Monday, February 25, 2013

chronicle of Vasha 5

Subject: how lucky are we?!

Wow! It has been an absolutely incredible rollercoaster of a week in the last 4 1/2 days since i last emailed! So i guess really half a week.First off thankyou for those of you who sent letters! They were greatly appreciated and perfectly timed! Also thank you so much Auntie Ingrid, Uncle Leon, Christopher,and Alexandro for the amazing package! WOW!!! is the only way i can describe all the goodies and such inside! THANK YOU!!!
Luke 1:37
"For with God nothing shall be impossible."
Psalm 18:30
"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in Him."
This has been especially true this week! I know that without my Heavenly Father and Saviour, i, nor my companion, would have been able to get through these last few days, or the days to come. During weekly planning on Friday morning, we received a phone call from Sister Xiong's sister that their father had just passed away. I knew her dad had been sick the last few days, and we had been praying for him, so when I heard her start crying while on the phone, I knew exactly what had happened, and my heart just sunk. I was absolutely petrified, and was having flashback of when I heard that my older brother, McKay, had passed away while serving his Lord in the Romania Bucharest Mission. I wasn't sure that i would have the strength to go through something like that again, and i didn't know what to do. So while she was on the phone with her mum, i stepped into the other room, and knelt down to plead with my Father in Heaven to give me strength and bring her comfort. As soon as i was a few sentences into my prayer, peace flooded through me, and i knew that i would be able to do whatever it was that my dear companion needed. I knew that with the help of my Heavnely Father, my Saviour, and my brother McKay, i would be able to do whatever necessary to help her. I still know this. I have been able to testify to her over and over again of the amazing power of the Atonement, and the Plan of Salvation. It has only given me even more of a conviction and solidified my testimony even more of eternal families. It is sooo amazing to me, how much love our Saviour and brother Jesus Christ had for us to sacrifice himself and go through such intense agony, that we might once again be with our families. Not just our families here on earth, but our giant eternal family with our Heavenly Father. He also loved us sooo much that he let his firstborn son sacrifice himself for the rest of His children. I cannot even comprehend how hard that must have been for Him! I know that in all we do, it will never be enough to pay them back, but we MUST do everything in our power to try to be worth of His sacrifice. We MUST use all of our strength, desire, and might to take full advantage of the Atonement so that His love will not have been in vain. Let us not spit in His face and ignore the potential the Atonement has opened up for us and our brother and sister souls, but let us help EVERY SINGLE PERSON we know have the same opportunity. WE CANNOT EVEN COMPREHEND the lengths to which our Saviour Jesus and our Heavnely Father have gone to for us. Lets show them our gratitude through our thoughts, actions, and words. Through our testimonies. and Through our efforts to spread this most glorious gospel message!!!
My companion will be going home, we are still arranging the when, how, and what; but my next email will have all the information and adventures of this coming week.
***That awkward moment whe you try to compliment someone to start a contact and you tell her her clothes (yi1fu2) are pretty and she thinks you said skin (pi1fu4) and she goes off about how her skin is too dark and she wishes it was whiter and how your skin is also too dark, and you need to coverup more and take care of it if you want to ever get married!
I love you all and hope you all have a splendid, faithful, and hope filled week!!!! Zai Jian!!! (it means good bye)
Wo ai Nimen!
-Bao Jiemei ><

