterday when I was getting off the plane in the airport! 
Before I forget, dad yes the fruit here is amazing! It is the end of orange season right now and these little tomatoes. Literally like everyone we visit gives us oranges, kiwi, or mini tomatoes. It is crazy. Strawberry season is next I think...I haven't had many mangoes because they are not in season but last night at Hong JiaTing, they invited one of our investigators over for dinner with us, Gan JieMei and she brought green mangoes and they were so good! Like the sweet and sour ones! 

AND Our new dog is SO adorable! Yes, he is fat! haha put him on a diet! It looks like Alexa and Lachlan absolutely love him! Marissa, he loves you so love Buddy back! :) It sounds like it was a fun spring break and Marissa, it looks and sounds like you had a great birthday! I can't believe you are 15!! Happy birthday again!! Grandpa H., happy birthday to you as well!! Sure love you all :)

Bryan, loved the pictures you were able to send this week! (or last :) It's good to hear that you are having a great time serving in the Philippines. There is a person who just got baptized in our branch on Saturday, one of the elders investigators, who is from the Philippines but more down south. He is here in Taiwan for work and will possibly be here for up to the next 5 years. But, his wife, son, and mother-in-law skyped in for his baptism and I was able to talk to them for a little bit! They were so cute! The people there must be amazing! Keep up the great work! Thanks for being such a huge example to me! Love you! 

As for my week:
Monday: Last Monday, our mission leader took us all to XinZhu and we had a blast! We were able to go to a small art exhibit in a high school and talk to two students about their art. It was cute when we were there. We were walking through a building and all these girls came up to me and said hi and I said hello back and they are started laughing and like ran away..haha it was cute. We also went to a ghost temple and Jeffrey, mission leader, explained the meaning of a lot of the Buddhist Gods in the temple. We found some MUG root beer too! Overall, it was a great day! 
Preparation day ends at 6. We were calling referrals/potentials for about 30 minutes in our apartment and there was an earthquake! We live on the 4th floor of our apartment and our clothes were swaying and everything. It freaked me out! haha I guess they occur often in Taiwan? 
So, last Sunday, we were making less-active calls and we called Wu Jia Wen. When we talked to him, he was really excited and wanted to meet with us the next day, So, at 7, us and the elders went over to his house together to meet and get to know him. His wife left him I believe about a year ago and since then, he has fallen away from the church and has been really depressed. When we went over, he was so happy to see us and talked so much! We went in prepared to share a spiritual message about faith but Sister Fisher was prompted to share Alma 36:19-20 as soon as he was done reading this, he looked up and said this is exactly how I am feeling and I feel now like I want to slowly start coming back to church. He said it is going to take some time but he feels like he is finally at a time in his life he wants to turn around and come back! It was so neat! His wife also took his Book of Mormon when she left him so we were able to give him a new one and he was so happy! 

Tuesday we had district meeting and a lesson with Fan Zhu Song. He is such a golden investigator! Today, we had our lesson at Akin's home and we discussed the Plan of Salvation. His favorite part is the Celestial Kingdom because it is a really happy place! He read 1 Nephi 1 as well before we met and he had really good questions! We can tell that he is really studying it out, marking stuff up, and trying to come to the knowledge for himself if the church is true! Tuesday night we also went English boarding for English class at the night market. 

Wednesday: We had a really good member lesson with Akin where we discussed the Book of Mormon and the things she is currently studying. We did a lot of tracting and knocking doors and then Wednesday night, we had English class. I teach the most advanced class (since I am the newest missionary in our area) and tonight I was teaching them about how to use a, an, the. I felt so bad because none of them understood it...so this week we will have to go over it again...teaching English is so fun though! It is a good service opportunity and quite a few people come! 

Thursday we had our weekly planning session and just a normal day of missionary work. Thursday night we biked out to visit a Less-Active and we stopped by a 7 near her home to make a few phone calls before going to her home and while we were there, we started talking to an older man who has never heard of God or Christ and doesn't have any religious background! He seems somewhat interested and said he would try to come to church on Sunday but he wasn't there. We got his phone number and address and so hopefully we will be able to help him come to know who Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are.  We also had a really good lesson with a Less-Active Huang Qi Wang. She is about 40 and extremely depressed. She is the only Christian in her family-the rest are Buddhist. We reviewed the Plan of Salvation with her and she told us when she was in her 20's she loved going to church and reading the scriptures but now she feels like her family members are really mad and disappointed in her because she went Christian so she now is by-bying them to 'make up' what she thinks she did wrong...We were able to bear testimony about how they are able to come to know Christ where they are right now in their life and hopefully that cleared things up :) She was so grateful when we left! It was super cute! 

Friday: Had a lesson with Wu Mei Yu (NuSkin lady). We brought a member with us and Wu Mei Yu talked for half the time to this member right in front of us about our Chinese and how she can understand us but we have a weird accent and when we leave her notes on her door, they look like children wrote them. haha Sister Fisher and I just sat there. We told her that we have weaknesses and our Chinese is still not very good and we are learning how to write characters but it takes time...haha Our member was so good to also back us up. So long story short nothing really progressed in our lesson with her. However, Friday night, we had a lesson with Fan Zhu Song. The Elders were our member present because we can't meet with males alone and they wanted to meet him. We were able to discuss his Book of Mormon reading and what he needs to do to more fully prepare for baptism. We helped him make a more detailed plan as to how he will be able to start coming to church. (Oh, we also found out he has two houses. A dorm in Zhunan and a House in TouFen, so we get to keep teaching him here!) His big issue is work. We discussed it with him and he has a huge desire to come to know the truth! In 2 weeks, he will be able to start coming to church. He has a new baptism date for May 16! 
Friday night we were able to meet with a potential investigator. She met us at the church and she thought we set up the meeting to teach her English and that is all she wants to learn from us. It took us a whole 20 minutes to explain to her that we can only teach English on Wednesday and that we can't have one on one lessons...Friday was a day of weird lessons..haha

