June 16, 2014This week was so so so amazing!!
Just another week in the best mission in the world!
Yesterday I passed off my last phase one pass off with the district leader, so now all I have left is a pass off with one of the zone leaders. That one is an evaluation of lessons one through five though, so it's a little crazy how much I need to remember. But it'll be good. I love it!
This week we did park contacting for the first time! We have planned to do park contacting SO many times, but it always rains! Every time!! We met a few moms with their little kids. No one seemed super interested, but it was fun to actually finally do park contacting.
We met with a less active this week and taught her one of the lessons from the Sunday School manual. There were eight principles that we focused on that we know to be true because of the restoration. One of them was about how we aren't baptized until we are eight years old. We asked her to read one principle at a time, and then we read scriptures and explained them. When we asked her to read the point about baptism at eight years old, she said "wait, what? why?" before she even read it out loud. It didn't make sense to her. Why eight? We read a scripture with her, and explained how we know through revelation that Heavenly Father wants us to choose for ourselves if we will receive baptism. When we are really young, there is no way for us to understand what it means to follow Jesus Christ or to decide to be baptized. But as we learn and understand, when we are eight, we have the ability to really understand the principle of baptism and make that decision for ourselves. The Spirit was really there, and when we explained it, it made so much sense to her and we could see her understand. It's so incredible how much knowledge and truth we have because of revelation from our Heavenly Father. I'm so glad that the Church has been restored and that we have God's authority again on the earth.
This week we had our first zone conference!! It was so awesome. It was like all day long, but it was really powerful and I learned a lot. President Blickenstaff invited us to read a talk called "In the Strength of the Lord" by Elder Bednar. We talked about it as a zone and discussed how we can better use the atonement in our lives. It's a really amazing talk, if you want to look it up! I totally suggest reading it. One thing that I really liked about it is how many examples he used from the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and I had never really recognized how you can learn more about the Savior through the stories in the Book of Mormon, even if they don't really discuss anything about the Savior. Every story was put in the Book of Mormon for a reason. They all point to Christ and bring us closer to Him. If we look for it, we can recognize the ways that people in the Book of Mormon are using the atonement and coming closer to Christ.
I had a little experience this week that really strengthened my testimony. It was really small, but I could feel my testimony and conviction of this gospel grow. Sister Chang and I were riding our bikes through the rain and the dark to try to find some less actives in our ward. The ward has a few that they are trying to work more closely with, so we decided to spend some time trying to visit them. We hadn't really had any success because no one was home. We came to an apartment complex looking for a less active who lived there. We were both soaking from the rain and the guan li yuan (doorman) seemed super super tired and bored. He told us that the person we were looking for wasn't home, so we thanked him and left. As we got ready to go to the next person's house, I really felt like I should give the guan li yuan a Book of Mormon. I told Sister Chang, so we turned around and I said sorry do you think I could give you this book? He took it right away. As we left, I could feel the Spirit so strongly. I know that that book can change his life. If he decides to open it and read from its pages, it can completely change his life. So many people have sacrificed their lives for this book, and I am now one of them. I have decided to come to this completely foreign place and give up everything I was doing to share what I know to be true. It is because of this book, the Book of Mormon, that I know that this Church is true. That God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith restored Christ's church, that we can personally know these things are true through prayer. I love this gospel so much, and I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to sacrifice so much for what I know is true.
Sister Chang has been having me lead the way when we're riding our bikes lately, but this week we went to a few places I had never been to in our area. She gave me the maps, and I just had to figure it out. I soon remembered that I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction. But Sister Chang helped me out, and it's something that I'm praying for and working on.
It's always interesting to talk to foreigners here in Taiwan. As in, people who aren't Taiwanese. I once was talking to a man on the street. When I asked him where he's from, he told me in an Irish accent, "I'm an Earthling...some people like to put themselves in a box. And personally, I'm not comfortable in that box." This week, we met a lady from Georgia! We chatted with her for a while, and she told us that she's seen a lot of missionaries in Taiwan - a lot of guys with white shirts, ties, and name tags. We asked her if she would be interested in learning more about our Church, and she agreed. I'm really excited to meet with her and teach her more. She seems super prepared!
One funny thing about Taiwan is the garbage trucks. All the garbage trucks here have rainbows and flowers painted on them, and they play this music that sounds like an ice cream truck is going by. When the garbage truck comes, everyone comes out into the street with all their garbage and pile it in. It's quite a sight.
I am so happy here in Taiwan! I love being a missionary! It's the greatest experience ever. I am so grateful for all the things that I am learning. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. I miss and love you all so much! Remember to write!
Love, Sister Berrey