December 29, 2014I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ! I'm so grateful this week we were able to celebrate His birth and remember the importance of His life.
Christmas here in GaoXiong was so good! On Wednesday, we had our english class english party! This week was the first week of the move call, and I was made english leader. So I had to take over and make the decisions based off of what was already put together. It was kind of stressful, but it turned out. I think everyone had a good time! We had each class sing a Christmas song to everyone. They had been practicing for a few weeks, and then performed at the party. We had some games and crafts and music and food, and then we did a live nativity scene! A couple in our ward were Mary and Joseph, and the elders in our district were the innkeeper and shepherds. Sister King was the angel.
I loved being able to skype with everyone this week! I am so so so grateful for all of you! I'm so glad everyone is doing well and that we were able to see each other for Christmas. When Sister King skyped with her family, she bore her testimony to everyone in Chinese and had me translate for her. The Spirit was so strong, and I know that experience really strengthened them. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given us our families and that we can help and lift each other. Family is forever.
One of my investigator's in Puli got baptized on Christmas! It was so good to be able to know she made that decision. I love her so much! While I was serving in Puli, we would meet with her at least twice a week and she was really progressing! I'm so glad she was able to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. This is a decision that will not only bless her life, but the lives of her family members. She has such a strong testimony and this gospel has really changed her life. I'm so grateful I was able to see her grow in her testimony, that I was able to help her see how the gospel actually applies to her, and to see her get excited about changes that were happening because of Jesus Christ. She's so awesome! I can't even describe how excited I am that she got baptized!
This week, we started meeting with Maggie's friend. Maggie has her Mormon Club at her college each week. One of her friends who comes in Minnie. Maggie set up a time for Sister King and I to come over to their school and meet with Minnie because she expressed interest in the gospel. We had a good meeting and Maggie brought her to Church on Sunday! Missionary work is best when the members are involved! I love the quote by President Hinckley, "Whenever there is a member who introduces an investigator, there is an immediate support system. The member bears testimony of the truth of the work. He is anxious for the happiness of his investigator friend. He becomes excited as that friend makes progress in learning the gospel." I have really seen that in Maggie as we meet with Minnie.
This week was a little bit hard for Sister King - she kept falling over on her bike! On Christmas day, as we were riding back and forth between appointments, she fell three times! Not like her bike fell over and she was fine, but like she was straight on her bike one second, and then she was flat on the ground with her bike on top of her the next minute. It was a hard day - some tears and grateful prayers that we had a first aid kit. She was fine, but it hurt! And the next day we rode our bikes super far to our other area. She wasn't watching where she was going and she ran into a parked car! She landed on the same side that she had landed the three times before. Some people across the street came over and tried to help. A man with his little son walked over and offered some medical tape. Sister King is so strong though - she quickly recovered, and then we kept going. She didn't need time to stop and rest. She didn't give up. She knew that we had work to do, and she wasn't going to let these things stop her. I love her!
Yesterday, we had a few lessons after church meetings, and then we had a meeting with the leaders in our ward. When we came out of the meeting, one of our english students came running up to us! She was standing next to her grandfather. When I saw him, I remembered talking with him at the Christmas party. I didn't recognize him at the time, so I went up and started talking with him. It was his first time in a church and he asked when we have meetings. I told him that where he lives church starts in this building at 1:30. I didn't really expect him to come, but he remembered and came! We stayed with them and attended the other ward's sacrament meeting. Sister King had a conversation with the little girl, Sarah. She comes to our english class every week and we always begin and end with a prayer. Sarah: "this is his first time at church, so he doesn't understand yet why we pray." Sister King: "why do we pray, Sarah?" Sarah: "because it makes us feel good!"
On Friday, we had dinner with one of our investigators Vivian! She brought us a hot pot restaurant. So yummy! Before the meeting, we had prepared to review with her the message of the restoration, but we weren't sure how much we would be able to teach because it's always hard to teach at a restaurant. But the whole time, all she wanted to talk about was the questions she had about the gospel and they all related to the restoration. The Spirit was so strong, and everything we taught just made sense to her. One thing that she talked about that I had never thought about was about the word of wisdom. She talked about how it's really bad how people use and abuse drugs and substances. Smoking, drinking, chewing bin lang. She said she thinks it's because God created us a certain way. He created our bodies the way they are. They give us signals and tell us when we're tired and when we need to rest. But people don't want to listen to their bodies, so they find things to make them feel differently. That's why drugs and alcohol is such a problem. But she is so grateful for Heavenly Father and that He has trusted us with our bodies! I thought that was so true!
Oh man. The other day we biked to this rode and there was a huge parade going on. We stopped and asked the people watching on the street about it. It was like this big Buddhist parade with fireworks and drums and people's faces covered with paint and big dragons and these displays that they would stop at a few spots. It's interesting how huge it was. There was confetti and stuff all over the ground after the parade was gone. But everyone we talked to didn't really know who they were celebrating or why they had the parade that day. It just made me think more about how religion, how we have the restored truth and how we do things the way that Heavenly Father has asked us to. We have His direction and His word. Through Him, we can find peace and happiness and understanding. We don't have to put together big celebrations to remember gods that are kind of unknown and mysterious.
I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ! I'm so grateful this week we were able to celebrate His birth and remember the importance of His life. I know that He came to earth because He loves us. He came to give us an example. He came to teach us. He came to lift us. He came to change us. He came to give us hope and eternal happiness. Christ came because His Father sent Him. Heavenly Father has infinite love for His children, so He provided us with a way to returned to Him. That is through God's Son, Jesus Christ. Our Brother. Our Mediator. Our Redeemer. Our Savior. I'm so grateful for Him. I know that we now have His Restored gospel on the earth. He loves us. He wants us to come unto Him.
I love you all so much! Sister Berrey