Saturday We had a great lesson with Lu Pei Ling. Hong JieMei was an awesome peike (member present)! We discussed 1 Nephi 20-where she is in the Book of Mormon. and taught her more about the Atonement and Faith. We also had a lesson with Gan JeiMei and she asked us why so many people persecute the church and why our church is the only one that so many people talk bad about but that when she sees the members of our church and us as missionaries-we are so happy. It was neat because she wants that happiness as well. We were also able to discover some of her needs as to what is holding her back from getting baptized. We also did some tracting. 
Saturday night was Henry's baptism!!! Sister Fisher and I were asked to sing during his baptism program. His favorite song is We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet so we sang that. He was so happy and it was so awesome to see him get baptized and bear his testimony about how the church has changed his life. His wife has been a member her whole life and also served a mission when she was younger but has never come to found the truth until he was in Taiwan! Gan JieMei also attended the baptism and she brought her three little kids! It was so neat! 

SUNDAY was amazing!!! WE had 3 investigators at church!!! Wu Mei Yu, Lu Pei Ling, and Liang Man Ting!! It was amazing!! Wu Mei Yu was only able to stay for sacrament meeting but Lu Pei Ling stayed the entire time and for the most part I think she really enjoyed it. It definitely is a new experience though when they come to church! It is so neat to also see people change for the better and have a desire to come unto Christ. After church, we were able to meet with Liang Man Ting and teach her about the Restoration. She is 13 years old. She is so cute and loves church. This is her 3rd time at church and she wants to keep coming back-her aunt is a recent convert about a year ago. 
Sunday night, we had dinner with Hong JiaTing! They are the cutest family! (Go on Facebook to Peter Qiu and I think he posted some pictures.) Gan JieMei, our investigator, also came to dinner and brought her three kids, and one of Hong JieMei friends, Mandy, came. She is in Taiwan teaching English and is from Ohio and not a member of the Church. Hong JieMei knows English-she studied at BYU and also served a mission in Taiwan when she was young. The main topic of conversation over dinner was Thailand and riding Elephants! Haha. One of my favorite experiences from traveling when we lived in China. Gan JieMei, Sister Fisher, and Mandy have ridden elephants as well! haha
Overall, it was a great week other than the rain almost everyday!!! I love being a missionary so much! It is so great! I learn so much everyday! It is the greatest thing I have ever done! 

I was studying in 2 Nephi 9 this week and I absolutely loved verses 21 and 22:

 21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.
 22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
 
 I am so grateful we have this time, Easter, to really celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because He Lives, we can all Live!  I love you all so much!!! 
If you haven't already, watch the Because He Lives video. It is amazing!!

Love, 
Sister Haacke

 Sister Fisher, me, Elders Marks and Dixon and Jeffrey!

 Last Monday in Xinzhu.
 
 Sister Fisher and I with Gan JM last night at Hong JiaTing.



 Fan Zhun Song, Akin and Us.
 
 Tracting
 
 After Henry's baptism at a member house.
 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Learning Patience

Family & Friends!

I don't have much time today because we are meeting up with our mission leader and the Elders and going to an art museum and a temple in XinZhu so I will write as much as I can! 

I was able to skim through the family emails. Sounds like everyone is doing great! Bryan, I know you will be a great district leader! Mom and dad, thanks for sending me a package! I look forward to getting it! 

For this week, it went by really fast and definitely had its ups and downs! 

Remember that guy I told you about that stopped us when we were riding our bikes home? well, we were able to meet with him twice this past week. The first time we met with him, our member who came to the lesson with us told him about everything about the church and then when she found out he had work on Sunday and couldn't come to church starting getting really mad and asked him why he didn't keep the sabbath day...haha so that was a really rough lesson. But we were still able to invite him to be baptized and he accepted if he comes to find out if our message is true! We set a goal for April 18. The second time we met with him, we went back through the 1st lesson-Restoration to clear some things up that our member confused him about.  He loves the part about families and thinks families are very important. Unfortunately, we found out he is not in our proselyting area.  He is either in Zhunan, MiaoLi, or Taichung-the other mission). He is originally from Taoyuan and going to college up here. Sadly this week, we are going to have to transfer him to the missionaries in his area...but, they will take care of him! Fan XianXiang is so prepared! 

We also had a really good lesson with Lu JieMei. We taught her the plan of Salvation. Xu JieMei was our member present and she was phenomenal! She cleared up so many questions Lu JM had and shared her conversion story. Xu JM converted because of the plan of salvation. When she was younger, her sister got hit by a car and passed away and when the missionaries came in contact with her when she was in college, she came to know that it was true! Lu JM favorite part of the plan of salvation was the resurrection. This subject is new to everyone here but she thought it was really neat that we could have a perfect body and reunite with our spirit. She told us she would come to church after a long discussion about the importance of coming to church but sadly, she didn't come. We called her right before sacrament meeting and she told us she was busy. Hopefully next week she will be able to come.

