July 21, 2014Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world.
Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world. Being a missionary with Sister Graham as my companion is an even greater thing! I absolutely love every minute that I am here, and I already feel like it's going too fast.
This is what every day is like. Wake up at 6:30, go exercise, sweat a ton, come home and take a shower, sweat more as I get dressed and make breakfast. Personal study. Companionship study. Language study. Grab some fruits and vegetables to eat for lunch and dinner. Get on our bikes. Talk to people on our bikes as we wait for the light to turn green. Smile at the people we ride past. Meet with investigators, members, less active members. Go to parks, try and find addresses of old investigators. Sweat a lot. Pray. Cry sometimes because the Spirit is so strong. Laugh a ton with Sister Graham. Knock on some doors and get rejected a lot. Come home at 9. Say a prayer and start planning for the next day's activities. Make so many calls to members and investigators to try and get everything organized. Then we tell stories and get ready for bed and write in our journals and sleep. Then we wake up and do it all over again! It's the funnest thing ever. I love everything about it. I don't think I've ever had so many freckles from being in the sun so much (yes, I still put on sunscreen, mom :)). I think I love it so much because this is God's work. He is guiding us to know who to talk to and what to say and where to be. We see so many miracles everyday, and every day is a huge spiritual experience. I just absolutely love being a missionary! :)
I'll just talk about some big miracles we saw this week - On Monday, we were doing phone calls and we called a potential investigator. She told us that she was at the park and that she wanted us to come over and talk to her. So we ran out to our bikes, rode over, and walked through the park to try and find her. We couldn't find her, so we called and she told us to come to a different place to meet her. In the end, we didn't find her because we had to get to an appointment, but in the process, we ran into a guy who we had just tracted into a few days before. When we were tracting, he had told us that he was a little interested, but that things were really busy because he was getting married the next day (!!!) and so when we ran into him that night, we got to ask him about his wedding and he was really willing to just stop and talk to us. It was definitely Shen anpai de (not sure how to say that in English....set up by God) and I was really happy we were at the right place at the right time. God has a plan for each of us, and I know that He needed to see us at that time.
On Tuesday, we got to meet with one of our investigators, Helen!! She told us that she believes the plan of salvation is real! She was super receptive to everything we taught, and I was just super happy to be able to help her understand more about Christ's gospel. We also got to teach our neighbor! She lives right below, and has seen sister missionaries all the time. But right now she's willing to meet with us and we've been able to help her have more purpose. More to come on both of those - I love those two investigators!!
On Wednesday, we got a random call from a former investigator. She asked us to come to her house, apparently she does this pretty often with sister missionaries. She has them over when she has time, but she doesn't think that she will be able to get baptized because of family fandui. But we had a lesson with her and her two ADORABLE kids. We were going to sing a hymn to start, and they had a ukulele in the room, so Sister Graham played ukulele and sang Love At Home and the Spirit was SO STRONG. As we taught about the importance of the gospel and about Heavenly Father, the kids kept piling toys on my lap. Ah, they were so cute.
On Thursday, we visited with our relief society president and were able to help and comfort her. She has recently found out that her sister might have cancer, and it has been really really hard for her. We tried to say what we felt was right, and we tried to encourage her. I felt the Spirit so strongly testifying of the fact that God really does understand everything that we are going through and that with His help, we can become so much stronger and learn so much from all our experiences. We also visited with a recent convert, and she cried as she told us about how her oldest daughter passed away a few years ago. We testified of eternal families, and again, I felt the Spirit so strongly. I am so grateful for the knowledge that this gospel brings. That we have a knowledge of what happens after death, that family bonds do not end on earth. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to testify that God completely understands us and wants us to be happy. That He gives us our blessings, but He also gives us our trials to help us learn and grow and become stronger.
On Friday, we found a FAMILY!!! This was the coolest. Sister Graham contacted the mom on the street last week, and she wanted us to come over and visit with her with her husband. They have two sons, five and three years old. We got to know each other, and then started teaching them about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As we taught, the five year old son sat on his mom's lap and asked a lot of questions. It's so amazing to watch people learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for the first time, and to this little boy, you could see that it just made sense. We wanted to teach them how to pray, but the son ran up the stairs and got the dad to come down and listen. I got to teach them all the steps and testify that God really wants to communicate with them. It was such a special experience, being able to teach a whole family this message that really focuses on and strengthens families. As we left, the mom and dad kept asking us questions and the son told us that he wants to serve a mission when he grows up. It was so so so special, I'm so happy we have the opportunity to teach them.
Sister Graham and I are constantly talking about our families. I think I am who I am today because of my parents. Because Jesus Christ was the center of my home growing up. I am so grateful that through the restored priesthood, we can live together forever. I hope that while I am on my mission I will be able to help someone find the joy and happiness that comes from this promise. I know it's real. I KNOW that God has provided a way back to live with Him with our families. I am so grateful for that. It gives me so much purpose and so much peace.
On Saturday, we had a few things happen that made us have to reevalute our schedule. We thought about not following the schedule exactly because we wanted to do some things that we didn't get to in the morning, but we prayed and really felt like we needed to still follow through with our plan and do the backup plan we had prepared. That meant tracting for a little while. We picked a street, and towards the end, we tracted into a lady who was at home. She had about 20 minutes before she had to leave for work. As soon as I saw her, I recognized her, but it took me a second to figure out how because I talk to SO many people everyday, serving in the city. But after a second, I remembered exactly where I was when I contacted her on my bike. She remembered too, and we laughed about how now we were here meeting again! It was such a miracle. She let us in, and we talked to her about her Christian background - she had this big tapestry of the last supper on her wall, and a sign above the TV that said "Christ is the center of this home." She told us that she has been looking for the right church recently. She doesn't like the way they pay tithing in her own church. She doesn't like how people compare themselves to each other and it seemed like almost a competition to see who gives the most money to the church. We taught her the law of tithing and explained how it works in our church, how it is only between you and the Lord and that it's completely private. It really struck me how specific her concern was, how she needed to be taught a specific principle from the restored gospel, how Heavenly Father has asked us to give tithes, and it really made sense to her and put her at ease. I love seeing so many miracles from just being at the right place at the right time. We make our plan for the day following the Spirit, and God puts the right people in the right place. Everything is part of His plan, and everything happens for a reason. I am so grateful I have that understanding and that I know that He will make everything happen that needs to happen.
This week was full of so many other experiences, but that's all for now. I know that this Church is true. I know that through prayer and scripture study, we can develop our faith and learn to trust in Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the blessing I have to be doing God's work in Taiwan. He can do all of this on His own. He has all power and all understanding, and He could do this work a lot easier on His own, but He has given us the opportunity to be His hands on earth. He gives us challenges for us to learn. I love this gospel because it allows us to become better each day. We have this time now on earth to learn and grow and become who Heavenly Father would have us become. I love the verse Jacob 4:7. Rely on Heavenly Father.
Love you all!