August 4, 2014Holy cow, this week was so amazing! We saw so many miracles!
Holy cow, this week was so amazing! We saw so many miracles!
On Monday, we visited a member family. As one of the sisters told her conversion story, she started to cry. The Spirit was so strong. It's really amazing hearing people's stories. Learning about how they learned about the church, and seeing how much the gospel has completely transformed their lives and the lives of those around them. We shared a quote from general conference by President Monson. I wrote it in Chinese on a little notecard and the other sister was brought to tears as she read it. "I leave with you my witness and my testimony that God our Eternal Father lives and loves us. He is indeed our Father, and He is personal and real. May we realize how close to us He is willing to come, how far He is willing to go to help us, and how much He loves us."
On Tuesday, we met some world travelers! Sister Graham and I had just been stood up by one of our investigators. It was the second time, so we were pretty disappointed. But we went over to get dinner at a place that we love. We bought a ton of fruit and this pumpkin that was soaked in passionfruit juice. As we were walking across the street to find somewhere to sit down, we saw two foreigners! They stopped and talked to us for a while. We asked them where they're from and they said "no where" They were so funny. They're from America, but they're both retired, and they figured that traveling the world would be more fun and cheaper than living in Florida, where they were living before, so they decided to just travel all over! It was so fun to talk to them about all the places they had been to. It was like their second day in Taiwan, so we helped them find some food, and translated a little for them. It was such a fun experience. They were so hilarious. The wife kept asking him over and over again for money. She just wanted to buy everything because it's so cheap here! So funny.
On Wednesday, we were supposed to meet with a former investigator. It was kind of a mess trying to find her house because the numbers didn't really match up on the street, but we found what we thought it was, and no one was home. Disappointed again, we looked at our backup plan and said a prayer and started tracting down that street. A lady answered the door next door and said she was in the middle of making lunch, but welcomed us in to talk with her kids! We sat down on their couch, and she went up to get her daughters. One girl came into the room, and then another, and another, and soon there were six of them! All between ages 15 and 23. They were all cousins, and all happened to be at the same house that day. We visited with them for a long time, got to know all of them and laughed a lot. Sister Graham and I sang a hymn for them - I played their piano, and they listened to Sister Graham sing, then we talked about what the hymn meant and taught them about Heavenly Father. They were so interested, and so fun to talk with. The mom finished making lunch, and basically told us we had no choice but to stay and eat with them. There was so much food, and I was so full! But she just kept feeding us, and it's not very polite to not finish eating, so we walked out of there stuffed! It was so fun. We're meeting with them again this week.
This week we had interviews with the mission president. I think I really needed to have that. Our mission president really reminds me of dad, which is super nice. He has a way of just making you feel so much better, and of helping you find the strength you need. He encouraged me make sure everything I am doing everyday is helping to fulfill our purpose, to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. That is what we are doing as missionaries, and everything that we do needs to help in that effort.
At english class, my favorite family came! I think I've mentioned them in past emails...they're all cousins. Six of them. They're the cutest. Every week, they come to english class and gather around me. I love giving them hugs and making them laugh. They're the cutest. This week, they gave me the lyrics to songs from Frozen and just looked at me, waiting for me to sing it to them. Hahaha, so funny. Two of the cousins are in our little kids english class. Our students are really young, and the class gets pretty crazy sometimes trying to keep everyone just sitting in their chairs. But the two little cousins are super focused and quiet. They always whisper to each other about how everyone is being so silly and loud! It's adorable. We got to meet with this family this week. As we were teaching them more about the first lesson, the younger cousins were sitting behind Sister Graham watching me. Every time I smiled, they'd all giggle and whisper. I think they were analyzing my smile. Haha, they're so funny. So cute. Love them.
On Saturday, Sara was baptized!! She's so special. Sister Chang and I taught her the very first time, but found out she doesn't live in our area and had to transfer her to the elders. The baptismal service went super well. The Spirit was so strong, I absolutely love her. Before the service, I told her today is her day (in chinese) and she repeated it in english. She's so sweet and so simple. It's been a huge blessing to see her grow and to see the gospel change and improve her life. Because of the gospel, she now knows who she is and what her relationship with God is. I was so happy for her! It was such a special night.
From this week, we have TEN new investigators. I think that's a record, or something. That's a lot.
Four of them were from yesterday. While we were on exchanges this week, Sister Packard contacted a mom and daughter. They were really excited about church and said they'd be there! Yesterday, the daughter came with her aunt and two cousins! They stayed for all three hours, and talked with members afterwards about how this church is really going to help their family. The daughter gave me this huge hug after the meetings and just wouldn't let go. I don't really even know why, I hardly even got to talk to her! But I know that this gospel is really what they have been looking for, and what they felt at church was really special. I look forward to being able to teach them later this week.
I absolutely love this work. I love all of the people that I am meeting. I didn't come on my mission for myself. I came on my mission for other people. I came because I understand how important and life changing the message of the gospel is. Even though I'm not here for myself, I can feel myself changing the most from all of these experiences. I am so grateful for the lessons I am learning. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and His atonement, through Him, we can have a FRESH START. We can become all that He knows we can become. That's what I love about this gospel. We can change and improve every single day.
I love you all so much! Keep writing me!