Thursday and Friday we had exchanges with the sister Training Leaders. I was able to learn so much from them. I went to XinZhu and spent the day with Sister Murri. Sister Murri is such an amazing missionary! I learned so much from her about using every minute wisely and dedicating all my time to serving the Lord. One thing that was really neat was we were following up with some potential investigators on Thursday night and we were able to teach one. Her surname is Huang and we were able to share with her how to pray and who Jesus Christ is. We were also able to set up a return appointment with her! She is currently in high school and is the sweetest! 

Gan JM is also progressing. She says she feels really good when we visit and discuss the gospel with her and when she prays and reads the scriptures. We are still having a hard time having her attend church. That is the hardest thing here is for people to make the time to come to church. 

Church yesterday was really good. I still can't understand like anything and the members are so sweet. On their phones or iPads, they always pull up the English talk we are discussing in relief society so that I can somewhat follow along. Yesterday in relief society we discussed the talk, Lord, Is it I? I love that talk! Sister Fisher and I also had to teach Gospel Principles yesterday. We talked about the Atonement. I never really understood the importance of the atonement in my life until I came on my mission. Christ truly does understand each and every one of us perfectly. He is there always, with His arms open wide to comfort us and to help us. Turn to him daily. I promise you He loves you!! 

Often times it is very frustrating to not be able to understand/speak with the people. I feel like a baby trying to talk to adults. If there has been one thing I have learned from the trial of not being able to speak very well it has been patience. I know that Heavenly Father called me to Taiwan for a reason. Part of that reason is to learn patience. Patience has been a hard attribute to acquire my entire life and now at age 19, I am finally learning the importance of patience. 

I love you all so much! Thanks so much for the prayers in my behalf! 

Love, 
Sister Haacke

PS. My crazy question about the chicken place was for an elder in my district. haha he is from Pocatello and this is his last transfer in Taiwan.  He went to this chicken place like 7 years ago in Idaho falls and was wondering if it is still there...haha and thanks for answering all my questions!! 

Dad, have fun in Taiwan! And no, I haven't found the store for Melaleuca yet here.  But Sister Fisher says she knows where it is. I will go there sometime! :) If there is anyone that lives in Toufen that works there and wants to know about the gospel, let me know..haha :)

 Exchanges with Sister Murri.

 Tracting on Sunday.  The gardens people have here are amazing!!
 
Amy (Recent Convert) and I at the Branch FHE last Sunday.

Monday, March 16, 2015

How Are Your Piano Skills?

