April 30, 2012

Week 66

Dearest LOVED ones!!!!!
Another week of miracles!
We have been working with a sweet Sister Zhong. She is so funny and so sweet. She basically ran over and asked to be baptized when we met. She is planning on getting baptized this Sunday after church. :) Oh the joy!!!!
But as you know my time is short here.....So here it goes...... (I cannot believe how fast this time has gone by.... It really is so crazy...)
I am so very grateful for the opportunity and blessing I have had by serving a mission. It has been the best 18 months FOR my life. I honestly cannot put into words my feelings at this time or my gratitude and love for my mission. There have been ups and downs, deep waters and great joys. I know that I will forever be changed and blessed from my mission. I am so very grateful for the many beautiful people I have been so blessed to meet. I thought I was coming here to change there lives by sharing the gospel with them but really they changed mine. There are so many sweet and special moments I will never forget. The moments when they know it's true. The calls to tell us they just receive their answer in the Book of Mormon. Their stories of prayer.  Seeing them change. Overcoming hard habits and weaknesses, even sicknesses. Overcoming family opposition or friends that don't agree. Riding up a mountain to visit an old woman and her smile when you get there. The members... So many wonderful moments but the ones I will never forget are their smiling faces when they come up from the waters of baptism. The joy on their faces and the pure joy in my heart. Oh how I will miss these moments... Oh how I will miss these beautiful people that I love.... I have loved these past 18 months so much and I am so very grateful that I could come to Taiwan and serve in this part of the Lord's vineyard. I am so grateful for this time I have had to become closer to my Savior and my Father in Heaven....I wish I could put it into words but I can't.
I know that God lives and loves His children. He truly is our Father. I know He answers prayers because I know He answered the prayer of a young boy and later through that young boy restored His true church to the earth. Through the restoration of His gospel we are able to live with our families forever and through His words, in the Book of Mormon, learn of this plan and receive His guidance. I know that Christ lives and loves us. I know that He was with us in the pre-existence and that He volunteered to come to this Earth and sacrifice for our sins and our every pain and trial. He is our Savior, Redeemer, Brother, and Friend. I know that He will come again. I pray that I will be worthy to live in His presence, to feel His hands and to kneel at His feet.
I love you all so very much. I don't know if I can express the gratitude I have for all of you. Your support, love, and prayers. I hope you can know and feel how much it has meant to me.
I love you soooooooooooooooooo much!
Until next week!!!!! Seriously!

Week 65

Dearest LOVED ones!!!!!
It has been a great week!!!! We saw some miracles!!!
Sister Wang was baptized yesterday. She is such a sweet miracle. She was truly so prepared! It was amazing! All of the commandments just made sense to her. It was... just amazing! She was so excited for her baptism. Her testimony was so sweet about how nobody is perfect and faith. The faith to be changed. She said she has a lot of weaknesses but she knows that the Lord will help her. It just might take a long time. I love her! It was such a great baptism.
We also met a really cute girl on the street that had basically been waiting to meet missionaries. She pulled over herself and she set up and when I started talking to her about baptism she put her arms up in the air and jumped up and down a little saying the she wants to get baptized. She came early to her lesson and we started to give her a tour of the church. We showed her pictures of recent baptisms and invited her to attend that night and she asked if she could get baptized too. She is so great! There is something really special about her... We are excited to keep teaching her!
We also had an amazing experience with a family that we have been working with. The Wang/Tong family. The 2 sons have been baptized but we have been working with the daughter for a bit now. At first she would not even sit with us or barely look at us. But last night we went over and she told us how she wants to get baptized but she wants to wait a year. We talked to her more and she set a date in the near future. It was truly a miracle!
The Lord is so good to us. He continues to pour out His tender mercies to us. It is such a beautiful thing to be here serving Him. I am so grateful for it everyday!
Time is running short so I best get going... We've got lots to get done!!!!!
I love you all so much!!!!!!
Until next week!!!!!

April 17, 2012

Week 64

Dearest Loved Ones!!!!!

WOW! I cannot believe how time has flown by.... so crazy!!!!!! And I know how fast the next 3 weeks are going to go... ahh!!!!!!!!! It feels so surreal. It still hasn't hit me yet... I can't even put into words how much I love my mission and how much I love these people. Leaving them is going to be the hardest part.... oh I'll cry... next subject...

Can I just tell you all how much I love my companion?! Sister Tanner is so amazing!!!!! She is so wonderful! I don't know what I would do without her! I love her!

It has been a great week. This week had many ups and downs but miracle Sunday made it all the best!

