Week 70 – It’s a GIRL!! – 01-Feb-2016

Hey ya’ll!

So I know that I always say this week has been crazy, BUT THIS WEEK HAS BEEN CUH-RAZY.  LIKE.  THE CRAZIEST OF ALL CRAZY.

Sister Bowman and I both had the strongest feeling that we were staying together in Songshan for another transfer.  After a fun and successful P-Day on Monday, I get a call from Elder Hunstman (AP) and he said he just wanted to follow up with me on a training that he gave me during interviews with President.  I don’t know why, but for some reason, when I was telling him how I used the training given in my missionary work that week, my body got all hot and I started shaking really bad.  So weird.  Then he proceeds to say something like this:

“Sister Good, you are truly such an amazing missionary with a lot of knowledge and power.  President has recognized that and he trusts you a lot.  So, he has called you as a trainer.  Will you be willing to accept this calling?”

I FREAKED OUT.  I thought I dodged the challenge of training a missionary, fresh from the MTC.  I thought he called the wrong person, and I thought President is nuts for calling me as a trainer.  BUT I accepted.

After a transfer in Songshan, I’m OUT.

I’m OPENING an area.  So now I am serving in…..TUCHENG/SHULIN土城/樹林!

And I have a baby who literally came FRESH from the MTC…Sister Davis!  What is crazy, is LaKesha told me to look out for her friend, Sister Davis when she get to the mission field.  They were in the same ward at BYU-Idaho.  And yes, I am her trainer.  SO FUN!

Dear President Jergensen,

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to train!  Sister Davis is one of the humblest missionaries I have ever met, and she is so ready to learn!  She is still trying to get used to the culture shock, and she is still struggling with the language, but she loves the people here so much, she’s going to be just fine!  She is the greenest greenie I have ever met!  I absolutely love her!

I just want to be a good example to Sister Davis, and I know that being exactly obedient is the way to go!

It’s not the easiest thing to open an area…we got to the apartment and were welcomed my Sister Maxwell (we were both trained by Sister Huang!) and Sister Lu, and they have been amazing at trying to make us feel comfortable.  We don’t have an area book, or anyone to teach yet, so we’ve been finding A LOT and calling formers and less actives.  It’s been a blast!

Thank you so much for your service!  We love you!

 

Sister Good

Sister Davis and I are starting new, with no one in our teaching pool, in an area that we are not familiar with, with members who we do not know.  This is going to be so challenging!  BUT SO FUN AT THE SAME TIME!

Love y’all!

 

Sister Good

 

 

This girl just got her mission call to the Indiana Indianapolis mission!  Whooot Whoot!

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We went to the zoo last pday!!!!!!

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Just read the description…it is hilarious.

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This turtle was eating lunch, and a mango got stuck on its lip haha

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Sister Bowman and I went to Yilan for exchanges!  It is so beautiful!

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Goodbye beloved Songshan!

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My FAVORITE little girl in the entire world, Wu AiFei 巫嬡霏

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SAY HELLO TO MY OFFSPRING, SISTER DAVIS!

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I made her eat pig’s blood cake.  And she didn’t hate it!  #success

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Week 69 – It Snowed in Taiwan!! – 25-Jan-2016

Hey Y’all!

IT’S THE SECOND COMING!  LITERALLY.  IT SNOWED IN TAIWAN!  I AM FREEZING!  I DON’T HAVE THE CLOTHES SUFFICIENT!  All I can say is that I am grateful for the heated blanket Dad sent me.  But I don’t have much time today.  I just wanted to let y’all know that it’s snowing on this tropical island that I am living on.  It is cold!  Therefore, we are going to find some snow in MuZha (木柵) today and play with it haha!

Love y’all!

 

Sister Good

 

[P.S.  From DAD.  Being a 35 year veteran of Taiwan I have never seen it snow in Taipei.  Everyone I know has said it was the coldest they’ve ever seen it, windy and rainy/snow flakes!!]

 

Hotpot, my favorite food ever!

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Temple tours with our special recent converts!

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Her name is Le’er (Luh-er) 樂兒 and she is just so so so special to me!  We are trying to help her go to the temple and to baptisms!

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We visited our less active’s gonggong (公公) in the hospital. He is my FAVORITE. He hates nurses because he knows that they will try to feed him medicine, and he ain’t about that life.

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My comp. Working hard and hardly working.

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Lunch with Caroline!

