Monday, March 25, 2013

chronicle of Vasha #9

Subject: Happy Spring Equinox!!! and HAPPY EASTER!!! Fuhuo Jie Kuai Le! **Happy Resurrection Festival!**

ASHTON ALSO EMAILED ME!!! Super happy about that :)
I hope that everyone had a splendid Spring Equinox and is looking forward to a great Easter Weekend! This past week has been amazing and fill with a few days indoors ORGANIZING EVERYTHING!!! It's been great!!!!
Isaiah 40:31
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...They shall run, and not be weary; and shall walk, and not faint."
When we rely on the Lord in ALL THINGS that we do (Thoughts, desires, actions, etc) He will give us strength. If we align our will with the Lord's and do what he requires of us, he will give us the strength to succeed. This is true in all aspects of life, whether as a missionary, or in our work, in our families, or in our ward families. We must serve him, and to do that we must serve others. WE ARE HIS CHILDREN and we must ALWAYS remember that. :)
Elder Carl B. Cook:
"We must look up and step up. And as we do, I know we will cheer up, for God wants us to be happy."
This is soooo great! If we follow the advice of the prophet and his apostles, and we always look Heavenward. We will be able to keep a more positive outlook on life, and be able to be so much more happy! That is God ultimate goal. To help us acheive our FULL POTENTIAL and to have ETERNAL JOY!
Elder Neil L. Anderson (quoting a Christian Mum's blog):
"[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood...children rank way below college. below world travel for sure. below the ablitiy to go out at night at your leisure. below honing your body at the gym. below any job you may have or hope to get....Motherhood is not a hobb, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. it is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It's what God gave you time for."
WOW! This is so true! and think about what our roles in life here on earth are. Parenthood is up at the top. And I AM SO GRATEFUL for amazing parents who realized this. That God sent them here to be my parents. They have really taken that to heart and have done everything they can to teach us children to make good choices. They have been so patient with our crazy antics. and when we messed up, even messed up real bad, they always helped to guide and lovingly direct us back on the right path. THANK YOU MUM AND DAD and to all other parents out there who take their families seriously. You are a rare breed, and God treasures you! THank you for your examples and love you have shown me in my life.
Well like i said before, we spent more time inside organzing our books, old records, former investigator files, and contact cards. It's really fun, but weird, to see my friend Megan (formley Starley) Hendrickson's name on the old records! It's cool to see where she and her companion went and what they did, and to be able to pick up from where they left off and try to help the same people come unto the Lord!!!
FUNNY/AWKWARD STORIES!!!!....this one really might be too awkward for some people (like auntie Linda) WARNING!
****We were at our Ward Correlator's home for FHE last night and my companion and I taught the lesson and led the game. It was all really fun and we were all sitting around afterwards chatting and bonding with our investigators, RCs, and members. Little Butterfly was running around and we were teaching her some girls' camp songs in English and fun stuff like that. She really LOVES me! When we were getting ready to leave, she ran up and hugged my leg so I bent over to say goodbye to her. When I did her eyes got HUGE!!!! She reached up and started smacking my boobs with boths hands and said: "Zhege hen Da!!!! ZHEGE HEN DA!!!!" x4 (Translation:These are HUGE!!) hahahahahaha her mum and everyone starting laughing really hard....of course I was laughing way hard tooo....(PS don't worry mum, I was wearing a high-cut and completely modest shirt)....and her mum told her that someday she'll be like me and can have big boobs too...and then told me that all women in Taiwan wish they could be like me.....after all this...Butterfly looks at me again....hits my boobs again...and then yells ZHEGE HEN DA!!!! x3 hahahahahahahaha If it had been anyone else they probably would have died of embarrassment....but i just laughed...hahahahahahahaha
Well that's prbably enough awkardness for this email....
Daddy, Thanks for the mula in my account! :) I also wanted to just tell you about how during my Personal Study the other day Iwas reading the NOV 2011 Liahona (Conference Issue) and I was reading Sister Dalton's talk "Love Her Mother." You are exactly what she describes! You really have been my hero my whole life, and Ive looked up to your amazing example for as long as I can remember. Some of my best and most fond memories from my childhood are spending time with you. From the way you treat mum and me, I have always been able to have a good sense of self value, and I know that I will never marry someone that doesn't treat me good, because I've seen how you treat mummy and I want someone like that. Thank you so much for being such an incredible father and good husband to my mother. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Have a great week :) Thank you!
I also got a really awesome letter from my friend Elder Lotutlelei who was in my MTC district. He's in Tonga right now, and he sent me a card/letter made out of Tapa Clothe! Super awesome! He also gave me a CTR necklace made out of a shell....SUPER Sweet! So thanks to him!!! :)
Well I love you all and I want you all to know that missions are the GREATEST THING EVER!!! There are so many highs and so many lows. You have investigators that you just want to understand the gospel, but you have to realize that they need to be ready. There are also people who are eternal investigators for other missionaries, but when you teach them, they just decide that yes, they do after all want to take the path that leads to Eternal Glory. It's amazing how close you feel to the Lord, and also how much you sometimes feel alone. Through it all though, if you try your hardest and do your best. The Lord will guide you to those that are ready, or He will guide them to you. He will never EVER desert you. EVER.
We will watch Conference, but not live. And we'll just watch it at our church. THey'll record it and we'll watch the English version, while our ward will watch a translated chinese version. I think we watch it the week after conference...but I'm not really sure about it!
I LOVE YOU ALL and hope you all have an AMAZING EASTER!!! and Happy Conference!!!!
Love and Hugs.
Sister Vasha Burrows
Bao Jiemei