We had a rather slow week to begin with... But we also had some miracles. We were down because several of our investigators dropped their baptismal date. Some even stopped meeting with us. I was down and was reminded by our district leader of the story of Nephi and his brothers going to get the plates. How they tried 2 times with no success and were down and disappointed but Nephi went back. He finds Laban just laying there like he fell right into his hands. Elder Farr said that our Laban was somewhere and that we would just find them there ready to get baptized.... Well Sunday came around and that is just what happened. We received a referral from the Elders of a sweet teenage girl that they had mistaken for a boy... yes a little awkward but she is great!  She has been coming to church for over a month and came to conference last week and loved it. She had never had time to meet with the Elders but I think that might have been because they are Elders haha so we met with her and we talked a bit about baptism and she said how she really wants to get baptized. It was just like Elder Farr said. We found a wonderful girl with a beautiful desire to get baptized.... So amazing! So GREAT week!

Also.. Last week we went tomb sweeping. Its a big holiday here where they have the day off to clean the graves or tombs of their ancestors. Well seeing as it only happens once a year... well here's some pics of the day. It was a great day of service!

Well sorry this is short!

Sure love you all so much!!!!!!!

Until next week!!!!!!!!!!!

April 10, 2012

Week 63

Happy Easter !!!!!!!!!

What a wonderful Easter weekend here! Conference was AMAZING as usual! So inspired and so uplifted!!!!!!! I loved all of it! It made Easter all the bit more wonderful! I hope you all enjoyed it as well! And I hope you all had a very fantastic Easter!

It has been a marvelous week! We saw some great miracles....

We met 3 cute teenagers this week with the same wonderful member friend from YunLin. This great member has been sharing the gospel with her friends for some time now so when her friend Sunny saw us riding her bikes she knew she had to race up to talk to us at the next light. It was interesting because she didn't set up but Sister Tanner tried really hard and invited her to English. Well to our surprise she and her 3 other friends came to English along with their member friend Rona. When we met with Sunny for the first time she told us that she already believes in God and that she prays everyday. She was so excited to have her own Book of Mormon because she has seen Rona's so many times. As we were walking them out she turned and asked "Can I see the Chapel?" So we went upstairs and saw the beautiful chapel. She loved the feeling there. We also continued to talk about baptism and she said that she has a big desire to be baptised but she feels that her grandparents (whom she lives with) might oppose. She is wonderful and truly has great desire.

We also met Rona's other 2 friends Alice and Eve. Both so cute! They were also very excited to hear about the gospel. They came to conference and loved what they learned about gratitude and God's love for them. It was amazing to feel the Spirit increase as we were teaching them. They accepted all the commitments extended but it was very powerful as they accepted the commitment for baptism.

These beautiful 3 teenage girls are now learning about the gospel because of the example of one of their friends. Rona lives the gospel and she shares it with those that she loves. What an example? She is one but she has already blessed so many. I am so grateful to see this example of the power of one.

This week my testimony has been strengthened over and over again about being in the right place at the right time and how Heavenly Father knows all of His children and there needs. We met some really wonderful people this week. All of them have their own trials and concerns but it is so amazing to me that God knows those trials and concerns. I don't but He does. I have been able to testify of that many times this week and by doing that my testimony has been strengthened.

I love this work so much. It is such a blessing to be here helping others come unto Christ and to see them change with the power and love of His atonement. I am so very grateful for this experience... so very grateful.

Well the time is just flying by..... I can't believe it!

I love you all sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!

Be Good!

Until next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 2, 2012

Week 62

Dearest Loved Ones!!!!!

It has been a great and interesting week...

Sister Yan was baptized on Saturday. It was a beautiful service and she bore a very sweet and powerful testimony of how she feels like Alma over coming her sins and how she hopes she can go on to greatness. It was beautiful.

But... It seems that with this great, exciting. and beautiful act of faith we also experience many investigators leave. Some saying they don't want to meet with us anymore or just that they aren't willing to keep commitments. It's always hard to see that you have no progressing investigators. Especially when your week started with them doing so well... But we have done all we can and we are trusting that the Lord has many that we are to go out and find.

We had a wonderful fireside last night about missionary work in hope to help members build more desire in sharing the gospel. I believe it worked. WE did a funny skit, watched small and simple things (or healing waters) which I had never seen before that was very powerful, and 2 wonderful talks that really brought the Spirit and the fire... It was so great! We received 7 new referrals at the end and that is going to be our first place to look for new investigators. What a blessing!

I continue to be reminded of all the wonderful examples in my life and just how grateful I am for all the help over the years. The examples that have helped me become who I am. It always amazes me how the Lord knows just who we are and where we are. He knows exactly what we need... Yesterday we had 2 really cool experiences with this. One we were on our bikes and this man started talking to Sister Tanner in english... We usually don't contact men but it was a self-contact so... we start talking to him and turns out he has a friend that served a mission, he had met with the missionaries before, been to church, and is still interested but going to school in Taipei. Well while were talking a great member Brother Lin and his twin and their cousin just happen to be out walking around right there. So we introduced them and it was just great. Then we asked about his friend and he said it was a girl so I asked her name and guess who it was. Sister Chen!!!!! Yep my 2nd companion in the field!!!! It was so crazy!!!! WOW!!! P.S. Sister Chen is getting married at the end of this month in the Washington D.C. Temple. Ahhh!!! I'm so happy for her!!! And P.P.S. can you believe it's April?  Such a tender mercy! Then we were off to the park where we met a man from Philly... He's her teaching english. We were able to talk to him and his girlfriend and it was really cool. My english is horrible and so awkward now.. I have to translate back to english so that was funny but luckily my companion speaks real good english and she can share the gospel in english. She has shared it with her friends at home so she was on fire! He was really cool. Baptist. Had a lot of great questions. And is willing to meet the with the Elders. YAY!!! So in both of these experiences these are not people necessarily for us to teach but we were right where we needed to be to find those that are ready and interested. And we were doing the work of the Lord finding them. He knows us. He knows where we are. He knows what we needs. He loves us!