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Finding on the COLDEST night of my life.

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Week 68 – Loving the People! – 18-Jan-2016

Hey Y’all!

So today, I’ll just copy and paste what I wrote to President, because I wrote all of everything important that happened this week in my letter to him:

Dear President Jergensen,

This week was amazing!  We had an amazing miracle with our most progressing investigator, 鍾以庭.  She’s 19 and so adorable, and she is so prepared.  The only thing Sister Bowman and I were worried about was the law of chastity because we found out that she has a 27-year-old boyfriend.  We were praying so hard for her that she wouldn’t be influenced by him, and the next time we met with her, we asked her how she was doing.  She said she wasn’t doing very good, because she broke up with her boyfriend.  As soon as she said that, I just wanted to pause the lesson and go out into the hall and jump up and down for joy!  But I kept my cool, don’t worry.  She said she’s been having a feeling that it’s not going to work out, that she wants a different feeling that he was giving her.  Heavenly Father is preparing her to be baptized!  I am so excited to continue to work with her!

Exchanges:  We had an amazing exchange with the 汐止 sisters this week!  I had the privilege of serving with Sister Parkin.  She reminds me so much of my MTC companion, Sister Hendricks.  They are seriously two of the most Christ-like sisters that I have ever come across.  I think Sister Parkin is ready to train a baby.  She is such an amazing example to me!

Sister Bowman and I are not worried about 汐止 at all.  We gave them a training, emphasizing teaching repentance.  Hopefully they’ll be able to take that more to heart in their lessons.  I know that Sister Bowman and I need to do that for our area as well.

We have already talked about this this morning with you in the conference call, but Sister Bowman and I are really struggling in retaining our new investigators.  We feel like we are just missionary robots.  We are doing everything that we are supposed to do…stating our purpose, inviting to baptism, all of the above.  But they give us fake numbers, or block us when we try to contact them.  We decided to evaluate what is wrong with us our contacting and we realized that we are so driven by the key indicators, that we are forgetting to love the people.  We’ve been noticing that recently.  When our most progressing investigator 林成峰 said that he can’t accept the law of tithing, our first thought was “dang it, we lost our baptism date for this month”.  We need to change our mentality.  When 林弟兄 didn’t want to accept it, we should have thought more deep into it.  We need to love him more.  We need to love the people on the street more.  We need to be driven by love, not numbers.  That is a goal that we have set this week.  We want to forget ourselves and go to work.

Thank you so much for your service, President!  We love you!

Sister Good

Oh, something I didn’t put in the letter…Sister Bowman and I went finding, and we found a meth lab.  Yeah it was totally sketch…it was in the same building as the roof we found and next to the cronut place (see pictures below).  We were riding our bikes in that one chic street with a whole bunch of boutiques and we were wearing our missionary attire with no makeup and helmet hair, and every one that was shopping was wearing the most stylish clothes with the perfect hair, and I seriously felt so out of place haha.  Imagine the hunger games…someone from district 12 (us) walking around in a place like District 1 (them).  That is literally the best way I can describe it haha.  Anyway, we knocked that building we were on, and there was a door to an apartment open, and there were substances, if you catch my drift.  We got out of there as fast as we could haha.  That was an interesting night!

Love y’all so much!

 

Sister Good

顧姐妹

 

My companion being boss.

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Exchanges with Sister Parkin, we visited a less active!

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Sister Bowman and I went finding one day and ended up on a roof.  It was awesome!!!

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First time I ate a cronut!  SO YUM

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Someone tell me why the President of our country is going out to live in the wilderness?

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Week 67 – Progressing the SongShan (松山) Ward – 11-Jan-2016

Hey Y’all!

THIS WEEK WAS SERIOUSLY THE BEST WEEK EVER!

Elder Liston, Elder Jensen, Sister Bowman, and I gave training to our zone on Tuesday.  We found that a really big struggle with our zone is our relationships with the members, so for the past few weeks, we have been trying to come up with the best way in order to train our zone to get the trust of their members.  We prayed about it, and we came up with an amazing solution:  we do missionary work WITH the members.  As in take them out and find people on the street with you, knock doors, and find less actives.  It has been working so well, and it has been super successful.  I pretty much talk about it in my letter to President, and I will attach it below.