lunch at a recent convert - Tina's home


sister smart and Burrows

Monday, March 18, 2013

chronicle of Vasha #8

Insanely AMAZING WEEK!!! And a policy change! I LOVE THE GAOXIONG!!!
First off we have just been informed that we can email people back!
From my Mission President:
"The Missionary Department notified me recently of a change in mission rules regarding use of email on preparation day.  Beginning immediately, missionaries have permission to email friends and recent converts."
So i can email friends now! so please feel free to email me if writing letters is too much of a pain hahaha
Well this has been the most AMAZING week thus far! Full of adventure, travel, and marriage proposals!!
"19 Which hope we have as an aanchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the bveil;"
Hope in our Saviour Jesus Christ is the infinite anchor that we all have to Him, and to our Eternal, Heavenly families. It is so amazing to think that just for us, he went through so much! We must always remember that we have Him, and we should NEVER give up HOPE! We are ANCHORED ETERNALLY.
This week started off with a very long Pday spent in the Mission Office preparing for Thursday's English Training Conference! It was actually really relaxing, but we just took an hour for email, and the rest we were in the office, so we did not get a lot done. We didn't even buy groceries! Luckily we had enough to last for the rest of the week though :) So never fear mum!
Tuesday we had an awesome DTM by our new District Leader, and then we took off on our adventure up to Dongshi, about 1 1/2 hour bike ride up the mountain. (Except we do it in about an hour!) It was a pretty humid day, so we were prepared with loose skirts, no cardigans, and LOTS OF WATER!!! I thought my companion was going to die on the way up! But she's a champ and she pounded it out! Then we went to go see one of our LAs and meet with a FAMILY THAT WE FOUND!! They are amazing! The Liu Family. Right now we are teaching the Amah, Mum, and the 2 yr old boy who likes me to play with him and his toys. hahahah Last time we visited he walked up to me, grabbed my skirt and looked up and me and said: "Aiyi, Wo ai ni! (Auntie, I love you!)" So stinking cute! Then we decided that we would come back up on Wednesday, so we locked up our bikes, left them at the bus stop, and took the hour long bus ride back to Fengyuan.
Wednesday, we tried to take a bus up to the bus station to catch a different bus up to Dongshi, but the bus driver decided it was his lunch break, so he drove us to a bus garage on the end of town and left us there to find a different way. So we WALKED ACROSS FENGYUAN! We could definitely be walking missionaries, it just would take FOREVER and not be very efficient! Then we took the 91 bus up to Dongshi where we decided to try finding our part member inactive families. We found this road that led up the mountain on which one of the families lived, so we started off. This is a real mountain side, with jungle on either side of us! So INSANE!!! I AM IN TAIWAN RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!! Wow! so anyways, i'm pedalling as hard as i can with my gears on the lowest level not really going anywhere when i hear a *Chinkchunk* and my comp goes "oh no!" I'm just praying "No....this can't be happening, please no!" and i stop, turn and look down the path at her, and her chain had fallen off and gotten chinked in the gears! So I spent about 45 minutes fixing her bike, and then we were on our way again!!! Then it started Raining!!! and we had to get back down to Fengyuan because we still had English class that night, so we headed back down. English was super fun and Butterfly was the only one in my class. She decided to change her name to Happy because we were talking about emotions and she said that she felt Happy....but then she changed it back to Butterfly! hahahah so stinking cute!
Thursday was AMAZING and we taught English Training! We also got to go down to Gaoxiong which was INCREDIBLE!!! I really hope to serve down there oneday!  We spent the day with the APs, and the other office elders. We had a blast and were able to really excite people about English! The mission training went REALLY well! My companion also taught a different class! We were assigned this before we became companions though, so no connection! It was for the WHOLE mission! Two different sessions, one for the Taichung area, and one for the Gaoxiong area. So my comp, the one i presented with, and i all rode down in the van with the Operations Manager, Recorder, and APs. It was super super fun! I LOVE Gaoxiong! It was a really long day, but very fun and we were able to get a lot of people excited about our English progam. :)
Friday was back up to Dongshi where we were attacked by a ton of dogs....good thing we are such quick bikers! hahaha One man sic'd his EIGHT beagles on us! hahahah Super funny to see them chase us! Dongshi is amazing though because EVERYONE (except that one man) is incredibly nice and don't hate the missionaries! It's been ignored for a long time so my companion and I have decided that WE ARE GOING TO ESTABLISH THE CHURCH IN THE MOUNTAIN CITY OF DONGSHI!!!!!!! Woot WOot!
