June 15, 2015
This week was one of the best weeks ever! So amazing. So many miracles!
Let me tell you more about my companion. She's so great! Sister Rumsey is from Utah. This is her first time leaving Utah, so it's been an adjustment coming here to Taiwan! Her dad served in this mission 29 years ago and he actually served here in DouLiu for a little while! Sister Rumsey never ever ever complains. No matter how hot it is, how much we're sweating, how much she doesn't understand, how weird the food is, she never complains! It's really helped me and has made things so much more enjoyable! She's really an example to me. I love serving with her, we have so much fun together!
This week one of our investigators took us to this restaurant to eat. In the middle of the restaurant was this big pond. People were sitting around the pond with fishing lines in their hands. You catch your fish and then they cook it for you and you sit down near the pond and eat. So crazy, I've never seen anything like it before! Her husband caught some huge shrimp, they put them on the table cooked and salted. Our investigator just grabbed them and ripped them open and handed us the meat to eat. Haha, it was weird thinking about how they were just swimming around in the water just a few minutes earlier. But it was super yummy!!
We felt like we should go look for a former investigator. We looked at the map and I felt confident that I could find it. The past sisters noted on the record that they had a hard time finding it before. As we were looking, I felt like maybe we should turn around and go back to check the roads behind us again. But as I stopped, I felt the Spirit prompt me to just go straight for a little longer and ask the family in front of us for directions. We asked and they knew exactly where we needed to go. We ended up talking with the wife - she's from Indonesia. She told us "I can speak Chinese, no professional. Taiwanese, no professional. English, no professional. Indonesian...professional! Because I'm Indonesian!" Haha, she was so cute! We were able to exchange details and meet with her later that week - she told us her life story, how hard it has been here in Taiwan and all the difficulties she has faced. We promised her that this message that we are sharing will be able to help her have more strength and peace of mind.
This experience lead me to think a lot about all the investigators I have had on my mission and all the people I have met. I made a short list of some of the difficulties people face in this world. These examples are from people I have personally worked with and taught. I'm sure there are many more, but here are just some: hopelessness, regret, loneliness, miscarriages, individual apostasy, stealing, disrespect, being offended, affairs, murder, drugs and alcohol, abortion, homelessness, starvation, suicide, depression, divorce, abuse, war, anorexia, prison, cancer, hospitalization, single parents, no parents. So many others, but as I thought about this list and all the challenges I have seen just in my time here in Taiwan. These hardships effect people the world over. They are challenges that missionaries face all over the world.
I was reading Alma 7, I especially like verse 14 that says, "have faith on the lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness." The message that we are sharing as missionaries is centered on Jesus Christ. No matter what challenges are faced in our lives, the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can really relieve the pain and scars that sin and wickedness leave. The Atonement can free us from burden and regret. It can help us overcome the challenges that we face and give us peace and real happiness. No matter who we are teaching, the message that we share is the same. A message of happiness and hope, of comfort and relief. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He knows how to carry us.
Alma explains the Atonement perfectly in Alma 7:12: "And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." He knows exactly how we feel and what we are facing. Heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son to Atone for us. Not only the people who are facing huge trials in their lives, but for each one of us. He Atoned for us and it is up to us to learn what this Atonement means to us personally.
This week we found a new investigator, we followed up on a lady who we found when I first came here to DouLiu. Sister Tapia had a bike accident right in front of her house. Sister Tapia was fine, but it was definitely God's way of telling us to stop and talk with this family. We were able to meet with the mom finally this week, every time we've gone over, no one has been home. We stopped by and she invited us in. The Spirit was so strong as we shared the message of the restoration with her. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, she thanked us over and over for the book and promised she would read it everyday and pray every night!
One of our investigators has been pretty adamant about her decision that she needs to finish reading the whole Book of Mormon before she can come to church or be baptized. We met with her this week, sang a hymn together as usual and then she just kept sitting there looking at her hymn book, reading the lyrics. We tried to move on to say a prayer together, but she wouldn't respond, just sat there flipping through her hymn book reading the words. After a few minutes, she looked up at us and asked us when our church was. It's been amazing to see her increase her desire to learn and act on our message. As we share principles of the gospel with her, she accepts them and has a lot more desire to come to church! When I first met her, she wasn't even willing to talk to us about coming to church, but through patience and testimony, she has learned and has realized the importance of what we are sharing!
We met with the Ma family! One of our active member visits this week was with them. The dad is from California and the mom is Taiwanese. They have two little kids who have amazing English and Chinese! They're such a cute family! Brother Ma served his mission in Hungary and told us about an experience he had on his mission that helped me learn the reality of God's love. The Spirit was so strong as he spoke! I know that God lives and loves each one of His children!!
Something I really liked from church on Sunday is what our branch president said in his testimony. He said that we don't need to worry about making mistakes in our lives, but we need to make sure that we are always repenting of the mistakes that we make and becoming better. :) Keep improving! God will forgive.
I love you all so much! Sister Berrey