Sister Bowman and I went less active finding on Friday, and we found some addresses that don’t live within out boundaries.  After getting permission from the Assistants, we followed the map UP A MOUNTAIN.  And up that mountain, it looked EXACTLY how I imagined my mission to look like before I came:  small crowded dirty houses with moss growing on the walls, with a random Taipei 101 in the background.  Sister Bowman and I had a mini photoshoot there haha.  The view of 101 was beautiful, and I’m surprised that someone still hadn’t bought out that place to build an expensive mega complex there.  There are a lot of old people live in there, so they are probably waiting for all the agongs (阿公 old uncles)and amas (阿媽 old aunties) to die (that sounds so terrible but it’s probably true) so they can tear it all out and make some big bucks.  Speaking of old agongs who’s time is almost up, Sister Bowman and I made a friend:  Chen agong!  He lives right next to a less active on the less active list, but no one answered the door when we knocked, even though the lights were on.  So we went to his neighbor and tried to ask if anyone still lived that that address.  Chen agong said there was someone at that address, and that he was 84 years old.  Then Chen agong said “I’m 94 years old, I have wisdom!” and he told the way we were knocking wasn’t loud enough, even though Sister Bowman was pounding on the door.  THEN Chen agong comes out and grabs a hammer and starts going HAM on the door.  Can you just imagine a 94 year old Chinese man that lives in the mountains with a hammer pounding on someone’s door trying to get in?  Well, it happened.  And it was splendid.

We met a new investigator this week who gave us his mom’s card with her company’s website on it:  www.amitofo.com.tw.  He didn’t meet with us again this week…

There is a recent convert who investigated the church for 10 years in our ward, and he is one of the most active members and he’s hilarious!  His name is Zhang Ba (張爸), and he looks EXACTLY like Samuel L. Jackson.  When we told him this, he kept saying that he doesn’t want to look like him.  “But Zhang ba, he’s really famous!”  “That doesn’t mean he’s handsome!  Don’t call me Samuel L. Jackson, call me…Tom Cruise…”  So…his new name is “Brother Jackson, I mean, Cruise…”  He’s so funny, I die.

Our most progressing investigator is Lin Cheng Feng (林成峰).  Brother Lin is very special.  He is getting there.  He is having spiritual experiences and he knows the Book of Mormon is true, but it’s getting him to act on the Spirit that is hard for him.  That’s all I have to say, maybe I’ll talk more about him next week?  But his date is for the 30th of January!  He’s really great.

Dear President Jergensen,

This was a GREAT week!  It had an amazing start with the Zone Meeting we had on Tuesday.  It was really great to see the Zone on board with the training and new announcements that were given.  By their key indicators, it looks like they really took the trainings to heart.  HAPPY ARE WE!

Sister Bowman and I, along with the Zone Leaders are really seeing a change in Songshan.  We have been announcing it to the Relief Society and Elders Quorum and getting them to go on splits with us in order to find new investigators and find less actives.  It has been so successful, because the members are actually doing the missionary work with us, and they are seeing the miracles we see everyday. Songshan is so pumped up and is hastening the Lord’s work!  More things are getting done in this ward, and it’s because the members are so willing to go out with us.  It has been a miracle to see the change in the Songshan Ward.  They really trust us, and that is really blessing the lives of our investigators and other people we meet on the street in Taipei.

Exchanges:  Yilan Sisters

I got an amazing opportunity to work with Sister Li this week when she came to Songshan.  She just barely hit her month on the mission mark, and she has such a positive attitude!  She was a bit nervous because it was her first exchange, but she loves the gospel and wants to make a difference and is so willing to learn!  Her skills in teaching lessons are great!  She really connects with the people here, because she is Taiwanese, and that brings her a really great advantage.  However, because she is so new, she is not very confident in her finding efforts.  It was hard for her so go up to talk to people and invite them to baptism.  It sounds like she and Sister Hsiao have been struggling with that, so Sister Bowman and I will see what we can do for them this next exchange.  We will prayerfully consider how they need to be trained so that they can have the streak of excellence in Yilan they have to potential to have.

Thank you so much for your service, President!  We love you so much!

Love,

 

Sister Good

顧姐妹

 

Investigator lesson!

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We got qinged (請 or invited) to a Korean restaurant!

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Poor Taipei in sight of the 101 Tower!

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Chen Agong!  陳阿公!

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Temple Tours!

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This guy was riding his scooter with his two pet birds.  Taiwan is awesome.

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When I went to chuanjiao (傳敎 Do missionary work) with Yingjie and we found a new investigator!