Awdward moments
During English Proselyting on Saturday, a guy came up to me and asked if i had a boyfriend, my companion told him that I did, so he asked if she had one. She said that she did as well. He asked if they were American and we told him of course! So then he asked for our numbers...we gave him an english flyer instead. He then asked if he came to English if he would see us, we told him that we were both teachers so yeah he would......We'll see if he comes this week! If he does, that's super awkward!!!
The Amah that we teach up in Dongshi also asked me if I would marry her son who is in his mid 20s or so. I told her that right now I'm a missionary, and that I will probably marry an American back home. She asked if I had someone i told her I had options hahahahahahahahah Too funny! These people here love me!!!! They all think that I look like a native Taiwanese...but not really chinese! hahahhaaha
So the update that some of you had asked was that No Vicky has not YET been baptized. But she does have the desire, she just has school for the next few weekends, and doesn't want to be baptized until she can be perfectly obedient and attend church EVERY Sunday. Sweet girl!
We also have a new investigator named Zoey! She is 15 yrs old and great and she found us through our English Class Facebook page and came to English class! She thinks that our church is really cool and wants to be baptized! She only has one problem...she drinks a special tea for her eyes and skin, but says that if she can find a replacement one that she IS allowed to drink, that she'll stop drinking her "very special tea" and then she says she can get baptized. She is very sweet and she already understands that if she wants to be baptized, she needs to be 100% obedient! So if anyone knows any herbal or flower teas that "help your eyes and skin" please let us know!!!
We also were supposed to meet with one of our investigators Chen Jiemei #1 this last Saturday and while we were waiting for her at the church, another one of our "investigators" came in. This person is one that comes to church every Sunday, refuses to meet with us, and refuses to read the Book of Mormon. She even gave it back to us. She also really wants to be baptized and doesn't understand that you have to read the BOM and know that it's true. You can't just be baptized without preparation. She also heard about the upcoming temple trip and wants to go, and got really mad when they told her that she could go and stay outside, but that she couldn't come in. We think that she has some mental problems that she is dealing with. So when Chen Jiemei showed up, i took her into a classroom and started teaching her while Song Jiemei (sis smart) stayed with the other one. While I taught Chen Jiemei the 3 lesson for her new member lessons, i was a little blunt with her. We had just found out last time we met with her that she's kept her baptism a complete secret from her whole family, because they would really really fandui (it means against) , so she sneaks out on Sundays to go to one hour of church. When we discussed the Doctrine of Christ and then specifically Enduring to the End, i straight up asked her if she wanted eternal life. She said yes. I asked her if she could have eternal life since she's been baptized. she said yes. so then i asked her if she wanted to be with her family forever. she of course said yes. Then i asked her if she thought that her family could have eternal life then if they don't know about the gospel and haven't been baptized. She said no. And then i straight up told her that's right. They can not be together as a family forever if her family hasn't received the gospel. Especially if she's keeping it from them. Then we discussed ways that she could help her family come unto Christ, and slowly share with them the gospel. At first i was worried that i had offended her, but then she came to all three hours of church the next day, and even had invited her son if he wanted to come too! He didn't but i was glad that i was following the Spirit, and not just being my blunt self. She really needed to kick things into gear and have someone be straight up with her. When i told my companion what had happened, she laughed and said, "I'm glad that you were teaching her and i wasn't there then!" hahaha
Our Ward Correlation Leader loves me! It's really great because he's thinks that I'm so funny and interesting. He always asks me the most random questions ever and they are always totally unrelated to anything we are discussing. He is also Butterfly's father! hahahahaha He is also the only sarcastic Asian man i have ever met. His family is great, and we've had FHE with them the past two Sunday evenings.
Okay, well that is some more things that happened this past week!
Well my time is up, but it's been a great week full of exciting adventures. I hope that you are all loving life back home and getting ready for CONFERENCE!!!! Pray for our leaders, and then listen carefully to their words and the feelings/revelation that you WILL receive from the Spirit if you are prepared! The gospel is true, the work is good, and I LOVE THE GAOXIONG!
Love Bao Jiemei!