Friday, February 22, 2013

chronicle of Vasha 4

Nimen Hao!!! I hope everyone had spectacular weeks and is just enoying life in general!! :D
First off HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY TO AUNTIE INGRID AND GRANDPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry that is so late Auntie Ingrid! And Grandpa i hope you had a fun day!
Quote of the Week:
"There is a large difference between sharing information and offering salvation. :) Todd Christofferson
This is an amazing quote, and 100% correct! You can recite the first discussion as much as you want, but until you pay attention to the fact that you are teaching PEOPLE not lessons, YOU WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE! We are to "INVITE others to come unto Christ by HELPING them receive the restored gospel..." and we cannot INVITE and HELP if we do not realize the worth of the souls we are helping or the worth of the glorious message we are sharing WITH them. We need to learn to listen to the promptings of the Spirit, listen to the people we are talking with, and listen to our companions! LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN! then share what you are inpired to share and USE THE SCRIPTURES! We are definitely not perfect teachers, at least i am not! but the scriptures are perfect! Nothing invites the Spirit quicker than reading scriptures, and singing hymns with people! But this is all just my own opinion, draw what you will, and ignore what you want, but i know this to be true!
Scripture of the Week (Stolen from Elder Sawyer Hendrickson and shared with me by my mum):
1 Cor 3: 6-7 it says, "I have planted, Apollo watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planted anything, neither he that watered; But God that giveth the increase."
REMEMBER WHERE THE BLESSINGS COME FROM!!! This is super important to me this week because it is something that our investigators have been struggling with. They can tell that they are much more blessed since they've started living their lives in accordance to the will of the Lord, but they still think that it's because of themselves, not that it is from God. EVERYTHING that we have though, has been given to us from our Heavenly Father! Trying to look for the blessing in my life is something that i've been trying to focus on more, and for the last week, i've been writing 5 new things each night in my journal that i am grateful for. It makes me realize just how amazing my days are, how much the Lord's hand is in my life, and how blessed i really am! I suggest that if any are having an struggles with feeling down, discouraged, or being prideful, think of your blessings! What tender mercies from the Lord have you seen in your life TODAY?!
You said there is a foursome in your apartment. Do you interact with the other two sisters and where are they from? Do you work the same areas? We have a four man flat, but the two other sisters work in Tanzi, the neighboring area. We see them everyday and night, and they are in our district, but we do not cover the same area (and/or ward). One, Sister Gerraud-Carrier is from France, byway of Springville Utah. The other, Sister Newman is from Bountiful, Utah, byway of China! She grew up in China, her family lives there still, but she attended BYU and lived in Utah before her mission. (Yes she is white).
What do you do besides clean your apartment and do laundry on your P Day. Do you do grocery or do you eat out most of the time, since it is cheaper to eat out. Do you have Chinese breakfast and if so what are Chinese breakfast? What do lunch and dinner consisted of when you to people's home to eat? On P-day we also do our grocery shopping, any other shopping we desire, take naps, write letters (since we cannot write letters any other day of the week), do our regular studies (Personal, Companionship, and Language), and plan for our Wednesday Night English Class. P-day ends at 6:00pm so we usually then go teaching or proselyting until we return back to the flat at 9:00pm. Since we had the Mission Tour on monday this week though, our P-Day is today (or Wednesday) so we will have English class tonight instead of lessons with investigators or RCLAs. We almost always eat breakfast inside, and lots of times lunch too. Since i'm still training, we have extra study time inside, so we usually eat inside and then go out and teach/proselyte. Chinese breakfast here is You Tiao (Deep fried Chinese scones) with Soymilk, or dumplings, rou bao, etc. We usually eat eggs, cereal, or fruit though! We we eat at peoples homes it consists of TONS of food! Rice, Noodles, Lots of different kinds of meat (Pig leg, Pig knuckles, beef, Pig /or Beef intestines, Chicken, whole Fish), and ALWAYS soup! (with turnips, fish/beef balls, duck/pork blood, tofu, sometimes potatoes, and cabbage in it!). They like to tell you that you are fat and need to loose weight, and then shove more and more food at you! Hahahhahaha you have to LOVE them!! So great! and Yes Mum I eat EVERYTHING they give me! and don't say "Yuck!" I'm very well mannered! and never burp or fart either! You can tell them you don't want to eat rice though, and I've found that very effective. More room for meat and veggies! without as much carbs! :) I gained 4 POUNDS last week over new years since we were fed so much! But in the last 2 days I lost don't worry! hahahahahaha We went from meal appointmen to meal appointment and I thought I was going to DIE!!!! but I handled it like a champ....or a man....whichever...hahahaha
You park your bike downstairs and leave your helmet with it, do you worry about theft, is the lock sufficient, or there is not a problem in your area. We have boxes on the back of our bikes, so we just put our helmets inside there. The lock is sufficient, and lot of people don't even have locks! Some people have had problems with their bikes being stolen, but I haven't heard of any problems in my area. Most missionaries paint their bikes when they get them, but even those who haven't painted theirs yet, haven't had problems.