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Week 66 – New Year’s Miracle – 04-Jan-2016

Hey y’all!

I don’t have much time today, but I want to tell y’all of an amazing miracle that happened this week!

Sister Bowman and I have trying a new way of finding by only talking about baptism on the street.  That means from within the first 30 seconds of talking to a person, we want to let them know of our purpose, that we are out here to help other come unto Christ by being baptized.  This way we can tell exactly who is ready to accept the gospel, because c’mon now, the field is not eggshell, it is WHITE and READY to harvest!

We found this lady, Sister Lin (who is GORGEOUS and super fashionable…she was wearing the CUTEST boots) and stated our purpose.  She was willing to pray with us, and halfway through the prayer, her phone rang…it was her boyfriend who said he was going to be meeting her at her place in a little bit.  ANYWAY, she believes in God and we invited her to baptism, but she said she wants to understand a little bit more about baptism before she makes any decisions.  Which is WHY we are here!  We asked to set up an appointment with her, and she said she’ll see if she gets more interest in the future.  So we gave her our number (she wasn’t willing to give hers to us) and bid her adieu.  We talked to a couple more people around there and after 15 minutes of finding unprepared people, we decided to go to another place to find.  As Sister Bowman and I got on our bikes are started riding, I saw a dude walk into the alley we were in.  Sister Bowman didn’t see him, but I suggested that we should talk to him.  His name is Brother Yang, and he is awesome (and also very shuai 帥)!  He’s an actor and is trying to find more gigs and whatnot, but he’s appeared in some commercials apparently (missionaries wouldn’t know)…but long story short, we stated our purpose, taught him how to pray, set up an appointment for the next week, and set a baptismal date for February 26th!  He also took a selfie with us because he was like “This is cool, I met God on New Year’s Eve!”  I’M NOT KIDDING.  As we were leaving, we realized that he was walking the same direction as Sister Lin was headed, and Sister Bowman and I realized that HE IS THE BOYFRIEND.  We already have a vision for them, ready?  He’s going to tell her about how cool his experience was, and they will both be baptized be sealed in the temple, and have GORGEOUS children, and their children will all grow up in the gospel and go on missions!  We told this story to our ward mission leader and he laughed when we told him Brother Lin was shuai she he was like “you can’t say that, you are missionaries!” then I said “We preach the truth, that’s why we’re missionaries!” and thought we were adorable for already prophesying their future.  It’s going to happen!

We set 3 new baptismal dates on the street this week and we will be setting more!

Dear President Jergensen,

What a week!  We are so grateful for the instruction we received at MLC this week!  Sister Bowman and I have been working really hard to come up with trainings that fully implement what we have learned from MLC and merging the needs of the East Zone together.  We will become the Beast in the East!

 Exchanges:  We exchanged with Neihu (內湖) this past week!  I was with Sister Hadley, and she is so happy with Sister Gabbitas.  They have been doing a really good job in cleaning their apartment to make it a place where the Spirit can preside!  After the exchange, Sister Bowman and I trained them on how to work better with members.  Their faith really grew and I know they have a new vision of their ward.  Sister Gabbitas and Sister Hadley really want to go eternal, meaning they really want to serve another transfer together.  I think this shows that they are working really well together and it seems like from what they reported this past week that their relationship with the ward has improved and they are so excited!

 We are excited for tomorrow’s Zone Meeting!  Sister Bowman and I got this!

We love you!

 

 Sister Good

顧姐妹

 

This girl is going on her mission to Temple Square!

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We went to Danshui for Sister Bowman’s birthday last Pday!

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Turkish Ice Cream!

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Quail eggs!

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We all bought matching bracelets and took a picture with our CTR rings!

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“Please wait to be seat”

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Sister Lindsay and me 🙂

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This is a picture of a Yunnan lady who could quite possibly be my great great great grandmother.

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Downtown Taipei on Christmas!

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Our members sang Happy Birthday to Sister Bowman!

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Exchanges to Neihu!

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The Hsieh’s!  They served a couples mission for the past year and are went back to the Island of Penghu!

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Sister Bowman likes rubber bands.

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We were contacting on New Year’s  and met Brother Yang.  He’s an actor and set a baptismal date for February!  He asked if he could take a picture with us and said “I want to document this.  I met God on New Year’s” OH MY GOODNESS YAY.