sister Burrows and Smart after riding up the mountain

after fixing Sister Smart Bike

Monday, March 11, 2013

chronicle of Vasha #7

hello from the beautiful Island of Taiwan!! :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!!! We had a party for English Class that night, and I told them it was for your birthday :) SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY from a bunch of Taiwanese people who can't quite speak english!!! so I guess it's more like "Happpay Birday!!" hahahahaha LOVE YOU DADDY SO MUCH! sounds like you had a lot of fun :) especially at Cabelas and up in Midway! I'll have to color a picture and send it home so you can put it up on the wall for me ;)
Well this has been a super busy, super fun, and super quick week with my new companion!! They say the better it is, the quicker the time goes by, and i believe that wholeheartedly! This week has been wonderful and very busy! But first....
Jacob 7:25
"Wherefore, the people of Nephi did fortify against them with their arms, and with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation. Wherefore, they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies."
We all need to FORTIFY ourselves with all our MIGHT, then when we can do no more, TRUST IN GOD! He is our salvation!!! But first we must do all that we can! In our area, we have a bit of an interesting relationship with the ward. It also has a rough reputation in the mission for not having a lot of support. it makes me appreciate how amazing my wards back home were :) So this week we made a goal for these next few months to really Guan1 Xi1 the ward (build our relationship) and find any way we possibly can to serve them. We've also been able to meet with the leaders in the ward, and tell them what we've been doing to help their members, and then asking them how we can improve. It's been good, and it will continue to improve. But as we make this goal, we need to remember that first me must do all we can with all our might, then trust in the Lord to help us make up the difference.
The other day, I saw a giant Kubota Heavy Equipement Tractor driving up the street....super weird!
I realized the other day that I feel like I'm not progressing in my language as well as I'd like, but then I realized that I think that I need to be humbled first and really learn to listen. If I had been able to speak right away, I would be talking too much and overpowering my lessons and investigators. I think this is why I'm not so stressed about speaking as much as I could be. That I just need to be humble, and trust in the Lord to help me when I need to get His message across.
Sorrry I don't have a lot of time today because we are preparing for the English training for this thursday...for which I AM A PRESENTER! for the WHOLE MISSION! so I'll be traveling down to Gaoxiong and stuff with the assistants!! Super excited! But it's taken my whole pday! I LOVE YOU and I'll write you a more detailed letter this week and better email next week! Kia Kaha. Arohanui!
***Today we awkwardly rode our bike through a funeral procession...aka people crawling down the street while wearing pink hooded cloakes, who were also wailing and following a path....we didn't know what to do, so we just kept riding! hahahah I felt so horrible! I hope we didn't offend all of Taiwan!
***Yesterday our Ward Mission Leader asked if Adele was bigger than me, I said maybe? Then he said; "Wow! she must be really strong then!"
***A little girl in my English Class named Xin Chen told me that her English name was "Octopus!" but then at the end of the lesson she changed it to "Butterfly"
***WE HAD AN EARTHQUAKE!!! During our weekly planning! So crazy! And so baby! hahahahah
Well my time is up, but the work is true! I love this gospel! And trust in the Lord!!!
Thank you to Coach Collin and the United Rugby Club for their support and love, and my sweet new Rugby Bag!!! :) That is so awesome:)  Love you all and good luck this season!!!