You mentioned two Sister Chen and their kids, do they have husbands, and if so are they members? Both Chen Jie Mei's are married, but their husbands are not members. Chen Jie Mei #1 is having some problems because her husband does not live the Law of Chastity and drinks a lot as well. We are praying for her to help her make good decisions, because she has told him multiple times that if he doesn't change, she wants a divorce, but he doesn't want one and tells her he will change, which he does for a little bit before he goes back to his old ways. They have been married for 15+ years and she is his 2nd wife. Chen Jie Mei #2 has one son and a husband, both are not members. She really wants her sons to join the church (he's 14) but her husband does not support it, so we will not teach him. If there is any protesting from spouse or parents, we respect it and don't teach. Although this gospel message is incredibly important, we also know that families are incredible important and we do not want to cause contention in the family. When they are prepared, they will accept the gospel and the amazing blessings that come with it!
Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days, will you and your comp be invited to a lot more dinners, so the other two sisters get the same invitations? and do all four of you cover the same ward or branch on Sundays? Since the other 2 sisters are not in our area, they do not eat with us, but they do get ching-ed by their members and investigators in their ward! The two elders who serve in our area usually got invited to eat with us at the members houses though. We only cover one ward with our 2 elders, and the Tanzi sisters cover their ward with their 2 elders. Some missionary companionships have more than one ward/branch, but we each just have one.
If anyone else has any questions, feel free to let my mum know, and i'll answer them! :)
Mission Tour on Monday was AMAZING!!! It ended up being the WHOLE MISSION instead of just the north half and then south half at a time! So i got to see all my MTC friends like Dong Jie Mei and Elder Gish!!! I was so happy to see them all :D It was an amazing meeting, and we learned a lot! Elder Watson and Elder Evans both spoke to us, along with President Bishop and all of their wives. We also took a picture as a whole mission with them!!! That was interesting! We found out that with the increase from all the new missionaries, by August we will have gone from 180-ish missionaries, we will have about 220-ish! So about a 40% increase or so? I'm not sure how solid those numbers are! hahahah but It's amazing and each week president Bishop finds out more and more missionaries are coming!!! We're so excited to what this all means to missionary work for the whole world! It is incredible how much the youth of the church have responded so gallantly and how amazing and worthy they all are! We have been told that we have so many amazing missionaries coming in, so we out in the field really need to step it up and be better than we are!!!!
***That awkward moment when you are eating everything on the table except for the pig intestines but then the Amah (grandma) keeps putting food into your bowl and telling you to EAT EAT EAT! and she puts tons and tons of intestines in your you grin, chew, swollow, and EAT MORE!!! Woot woot!! They really aren't that bad! :)
***That awkward moment when at mission tour you see a kid from back home and say "Hi Elder Gummow!" and he goes...."Wait....what?!>.....YOU are here??!....wait why?!....oh this is just too weird!" hahahaha what is with people from back home being so surprised to see me on a mission....and in their mission no less?! hahahahaha
***That funny moment when EVERYONE you meet asks you if you can teach their children english because they can see you are from America....but you use it as a proselyting moment and advertise your FREE english class!!! (PS while we're on this, go to our FB page and like us!!! at
***That awkward moment when I just barely advertised our English Class HERE ON MY BLOG!!
***That awkward moment when your on the bus up the mountain to go to a dinner appointment and you're with the of whom is 100% white and this group of kids starts talking about you and him in Chinese behind you....but he has fantastic Chinese and Taiwanese and starts talking to them and giving them english class tracts.....they were absolutely amazed!!!
We a baptism set for Saturday!!! Which is also my companions 1 yr anniv on island and my 1 month anniv on island. We are praying that Vicky (17) goes through with it, but she has had 3 bapt goals already (one with each comp that sis xiong has had), but I KNOW THAT SHE WILL BE BAPTIZED!!! I know this one is real! IT's gonna happen! I HAVE FAITH! WO YOU XINXIN! (I have faith):)
But I'll let you all know next monday what happens! :)
Well the days are long, but the work is good. Real good. And there is nothing that has brought me joy such as this. These people are our brothers and sisters and I have the honor of telling them exactly who they, and we, all are. CHILDREN OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER! That's kind of a big deal! We're all kind of a big deal! although at the same time we are "nothing." Like Elder Uchtdorf said, "That is one great paradox of man. Compared to God we are nothing, but to him we mean EVERYTHING." We all come from a royal, eternal line. Unfortunately so many people don't know that, but we have the honour and priviledge to share with them where they come from, what they are doing here, and what they have the potential to become. It is only through our elder brother and Saviour Jesus Christ that we are able to do this. Him and through His Atonement. What an amazing truth to know!! LETS ALL SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember that the Lord is watching over us and helping us!! "For with God nothing shall be impossible."!!!!!
I LOVE YOU ALL and hope you all have just fantastic, joy and missionary opportunity filled days this week! GOD LOVES YOU ALL!!!
Love, Bao Jie Mei


