February 23, 2015
This week was probably the craziest week of my mission!! So much has happened! This week was Chinese New Year and we moved apartments.
New Year is so fun here in Taiwan! Most everyone has a few days off of work, so a lot of places are closed, making the roads feel really empty. We're in Gaoxiong, so they put off fireworks ALL THE TIME. We hear them going off all the time. Morning, afternoon, night. When we ride our bikes, we often see people worshiping at their temples and burning paper money for their ancestors.
We had a really hard day on Tuesday, everything that we did was not working and we were just trying so hard to keep moving forward. We came to a members house, but no one was home, so we decided to knock on the door next door. A dad opened the door and was excited to see us, he left and brought back his sister who has like perfect english! They invited us in and fed us hot pot dinner - these complete strangers who don't even know us! But they recognized us as missionaries, and told us about how they have been to our church before, many many years ago. It was fun to get to know them and testify of the importance of the gospel in our families. The dad told us about how he likes to write calligraphy - he showed us three red strips with Chinese characters written on them. He explained each of their meanings to us and about how the Chinese put these around their doors each year and stay up unto midnight after the first day of New Year to wait and see if anyone died from evil spirits. I don't really understand a lot of the traditions here, but I know that a lot of it is just like stories from the Bible, just changed and distorted.
Sister King taught me a Chinese New Year song that she learned when she was little...I'll sing it to you!
Der dong dong piao yi piao
Der dong dong piao yi piao
Der piao der piao
Der piao de piao piao yi de piao piao
Piao yi piao
Zuo shou luo, you shou gu
Shou na shou luo gu lai chang ge
Bie di yi ge er wo ye bu hui chang
Xin nian kuai le, xin nian ge
Xin nian xin nian
Duo kuai le
YAY!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
This week we had a ton of members invite us over for meals - lunch and dinners. Imagine Thanksgiving dinner, but like twice a day for a whole week. Yeah, it was a LOT of food. And it's not very polite to not finish eating the food, so it was a struggle!!
At lunch one day this week, they fed us a ton of pizza and chicken and oranges and dumplings. Everyone finished eating, and there were 12 more dumplings left. Sister King and I were already SO FULL, but we HAD to finish the dumplings!! We eat ate three, and then we decided to play rock paper scissors for the last six. Sister King lost all six times, so she ended up eating all the dumplings. It was so funny!! We members were laughing so hard at us.
On Tuesday night, the office called us and asked if we could move the next morning. We have been living really close to our church building, which is really far away from our area, traveling at least an hour each day just to get to our area and back. They had a lot happen and suddenly needed us to move into our new apartment, so we spent the night packing and continued in the morning and got everything out and the apartment cleaned in a little over THREE HOURS! SO so so fast! Oh man, it was exhausting. So we've been spending time this week trying to clean our new apartment and unpack everything!
We saw a lot of miracles, I've really loved this week because most families are together to celebrate the new year! Most people are super nice and happy during this time of year! I've really loved it!!
On Saturday, we were running out of time, it was getting late, but we had planned to go to LinYuan! We figured that if we went, we would get there and just have to come back because we were tight on time, but we trusted that we planned to go for a reason and trusted that God would help us accomplish what He would have us do.
On the bus there, it was PACKED with people! We were so close to each other, standing up. There was a lady standing behind Sister King who started talking to us. She immediately invited us to come over to her house, and had a lot of interest in learning about our church. She told us that her friend was learning about a church and the first time she started learning, she just started crying and was really emotional, she didn't understand why her friend was like that and what would make her respond that way. She listened carefully as we testified of Heavenly Father and the ways he communicates with His children. We talked with her and taught her for several minutes before she had to get off the busy crowded bus. MIRACLE!
As we walked to the place we decided to go, a girl stopped on her bike and talked to us, she wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ and meet with us another day!
As we were talking with her, a man pulled up behind us and started speaking to us in perfect English - he lived in Dallas for several years and is working on a book about Christianity! He really wants to meet with us and have us help him with his book.
We sat down to eat something quickly and a couple walked into the place we were at. They talked to us from across the room, and told us that they used to attend our church where they live. We were able to talk with them for a while, testifying of the blessings that come from the gospel of Jesus Christ. They stopped coming to our church and started going to another church, but we testified that it was no mistake that we met them that night and that through the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ, they can find even more truth and happiness than any other church they attend.
We were also able to talk with the lady who was working at the shop, she seemed really interested in learning more and was willing to add us on Facebook.
SO MANY MIRACLES just from putting our trust in Heavenly Father and acting in faith. This is GOD'S WORK! He is using us as His instruments in this great and glorious work! I absolutely love being a missionary, there is nothing I would rather be doing right now then representing Jesus Christ here in Xiao Gang!
I love you all so much! Sister Berrey
PS - President Blickenstaff called this week and told me I will begin training a new missionary this week! Continue praying for me, please! :)