Taiwan Taipei Mission

Taiwan Taipei Mission

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. :)

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