Monday, February 11, 2013

chronicle of Vasha 3

Gong xi fa cai!!! Xin nian kuai le!!! Happy New Year!!

Well it's the week of the New Year here and let me just tell's a HUGE DEAL!!!!
They close down many businesses for the whole week, so they can go out and celebrate. It's super Kua Zhong (over the top). There will randomly be fire cracker and fireworks through out the night AND DAY! and We get Ching-ed (Treated) out for like EVERY meals! with tons and tons of food! We have every lunch and dinner this week scheduled out with various investigators and members starting last friday! AND....sometimes we have people call us at the last minute, and when they are a RC, LA, or investigator, you cannot say no! So last Saturday we had lunch, early dinner, and dinner.....with tons of delicious food at each house! And they make you eat more and more and more! and you feel like you are going to DIE!!! It's very funny because they'll be explaining a food to me and then i'll be like! "Oh!! Sticky Rice! or Monk Soup!!!" and they'll be shocked that I've had it before! hahahahaha i've yet to eat anything here, that i haven't eaten before....and I've eaten some pretty gui gui (strange) food here...which makes me think that my food history has been very varied even before the mission!
Scripture of the Week:
Alma 26:26-27 (starting with the last half of 26)
"...with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls. Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the LORD comforted us, and said: Go amonst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience tine afflictions, and I will give unto success."
I was having a little bit of a sad moment this week, because my trainer was a little bit discouraged because our numbers aren't as high as she was used to, and we have interviews with President Bishop tomorrow. She was worried that he would be disappointed in the decline, but I tried to explain that because she's training, we aren't outside as much, and the President Bishop knew that when he made her into a trainer. She was also very scared to train me, because she's never trained before; but she's doing an amazing job!!! She was scared that I would be scared and uncomfortable talking to people, but I helped her to understand that I wasn't scared or uncomfortable at all!!! I love talking to people, and when I mess up, I just laugh and so do they. They do not judge my language skills because I am definitely an American, and they can see that!  I was reading through my notes that people gave me when we left the MTC and Elder Hagedorn had written that scripture down, but he said that he didn't know why but he felt like he should. I hadn't read it yet, but I decided to look it up. I was then able to show it to my trainer and remind her that we are saving souls, and that when we are patient, the Lord will give us success. I know that Elder Hagedorn was inspired to give me that scripture, and that I was inspired to look it up just when I did. It's been incredible to see how much the Lord has already helped me so much on my mission, though short the time has been. I also decided to find a scipture to share with my companion everyday, and it's been interesting how sometimes it's also one that i need for myself as well!
My Companion has been out for almost a year! I'm going to be her last companion, then she is going home May 13th.Tell the ward I say HELLO and the YM as well :)
Quote of the Week:
"God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been asHe does about where you are and, with HIS help, where you are willing to go."
We need to be clay that the Lord can mold into whatever he needs us to be. We must keep an open heart and mind, and listen to the promptings of the Spirit. Only then can we truly be what we need to. We need to remember that there are souls He has prepared for us to meet and help, but in order to help them, we ourselves need to be prepared for them!!!!
I still have the WEIRDEST dreams every night! Some are in English, and some are in Chinese. Sooo weird, but always entertaining to the other missionaries hahahahaha.
I also feel as though I speak more English here and less Chinese than I did in the MTC! but maybe that's because I'm more used to the language than before, but also a surprising amount of people here speak English, if only a little, that it's enough that we can use Chinglish with each other.
