May 25, 2015
It has been raining here since Tuesday! We got on our bikes last night, went a little ways, said and prayer and decided to come back home because it was way too rainy. The water was up to our ankles and it was just pouring down! The entry way of our apartment complex was totally flooded. The water was just pouring across the marble, down the steps, and into the street. The people here in Taiwan have been complaining lately about how there's a drought, so it just rained for like a week straight! So fun!
On Tuesday, it was pouring and pouring. We had planned to go tracting. When we knocked on one door, a woman invited us in. We took our rain jackets and shoes off and stepped in. As we met with her, she began crying. She told us about how years ago she wanted to go find a church. She found our chapel, but was bu gan to go in herself. Years later, she knew that Heavenly Father had sent us to her to share this message with her!
My companion is Sister Tapia! She's from Kentucky, but her family moved to Indiana when she was a senior in high school. She was Sister Johnston's companion in the MTC and she's such an incredible missionary! I absolutely love serving with her! She bikes really fast and already has really good Chinese! She's a great teacher and she always makes me laugh. We're having a really good time together, lots of miracles and spiritual experiences! :)
We finished training yesterday! I think one thing that I have learned from training is to always trust in God and to have patience. I found a quote on lds.org a little while ago that says "patience is humbly accepting the Lord's timing - whatever it is."
This area is a lot more country. There are tons and tons and tons of rice fields, and a lot of the houses look like they're from a different century! The people are SO nice and willing to talk. A less active called us the other day just to tell us to be careful on the roads. Members are willing to help with missionary work and invite us over for meals.
In the branch, there are usually about 50 people present on Sundays. This Sunday there were about 70 people. The member in this video is in our branch! We would watch this video in the MTC without the captions and I would have absolutely no idea what she was saying, haha!
Haha, on Monday, we met with a mom and daughter. Okay, so you have to understand something about people here in Taiwan. When people are not interested in our message about Jesus Christ, they can do a few different things. They can:
a. ignore you
b. say "bu yong, bu yong" (No use.)
c. thank you. "xie xie, xie xie"
d. insist that they're too busy, which often they are, but they say "mei you shi jian. zui jin bijiao mang." I don't have time, I've been more busy lately.
e. say "wo bu xin nige." I don't believe in what you're sharing.
f. say "wo xin fojiao, daojiao, etc." (I'm Buddhist, Daoist, etc...) and so on....
Those are just some of the most common situations. I have often found that these people just don't understand what this message is about, or why they would need it. As we bear a brief testimony of how the message has helped ourselves personally and invite them to learn more, they often are then more willing to listen.
We had a lesson this week as we met with one of our investigators. Her mom came along with her and ended up talking for a good portion of the lesson. It was so funny, the mom was very Buddhist, and would talk about their form of baptism. The whole time she would just talk about how much she believes in her religion, but how she really really wants her daughter to be Christian and be a part of this religion. Sister Tapia and I both felt a little confused, but the daughter expressed a lot of interest in learning and accepting this message. I just have never been in a situation like that, we taught both of them, but the mom was just adamant that she didn't need this but her daughter does.
I finally finished reading the Bible this week! God is real. He is there. He loves His children, so He has given us very simple and direct commandments to help us have direction, peace and happiness in our lives. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He watches out for us and always gives us the blessings and trials that we specifically need to learn and grow.
I received a letter from Jacob this week which has really made me think about that it means to hasten the work of the Lord. It's not about baptizing hundreds of people, or running around trying to talk to as many people as you can. Spreading the gospel is about showing love and kindness to everyone around you. It's about going the extra mile and giving one more hug. It's about helping people feel the love of Christ when they are around us. As missionaries, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. We often invite others and make a difference in others merely by our examples. I take my responsibility as a missionary very seriously. This is the Lord's work. It is His time. It is all in His hands. As we effectively and prayerfully use this time, He will lead us to those who need comfort, love and support, who are ready to accept their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we met with an investigator this week, she expressed her frustration in reading the Book of Mormon. She felt like she could never understand what it was saying, or why she needed to read. But one day she sat down and prayed to have more understanding. After praying, she opened to 3 Nephi 1:13 "Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets." She was really touched as she read those words and for the first time she could feel the love of her Heavenly Father. She now knows that He loves her and is aware of her.
Ah I just love being a missionary so much!!! I'm so eternally grateful for the opportunity I have to be here in DouLiu! I love Chinese, I love Taiwanese people, I love this gospel, I love the Lord!
And I love all of you so much too! KOKO Sister Berrey
I love you all so much! Sister Berrey