December 8, 2014"This week we had our Mission Christmas Party!!! Ah, it was so fun!"
YAY such a great week! This week I decided I wanted to focus on talking with everyone, the principle of sacrifice, and the celebrations this week - Christmas and my birthday! :)
This week Sister King taught me a lot about how important talking with everyone is. In Preach My Gospel, it says "Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach. Talk with as many people as you can each day. It is natural to be somewhat apprehensive about talking to people, but you can pray for the faith and strength to be more bold in opening your mouth to proclaim the restored gospel." This week Sister King and I have had so much fun opening our mouths and sharing with everyone we can about the message of the restored gospel. We had a few memorable experiences.
The mission Christmas party went a lot later than we were anticipating, so Sister King and I were trying to quickly get home. We were in the middle of an important conversation when Sister King looked up and saw a lady about ten steps above us. Instead of continuing the conversation with me, she walked up and we started talking with this woman. We got to the top of the escalator and she continued talking with us. She told us that she had talked with missionaries when she was in high school (she's probably in her 30s now) and lately she had been wondering when she would be able to talk with missionaries again! I know that people are looking for us! We get rejected over and over again every single day, but I know that God is preparing people for us to meet and help! We are His servants. We are His representatives. He counts on us to work hard everyday.
One morning, Sister King and I were riding our bikes to our area. We don't live in our area, so we have to travel on the highway every day to get to where we are supposed to proselyte. We stopped at a red light next to a park and it quickly turned green. I moved forward, but felt something physically stop me. I turned and started talking to the man standing on the corner next to me. Sister King had a conversation with him for a while, and he didn't really seem to have much interest. After a few minutes, a lady walked up to us, looking at our name tags. She asked us if we are Mormons and if we speak English. She's from the Philippines, and she had a lot of interest in hearing our message. It was a really powerful experience. Heavenly Father puts those who are prepared in our path.
We often eat dinner at a dumplings restaurant because our investigator works there. After giving them our order, I started talking with one of the ladies who works there. I eventually found out that she is not a member of our Church, but she paid for her granddaughter to serve a mission in Taipei! I love meeting all these people and teaching them about the gospel! It's the best thing ever, being a missionary!
This week Sister King and talked about how amazing this mission is. How we have this short time to be completely focused on building the kingdom of God. All we have to worry about is how to fulfill our purpose as missionaries. Everything we do is to serve Heavenly Father's children. He is trusting in us and He is giving us so many incredible experiences! We have each fasted and prayed about what we want to sacrifice and how we want to become more sanctified missionaries. We have started to do SYL (speak your language) - when we are outside, we only speak Chinese! We have both made a lot of goals and are making changes to become the missionaries that Heavenly Father needs us to be.
This week we had our Mission Christmas Party!!! Ah, it was so fun! I put pictures on Blogspot. All the missionaries from the whole mission all gathered in GaoXiong and we spent the day together. We traveled to a Buddhist temple called FoGuangShan. It was a Buddha Memorial Center, so there was this HUGE gold Buddha statue, and a museum that told the story about Buddha's life. It was really interesting and really pretty and peaceful.
It was so amazing seeing everyone. I have made so many amazing friendships here. I loved seeing past companions, sister training leaders, elders who I have worked with, and our mission president and his wife. I loved being able to talk with these missionaries and hear about how the people are doing who I taught in my past areas. It was really powerful being together, all 200 of us. I loved it so much! We took a picture together in front of the Buddha and had some time to walk around the memorial center.
After that, we went to a huge all-you-can-eat buffet. It was mostly seafood and unlimited ice cream! It was super fun!! We then went to a chapel and had a really nice fireside. There are 20 missionaries going home next week, so they all gave their farewells, and President Blickenstaff spoke to us about the importance of being sanctified missionaries. It was a really great day!
One thing that really stood out to me this week was after we were at the Buddhist Memorial Center. It was really interesting to learn more about their religion and the history of their church. I felt really peaceful and calm while I walked around this temple. I know it's a really important place for them. But I noticed that it wasn't really the Spirit that I was feeling. I had good feelings, and I knew that where I was was important, but I wasn't really feeling the Spirit. After we got back on the bus, we said a quick prayer of safety before traveling. It was a really simple prayer, but I really felt the Spirit. I know that Heavenly Father lives. This is His Church. There are so many Churches on this earth. They help people and change lives, but this restored gospel is totally different from any other Church. It is the true and living Church on the earth. It is God's kingdom once again built up. It is righteousness and happiness and eternal. I am so grateful for the blessing that I have this gospel in my life! I love it so much!
Sister King and I have been reading a scripture every day from her advent calendar. It's so good to have this time in the year to remember Jesus Christ, to commemorate His birth, life, and resurrection. I'm so grateful for Him. I know He lives and He loves us. I absolutely love this new video the Church has made! Check it out! http://www.mormon.org/christmas
Love you all! Sister Berrey