November 17, 2014"I know that our Heavenly Father is here with us. He is fighting our battles with us. As we rely on Him and allow Him to work in our lives, we will be able to see success. He will not let us fall!"
Well things are really crazy here in the Taizhong Mission. Our move call was supposed to be last week, but because the new missionaries are not coming until this Wednesday, move call is this Friday. I received a call from the Zone Leaders in the ZhongXing Zone, telling me that on Friday I will be moving! I feel like I just got to Puli! It's pretty sad I won't be here for longer. Because everything is still really crazy and they're trying to organize everything, I still don't know where I will be moving to. Today Sister Rohlfing received a call from President telling her that she will be training!! And the elders here in Puli told us that Elder Washburn is also training. So the two companionships here will BOTH be training in this little branch up in the mountains. So awesome! I'm excited for them, but really sad to be leaving this area.
One of the biggest things i have learned this move call is the importance of companionship unity. Sister Rohlfing and I have a really strong relationship. We teach in unity, make decisions together, and just work really hard all day everyday. We pray, we sweat, we get sore, we reach goals, we see setbacks, we study together, we laugh together, we labor together. It's been a really really good move call. I know that because we have a strong companionship, the Lord has been able to trust us with so many of His souls to help bring unto Christ. I have really been able to strength my testimony of the Savior and His enabling power.
This week we saw SO many miracles. I feel like I could write a book about every day this week. It's been really really amazing. One incredible thing I have realized is that Heavenly Father really DOES answer prayers. And I have seen so many miracles happen this week that were an answer to Sister Rohlfing and my desires for the work here in Puli that we did not specifically pray for. There are things that we would dream about, wishing that they could happen, but this week we really saw the Lord's hand changing people and bringing them unto Christ. Heavenly Father really does know our hearts. As we include Him in our lives, we allow Him to bless us. It's that simple.
We have been working a lot with a 14-year-old member who was baptized about a year ago. It's a really long bike ride to her house, really far away, but we have felt it's really important to keep strengthening her. When we visit, it's usually the two of us with her. None of her family members usually sit down with us. But this week, Sister Rohlfing was really bold and started talking with the dad, getting to know him more and invited him to meet with us. Her mom also came over and we were able to share about the importance of this gospel and they agreed to start meeting with us as a family. As we followed up later that night, the member told us that they prayed as a family that night for the first time in a long time. On Sunday, the whole family came to church! Mom, dad, three daughters. It was really special.
Sister Rohlfing and I have been trying really hard to know how to strengthen the members in this area. All the members have very big very different challenges that they are each facing. As we have struggled to try and help members, we have seen miracles. Running into a member in Taizhong who was also on her way back to Puli, so we rode together back on the bus. An active family's dad who has been less active for years is finally willing to serve his family and the wife is really excited that he might be coming back to church. A leader in the church who has been in this branch since the beginning opening up about how we as missionaries can really best help the area. A member giving a powerful talk that went straight to the hearts of the members, addressing a concern that Sister Rohlfing and I have talked about for a long time. A less active husband and daughter finally coming to church in a suit and skirt, participating in gospel principles class.
We have an investigator who lives in our apartment complex - Ananta. She's from India and she has perfect English. We went over to her house and she made us Indian food for lunch! A huge plate of rice, and a bunch of different dishes of vegetables and meat. In India, they eat with their hands! She gave us spoons in case we weren't comfortable, but it was so fun eating her food with our hands. We laughed so much! Afterwards, she talked to us about the traditional Indian clothing and showed us some of her dresses. We followed up with her on the plan of salvation pamphlet that we gave her the last time we saw her, and she told us she reads it every night and it has helped her so much! We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon in her language and she was SO excited, I wish you could have seen her face!
Every Monday night, we have a lesson with our investigator Cindy! She marks her scriptures more than I ever have. She always brings so many questions and just really really wants to understand the things we teach her. This Sunday, we spend like a whole hour talking about 1 Nephi 3. We drew on the whiteboard and helped her understand how the story actually relates to us today. I was again struck by how much faith Nephi has in all of his decisions. He knows everything he is commanded to do comes from the Lord.
Jannie is doing so awesome!!! She is progressing so much. She loves the law of chastity - she really wants her son to grow up with these standards. On Sunday, she bore a really strong testimony of how much hope and healing the Savior has brought to her life. We were having a lesson about repentance, and she expressed how forgiveness and healing from our sins and mistakes can only come from the Savior.
I'm in the last few chapters of the book of Alma right now. My favorite part has been Alma 56:46 when the stripling warriors proclaim "our God is with us and He will not suffer that we should fall." I know that our Heavenly Father is here with us. He is fighting our battles with us. As we rely on Him and allow Him to work in our lives, we will be able to see success. He will not let us fall!
I love you all! Sister Berrey