September 8, 2014Happy Moon Festival Day!
Zhong qiu jie kuai le! Happy Moon Festival Day! Today is a big holiday in Taiwan. There's been a lot of moon cakes given to us, and most people in Taiwan will be barbequing tonight. I'm excited to see what it's like.
On Tuesday this week, we had zone training meeting in DaYa! President and Sister Blickenstaff came to ZTM. It was a really good meeting. We have really good leaders here and I'm grateful for everything I learned in that meeting. President Blickenstaff talked to us about some experience he has had lately doing missionary work. He talked about how we need to just always smile and to find those who are interested in this gospel. This week we talked with so many people who just were completely not interested in what we had to say. But he encouraged us to just keep smiling and to continue to try and be better missionaries. One of our zone leaders talked about how in each of our area, there are so many people. But there are only two or three set apart missionaries in that area who have been called of God to do this work. Think about what that means. It means we have a lot of responsibility and the Lord has trusted us with so much.
Sister Peng and I went on exchanges this week! Sister Chen came to DongHai and Sister Peng went with Sister Andersen to DaKeng. It was really fun! I love Sister Chen. She's from Singapore. While we were together, one of our recent converts called us and asked us to come over and help her out. Their family is in the process of moving right now, so she needed some help organizing everything in her room. I had never been to their house before, so she gave us the directions and we road our bikes up the hill to their house. Sister Chen was exhausted at the top! It was fun giving her that experience - it's a long uphill climb. We eventually found their house, passing through a section that I had never been to in DongHai! It's always fun finding places I've never been before. It feels a little like I'm in the movie Narnia going through the closet.
We taught TingZhu, our eight year old recent convert. We were going to review the ten commandments with her, read them with her from the scriptures. When we told her we were going to talk about the ten commandments, she just recited them all off, like it was nothing. She's so awesome! Her parents aren't members, so she comes to church every Sunday by herself. She's so strong. Love her.
On Thursday, we asked a member to help us teach a lesson to an investigator. (In Chinese, it's "help us peike"...I'm not really sure how to say it in english....like when you have a member present in a lesson with an investigator...it's so much easier to say in Chinese.) But the investigator didn't end up coming. We waited and talked with the member for a while, and then asked her if she wanted to come with us to our next appointment to visit a less active! She said she would love to. She was baptized not too long ago, and has been thinking about going on a mission. She's also been trying to have better english, so we only spoke english with her as we walked to the less active's house. So fun. In that lesson, we learned that the less active believes that after death, nothing happens. She said that she's been praying for a long time about what happens after death, and she believes that this is the answer that God has given her. We aren't really sure how to help her, because she can't read. Everything she knows is just what she has heard other people say. We taught and testified of the atonement and of the fact that we all in fact will be able to live again after death. Teaching that lesson really strengthened my testimony of the plan of salvation, but especially of the atonement. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ's atonement. His atonement allows us to overcome death and be resurrected. I know that we will all one day stand before Heavenly Father. Having this perspective, remembering that there is an eternity after death, really gives me hope and perspective in this life.
This week we went to the night market in FengJia. You could probably look it up on the internet - FengJia is the area next to us, the elders who serve there are in our district. FengJia is known for its night market, apparently. We went there one night this week and sang as a district and contacted people on the street. There were three people who walked by as we were singing. After we were done, we went over and talked to them. We found out that they're from Detroit!! Small world. I love running into people from America. It's fun!
We had a funny experience this week. One of the members from FengJia decided she wanted to make a cake for a baptism this weekend. She called us up, and asked us to help her out because the recipe she had was all in english. We come over the next day and realize that what she has is actually a big brownie box from costco. We help her read it and figure out what she needs. People in Taiwan don't really bake, and their homes don't often have ovens, so she didn't really know how to do it. It was kind of a mess trying to find something to put the brownies in. There was no brownie pan or anything, and we didn't have enough time to go to the store, so she just grabbed the grease pan under the oven, put aluminum foil over it, and rubbed some oil on it. Her kids helped us mix the ingredients together and we helped her know when it was done baking. It was a funny experience. About the same thing happened a few days later when we helped the Relief Society make cake with meat in it. A little clueless when it comes to baking things in an oven. Funny. Funny.
We were able to meet with one of our investigators this week twice. The first time we gave her one of the pamphlets and invited her to read it. The next time we came, she told us she read it, but forgot all of it. That's okay. We taught the third lesson to her, she liked the endure to the end part. She kept telling us to come back whenever we have time. She told us that she really wants to learn these things and needs our help. She's so sweet. We're still trying to figure out how to help her get to church.
On Sunday, one of our investigators came with her daughter! In sacrament meeting, her four year old daughter sat next to me and kept reading my name tag about every ten minutes. She's so cute. I loved seeing them learn and experience partaking of the sacrament for the first time. Such a sweet experience.
I love you all! Sorry this week's email was really random. A lot of different experiences this week. I hope everythig is going well! Keep progressing and becoming better. I'll talk to you next week.
Love, Sister Berrey