March 26, 2014This week was amaaazing!
This week was amaaazing! I learned so much. This week has been so long, and they're so much to tell you all about! Here we go.
So on Thursday, it was JiangLaoShi's birthday (one of our teachers) so we put up decorations and all wrote her a letter. She was so surprised! After her birthday, we just left the decorations up, it makes our classroom feel a lot more comfortable. :) I LOVE our teacher. She's so amazing, she was telling us about what she did on her birthday - she wrote letters to 30 of her friends and told them about how much they all meant to her. She doesn't like having attention, and she doesn't really expect anything from anyone. Instead, she turns out and serves others all the time. She always makes everyone feel special and of worth. She's so so so amazing!
I'm glad your trip went well this week, Dad! Thank you so much for the packages! You're the greatest. I decided to keep the chocolates for when I get to Taiwan...it'll be my comfort food :) This week it hit me how soon I'm leaving for Taiwan - I'm so so so excited, but so terrified! I'm know it will be an amazing experience, but completely different from anything I have experienced. It will be so hard, but I feel so so so lucky to be serving my mission in TAIWAN. I'm so lucky. God loves his children.
Setting goals is so important. In Preach My Gospel, there is a quote by Elder M. Russel Ballard, "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life." I've been trying to become better at setting and meeting goals. I really believe that you can do anything that you put your mind to. When you pray for inspiration, and set a goal, the Lord will help you accomplish that. But you have to put in the effort. I've been able to get a lot of things done this week because I set a goal and decided to accomplish it. I think the biggest thing that I did this week was a memorized Doctrine and Covenants 4 in like three days. It was so hard because the language is really formal and I don't really know what anything means, so I'm really just memorizing sounds. But because I set that goal, and prayed for help, I was able to meet my goal and accomplish what I set out to do.
One thing that I want you to think about is the fact that everyone has a part of their life that you can talk to them about that can relate to the gospel. I'm not sure if that makes much sense, but everyone is God's child. That's probably one of the things we say most in our lessons - "you are God's child. He loves you." He wants to help us. Try to bring the joy of the gospel into everyone you meet. You can always find a way to bring others unto Christ. I love this gospel, and I know that it really does change and improve lives.
So this week was really hard for our branch. Our branch had four districts, one elder had to go home, a sister came into our branch, and a branch left for Taiwan. One district all came to the MTC the same day as us. They had two sets of elders and a trio of sisters. One of the elders in that district was really struggling and this week he decided to go home. He is on a medical leave and I'm sure he will come back to serve his mission, but he needed to go home and get professional help so that he can overcome some things and be ready to be an effective missionary. It was really really sad to see him go, but he left with a smile and he felt good about his decision. All the same, this has been really hard for the district. One of the other elders was actually in the MTC with Jacob. Right before leaving for Taiwan in 2012, he had to go home to testify in court for his parents. Now he's finally back in the MTC, preparing to go to Taiwan, and one of the elders in his district goes home. It has been so hard for him, especially, because he knows what that feels like, to have to go home. But we've all just been trying our best to help everyone in the district feel loved and valued and help them remember that God really does have a plan for him! Also this week, one of the districts left for Taiwan!! They are all serving in Taipei! They were so excited to go!! That district had two sets of elders and a set of sisters and a trio of sisters, so our branch is a LOT quieter now. Now we are one of the oldest districts and we're the next ones to leave for Taiwan! I'm so excited!!
We had a lesson on tithing this week - our teacher put up an equation that I really like to think about:
100% < 90% + ? (Shen - God)
When we pay tithing, we only have 90% of our money to use, but we have God on our side, and that is always greater than just having 100% of your money.
We had a really good lesson this week in class about Jesus Christ and how to develop Christlike attributes. I hope you all take a minute to watch this clip - it's soo good!!
We were all baptized. When we were baptized, we promised to take upon ourselves Christ's name. That means that we need to constantly be striving toward becoming more like our Savior. Think about what you can work on more yourself to become more like Jesus Christ. I have decided to work on both diligence and charity.
We were having a little problem in the branch about following the rule that missionaries have about flirting. I don't think it was a huge deal, but we all knew that it needed to be addressed. We talked about it a lot on Sunday, and then we went to the Sunday devotional. The speaker was from the seventy. He didn't have anything planned to speak about. When he was driving to the MTC, he knew that he needed to speak on locking your heart and staying true to being a full-time missionary. We were all astonished because the spirit was so strong, it was such a good talk! But he hadn't planned anything. We knew that he was definitely inspired to know exactly what to say, and exactly what to talk about - we all needed to hear that talk and I know exactly who that talk was really for. It was definitely an answer to prayers, and that problem in our branch is fixed. I know that God really does direct his servants. If we depend on the Lord to help us, He will help us know what to say and how to say it. As missionaries, we are instruments in the Lord's hand, and we will make such a difference in so many lives if we listen to the Spirit and seek for inspiration.
I still have so much to talk about, but that will have to be all for now. I love you all, and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to be a missionary! I love this work, I love this gospel, I love everything. :) Stay strong, I'll see you soon!
Love, Sister Berrey, Remember to write!