March 19, 2014This week was so good!
I can't believe that Dad is in Utah right now...it's so sad that we're so close, but we can't see each other. Good luck at your conference, Dad! I'm praying for you.
This week was really good!! I feel like I just learn so much everyday. Hopefully this email will help you all a little bit.
Every Thursday, we do TRC - I think I've explained this before, but it's basically a lesson that we teach in Chinese to a member. It's a really good experience to not only practice teaching in Chinese, but to fulfill our purpose as missionaries, to invite others to come unto Christ. Usually we teach two different lessons, each 20 minutes, so we meet two different people and usually teach them almost the same thing. But this Thursday we had our first 40 minute TRC lesson, so that was a little more challenging, especially because they are members and the topic was receiving revelation through Church attendance! But it went really well, we taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) and how all of these aspects are enhanced through regular Church attendance. It was a different experience than we are used to because we usually teach a lesson to an investigator, so instead of just having a discussion about the doctrine, we are teaching them what the doctrine is. So that was a little scary, because they know a lot more than our investigators usually do. But it was good. I can do hard things.
I encourage all of you to read the talk by President Monson entitled "I Will Not Fail Thee Nor Forsake Thee"! It's so good!! As you read it, think about how what you learn will change how you live your life. Seek inspiration to know how you can change and become better. Know that the Lord is there for you. He wants to help you, you just have to reach out to Him. I'm reading through the Book of Mormon really fast again while I'm here at the MTC, like 20 pages a day, and I've been struck at how many times the Book of Mormon mentions that the Lord's hand is extended to us. Remember that He knows you personally and He wants to help you!
I found a quote this week by Elder Richard G. Scott that I loved - "Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion, which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."
We had our best lesson yet on Saturday - Sister Jorgensen and I planned to teach our investigator about the Word of Wisdom. We had our whole lesson planned and we had taught this lesson before, so I felt ready. But we started talking with him, had a prayer, and I just testified to him of how we are servants of the Lord and that we aren't the ones teaching him, but that the Spirit is our true teacher. We were just going to invite him to come to church with us on Sunday and touch base with him on what he's thinking about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, but we had already taught him a whole lesson on the Sabbath Day and why it's so important. But when we started talking to him about it again, he expressed a real desire to follow that commandment, but he wasn't sure what to do because he usually has work on Sundays. Our whole lesson changed because we focused on what our investigator needed instead of what we thought we should teach them. Instead of teaching him about the word of wisdom, we taught him about the Sabbath Day. Sister Jorgensen told a personal story about how she had to decide to not work on Sundays in order to keep the Sabbath Day holy. I shared with him the scripture 1 Nephi 3:7 - The Lord always provides a way for you to accomplish the things he commands. I testified of the importance of the commandment, and that the Lord will provide a way for him to keep the Sabbath Day holy. The Spirit was so strong, and then we asked him to kneel down with us and ask God what he should do. Instead of asking about what he should do, our investigator prayed for strength to do what he knew he had to do. It was such a powerful and special experience. The Lord's hand is definitely in this work, and we had to depend on Him to help us. We weren't planning on saying anything that we said that day, but because we had prepared and showed the Lord that we were willing to do whatever it took to help our investigator, He blessed us with the Spirit and with the right words to say. I loved it!
As Sister Training Leaders in our branch, Sister Jorgensen and I have been asked to meet with one sister in each companionship in the zone. There's two sets of three sisters, and three companionships in our zone, so on Sundays we have the opportunity to meet with a lot of the sisters. Their spirits are so strong, and I learn so much from them! I'm so lucky to be in this branch, and I know that I am meant to help them and learn something from each of them. I love being in the MTC because everyone is just so happy and excited about what they are doing! On Sundays, we have a devotional after dinner and then we can choose a movie to watch in one of the classrooms. This Sunday, Sister Jorgensen and I watched Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration (something like that) and it was so good!! His story always strengthens my testimony and I just love remembering all the things that he has done for this church. The movie is really really well done and really powerful.
On Monday, we skyped with a member in Taiwan!! We only talked for about 20 minutes, but it was such a cool experience! We talked in Chinese the whole time (as we always do in all the lessons we teach). I was expecting her to talk super fast because that's usually how natives speak, but I actually understood like everything that she said! The only thing I remember not knowing is what she said she likes to do.. But it made me so excited to get to Taiwan and be able to speak with natives all the time! I'm so excited!!!
Last night we had a really really good fireside about missionary work and prayer. Bradley D. Foster from the Seventy spoke and it was really good! Afterwards, we talked about it as a district. We talked a lot about how God often answers our prayers through other people and that is exactly what we are doing as missionaries, we are helping others come unto Christ. Not only our investigators, but everyone we meet and every member and missionary that we work with. We are all trying together to come closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As we were discussing, I had a really vivid memory of our car accident when I was in 4th grade and it was really powerful and I just wanted to share it quickly. I felt so strongly that as missionaries, we are helping those who cannot help themselves. After that car crash, we were just hanging there upside down in a smashed car on the side of the road in the rain! There was nothing that we could do because we were just stunned, but also we were upside down. We had to sit there and pray and hope that someone would help us. I remember Mom feeling around for her cell phone to call 9-1-1. Finally complete strangers stopped on the side of the road, and helped us out of the car. They didn't know us, but they could see that we were in desperate need of help. I felt like so many people in this world feel that way. Stuck upside down on the side of the road, waiting in the rain. They can't do anything because they don't know where to look. But as missionaries, we had the blessing of helping them learn of the truth. We are those people who will pull open the car door and carefully bring them onto safe ground and on the path that they should go.
I love this work, and I know that this Church is true! I hope you all can have the Spirit to be your constant companion. Don't take its influence for granted. It's a great gift that we have! I love my Savior, and I love the Book of Mormon. Stay strong, and thank you so much for all the prayers! I can feel your faith helping me! :)
Love, Sister Berrey (BaiJieMei)
Remember to write!! Sister Jordan Michelle Berrey