I'm so excited for conference this weekend.... ahh I can't wait!

Well time is just flying by but there is a lot left for me to do!

I sure love you all soooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!

Until next week!

1. Sister Yan
2. Sister Li and her new baby (a less active we have been working with)
3. Sister Tanner and I

April 1, 2012

Week 61


It has been another good week! Always is! This week was very busy!!!!!!!

We has a little sad experience this week. Sister Yan was not able to get baptized this week because of a word of wisdom issue. She hadn't smoked for almost a month and then the day before her baptism she had a lot of pressure at work and at home and yielded to an old temptation. She said that she tried praying and really didn't want to. It was actually a miracle how we found out about it. We were really really busy that day so it was kind of crazy running from lessons but we really wanted to go visit Sister Yan. Well we were at a lesson by her house and tried to call our next lesson and they had to change to the next day so we miraculously had time to go visit Sister  Yan. We knew something was bothering her right when we saw her. She felt so bad... We talked to her about repentance and she was willing to pray for forgiveness and work really hard for this Saturday. We told her to call us if she ever felt the urge. I love her so much and I know that through the Savior she can receive the strength she needs to overcome her temptations.

We have many great investigators right now that we just love. One is a cute teenager that is 14 named Sister Lin. She actually is a former. I met with her a bit before new year but we she came back from visiting her family she said that she didn't want to meet with us or get baptized. It was really strong and we were rather confused. A few weeks ago we felt like we should go visit her so we did and she was totally different and way willing. She has been praying everyday and making a great progress. She really wants to get baptized. I just love her so much.

We actually have a lot of teenage ivestigators right now. I love the youth!!!

I can't believe how time is FLYING by!!!! But I love seeing the miracles everyday! The Lord's hands are in His work. He is opening my eyes more and more to the love that He has for His children and the many that are prepared to hear His word. But I better get out and find them.

I sure love you all soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!

Until next week!!!!

Week 60

Qin Ai de Jia Ting!!!!!!!!!!!

It has been a great week!!!!! So many miracles!

Okay first Sister Yan. She really is so great! She has so much faith. Every time we go meet with her the first thing she talks about is her baptism. She understands and desires a new start. She is so excited for it this week. She has some health issues so she wasn't able to make it to church yesterday and she was so worried that she would have to change her baptismal date. I just love her so much and I am so grateful for her example. She works so hard for her family. She has felt many blessings from the gospel and knows that there are more that await her. I love her so much!

We also saw some other miracles. Sister Wang (members sister) set her own baptismal goal. :) It was kind of funny... We invited her to get baptized on April 7th and she said that she set the goal for April 1st but she still needs to work with her husband on it. She said that he knows that she comes to church but doesn't support baptism. So we hope to help her and her husband. Her faith is building. Recently she has received a lot of answers and strength from her prayers.She is wonderful.

We were also able to start building a relationship with Sister Tong (same members daughter) She is 14 and both her little brother and older brother were recently baptized. At first she was very standoffish... Didn't want to meet or really talk with us. But we went over yesterday and took her a gift. A picture of Christ and some mentos. We talked to her for a bit and asked if we could have a movie night (obviously a church movie). Sister Tong said yes and set a date. When we left we asked if we could pray together and she offered to say it! It was such a big change. It was so amazing.

And another! So the 3rd Branch Elders had a baptism on Saturday. We were obviously excited and invited investigators to attend. Well we got there and they went up to introduce her and then it hit me... a flashback to when I met her at the park. I met her and her friend. She said that her dad was a member and that the Elders came to visit him quite often. I asked if she ever sat with them and she said no... Well we kept talking and shared with her and her friend the message of the Restoration. We referred them and then I remember seeing her at church once so I said hello again... Then there she was in white. It was such a joyful event. I probably should have done more to follow up with the Elders and her but I felt that I might have helped in some way, It just testified again to me that we don't know all those that we help. Sometimes we are planting the seeds and we don't see the results but I felt truly blessed to see this result.

This week was such a good. Blessed with many miracles and peace. The Lord has truly blessed me. I am so grateful for it all. And I'm so grateful for all of you! I sure love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! too much!

Until next week!!!