Random moment: Yesterday when we went to our Correlation Meeting with our Ward Mission Leader, he gave me a note when I came in from some missionaries that he took out to eat while up in Xin Zhun (taipei mission) visiting his parents. And thouse missionaries were Sister Latimer and Elder Cheung who were in my Zone in the MTC!!!! and they both wrote me a quick little note! But it was super random and awesome that they are in the same area and that they met Huang DiXiong! I guess not as random being in the same area as someone you know up in taipei since we had 20 missionaries go to taipei together from our zone/generation in the MTC.
Okay....Mum had some questions, but I figured I would answer them on my big email, so that you can all know what it's like here!!!
What is the weather like where you are at? Megan Starley was there in your area for six months. She did the Dan Jones thingy too. I guess it is a Taiwan thingy. The weather here is cool, I wear my cardigans everyday, and it gets pretty windy, so I wear my leggings everyday as well for warmth and for when my skirts fly up! hahahaha I will be in my area for my 3 months of training, and then at least another 6 weeks (one "move call" aka transfer) so that i can show my new companion the area. Sister usually get to go to about 3 areas for about 4 1/2-6 months at a time. Dan Jones is definitely a Taizhong thing. They've been doing it for years. 20 years ago, they used to set the missionaries free their first night in the nightmarket with a list of 20ish or so things to buy (writting in English) and they had to figure out how to say it, buy it all, and then get a taxi and return to the mission home on their own! The list also contained super random/weird things like pacifiers and other things! hahaha.
 Does it get a lot of rain? Are you wet all the time? It hasn't yet rained since i've been here. At least not when we've been out riding our bikes. We've gotten a few showers while inside, so i come out to a wet helmet and seat, but nothing major. It won't really rain a lot until the summer months/monsoon season.
 Do you go tracting - knocking on doors? What time do you and comp go in and not ride your bike. What do you do for P day today? I am so glad you have a great trainer and you get along with her. Yes we go tracting!! Not a whole lot though, because it's not really as effective in our area. We do go contacting A LOT. in parks, in the mall district, at the hospital, etc. And whenever we are traveling from appointment to appointment, we contact at all traffic lights, etc. We go in at 9 pm and we leave at either 10:30 am or 12:30 pm, depending on if we do our language study indoors, or eat indoors as well. Since i'm training, we get an extra hour of companion study, and an extra hour of language study each day. Other wise normally we'd leave at 10:30 am every morning. For P day we do all of our grocery shopping, emailing (we get 2 hours for email here!), any other shopping we need, write letters, clean the whole apartment (every pday morning), and nap ;)! Today since it is Chinese New Year, we had lunch with one of our members, Mark, for his birthday! and we ate Pizza Hut! Which was delicious and better than the Pizza Hut in the US!!! We get "ching"ed (invited)  out for lunch and dinner everyday this week! Blahhhh! I'm going to die by the week's end from Gluttony!
 Are you teaching any investigators or mostly English classes. Did those twenty something young men come to your English class? I might have to send you some elastic for your hair, I am pretty sure they do not have thick one ine Taiwan. Maybe they do, since they are made in China. Let me know. I just got some. We teach investigators, RCs, and LAs everyday! We only have English class on Wednesday Night for 1 1/2 hours! Two of the young men did come to our class! hahahaha I have plenty of hair elastics, Sister Gish (Elder Gish's mum) sent me some for part of her Christmas package to me! And Taiwan has beyond a lot of hair accessories!!! They LOVE wearing hair accessories! Bows, scrunchies, ribbons, etc! Anything you could want for your hair, they Have It!

