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?!
QUESTIONS from MUM:
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 it....so 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 bowl....so 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 englishclass.tw)
***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 elders...one 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!!!
BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK!!!!:
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