August 25, 2014This week was awesome. I learned so much!
This week was awesome. I learned so much! It's been really hard because we haven't been able to get in contact with so many of our investigators. We've been spending a lot of time trying to find new investigators. Trying to find those people who God is preparing. I know that they are out there. I know that there are people here that Heavenly Father has sent me here to find. President Blickenstaff has taught us many times that missionary work takes faith, diligence, and skill. That is what brings success in this work. I'm trying to do all I can to have each of these aspects in all that I do.
My new companion, Sister Peng, is adorable. I absolutely love her! I'm so happy we have this time to serve together. I miss Sister Graham a TON, but I know that Heavenly Father needs me to serve with Sister Peng now! We're working so hard everyday, and we're seeing a lot of miracles. Sister Peng is an ABC (American Born Chinese). She's from Bountiful, Utah. Her mom is from Taipei and her dad is from China. Her parents have been divorced since Sister Peng was about six. Since Sister Peng has been on her mission, her mom has met and married Sister Peng's step-dad. He has six kids from a marriage before. Originally, Sister Peng's family was just her and her mom, but now she has a dad and six siblings, all who she hasn't even met yet! I think that would be so hard, not even knowing your own family at all! But she talks about it as a blessing. A huge blessing Heavenly Father has given her because of her mission. She's such a great example to me - I really look up to her!
Her personality is like the opposite of Sister Graham. It's interesting how all of my companions have been SO different. But I learn so much from each one of them. Having companions is a huge learning opportunity. You're with this person for 24 hours a day. You experience everything together. You have to work through everything in unity. It's really hard sometimes, but it's really amazing. I absolutely love having a companion. This mission would be incredibly hard without a companion. Sister Peng and I get along super well, I love serving with her!
When we were riding up the big hill one day this week, I just felt overwhelmed and frustrated with the things that had been happening so far. I prayed so hard and cried a little. Immediately the quote came to my mind from Joseph Smith, "our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, Australia, the East Indies, and other places, the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." I remember memorizing that quote for mission prep class in Michigan when I was a beehive. Even though it sometimes feels like this work is impossible, like things aren't going the way we want them to go, God is behind it all. His work will continue to roll forward no matter what happens. I know that's true. I know this church is true. It's really changing me.
We got to meet with one of our investigators twice this week...the first time we met with her, we taught her how to pray. The second time we met with her, she told us that she prayed once and had a really special experience. She didn't tell us a lot about it, but she definitely felt the presence of Heavenly Father. I'm so grateful we have a Heavenly Father who loves each of His children. Prayer is so simple, but so powerful. It's such a beautiful thing.
On Thursday, we were sitting down inside a 7-11, just talking with people. A lady with her little daughter came and sat next to us. I soon learned that she has met with missionaries before! She knows Sister Chang, and just hadn't had time to meet with the missionaries again. We talked for a long time about the gospel and how it can help her life. I'm just so grateful that we were at the right place at the right time to have the opportunity to talk with her. Heavenly Father really does have His own timing for everyone. I have decided to trust in His timing and know that I will be brought to those who He has prepared.
We went to visit a less active in our ward, but she wasn't home. Our backup plan was to tract the streets near her house. We rode our bikes to the next street, and said a prayer together and then started to tract. The second house had three kids there playing outside. They were siblings, and their parents weren't home. They watched us and started following us on their little bikes. The tagged along as we tracted all the way down that street. We would talk to them a little between houses and at the end, I talked to them about Jesus Christ and gave them a picture of Christ. They were cute. I thought of the Savior and how much He loved the children.
I think my Chinese is improving. Members often tell me that I have improved a lot since first getting here. They laugh with me as we remember the first time I met them all. Just sitting there writting down all the things I didn't understand in my notebook. Now it's really easy for me to talk with them. Of course there are still things that I don't understand and don't quite know how to say best, but I know that the Lord has really blessed me with the gift of tongues. I have been able to learn the language fast because I ask for the Lord's help and then I do everything I can. At ward correlation, I basically explained everything that we had to report on everyone because Sister Peng is new to the area. That's something I never even would have imagined possible just a few months ago. It's so fun learning a new language! I love it.
Email me any questions you have. I'm so used to everything here in Taiwan now...what do you want me to write about in my emails? Is there anything you're curious about?
I love you all so much!