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 Ｍarissa 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.
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.