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We were on our way to a lesson after and rode past downtown and we saw Asian Miley Cyrus performing haha

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Missionary Leadership Council!  We all look horrible because the sun was shining hecka bright in our eyes.

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I got a package from the Chinese Branch!!!  YAYY

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Week 65 – Christmas!! – December 28, 2015

Hey y’all!

Mom, Dad, I just talked to y’all this week, so I don’t really know what else to say other than the fact that IT WAS AWESOME SKYPING Y’ALL!  I can’t believe it was my last time to Skype on the mission…I’ll be home before Mother’s Day.  WEIRD….

We had our Mission Christmas Conference this week!  The ENTIRE mission got together and we partied it up at the American Club in Shilin (士林).  THEY HAD CARPET.  You don’t find carpet in Taiwan, just tile flooring.  So you KNEW they were not kidding when they call it the American Club haha.  We were there from 9am-5pm, and there were trainings given, slideshows to watch, an all-you-can-eat American food buffet (this was fancy stuff that included smoked salmon, gourmet macaroni, and RIBS) and the really fun part was the mission talent show.  Missionaries got really creative with their talents!  My favorite performance is when the Polynesian missionaries put together a Hakka dance, and invited President Jergensen to do it with them haha.  It was SO funny!

After the Christmas conference, I went on exchanges with Sister Guo, our temple sister, and for most of the exchange, we did a lot of work in the mission office.  We thought up ideas on what kinds of trainings are needed to be given to Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders, and typed it up in a word document for President to approve.  It was fun to see how different mission office life is from regular mission life.

As for Songshan (松山), we are working on developing unity with the ward and stake:

Dear President Jergensen,

I can’t even tell you how much I’ve learned from my responsibility as a Sister Training Leader this week.  While I was serving in central zone, I thought it was a really great experience, and it really prepared me for my calling this transfer.  With Elder Jensen and Elder Liston as zone leaders, and with Sister Bowman, a powerhouse of a missionary serving by my side, we feel like we can do anything.  Our faith in this zone and the potential and progress that can be made is so high!  We have really been trying to come up with training for our sisters in order to strengthen their relationships with the ward.  In our mmmeeting (member missionary meeting) this week, we set our vision without mmleader about having more member involvement.  We were bold about it, but loving as well when extending out our vision.  Our mmleader and ward missionary are on board with us, and I am excited for this trust between us and the ward start to blossom.

After today’s conference call with you, Sister Bowman and I want to implement the goal that we have already set with your goal for the east zone regarding finding.  We are so excited!

Thank you so much for your service!  We love you!

 

Sister Good

 

Y’all are awesome!

Love you!

顧姐妹

 

Pictures Below…

Our District!

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Sister Ioane and I went on a mini exchange to Beitou (北投)!  This first picture describe our relationship 🙂  I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

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My new companion, Sister Bowman!  SHE IS AMAZING!!!

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When Sister Lin and I were serving together in Taoyuan, there was a week where we have 2 mini missionaries serve with us.  We were all reunited at the new Danshui chapel!

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At the brand new Danshui chapel with the Christmas Choir!

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The Missionary Talent Show!

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Elder Taylor played guitar and sang a song about breakfast, it was hilarious.

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Elder Aiono sang “Buy You a Drank” by T-Pain, but changed the meaning into he would buy you a drink from the Living Waters that is Jesus Christ.  I cried because I laughed so hard hahaaa

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Christmas Buffet Dinner at the ACC (American Club in China)

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Seester Hendricks with a sweet photobomb by Elder Welch!

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President Jergensen doing the Hakka with the Polys!

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JUST SO MUCH TALENT IN THE MISSION.

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THEY WERE ROASTING A FULL PIG RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR APARTMENT.  #TAIWANESE

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Week 64 – Transferred to SongShan! – December 21, 2015

Hey y’all!

This week was INSANE!!!  WE HAD TRANSFERS.  Our Zone Leaders called us and told us that Sister Sorenson was moving (I mean, duh…she’s being transferred to Utah haha) but the crazy thing is, THEY TOLD ME I WAS MOVING TOO.  WHAT??!?!  No one expected that I would be moving at all!  When the ZLs got the transfer sheet, they double checked and asked President if everything was correct, that Sister Good was really moving…  I’ve only been here one transfer, and it’s the central zone STL area.  So I was so confused…I thought maybe President thought I was doing a horrible job as an STL so he decided to fire me.  I was just starting to get used to the ward and the area, and boom, I’m outta here.  We had to get a lot of information cleaned up because there would be new sisters taking over the area and they have to be able to take care of our investigators.  We have been building the area up and I was just so sad to leave it all behind.  But I had to come to the realization that this is the plan that Heavenly Father has right now because he knows everything and I had to really trust Him that everything was going to be fine.