Family and Friends!
I'm glad to hear everyone is doing great at home! It seems like you have all been really busy!!
Bryan, it sounds like you are doing great and continuing to learn a lot everyday! Let us know about your new companion and everything! Love you!
As for my week, it went by extremely fast.
Last Monday for Preparation day, we were able to meet up with several other missionaries in our zone and ride our bikes to the beach in Zhunan! It was about a 45 minute bike ride one way from TouFen. It was a lot of fun! We went to celebrate Sister Lindsay's birthday! Monday night we had a lesson with one of our less-actives and it sadly didn't go very well...she basically told us that if she needs us, she would call us. :/. She knows the right thing to do though so hopefully she creates that desire to become active.
Tuesday, we had zone meeting in Zhunan from 1-4 after studies. Zone Meeting was really good! Our zone leaders, Elder Stewert & Huang are so inspired. (Elder Stewert's uncle is my stake president from home!) We talked about having bold baptism invites, working with members, and the mission vision for the month of March. The Sister Training Leaders, Sister Smith & Murri, also talked to us about our peike's and preparing them more for the lessons they are helping us with.
One thing I really learned from our zone training was the importance of showing our love to those we serve and how we can help others want to inherit the Kingdom of God. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. It all starts with us as individuals. We first need to create our own desire to inherit Celestial Glory or to forget ourselves and just serve those around you and then they will follow the example you set for them.
After we got back from Zhunan, we went to dinner and then went English Boarding with the Elders at a Night Market. It started raining pretty hard so I got soaked and there wasn't very many people there. After, all of our lessons got cancelled and so we went to a 7 and did phone calls to potentials and less actives.
Wednesday, after studies, we had a great lesson with Chen JM! It is the Indonesian who randomly came to Church last Sunday! Akin was our peike and she was absolutely amazing!. We shared the Lesson on the Restoration with her and she loved it. We had her read Joseph Smith's First Vision in Indonesian and after her eyes got big and her jaw dropped. She thought it was a really neat experience. A little crazy though. She thought how could this happen to such a young boy..She understood everything and agreed to reading the Book of Mormon. We also invited her to be baptized and she said she would if she knew it was true but she is going back to Indonesia for a month this coming week and so we won't be able to meet with her :/. Wednesday we also had our Weekly Planning Session. Wednesday night, we had our English Meeting and then English Class. Since it was raining, there wasn't many people there but it was still fun.
Thursday, we had Zone Conference from 9 AM to 5 PM. We had it in MiaoLi. MiaoLi is such a beautiful place. We met the Zhunan missionaries (Our Zone leaders and Sister Keung & Lindsay) at the train station to head to MiaoLi. Funny Story, we got on the wrong train and we almost went out of our mission boundaries into the Taichung Mission but Elder Huang realized and we hurry and got off and took a Taxi back to MiaoLi...We fortunately got to Zone Conference on time. :)
Zone Conference was really good! President Day, The Assistants, Zone leaders, and Sister Training Leaders all had great messages. We talked about 4 languages-the Language of Love, Spirit, Gospel, and Chinese.
To start the meeting, we sang and opening song and President Day welcomed us. He then turned to me and said, "Sister Haacke, how are your piano skills today?" I told him they were alright. He then asked me to go play a solo on the piano to invite the Spirit. Later on during the conference, during the Language of Chinese section, there were members from the MiaoLi ward that came and we each, as a companionship, went into a room and role played the Plan of Salvation lesson with the member. President Day came and asked if he could come and sit in on Sister Fisher and my lesson. So he did and he gave me some really good pronunciation tips. After this role play, I turned to Sister Fisher and I said, man, President Day and really picking on me today..haha for a minute it made me a little nervous but at the very end of the conference, President Day was saying some closing remarks and he brought it up. He said something along the lines of, "I'm proud of Sister Haacke today.I listened to Sis. Fisher and her Plan of Salvation Lesson she probably was extremely nervous that the Mission President wanted to listen to her lesson but she was willing to make mistakes and then to be corrected. She was brave, bold, courageous..." He went on to say that it is great to see that as a mission president and that it makes him really proud. It made me have so much comfort knowing that even though my Chinese is so broken and there are times when it doesn't even make sense that it is okay.
At the very end of Zone Conference, President also announced the Church's Easter Initiative, Because He Lives. I am SO excited for this initiative! I think there will be a lot of success come from this Season where we celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
On the train ride back, I was able to talk to Sister Smith for a little bit! She is doing really good! She is currently serving in XinZhu. She is absolutely amazing and doing so good!! She is a huge example to me.
Thursday night we had some time we were able to qiaomen and we met a lady, Huang XiaoJie, on the street. She was in the shangzi we were tracting because she was dropping off her brothers 3 yr old daughter at her house. She is so sweet and agreed to meet with us!
Friday, after studies, we had service at Zhang JieMei recycling center. We helped take apart some more bikes. After, we came back and did some more qiaomen. We didn't have much success but we were able to meet Fan XiaoJie who was waiting for some people on the street. We were able to give a chuandan and pray with her. She was really interested in the English classes. Unfortunately, the people she was waiting for came and were all super drunk and started talking to us in Taiyu so we decided to leave. We had MM meeting with our ward mission leader and planned for the Branch FHE on Sunday night.
The neatest experience I had this week was Friday night. Sister Fisher and I were on our way home and we took a different route than usual. Out of no where, this college-age young man rode up on his motor scooter right beside me and asked where I was from in English. I told him America. We stopped and I told him about our free English class and that we were missionaries. He told us he was Christian. We then went on to tell him about the Book of Mormon. He had heard of it before from his friend but didn't have his own copy. We were able to give him one and set an appointment up for this coming Tuesday! What was also really neat was when we were giving him our phone number, he called us from his phone right then and there! There are so many times where people give us fake numbers if they don't have interest but don't want to be rude! About 15 minutes after we said goodbye to him, we got a text from him thanking us for giving him a Book of Mormon! Sadly, we don't have texting so we weren't able to text him back but, I am super excited we are going to be able to begin teaching Feng XianXiang!! We called him Saturday night and invited him to church but he had work. He was really sad he couldn't come. Things are looking really good with him!! Experiences like these it what makes everything worth it on a mission. There are days where missionary work is extremely challenging and where it seems as if no one wants to listen to you BUT, these small miracles everyday is what makes EVERYTHING count!
Saturday, we had a great lesson with Gan JieMei. She is so self-taught! We had an amazing lesson about the Word of God. We read the Tree of Life with her and talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon. She finally studied from the Book of Mormon this week too! When she told us this, she also told us that everything is starting to make sense and that through the Book of Mormon, it is helping her more fully understand the Bible! We also had a lesson with Guan Pei Jun, a less active. She is really sweet. Saturday night we went to a nonmember family home for dinner in the Elders area. Their 16 year old son is a LA and the rest of the family are nonmembers. The Elders are trying to start teaching them. Dinner was really good! And their family is so fun!
Sunday, Church was really good--still didn't really understand anything. Chen JM was at church and there was a teenage girl there with Zhang JieMei. Her name is LiangManTing and she is Zhang JieMei niece! She is interested in the church and wants to start coming to church with her aunt! We were able to meet her and get to know her a little bit. After church we had a new member lesson with Amy. She was baptized about a year ago but just recently told us she never got the new member lessons so we started teaching her those. After, we also had a lesson with Wu Mei Yu. She works for NuSkin and is so sweet! We talked to her about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We went into this lesson and after having to either decide to drop her as an investigator or what because missionaries have been meeting with her for a long time BUT SHE SET A BAPTISM DATE!!!! For April 25th!! She is going to be out of town for the first part of April! we are SO excited and hope that it will go through! She has had a baptismal date before and we don't really know what happened but we hope that April 25th will be her day! Sunday night, we had our Branch FHE. It was a potluck dinner--which was really good--and then we had some activities. We had the lesson and we did some role plays practicing inviting our friends to church and to activities. We then played Poison Dart Frog for the activity. Everyone here gets so in to it! It is so funny! There was a really good turn out! LiangManTing also came to the activity tonight so we were able to talk to her and get to know her a little bit better!
Overall, this week was really good. Every week seems to go by faster and faster! IT is crazy!
I love you all so much! Have a great week!!
Love,
Sister Haacke
PICS:
At the Beach!
Dad, what was your surname when you were a missionary and the character?
P.S. Don't forget about those ancestor stories :)
PPS. Did you ever get my package from Colorado? 
 
 At the beach!



 

 Sister Smith & I

 Akin, Me, Chen JieMei (Yellisha), and Sister Fisher.

 On the train.
 Walking back to the train station from Zone Conference.
 
 Our Zone at Zone Meeting on Tuesday.
 
Yes, we have fun during service!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Duck Blood--EW!

FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

This week was truly amazing! I learned so much and was able to see so many miracles! Heavenly Father is so aware of each of His children! He loves each and everyone of us so much! 

Family, it sounds like you had a busy week--with dad being busy traveling & mom watching the VanderSloot kids. Marissa, I'm so proud of you for all the hard work you put into your school work! Straight A's?! Dang girl! I'm proud of you! I am sorry to hear about Kade's dad. I will for sure add he and his family in my prayers. Keep me updated on all your singing performances. It sounds like you are having a blast! Lachlan, I'm glad you had fun helping mom take care of the VanderSloot kids! I'm glad you are also having a lot of fun at school!! Alexa, I also miss you ssssssssssoooooooooo much and love you sssssssssssssssoooooooooooooooo much :)! Keep having tons of fun at school and at dance!! 
It's crazy how many people are getting married! I'm glad mom and ļ¼­arissa were able to attend some wedding receptions! 

Bryan, I loved reading your emails! It sounds like you are continuing to work hard in your area. I'm glad you have been able to come up with some ways to work more with members. That is also one of our challenges here in TouFen. I love you!!

As for my week, it went by really fast. 

Our mission has now become a Facebook mission. I had to temporarily deactivate mine from home :( and get one just for Taiwan. Unfortunately, I can only be friends with the people that live in the area I am currently serving in. When we get transferred, we have to delete all of our friends and add the members and investigators in our new area. 

One thing I have really learned this week is that Heavenly Father truly does have a hand in His work. The small miracles I have been able to see and take part in every day this week have truly strengthened my testimony. 

Here is my week:
Monday, we were able to visit a less-active, Lin Yu Xiao. We were able to talk to her about our baptismal covenant and invited her to pick one thing from MSH 18:8-10 to work on. She also had attended Sacrament Meeting the day before so we discussed some of the testimonies borne. Lin Jie Mei also told me that if I want to learn Chinese, I have to speak as much as I can. So...that's been my goal this week...However, I still can't understand like anything or communicate like anything. After Lin JM, we visited some investigators, Rose & Dinosaur. They are mom & son. We did a paper biru with them where you have to cut a normal printer paper to fit your whole body through and the paper has to stay connected. We talked about how each cut of the paper represents like attending church, reading, prayer, etc. 

Tuesday, we had to go up to Taipei. Monday night, we got a call from the AP's and Sister Fisher was asked to be TouFen's English Leader so she had a meeting she had to attend. Sister Lindsay's (MTC companion) was also called for their area so we were able to talk while they were in a meeting. We also helped a Bunde Missionary learn some English :) and well as us study our flashcards. After we got back from Taipei, we had district meeting. There are 8 Missionaries in my district. Sister Fisher and I are the only Sisters. One Elder, Elder Morgan, is from Pocatello, Idaho! He played tennis for Highland and graduated in 2012! He played boys doubles and remembers Spencer and Ryan from Skyline.  He is on his last transfer of his mission so will be heading home in April! District Meeting was really good! We discussed the 'vision' we have for each of our areas. Sister Fisher and I and the Elders who also work in Toufen have some great ideas to further the work here in TouFen. We were then supposed to have a lesson with our new investigators, Feng & Shu Xiao Jie, but when we got to their home, their garage door was closed and they gave us a wrong number...so in the end, they weren't really interested :( BUT, after writing them a note, we got a call from our investigator, Qiu DiXiong, and he was able to meet with us. We discussed who God and Jesus Christ are and invited him to pray and come to know Heavenly Father. The reason why he is interested in meeting with us is because he wants to quit smoking and drinking. He is neat! 

Wednesday, we were able to qiaomen (knock doors) a lot on Wednesday. we went to a xiangzi across a bridge and were able to meet some neat people. Many are not interested because they are Buddhist and they 'by-by their ancestors' but through all those people, we are able to meet those who are willing to listen. We started and we were able to talk to an older man and his sister who were out working in their garden and rice fields. They were really cute but not interested. We knocked several more doors and no one was interested, I was praying so hard in my head that we would find the person Heavenly Father wanted us to find. We knocked on the next door and the lady wasn't interested but told us of a lady who is Christian and would want to listen to our message. We walked to her home and we were invited in and we were able to share about God and prayer. It was amazing and a huge miracle! After that, we came incontact with several more and although we weren't able to have many lessons, we were able to give them a chuandan and talk a little about the church. Mostly, people are just amazed that two white girls can communicate with them in Chinese. haha Wednesday night, we had English class. I am in charge of teaching the highest class. We played some games and I got to know them. Family, the game, Spot It!, you sent for Christmas was a huge success!! They had a lot of fun with it! There was some new people at English class who are somewhat interested in hearing about the church. English class is truly a great finding tool! 

Thursday, we had our Weekly Planning Session and our MM meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, Jeffrey. We also had a meeting with our Branch President, Shu Hui Zhang and his family with the Elders. We shared a lesson and talked with Shu Hui Zhang and his wife about the less actives in our branch and what more we need to do to make our branch into a ward. That is our big goal for this year. Our branch is really close. We need a couple more Melchizedek Priesthood holders and some more tithing payers and we will be able to become a ward and get our own building. Right now, we meet on the second floor of a bus station. 