 How many sisters and elders are in your district and how many in your zone? How many sisters and elders in your areas. What is your apartment like? Is it in the city? Do you have a washer and dryer? If you need more bounce, let me know. We have 4 sisters and 4 elders in our district, and 6 sisters and 8 elders in our zone i believe? In our area, we just have one companionship of sisters, and one companionship of elders. Our elders are Elder Long and Elder Xiong. Our apartment is really big, because we have 4 sisters living in it. I think that we're the only sister missionaries that have a 4 man flat in our whole mission! We have a washer and dryer as well! and we have plenty of bounce sheets for now thank you! We have our room, which also has our desks in it, and a separate room for dressing and all of our clothes. The other sisters have their room (with wardrobes) and their study room. Plus we have a front room (which we do not use) and a kitchen and breakfast nook! Very big, and a pain to clean the whole thing, but we still do each monday morning! :)  
***That awkward moment when you are walking away from the elders trying to help someone move, and the wind is going CRAZY and blows your skirt up, you catch it but then one of the elders says: "I think Bao Jie Mei's skirts too short, i just saw her garments" but you skirt is actually down to your SHINS!!! hahahaha dang wind! So we wear tights and leggings everywhere to keep warm and "preserve our modesty" hahahahaha (it's surprisingly cold here, though nothing like Utah winters, it's also super humid so it goes straight through you! BRRRRRRR!)
***That awkward moment when you're sitting in sacrament and some nice Chinese lady comes up to you with a packet of paper and says in broken english "This my son please read and change ma?" hahahaha Then you realize he wrote his resume/autobiography in English for applying to a Sweet school in the Czech Republic and all this pressure is now on you to make sure that it's all spelled right/grammatically correct so that you can help him get his scholarship! (PS He is also a musical genius who has composed music for multiple orchestras here in Taizhong and up in Taibei! and his english is super good....only a few grammar corrections:))
***That awkward moment when your new investigator shows up late for church and a member comes and grabs you, not your companion to go talk to her and help her....and she doesn't understand your accent, and you do not understand hers! After about 15 minutes you finally realize she's saying sorry for being late!
***That awkward moment when the members see your picture and tell you they're glad that you've gotten whiter during your MTC stay, and that you've gotten skinnier too, because you were much too fat before, and still a little bit too fat....all the while trying to shove food down your throat! (PS I'VE LOST 10 LBS SINCE I'VE GOT HERE!!! 

***That awkward moment when your companion's month goal is to lose 5 lbs, and you did it in the first week of the month.....
Well even though there have been some major ups and downs this week. Everyone is well and happy! We even found out who our new mission president is going to be!!! 
. President and Sister Bishop are amazing, but the new ones will be as well, but there will be lots and lots of changes. It will be good though!!!

The gospel is true, the work is good! and the LORD WILL ALWAYS HELP US!!!!!
Psalms 29:11 "The LORD will give strength unto his people, the LORD will bless his people with peace."
We just need to trust in him, and He will provide a way for us!!!!

Sister Burrows first zone in Fengyuan, Taiwan

Monday, February 4, 2013

chronicle of Vasha #2

 I LIVE IN TAIWAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the....I live in Taiwan?!?