Sister Naivasha Hani Burrows

Monday, March 4, 2013

chronicle of Vasha 6

Learning to Fly.....

Hello all!!!
2 Ne 22:2
 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will atrust, and not be afraid; for the Lord bJehovah is my cstrength and my song; he also has become my salvation."
TRUST IN THE LORD!!!! We really truly do not need to have fear when we trust in the Lord! :)
This week we do not have much time to email because I went and picked up my NEW COMPANION! this morning! Woot Woot!!! She is so great! Her name is Allison Smart from Indiana! She is great and SHE ALSO LOVES ENGLISH!!! So we are going to do great together! She is very happy, this is her first time being senion companion...and She's Training me!!! hahahah we are in for such an adventure! It's basically like we are white washing the area! So crazy but it's going to be SOOOO MUCH FUNNNN!!!!
My new comp seems great! She's from Indiana but she's been studying at BYU. She loves english class just like me! and she also likes dinosaurs like me. and she's also happy like me! So we'll be just fine! This is her first time being a senior companion...and she's training me! So WE ARE GOING TO HAVE AN ADVENTURE!!!!!!!! Holly will do AMAZING at teaching! And EVERYONE will love her :) We have half an hour every morning for exercise. We usually go running at a track!
It was a good last few days with Sister Xiong before she went home, and then I was in a tripanionship with sisters newman and giraud-carrier. We had a lot of fun covering two areas, english proselyting, tracting, contacting, etc. It was a really great last week! I picked up my new companion from the mission home about 2 hours ago and I'm super excited! It's going to be great! I'm definitely going to stay in contact with sister xiong, and I also gave her our home address and mum's email and phone number. I think that when things settle down a little bit, she might call. She is an amazing woman though and will be very strong for her family. One older brother, two younger brothers, and one younger sister and members along with the parents. The rest are not. They are really frustrated and having an extremely difficult time. Sister Xiong's dad also had 9 younger brothers who are all living, they are not members and are all also very upset. With their culture, they are all involved in the arrangements for the family. so there is a lot of stress and emotions getting into all of it. The parents were only baptized about a year and a half ago, so it's been hard on the family.
Mummy, I've Gotten your letters!!! and package! Thank you!!! :) We can't avoid riding our bikes at night, but we ride in well-lit areas, we have head lights and tail lights, and we are very careful of traffic since there is always a lot of it. Do not worry about me!!!
Okay random highlights/funny stories/and awkward moments from the week!
***While at our investigator, Vicky (she did not end up getting baptized....YET!),'s house, we met her grandfather who is SUPER OLD! I was sitting in between Sister Xiong and Elder Xiong and her grandfather asked if I was Elder Xiong's wife!!!! I started laughing and Elder Xiong, in his calm way, explained that we are missionaries, what we do, and that HE IS ONLY 18 YEARS OLD!!! hahahah too funny!
***THIS WEEK I LEARNED TO FLY!!!!....over my handlebars! hahahahha Spastic moments, man yelling at me like crazy, Sister Newman braked suddenly, I tried to bike stopped....I did not! I FLEW over my handlebars, over Sister Newman and her bike, hit the pavement and somersaulted out of it up to my feet!!!! I do not know how it looked....but I know  I FELT EPIC! hahahah then I check to see if she was okay (she didn't even get knocked to the ground though her bike tipped over without her), and then ran around trying to pick up my tracts with had flown EVERYWHERE!!!! hahahaha everyone just looked at me with super huge eyes...then drove away on their scooters, cars, and buses. hahahahhahahahaha And I am perfectly fine! Thank you rugby for teaching me how to fall without dying!!! WHOOOOOO!
***This week I was also asked by Elder Bailey (Bao Zhanglao) to be a presenter at our mission wide English Training Conference....because I'm engergetic and I LOVE ENGLISH CLASS!!!! hahahah I have no idea still what I'm going to be teaching....but I'll pray about it and figure it out!!! Super pumped!!!
Well I have no time but I want you all to know that I LOVE THIS WORK and Taiwan! and the people! It is so amazing to see the Light of Christ in God's children and to help them recognize it! The gospel is true! the work is good! and my time is up! LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Zai Jian!
Love, Bao Jiemei!

sister newman and me

mosquitoes bitesabd tan lines