Then I got to transfers, and my face popped up next to Sister Bowman, who I just barely went on exchanges with, and under our names were also the words “Sister Training Leader”.  We are opening the Taipei East Zone for STLs!  And Elder Jensen (my ZL in Taoyuan) and Elder Liston (reported to the MTC with me) are whitewashing and they are now the new East Zone Leaders!  Now I understand Heavenly Father’s plan!  There was a stake split, and they just moved me over to help out the northeast of the island.  All four of us are serving in the Songshan Ward (松山支會), and most of the people in the ward are multimillionaires, so this will be fun;).  We’ve already had people take us to all these super expensive restaurants….I think I can get used to this!  On the other hand, this area is not the easiest to serve in.  Everyone here is so busy and it’s a struggle to get people to stop to talk to us.  But I KNOW there are prepared people in this area, and we are on a mission to find them!  (Oh and Taipei 101 is in my area so…whaddupppp)

 Dear President Jergensen,

 I just wanted to take this time to thank Heavenly Father for inspiring you to put me with Sister Bowman!  She is truly such a powerful missionary, and I am learning so much from her!  I was completely surprised when I got the call that I was moving/whitewashing the central zone STL area, but I know it’s to prepare each area for bigger and greater things!

I can’t even tell you how ecstatic we are to be working with Elder Jensen and Elder Liston!  They are the BEST elders in the mission, and they have already come up with an amazing vision for the Taipei East Stake.  We will be working on helping the Songshan ward to split, and we want to get as many members on board with us as possible.  Songshan has been really struggling lately, and Sister Bowman and I are so ready to get it back going again!

THIS WILL BE AN AMAZING TRANSFER.

We love you!

Love,

 

Sister Good

 顧姐妹

 

Christmas choir photos!  I sing a solo and play the violin, so it’s been super duper fun!

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I got transferred to this girl’s ward in Songshan!  She’s leaving for her mission to Temple Square the end of February!  WE ARE BEST BUDS.

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Check out our selfies!

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English Boarding with style!

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This mom and son wanted us to take a picture with them!  #spreadingthewordthroughmusic

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The Wanda District.

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Central Zone ZLs and STLs!

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The day of transfers with Jensen and Sister Sorenson!  Also the day that Sister Sorenson died.  I MISS HER SO MUCH.

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Week 63 – Jim’s Baptism!!! – December 14, 2015

Hey y’all!

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!  I had an opportunity to go on exchanges to Datong, with Sister Nau!  Her name is pronounced like “no” so we joked that our companionship name was “Nau Good” hahaha.  But it was more like “So Good”!  It was really fun serving with her!  Sister Nau and her comp Sister Jex cover the Wanda (萬大) Ward and the English Ward, so we had a few lessons with English speakers with I was NOT used to.  It was really fun but I realized that I do not know how to teach the gospel in English with fluidity.  Anyway, we found out we have SO much in common, and we have already planned that we would be helping each other decorating our future homes after the mission and it’s going to be SWEET.

I also went on exchanges with Sister Bowman from Songshan (松山), and that was great to get to know her too.  I think that is what I love about this calling, is that I really get to know the sisters in my zone and help them with any concerns they have.  I also love setting goals with them and following up with them.  Seeing them progress in the work of the Lord is so great, and I have seen a growth in myself every single time I go on exchanges.  I LOVE IT.

Last P-day, I ran into my Aunt Nikita at the Songshan (松山) MRT station, and I invited her to the Nativity that the English ward was putting on.  She came, along with her husband, Aunt Linda, and my cousin Michelle with HER husband.  IT WAS SO GREAT SO SEE THEM.  The performance included the Nativity and there were SO many people there.  Then the missionaries did a choir performance afterwards.  I was able to introduce them all to President and Sister Jergensen, which was AMAZING.  The best part about them being at the Nativity, was that pretty much all of the missionaries serving in the Taipei Zones were there, and I introduced them to every companionship that covers the area in which they live.  YAY FOR DIRECT CONTACTS!  YAYYYY!