Halllo! Nimen de jintian guode zenme yang?!?!  How is everyone doing today? RC = recent convert, LA = less active
Thank you for all the support and love! If you've written me and I haven't written back yet, please be patient! I WILL WRITE BACK!!!...eventually! hahaha :) i only have a little bit of time each week for letters and i must be 100% Obedient!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "When what you know in your head moves to your heart by the Power of the Holy Ghost....That is understanding." -Elder Bednar
I really like this quote, especially for this week because we are struggling with helping our investigators to really understand. They all know that it is true, they know the stories in the Book of Mormon really well. They all believe in God, but they just don't seem to understand why it's important and why it's necessary for them to be baptized. We are praying and fasting for them really hard and hope that as they continue to pray and read and attend church (CPR) then they will receive that answer and confirmation that they are looking for. And then they will have true understanding.
Okay....let's see what has happened in this last week since Wednesday and I emailed last.....
Last Wednesday night was English Class, WHICH WAS SOOO MUCH FUN!! :) We had conversations with them to practice their Yingwen (english) and answer any questions they had. They had some really funny questions like "What do people mean when they say that was 'so out there?'" or "What does carried away mean?" We also chose a theme (San Fransico Giants!) and then discussed it, and it turned into a discussion about San Fransico just in general and then we told them about the weather and different things like that. They also wanted to know what kids in America do for fun, What do they Study, What do they wear, What do they....., etc. It was really fun! They ask me more questions because I am so fresh from America I think and because I am more Amerian looking. We told them that in America kids move out of the house when they are 18 and leaving for school and they were just SHOCKED!!! Here people have three or four generations living in one house, and they usually don't move out until they are married....and then they usually move into the guy's house with his parents hahahahahaha.
I still have weird and funny dreams, just like in the MTC! They are always in Chinese and usually with people I'm friends with back home, or the missionaries from the MTC. They're always super random and filled with adventures in the Jungle or Mountains or such. My companion is very entertained when I tell her what my dreams are about, and she usually asks once a day "did you have any fun dreams last night?!" hahahahaha
Hmmmmm....Well I am tired absolutely all the time! They say that you are never not tired on your mission, but I really hope that it isn't THIS tired all the time, because if so, I might just die. hahahaha My companion is really diligent though about going to bed on time and waking up on time, so I get a full 8 hours of sleep every night!! oh and I absolutely LOVE MY BIKE!!! I decided that by the end of my mission I'm going to be sad to see it go and become an avid cyclist when I get home, or I'm going to grow to hate it and never get on a bike again....I think that it'll be the first one! I was excited when i got my call that I'm in a biking mission, and I still am excited! It's tiring much of the time, but being able to bike, exercise, and move is AMAZING! especially after the MTC of sitting inside all day everyday!
Okay last Thursday we woke up, ran, studied, had an awesome Weekly Planning session, then had fun planning for our Yingwen Ban (english class). We are going to play Jeopardy this week!! We thought up some good topics and vocab words, and then had to figure out how to describe them so that our students could answer and understand since it's all in English and we want them to be able to learn at the same time. Then we taught Chen Jie Mei #1 (one of our RCs) at her little school and her daughter Stephanie (age 7) was there. Stephanie already says that she's going to go on a mission when she grows up! She's super cute hahaha. I participated way more in this lesson which is awesome, then she fed us curry which reminded me of mum :D and we then played a little "monkey-in-the-middle"/dodgeball with Stephanie. Chen Jie Mei #1 asked me if I would teach Stephanie English, so I told her to bring her to Yingwen Ban since we have a kiddie class! We also taught ChenJie Mei #2 (RC) at the church. Her 12 yr old son has been in the Hospital for the last 3 weeks or so because he got into a really bad scooter accident and wasnt wearing his helmet. So he has some major road rash across his face, and arms and legs, and a broken arm. We taught her the Plan of Salvation, it was great and both Chen Jie Mei's want to prepare to go to the temple!!!
OHH!! and President and Sister Bishop also showed up at our English Meeting (right before Yingwen Ban) to check up on me! When i first saw them, and Sis Bishop asked if she could talk with me i was just like "Oh no.....what have I already done wrong?!" hahahaha but then she just gave me a hug, asked how i was doing, and told me if i needed anything to let her know! It was sweet of them to come all the way up to Feng Yuan (45 minute-ish drive) just to say "Hi" for a minute. I did great on Wednesday and could definitely feel McKay's love for me and his help. I just hoped that my family back home was doing all right with the anniversary of his death.