Friday, after our studies, we went with the Elders on a bus and did service for Zhang Jie Mei. She is a RC in their area. She owns a recycling place and so we normally go there every Friday to help her sort through things or take apart bikes. Today, we spent our whole time taking apart bikes. It is really fun! Also, a huge truck came to pick up all the cardboard and we were able to talk to the two workers! They were interested because Zhang JM told them we help her for free and they said, who would do that?! I was able to give a Book of Mormon to one of them Pong Xian Xiang and he seemed really interested! Of course, they wanted to take a picture with us so I got one too! :) What was really neat and also another miracle this week was before we got on the bus to head to do service, we went to a FamilyMart for Sister Fisher to put money on her yoyo bus card and there was this lady there who recognized Sister Fisher from last transfer who they met on the street! She was preparing to get baptized in a different faith. We were able to talk to her quickly and she wants to meet with us! We exchanged numbers and now have a new potential investigator! We qiaomen Friday night and didn't have much success at all but when we were about to head to Liu JM shop to help her close down, we talked to a guy smoking outside and he gave us a referral! (miracle!)

Saturday, after studies we had a lesson with our baptismal date investigator, Lu Jie Mei!! She is SO prepared! We shared the lesson on the Restoration. She has been reading the book of Mormon and she related Joseph Smith to Nephi! I was shocked! She agreed to come to church on Sunday but called us Saturday night and said that she couldn't come anymore so unfortunately, we are going to have to push her baptism back because she has to come to church at least three times. She has been once. We then had a lesson with Gan Jie Mei. We talked about covenants and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. She has a fear with baptism so we invited her to pray about baptism. Hong Jie Mei was able to peike for us and was a great asset to our lesson! Gan Jie Mei is also so prepared! It is so neat to see they way Heavenly Father works in everyone's life. After, we went to the church to use Facebook and the a young girl came in randomly asking if we had a minister and when our church met! We gave her a little tour of the church and she said she would come!! She is from Indonesia. and just moved to Taiwan about a month ago. She moved in with her grandma and is waiting to start school in September. We also had a lesson with Su DX (Less-Active). a member, Lin Jie Mei also came to the church and was so cute. She was trying to teach my Chinese from all these characters on the back of a VCR case. Our lesson with Su DX went well. The Elders peike for us. We talked about Pres. Monson's talk from last general conference about God's will and obedience. Saturday night, we went to go and find some potential investigators homes, but we got lost and ended up taking a long bike ride trying to find our way back...Sis. Fisher always feels so bad when this happens but I just tell her its another bike ride and we are always able to meet people at stop lights and on the side of the roads. 
On a funny note, Saturday night was my first night calling someone to set up an appointment. I called Lin Wu Xiao. I'm glad she is really nice because I asked her how her day was and what she did and she said she went to a funeral. I thought she said work so I told her that was cool and she said wait what? do you know what funeral means and then I figured it out and felt super dumb. She said it was okay and that my Chinese was bad haha. I still got a lot to work on! :)

Sunday was amazing!!!!!! The lady, Chen JM, from Saturday who came to the church building when we were there doing Facebook came to church!!!!!! Before we got to the chapel area, our branch president saw us and ran over to us telling us there is a new person in sacrament meeting. He was so excited! We sat with her and explained Sacrament Meeting to her. She ended up staying for all three hours and is really interested in learning more. She is Christian and has been baptized in another church. She is 20 years old and is such a sweet lady! I am looking forward to meeting with her. We also have a Sister in our branch who can't come to church because she takes care of a lot of old people and can't leave their home who is also from Indonesia. Her name is Akin We went and visited her after church and told her about Chen JM! Akin was really excited and got her number from us and said she would talk to her! We had a lesson with Lin JM (the lin who was trying to teach me characters) and we got to know her a little bit better. She is a convert and SO strong in the gospel! We spent the rest of our Sunday qiaomen. We explored the area and found some more places to go knock doors when we have time. After dinner, we went to go visit a recent convert but she wasn't home so we decided to qiaomen in her area. We needed at least one more lesson to accomplish our required goals for the week. We were praying so hard to be able to teach someone a lesson. We walked to the end of the xiangzi and started knocking. The first couple doors had no interest but then we were able to talk to this teenage girl probably Marissa's age and we were able to teach her a lesson and get a return appointment with her!! Also, on our way back to our bikes, we were walking by these garages and this guy who just pulled up asked if we were missionaries and said he didn't have a religion!! He was also really surprised that we could speak Chinese especially since Sister Fisher has only been here for 5 months and me for two weeks. We exchanged phone numbers and hopefully are going to be able to meet with him this coming week. 

Overall, this week was amazing. I still can't understand or say like anything but slowly, I'm starting to get better. It's sometimes really frustrating but when I exercise my faith, Heavenly Father really blesses me. In the Book of Mormon, I am currently studying in 1 Nephi. 1 Nephi 17:12-13 taught me so much. As Lehi's and Ishmael's families were wandering in the wilderness, the Lord commanded them not to make fires to cook or anything like that. They had to rely strictly on the Lord. They had no idea where they were going or what lay ahead in their lives but they relied on the Lord. Through their obedience in following the commandments, the Lord was able to bless them abundantly. 

I love you all so much! Thanks for all the emails and letters! They truly mean so much!! 
All letters and packages has to go to the mission office and then I pick them up when I go to Taipei. 

LOVE YOU!! 
Sister Haacke
 Here is a picture when we first got to Taiwan. I flew over with all these missionaries.
 




DINNER: YES I  HAD DUCK BLOOD THIS WEEK! Sister Fisher told me to try this black looking thing. It was just really chewy and I told her it didn't taste super gross but definitely not my favorite... During my second bite, she said, "Do you want to know what it is?" I said sure, and she said, "It's duck blood and rice." Yes, I know. Disgusting! I wanted to puke!
 
Places across the bridge while tracting.


