April 28, 2014Welcome Home Jacob!
Da Jia Hao!
WELCOME HOME JACOB!!! I'm so happy you made it home safe and sound! :) I'm so proud of you! I'm sad I wasn't able to be there this week, but it sounds like everything went well!! I LOVED the video, bittersweet! I was definitely there in spirit! :) Thursday was SUCH a hard day for me, because I knew Jacob was coming home and that's just all I could think about. I really wished I could just be there and sit at the kitchen table with all of you and talk to him about everything. But instead I felt like I was on a completely different world, missing all of you so much. I had a melt down, and just prayed for the strength to keep going. It was so hard, but I got over it, and now I'm just so happy for you all! :) I look forward to the day that we are all united again after my mission! I miss you, Jacob!
Thank you so much for the package, mom! I'm just a few pages away from finishing my first mission journal! So it was perfect timing. Also thanks for the picture you drew for me, Sam. I hung it up next to my desk.
So this week I went on my first exchange!! I went to Da Keng, the area right next to the mission home. My companion was Sister Chen, and it was such an amazing experience. I learned so much from her just in the 24 hours we had together. She's from Utah. She was going to school at BYU, and she was 19, but she really wanted to serve a mission, but she felt like 21 was so far away. She would tell her friends that if she could go on her mission then, that she would. It was totally an answer to prayers when they changed the age for sister missionaries, and she put her papers in the next weekend! She's so strong and so amazing.
We taught a lot of lessons, and I felt the Spirit so strong. We met with two high school girls and talked about the Law of Chastity. They were so cute about it, and we all promised each other that we would keep the Law of Chastity. We also had a lesson with an investigator who works in a lottery. It was right next to the road, so it was really loud, and customers would come in periodically, so we would have to stop our lesson every so often. She had a Christian background, but she didn't know that because of the atonement, we will also be resurrected after we die. It was really awesome teaching her that principle and telling her about the plan of salvation and how we will be able to return and live with God again! I loved that lesson. We had another lesson with a recent convert. She first met the missionaries when she was on her scooter, one of the missionaries just started talking to her, and then she started meeting with them and was later baptized! I think I needed to hear her story, because talking to random strangers when I'm riding my bike is not my favorite thing to do, but it really does bring miracles and it can change lives.
Some more weird things that I ate this week...an investigator gave us a bowl of cherry tomatoes with sugar sprinkled on top! What? It was actually really good, you should try it. Just about every time we have an appointment at someone's home, they give us food. So we went to another investigator's home and they pressured me into eating chicken feet. Ew. So many bones. It was just a really gross concept, and I probably won't eat it again. But it was so funny seeing their reactions, they were so happy I did it! Haha. They also gave us malt milk. It's just milk, but it tastes like whopper candies. Also weird, but I liked that! My companion somehow got all these packs of seaweeds. It's just sheets of seaweed that you just eat. I tried a little and was surprised to find out that it was SPICY. Ew, spicy seaweed. Haha.
One thing that is starting to get just a little old here in Taiwan after only three weeks is all the stares that I get. I'm sure for a lot of people here, I am the first white ginger girl they've ever seen, so I catch people staring at me constantly!! I was talking to another sister here about it who's been here for about four weeks and she is really sick of it! She's like "come on, I've been here for so long! I'm one of you, I'm Taiwanese! But I just don't look it." It's good though, because people don't really expect me to be able to speak Chinese. At least once a day I'll have someone pass me and stare and then smile and say "hello!!" and wait for me to say "hello" back in english. Taiwanese people are adorable. I love them. I will just have to accept the fact that I'll never look Taiwanese, haha.
Our ward here is so awesome!! It's really amazing to hear everyone's story about how they learned about the church because most people are converts in Taiwan. There are a lot of families in our ward, and a really strong bishop. I'm so grateful to be serving in such a strong area. There is definitely a lot of work to be done, but we have so many members who are willing to help us, and that's really important! Remember that now is the time for members and missionaries to work together!!
One thing that I learned from the Book of Mormon this week was about the liahona! In 1st Nephi, it talks about how Lehi had decided to continue traveling in the wilderness with his family, and as he was leaving his tent, he found the liahona. I thought that really related to this work as missionaries. This gospel is something that can help everyone. We all have a life that we are living, we all have goals that we are working toward. This gospel is something that will help us along our path as we try to reach those goals. It will guide us if we are faithful and use it properly. I loved that image, that Lehi and his family had a plan. They weren't expecting to receive the help of the liahona, and up to that point, they were fine without the liahona. But after that day when they found the liahona, they received the extra direction in their life that helped them reach the goal of getting to the promised land. These people that we share the gospel with have plans and goals in their life. This gospel might not be something that they are really looking for specifically, but it's something that will definitely help them have extra direction and purpose as they reach those goals and get to their promised land!
This week was so good, so much happened and I learned so much! I love this work, and I'm so excited about sharing the message of the gospel with Taiwan! I'm so grateful for this opportunity and I am so grateful for the people that I have met.
I love you all! Stay strong! Sister Jordan Berrey
PLEASE WRITE ME!!!
Sister Jordan Michelle Berrey
Taiwan Taichung Mission
No. 498-11 Wuquan Road
Taichung City, 40446, Taiwan
Republic of China