We had a special stake conference on Sunday….A NEW STAKE WAS CREATED!  YAYYYY!  They created a new Taipei North Stake!  So now that stake includes:

Beitou, Danshui, Tianmu, Shilin, and the English Ward.  The Taipei East Stake includes:  Ilan (宜蘭), Neihu (內湖), Jilong (基隆), and they took XiZhi (汐止) and Songshan (松山) from central.  Now Taipei Central just has:  Hsinan (信安), Wanda (萬大), Jinhua (金華), Sanchong (三重), and now the Luzhou (蘆洲) Ward…LUZHOU BECAME A WARD!!!!  It’s amazing how much the church is growing!  The first stake ever in Taiwan was created in 1976, and now there are a total of 15 stakes on the island of Taiwan!  Elder Randy D. Funk of the Seventy was there and gave an amazing talk.  He talked a lot about the Savior.  One thing he said I really liked was about the meaning of Christmas.  “We don’t celebrate Christmas because the Savior was born, rather, we celebrate Christmas because of what He did for us at the end of His life.”  (or something like that, I definitely didn’t say it as good as him).  But that is so true, and I love that message.

After Stake Conference, JIM GOT BAPTIZED!  It was amazing!  He has such a strong testimony of the gospel, and he knows with all of his heart that this gospel has been restored!  Was was also really cool is Brother Yan, and RC who we’ve been working with, baptized him!  IT WAS HIS FIRST TIME BAPTIZING SOMEONE!  We followed up with him after the baptism and asked him how he felt and he said “It literally felt like I have been blessed.”  YES.  That is how you are supposed to feel when you bless the lives of others!

Sister Sorenson is going home so I’ll be getting a new companion on Thursday.  I’ve never killed a missionary before…it feels so weird.  I’m not the one going home yet, but I’m suffering from slight anxiety for Sister Sorenson.  I can’t imagine going home and being normal again haha.  I’m so glad I still have time, but I honestly don’t know how I’m going to deal with that in 4½ months.  WOW.  4½ months.  That is like NO time.

Anyway, that is pretty much what happened this week.  Hope y’all have a great day and a non-stressful Christmas preparation week!

Love Ya’ll!

 

顧姐妹

 

We went English Boarding with my violin at Da-an Park!  It was a different way of passing out flyers for our English class, but it worked because people slowed down to watch me play Christmas songs and we were able to pass out a whole bunch!

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Exchanges with Sister Nau!

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I FOUND MACAROONS.  SO I BOUGHT THEM BECAUSE THEY WERE SUPER CHEAP.  Then I was disappointed because they were fake macaroons and totally NOT Gucci.

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WE FOUND DIAGON ALLEY.  IT IS A DRINK SHOP.

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But all they sell is tea, and there is actual beer in their butter beer.  So all we could get are these Oreo smoothies.  They did not taste very good.  But it was worth it because they were from Diagon Alley.

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We tried our best to get through to Platform 9¾!

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Frisbee with the Zone Leaders/Assisstants/and Office Elders at Da-an (大安) Park!

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Oh and this is a picture of some guy power washing a building.  I always joked when I was in training that the buildings in Taiwan need a power wash…and it is happening!   Hahahah!

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Our RC baptized Brother Lin yesterday!  It was his first time ever baptizing someone!

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All-you-can-eat Pizza hut today!

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Week 62 – The Fruits of Our Labors – December 7, 2015

Hey Y’all!

Guess what…?!?!?!  IT’S DECEMEBER!  Do you know what that means?  IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!  And even though I am in Taiwan, it STILL feels like Christmas!  It’s actually getting pretty cold here, I had to bust out my coat and tights.  I also had to drop some money on scarves and warmer shoes because WOW it gets cold here!  But it just makes it just like Christmas in the US so I’m not even complaining.  THE COLD NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY.

To make things even more Christmas-y, the missionary choir has started to perform for wards throughout Taipei.  We had a performance in Sanchong and Shilin this week, and at the JinHua Chapel (the one by the temple) for the New Member Fireside they hold every month.  This week we are going to Xindian and at Jinhua again.  This Christmas choir program is awesome, and it’s totally bringing in the Christmas spirit!  I have a solo in the program!  I sing “Where Are You Christmas” from the Grinch Stole Christmas.  I’m also playing the violin in a few songs to give the music some more “umph”.  It was super fun playing the violin again, I haven’t played it in 4 years haha.  But I don’t sound too terrible, surprisingly.  Elder Nixon is really good at the cello, so he has a solo and is playing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and it sounds SO pretty especially with the piano, because it’s The Piano Guys version of the song.  I LOVE CHRISTMAS AND I LOVE CHRISTMAS IN TAIWAN AS A MISSIONARY.