 At the recycle place taking apart bikes.
 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happy in Taiwan

Family & Friends!!

Alexa, I want to wish you HAPPY 9th BIRTHDAY again!! I hope you had tons of fun at your party! I love you!!

I'M IN TAIWAN!!!! It is crazy!! I can't believe I am here. I feel like I am living in a dream! I have never been so happy in my life than when I got off the plane, went through immigration, and saw President & Sister Day and the Assistants holding a Taiwan Taipei Mission Banner. 

At the airport, we took a huge group picture of all the missionaries that came in for both missions. President said he would send that out as well as our pictures in front of the temple and our group picture infront of the Grand Hotel. When you get those, will you also forward them to me please? 

So, the airport..after I got off the phone with you we went and boarded our plan from San Fransisco to Taiwan! EVERYONE was down by the gate. There was so many of us. But I still didn't see Sister Lindsay or any of the Sisters' that served in Georgia with her...We boarded our plane. Sister Good and I were sitting next to each other. As we were watching others board, some of the last people on were Sister Lindsay! When we saw each other we had a little freak out from across the plane! It was so good to see her! Sister Good and her switched places for a couple hours about half way through the flight and we were able to catch up on everything! She is doing so good!! The 14 hour plane ride actually went really really fast, surprisingly. I was able to sleep for a few hours and the rest I was talking to missionaries and some flight attendants. Sadly, Sister Good and I sat right across from the flight attendant resting area door (dad, do you get what I mean?) and so there was only two chairs so we didn't really have an opportunity to teach someone. 

When we got to Taiwan, we went through immigration and then got our luggage and headed out to meet our Mission President. We all gathered together, took a group picture and then headed to the bus. On the bus, we had to introduce ourselves in Chinese and President Day told us about the plans we would be doing for the next couple of days. It was the first time I had really used my Chinese in a while! 

The bus took us to the Mission office where they fed us our first Chinese dinner and we got our temporary companions. Sister Hendricks and I were assigned. We then had interviews with President and we got to know each other and we talked about his expectations as a mission president. I already love and appreciate him so much! As a gift, he gave us all character, pinyin, and English side-by-side New Testament and D&C. President Day is truly a man called of God. He is so inspired and is going to be such an amazing Mission President. For the next two nights, we stayed in Temple Patron Housing. They have housing on the second and third floors of the mission office for those working in the temple that live far away. To be honest, I didn't sleep well the first night at all. I layed awake for ever and woke up forever. 

My first full day in Taiwan was amazing!! 
We met downstairs at 6:30 AM and the mission president and AP's ran with us to the Chaing kai Shec Memorial. It was really fun. It is in this gardened area where a lot of people go to "exercise" in the morning. We were given these temple tour pass along cards we were to give out while on our run. The first lady Sister Hendricks and I gave it to was named Tan taitai. She was so sweet to us. We were able to talk to her a little bit and explain the card in the best Chinese we could. She asked where we were from and all of that. The other people we talked to didn't really say much to us other than xie xie or wo zhi dao...haha. We then had breakfast made by the office Elders and the Temple Sisters and got ready for the day. Today, we took a tour of the huge chapel right next to the Temple, filled out some paperwork, got to call home for 60 seconds, and meet some more missionaries in the mission. Towards the evening, we had some meetings with the trainers. We then got randomly paired up with a trainer. I got paired up with Sister Van Tonder. With her, we went out and contacted for 2.5 hours. It was really neat! The first lady we really were able to have a conversation with, we were able to teach her how to pray and the importance of baptism. Contacting here in Taiwan is crazy! What we do, is we go up to a person and tell them who we are and ask them if we can start with a prayer. We explain they should close their eyes and say amen if they agree with the prayer at the end. We then teach them a lesson, invite them to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized, and then close in a prayer. Right on the street. It's crazy!! I was so surprised by the amount of Chinese I was able to say. We were able to talk to several individuals and receive many referrals. Another lady we talked to was from Shanghai, China! I was able to explain to her I lived in Shanghai when I was younger with my family. She is a Christian and we were able to place a Book of Mormon with her. She said she is always seeking for truth. She promised she would sincerely read the Book of Mormon. We gave her the mormon.org site because she was from Shanghai and soon going back home if she had further questions because there are no missionaries in China..yet :). Overall, we were able to place 4 Books of Mormon and handout several chuan dan (flyers/tracts). I loved the time we were able to spend on the streets of Taipei. We even were able to see the Taipei 101 building from a distance. The people here are absolutely amazing!!!!! 

Friday was also a day full of adventures and fun! We had to get up at 5 AM which was really nice because I woke up at 4 AM so I only had to lay in bed for an hour. At 6:15, we all met downstairs and went to the place where Taiwan was dedicated to missionary work. We went with President Day and the AP's. There, we sang Called to Serve in Chinese and read the Dedicatory Prayer. President Day gave us some history and then we were invited to go find our own place with our companion and pray to 'rededicate' ourselves to missionary work and to give all of our time here in Taiwan to serving the Lord. It was a neat experience. Even though it was so loud around us, the Spirit was really strong. One thing I have truly learned on my mission is that Heavenly Father truly hears and answers our prayers. He watches over us day and night. He want us to be happy. 
After, we walked up to the Grand Hotel and took some pictures. The hotel is HUGE and gorgeous! President told us to come and tour it on one of our P-days if we serve in Taipei because it is magnificent..We went back and gathered our things from where we were staying and went over to prepare for transfer meeting. 

