May 19, 2014The weather here is getting so crazy!
The weather here is getting so crazy! We planned on biking around our area today and taking a bunch of pictures together, but it is raining SO HARD outside. So we'll probably just play some games inside for P-day.
This week was a little hard because we weren't really seeing a lot of success. A couple that we have been meeting with for weeks called the other day and dropped themselves. They told us that they don't want to meet with us anymore because they have their own religion and they don't really want to change. That was super hard for me, and I was really sad that they aren't willing to even try to see if what we're teaching is true. But I really do know that God has a plan for them, and whatever happens is for the best. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to meet them and teach them about this gospel. Just because they don't want to continue to learn does not mean this Church isn't true. So many people will reject the things that we teach, but that doesn't change the truth of this gospel. God is real. This is His work. He has a plan for each of His children. All we have to do is do all that we can to help others come unto Christ and experience the joy of this gospel. Everyone has their agency, and there's nothing we can do if someone does not want to learn and experiment on the word of God.
I love the hymn "We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet". It's one of my favorites. I especially love the last verse where it says "Thus on to eternal progression, the honest and faithful will go. While they who reject this glad message will never such happiness know." As missionaries, we bring a message of peace, love, happines, and joy. We are bold and persistent only because we know so strongly that what we are preaching is TRUE. We know that everyone who comes unto Christ will experience joy. Their lives will change and improve. I want as many people as possible to experience the joy and security and love that this gospel has brought into my life. Knowing that I am a daughter of God, that I can one day return to live with Him has given me so much purpose and hope. This is something I want to give to the people here in Taiwan.
We have been seeing so many miracles here in DongHai! One miracle happened the other day when Sister Chang and I were in the night market, waiting in line to order food. I started talking to the guy next to me because he said something in english! We had a whole conversation in english! It felt so weird testifying and asking questions in english. I asked him if he has any religious background, and he said "not yet...I might eventually...but not yet." I was so excited because I know that this gospel is exactly what he needs! I testified of Jesus Christ and promised him that this Church would really bless his life. When I asked him if he would like to learn more, he seemed super interested. He gave me his number and told me his name is Nelson. I asked why he wants to learn more, and he told me that he just wants to learn about everything. Everything is interesting to him. It was a really neat experience. I gave the elders his number and they will contact him. I just thought it was really amazing that God put Sister Chang and I in that place at that time. We were where we were supposed to be, and we were able to find someone looking for the truth. I really hope that he will be able to learn more. I was really excited about that experience because he's so interested! God really does put you where He needs you to be. He doesn't make mistakes.
Another miracle was so much I understood at Church on Sunday! I sit there and listen carefully and try to understand what's going on. A lot of the time I don't understand a lot of words, but I know what they're talking about. A lot of the time, I will ask my companion what a word means and then I'll write it down. I used to just sit there and write down all the words I heard and didn't understand, but then when I would ask my companion about them later, they wouldn't make any sense to her because I would write them down wrong, or forget how they said the word. But by asking her in the moment, she knows the context. It's funny because a lot of the time I actually know the word that they're saying, but because everyone has Taiwanese accents, they say things a little differently than I would. I love learning Chinese! I love being able to have conversations with people, and follow what people are saying. It's such an interesting language, and I am just so grateful I am being challenged in this way! Knowing Chinese is a skill I think I might use for the rest of my life.
I am so grateful for my companion! We have become really close. We learn so much from each other each day. She really helps me so much. Her Chinese is so good, and she always makes me laugh. I am so grateful I have a companion who I enjoy being with. There are a lot of things that we have had to work on as a companionship, and we are still working through a lot, but we are definitely building each other up, and working so hard together! She's from Australia, so she says a lot of funny things that make me and the other two sisters in our apartment laugh. She says swimming costumes instead of swimsuits. Star jumps means jumping jacks. Tummy bug means stomach ache. She says ashuming, instead of assuming. A spanner is a wrench. The letter z is called a zed. And green peppers are called capsicums. The funniest one happened this week when she was talking about her mechanical pencil. In Australia, they call them tasers. But someone from America had told her we call them mechanical pencil. She tried saying it the ways Americans say it, but called it a electronic pencil instead of mechanical. We laughed so hard! I love her.
I LOVE TAIWAN! I am so happy and so excited about everything we are doing here. I'm starting to feel less terrified of everything - talking to people on the street is getting easier. Remembering that they are real people, with challenges and worries, and things that make them happy, and a family helps me. Remembering that everyone I see is a child of God and that they will all have the opportunity to see God again is really eye opening for me. I have learned that no matter who it is, everyone is dealing with something that I can help with. Everyone needs help, whether they want people to help them or not. There is something you can do to help everyone you see. Look for opportunities to serve and to lift. I love the quote by President Uchtdorf, "lift where you stand." You can make a difference in someone else's life that no one else can. Recognize the gifts that God has give you and use them to bless those around you.
President Blickenstaff told me this week "we can be happy despite our surrounding circumstances."
PS - write me!! I love getting letters so much!