July 14, 2014Sister Graham is absolutely incredible!
Sister Graham is absolutely incredible! Ah, I have so much to say about this week!
I think what I most about Sister Graham is that she works SO hard. She is always doing all that she possibly can to help others learn about this gospel. A lot of the time when we are contacting people on the street, we just talk to them a little and give them a tract and testify, but Sister Graham is really diligent at trying to actually get their number and set up a time with them so we can meet and share more of our message with them. We are doing so much by just talking to someone about what we do as missionaries, but what is more important is that we actually give them a chance to meet and learn more. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ.
While tracting one day, we were talking with each other about our families and how we love them so much. Sister Graham comes from a huge family. Like, hundreds of cousins. We had a really special experience where we were just talking to each other about how grateful we are for our families and for all the blessings this gospel has brought to our families. Sister Graham told me that one of her cousins wrote a song about their family. We were on our bikes stopped at a red light, and Sister Graham quoted a few lines from the song, about how she can almost comprehend what heaven will be like because of the joy that she has felt within her own family. The lyrics were so beautiful and the Spirit was so strong, we both just started crying! We were hot and sweaty on our bikes. We hugged and then struggled to ride down the street when the light turned green. It was so special. I am so grateful for my family. I'm so grateful for this gospel and for the knowledge I have that I will be able to live with you forever. Forever. Eternity.
This week we have been praying so much to be able to find a family to teach. We both have such strong testimonies on eternal families, and we are trying really hard to find a mom and dad and kids to be able to teach and bring unto Christ.
We actually did find a family this week. Well, almost. They live in another area, so they aren't our investigators, but they are so prepared to hear the gospel! Last week, there were about seven cousins who came to our english class! After english class, I talked with a few of them for a long time - they're so interested in foreigners. It's funny. They were all really sweet, and I could see they had a really good relationship with each other. Later on this week, Sister Graham and I were getting lunch. We walked into a little bakery, and all the cousins and their moms were there! It was a miracle that we ran into them again!! We went over and talked to them, and one of the moms was super interested in our church and what we do as missionaries. She asked a question about the difference between our Church and other churches, and the next thing I know, we are testifying about Heavenly Father and prophets to this family. We taught them a part of the first lesson, and helped them understand what makes our Church different. At the end, we said a prayer together. Their grandma was there, but she doesn't understand Mandarin. But the mom explained to her in Taiwanese that we were going to pray, and she folded her arms and closed her eyes. It was such a sweet experience, and I really hope the missionaries in their area will be able to meet with them and bring them closer to Jesus Christ. They are so precious!
We saw so many miracles this week...but I know that it is because we are being really obedient and diligent.
We went to visit a member this week. Her husband isn't a member, and I had never met him before. The member told us that every time missionaries come over, he goes straight upstairs. But this week when we came over to their house, he stayed downstairs and talked with us the whole time! It was really amazing to be able to talk to him about the gospel. We read with them a quote about how important it is to remember that we are children of God. I felt the Spirit really strong, and I am so happy I had the opportunity to help him feel the joy that comes from the knowledge we have through this gospel.
Our investigator Jessica is doing so well! She loves reading, so she's been reading the Book of Mormon and she really wants to continue to meet and learn more about our Church. This week we just taught her more about faith and hope, because she is having a hard time being willing to pray for the first time. She is very intellectual and deep about everything. I feel like I experience a whole new perspective on things when we teach her! She is so great. I love having an opportunity to teach in english and understand everything that is said during the lesson!! (There are a lot of things I still don't understand in Chinese.)
On Saturday, we had an afternoon of just one miracle after another. It was incredible! One of the less actives we are working with called and asked if we could open the church for her so she could have some quiet time to just write. I can see her changing and opening up her heart. I'm so happy that Heavenly Father doesn't give up on us and that He can change and improve us. I have really seen Him change her.
The next miracle was when we were just walking down the road and we ran into someone we had just contacted on the street a few days before! Some might see that little experience as a coincidence, but I know it was God's timing, and that she really needed to run into us at that exact moment.
After that, we walked some more and I heard someone yell my name! I looked back, and it was one of investigators we haven't been able to meet with for over a month!! I was so impressed that she remembered my name, and we were able to set up a time with her to meet this next week! Miracle.
We walked into a 7-11 (they're everywhere here in Taiwan). We saw a couple sitting together, and the wife motioned for us to sit at the table next to them. Sister Graham tried to talk to the wife, but she was not responding at all. She just kept scrolling on her phone, and at first I thought she was just being rude to us, but we soon realized that both of them were deaf. We tried to communicate with them a little, but Sister Graham and I don't really know any sign language. Sister Graham wrote down a short testimony inside a Book of Mormon and gave it to them. They were so happy, but wanted to know why we were giving it to them. Sister Graham pointed to the paragraph at the beginning of the book where Joseph Smith says "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." There was such a sweet spirit as we tried to communicate with them. They were so amazing! I almost cried as we left.
Next we walked into a little store and sat down with a girl who was looking through recipe books. We talked to her for a little bit about the food here in Taiwan, and then she asked us what we do as missionaries. We testified to her about Heavenly Father and the fact that she is literally His daughter. She seemed really surprised, but really happy. That is one of my favorite things about serving here in Taiwan - having the opportunity to help people learn about Heavenly Father. Someone they know almost nothing about. She explained to us that she is interested in learning about our church because she's Buddhist, but it doesn't really help her or have use to her. We explained a little bit about the plan of salvation to her - how through this gospel we understand where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. That experience just really helped strengthen my testimony of the fact that we literally are God's children. That He knows and understands us perfectly, and knows how to make us happy. This happiness, eternal happiness, comes from this gospel. Through the truth that has been restored through Joseph Smith.
On Thursday, we stopped and talked to a mom and her son at a stop light. We were there talking for a while, and invited them to come to Church. They showed up yesterday and partook of the sacrament for the first time. It's amazing how many people we have found this week who have been looking for the truth. Who need this gospel. They are just waiting for an invitation to learn more! And that's what we do as missionaries. I love it so much!!
Another one of our investigators, Guan Zhu, met with us this week and came to church. We taught her the rest of lesson one and testified of this gospel and of Jesus Christ. She said her very first prayer at the end of the lesson. She was so nervous and so hesitant, but she did it, and the Spirit was so strong. She is so amazing! I love helping people say their first prayer. It's a really special experience. You can just feel that Heavenly Father is there listening. He is waiting to hear from His children.
Last night, I got to talk with one of the FengJia elder's investigators for a while. Her name is Sarah. Sister Chang and I actually met with her for the first time, but we had to pass her off to the elders because she doesn't live in our area. She talked to me about all the things that she's been learning and told me how this gospel has really helped her find more happiness. I have seen her change so much. She told me that her life has really changed because she knows who God is and understands her relationship with Him. I love seeing people completely change because of this gospel.
I feel like I have repeated myself a lot in this email, but this week I have had so many experiences with different people being able to see how this gospel changes people. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for His love and the hope that He brings to my life. I love this gospel and I know that it's true!
I love you all so much!