It's a special opportunity that i have to share the story of my family and my older brother McKay with our LAs, RCs, and Investigators because i am then able to testify to them of the amazing power of the Atonement, Plan of Salvation, and Doctrine of Christ. My testimony is still very simple, but it is true and strong, and I know without a doubt in my mind that McKay is ALWAYS with me and I WILL see him again. I HAVE A FOREVER FAMILY because of the blessings of the temples :) <3
On Friday we woke up at 6:00 to get ready so that we could travel to the Mission Home for a English Training. They are updating and improving the curriculum that we are teaching, so we needed to be trained on that, and we will have more training in the weeks and maybe months to follow i am sure. That was fun and i was able to see people from Alpine (Ryan Allen, Taylor Reynolds) and see the Assistants and Operations Director again! (All elders in my mission). Then on Saturday we had to wake up at 5:30 to get ready so that we could go with Chen Jie Mei #1 and Stephanie up into the mountains for breakfast for the New Year!! We NEVER leave the house early without permission from the DLs, ZLs, APs, or President. But since i'm brand new, and Chen Jie Mei was going to China for the New Year, he gave us SPECIAL PERMISSION to go with her! It was spectacular! up in the mountains and i tooks some awesome pictures which i'll send home next week :D They are aweomse people and such a great addition to the church.
#1. On Friday night, one of our appointments with an investigator fell through (and our backup plan to visit Zhang Jie Mei fell through too), and we were trying to decide whether to go visit a LA or RC or go contacting, when Xiong Jie Mei ( my companion) decided that we should visit a LA named Lin Jie Mei. We went over to her house, and it turns out she was having a rough day and really needed just a little bit of love from someone. She needed us that night, and because my Companion is amazing, we were able to be guided to go to her house and visit with her and share a short message. The Lord really watches over His sheep!!
#2. When we were gettin ready to leave the church on Saturday afternoon to go up and visit Vicky (1hr bus ride away) we came out of the church and saw Peggy who is one of Xiong Jie Mei's RCs from her old area. She was able to come with us and Peike (member accompanied visit) while we visited Vicky. She was able to share her conversion story and the sacrifices that she made, which helped to address some of Vicky's concerns about joining the Church. Peggy was home from University for the winter break and she rode her scooter 3 hours to where we were, and waited outside of the church for an hour hoping that she would be able to see Xiong Jie Mei and say "Hi" her patience and love was a tender mercy from the Lord.
SCRIPTURE OF THE WEEK (from my Personal Study):
Matthew 10:39
"He that findeht his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Have i lost my life for my Saviour yet? Or am i holding onto the life that i think i want instead of the life that He would like to give and bless me with?
 ***That awkward moment when you think that you are teaching the Advanced Class for Yingwen Ban and you are talking and explaining about Alliteration and Onoematopeas (sp?) and then you find out that it was just the Intermediate Class....But your students are so awesome that they just soaked it all in!!!
 ***That awkward moment when you are at the night market with your kids and you keep losing your children without even noticing, and the sister missionaries keep finding them as they are doing their English Proselyting have to keep bringing them back to you....
 ***That awkward moment when you show up at English Training at the Mission Home and you see an Elder from back home and say hi and his responds is: "What the.....wait....what are you doing here?!?!" and you just say "Yeah....I'm on a Mission!!! 
 *** That awkward moment when everyday you manage to find some little old person who doesnt even speak Chinese but speaks Taiwanese and you try to contact them in your broken Chinese....and you don't even know that they arent speaking Chinese!!!
 ***That awkward moment when you are trying to share a story about your brother McKay and the women are all mostly disappointed that he passed away because they think that he is very Shuai...or good looking....
 ***That awkward moment when people can tell you are 100% american and they (kids especially) like to yell what little broken English they know as you ride your bike past them in the street....and you smile and yell "Hello!" back to them! Your day is made and so is theirs!

Well, the church is true, the work is great, and the days are long, but God will help us all! HE WATCHES OVER HIS SHEEP! :)
Next week I promise to have more adventures ready to relay, and pictures to share!! :) HAVE A GREAT, FANTASTIC, SPIRIT FILLED, MIRACLES WITNESSED, EXCITING, HEN HAO WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!
Peace be with you, keep the faith, and Godspeed. 
Sister Naivasha Hani Burrows

sister Burrows and sister Xiong

at the Taipei temple

Taiwan Taichung Mission