Transfer meeting was SO much fun! President and Sister Day make it like a party! At transfer meeting, I was able to see Sister Smith!! She is doing SO good! I was looking all around for her and right when she walked in the door, we saw each other, and I ran over to her and gave her the biggest hug! She has changed so much! It was really good to see her. The first thing they did in transfer meeting was have the new missionaries give a small introduction of who they are in Chinese and then President Day gave said some more things about us and then he announced where we will be serving and who our trainer is! 

I am serving in the TouFen area (Western part of our mission) and my trainer is named Sister Fisher! I absolutely love Sister Fisher. She also was a visa waiter. She visa waited in Salt Lake South. She is a fairly new missionary. She is just starting her 4th transfer in Taiwan. However, her Chinese is really good! She has spent a lot of time studying and memorizing words. She is a great example to me. The mission has a language study plan that requires a lot of memorization and study. The first phase is all these phrases, words, scriptures, and grammar we have to memorize for the 5 lessons. It is in this huge book. It will take a lot of faith to memorize all of it. I am hoping to get it done by the time I am out of training in 12 weeks so I can start Phase 2 but we will see what happens.

After transfer meeting was over, we had a meeting about using family history, took pictures with President, and then we were off to our areas. Sister Lindsay is serving in a neighboring area as me and so we took the same bus back to our areas from Taipei. We first took the high speed train to the Taipei Bus Station and then rode to TouFen. Taiwan is beautiful! When we got to TouFen, the Elders were so kind to come carry my luggage up 4 flights of stairs to our apartment. We live on the 4th floor by ourselves. We spent an hour finishing our WPS (weekly planning session) the parts we didn't finish on the bus, had dinner, and then met with our Ward Mission Leader, Jeffrey, at the church. After, we went to a less actives store, Liu Jie Mei and helped her close up shop. Every night, except for Sunday around 8:45 we head over to her store and help bring in the racks of clothes, teach her a phrase of english, and share with her a scripture. Friday night was really funny. Everyone here asks to see a picture of your family. She was so cute. Everyone also asks how old you are, mom and dad. It's kind of funny. They are also so surprised that you have 5 kids. Then they explain how everyone from America has so many kids..haha. 

Saturday was my first full day in TouFen. We got up and did our morning routine. Since I am in training, we have 4 hours of study in the morning and then we hit the roads. Riding a bike in a skirt is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be! On Saturday, we were supposed to have a lesson with one of our investigators with a baptismal date, but she called and cancelled on us. We actually haven't met her yet. The Elders contacted her and taught her a lesson on the street. She accepted baptism and went to church last week and is reading the Book of Mormon. Hopefully this week we will be able to come in contact with her. We also had a lesson with Gan Jie Mei. She is also an investigator. She is Christian. When we got to her home, her mom's friend was there so it was a little hard to teach her a lesson. We were going to talk to her about the Tree of Life and reading the book of Mormon but we ended up doing a small 'get to know you' and sharing a scripture. Here, I realized I really can't understand anything!!! I just sat there...haha
We spent the rest of the day knocking doors and we spent an hour on the computer. Our mission just became a FaceBook mission so I will be setting that up in the coming week. 

Saturday night we had a huge miracle. We were knocking doors and the first door we knocked in this one area, a lady answered the door and we were able to pray and talk with her about Jesus Christ. Her friend also came to the door and we were able to set up a return appointment with them for Tuesday. We were also able to contact a young man who was just returning home from buying some things. We also set up a return appointment with him to talk about families. We were able to make contact with a lot of individuals most of them said they were Buddhist but talked to us because we are American. 

Sunday was really neat. We share a branch with Elders Marks & Dixon. I wasn't able to understand almost anything but the Branch President asked me to bear my testimony. It talked mostly about families, the plan of salvation, and attending church. After church, I was able to meet some members and we were able to stop by Akin's home. She is a recent convert from indonesia but cant come to church because of her work. She takes care of older people. She is currently in taiwan for a 3 year work agreement. She is so cute! We also had a lesson with Wu xiao jie and talked to her about temples. She is an investigator but really wants her daughter to get baptized because she feels like the church has a good influence on young people. We knocked doors in a couple different areas but didn't find much success. We had dinner tonight with the Elders and the Yang family. Yang Di Xiong is the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency. The food was good but it is definitely going to take some getting used to! :)

I absolutely have loved the last couple of days in Taiwan. Missionary work here is awesome. Another funny thing we do is that when we are waiting for a light to turn green, we stop next to a person on a scooter and start talking to them. Normally, as soon as the light turns green, they head off so we only have a short minute but contact with everyone is really important! I honestly have never been happier in my life! Missionary work is absolutely amazing here. It is SO hard but amazing! 

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! 

Thanks so much for all you do!

Love, 
Sister Haacke 

 Sister Good and I on the plane. 

 The group running to Chaing kai Shec Memorial in front of the memorial.
 
 Our first dinner in Taiwan. 

 The missionaries from my district in the MTC that came to Taiwan with me. This is taken right after we got off the plane in Taiwan.
 
 Sister Lindsay and I on the bus headed to the mission office.
 
 Sister Hendricks and I during our morning run our first morning in Taiwan.
 
 Transfer Meeting, us and Sister Jensen (my STL when I entered the MTC).

 Sister Fisher and I and her previous companion. 

Dinner Sunday night with the Yang family.

 Me and the grand hotel.

 Sister Lindsay and I in front of the grand hotel.
 
The grand hotel entrance.
 
 Sister Van Tonder and I. 

 Our bus ride to the dedicatory place and Grand Hotel.
 
Me with this a memorial by the place where the Dedicatory Prayer took place.