April 20, 2015
This week was so great! Lots of meetings and assessments. We had Mormon Club at Maggie's college. District Training Meeting on Tuesday, like we do every week. Interviews with President Blickenstaff. Meetings with Sister Blickenstaff about our language study plans. A meeting to discuss our planners and area books with the Assistants to the President. English meeting. English class. A language assessment all the missionaries take in this mission on the computer. A Training Follow-up meeting. Sister Johnston had her evaluation for her phase one pass off. And church meetings. It was a really good week of learning and growing and becoming better!
Outside of all of that, Carol passed her baptismal interview, so she will be getting baptized this upcoming Saturday!!! We're so excited! We met with her this week and she's really excited to be baptized and be a part of the church. She knows it's true, she reads from the Book of Mormon everyday, and she just loves it! She's started reading the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi, so we encouraged her to keep reading even if she can't quite understand it. She's so awesome. Ah! And the Schwieders offered to give us a ride in their car to her baptism, so we will be able to attend! We're so excited!!
On Monday, we spend the P-day with Vivian and Casey. We got some iced hot chocolate and picked up Casey from school, then went to the mall. We were walking in the hall and a lady working at one of the kiosks started talking with us. She noticed our name tags and pulled out her Bible and started sharing with us about her church. Vivian was really bold in sharing her testimony of the restored gospel and in inviting her to learn more! I was so proud of her, it was really neat to see her share her testimony and to feel the happiness that this gospel has brought to her own life that she wants to share with others!
We met with one of our investigators at her house. She gave us some winter melon tea and says "I bought you this winter melon tea. You can drink it, you told me last time that you can't drink cha ye de cha, but this isn't. This is a type of tea that you can drink! I bought one for myself, too, because I want to be like you guys and only drink the stuff that I should." She told us that she knows it's part of God's plan that we met her in the park and can now teach her about the gospel!
One of our investigators read the introduction and came to her lesson with lots of notes and questions. As we explained things, she took notes and listened carefully. We tried to address her concerns and teach her as the Spirit directed. The lesson went very differently than we were expecting, but in a way that she needed. She kept telling us in english "I'm a good student." Haha.
We spent a day in LinYuan this week, it was GORGEOUS. Oh man. I love that area. We take the bus down there, walk to a member's house, and then use his bikes to get around. We tried to find some less active investigators and ended up planting lots of seeds on the way. The map that we brought was hard to understand because not all the roads were named, but I just decided to go the direction the map said, and see what would happen. We passed by a tiny road and Sister Johnston told me she thinks it's down that road. That didn't make any sense to me because it was such a small road and there was no sign on it, but we went down and the house we were looking for was right there! We talked with the ama there - she had three barking dogs sitting next to her and we talked really loud over the barking to invite her to church and she seemed really excited and wanted to come!
As we waiting for the bus to get back to XiaoGang, we looked at our watches and realized we might be late to our next appointment. As we were talking about it, the person we were meeting with called and asked if we could push the time back!
We were able to meet with Isabel this week!! We went over with the Schwieders, they helped a lot! Isabel has been really busy because they have mid terms this week. She's been stressed and just feels like a lot of things are piling up. We encouraged her and read from Alma 58. At this part of the story, the people of Ammon are in a desperate situation waiting for more provisions to come to help them. They know that the Lamanites are preparing to go to battle with them, but they are not getting the help that they need, so they turn to the Lord. Verses 10-12 say, " Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people. Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him. And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination to conquer our enemies, and to maintain our lands, and our possessions, and our wives, and our children, and the cause of our liberty." There is so much power and strength that comes when we turn to the Lord in our trials. We will all have difficulties, but as we put our trust in the Lord, our burdens can be made light.
Isabel used to be a servant for the king in her country. The top chef for the king graduated from the college she is attending right now. The king will be coming to visit Taiwan later this month and will visit her college. She's so excited to see him and she told us about how he will remember her. It's so cool! I feel like I'm teaching a celebrity!! Haha.
One other cool experience from this week happened as we were riding our bikes. We stopped at a red light and Sister Johnston said she felt like we should go in and sit down in a FamilyMart across the road. We went in and as soon as we sat down, the girl next to us asked us if we're American. We started talking with her and she ended up pulling up a seat next to us. She lives in another area, so we were able to share a little about our message, exchange information, and say a prayer together. Miracles happen when you follow the Spirit! I was so grateful for Sister Johnston!
I love spending some time each day in the Bible during personal study time. This week I loved reading a little phrase in John 13:18, Christ said "I know whom I have chosen." Jesus Christ knows us each individually and knows exactly what we need. As I read this verse, I felt the Spirit testify that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father have prepared and chosen me to come to this area and serve the people here. I am the only one who can do this work here at this time in this place. This is part of my story and part of God's plan.
I love you all so much! Sister Berrey