As Sister Training Leaders, we have to report to President about what we did with our Sisters every week.  This is what I had to say:

This week, Sister Sorenson and I were inspired to exchange with the Sanchong and XiZhi sisters.  It was a blast getting to work with these wonderful sisters this week!

 Sister Kuan and I worked in Xinyi from Tuesday to Wednesday.  Sister Kuan has so much love for the gospel and is so ready to share it with others!  I love her enthusiasm for the work!  I think she is really starting to come out of her shell since Sister Peng has left.  Sister Belnap is doing a great job in breaking her.  Sister Kuan set some goals with me that I would like to share with you.  She wants to really enjoy finding, because currently it’s not her favorite thing to do as a missionary as of the moment.  I invited her to think of every single person on the street like they were an extremely active member, to imagine them all wearing temple clothes, working in the temple.  I think that gave her a new perspective and changed her attitude towards finding.  She also doesn’t want to worry too much.  She had been stressed about taking over the area when Sister Peng moved, but I think she is adjusting fine.  She has such a love for the investigators and members of XiZhi.  I honestly think she can go Co-Senior or maybe even senior companion this next transfer.  She is such an amazing Sister, I feel like she could really help missionaries in the future as a Sister Training Leader!

I went to Sanchong with Sister Torres Ortiz from Friday to Saturday.  It was great to get to know her and find out some similarities between the two of us.  She and Sister Lin have a good relationship, but she feels like there is still some sort of barrier between them, maybe a cultural barrier.  I had this issue with Sister Lin before as well, and I told her this thing that I learned from being with Sister Lin, how I got along with her so well, is to love her unceasingly.  I reminded her that Sister Lin literally spent every last penny to come out and preach the gospel, and that everyone is still learning and no one is perfect.  They do get along well, and Sister Lin seems like she is very happy being companions with Sister Torres Ortiz.

 I wanted to help the Sanchong sisters gain greater faith in finding new investigators, since this had been something they have struggled with recently.  Before Sister Torres Ortiz and I started finding, I helped her set a goal of using baptism to get new investigators.  Her goal was 1 new investigators “because it’s realistic”, but I wanted to be more than realistic with her and I asked “do you have the faith that we can find two new investigators in this time?” She was a bit hesitant, but we set a goal from 2 new investigators.  We ended up getting two new investigators in that time, and one accepted a baptismal date for the end of January!  After contacting, Sister Torres Ortiz burst out with joy, and I could see her faith in her area grow!

We will be having a baptism this week for Brother Lin!!!!!!  He is so great and so prepared!  He goes to institute with the YSAs every Tuesday night and he learns so much from that, that it made it really easy to teach him the commandments because he knows it all.  For example:

 “Brother Lin, today we will be sharing with you the Word of Wisdom.”

“Oh , I know that one!  The one where you can’t drink coffee or tea or alcohol.”

“*looks to companion in amazement*  Why, yes, yes it is that commandment.  Will you be willing to keep the Word of Wisdom?”

“I’ve already been keeping it!”

I kid you not y’all, this exact thing happened when we taught the Law of Chastity and about tithing and fast offerings.  When we asked him if he would keep the Law of the Tithes his response was:

“Sure!  I love sharing my things!”

WHAT?!  HE IS JUST SO GOLDEN.  He is going to be baptized on Saturday!  YAYYYYY!!!!

Sister Sorenson and I had a very special experience while finding this week.  We contacted a college student, Sister Wu, and started preaching the gospel.  Sister Wu didn’t believe in God, and when we asked her why, she said “I only believe in realistic things.” When she said that, my heart sank.  Sister Sorenson and I just knew that we had to testify that maybe we can’t see Heavenly Father, but he IS real.  This gospel is REAL.  The love the Heavenly Father has for His children is REAL.  This message that we share is true, and literally the REALEST thing that has even been.  After handing her a flyer and saying goodbye, Sister Sorenson said to me “That was the strongest I’ve ever felt this spirit on my mission, ever.” It’s amazing how testifying will invite the spirit like that.  It’s sad that some of God’s children are just unable to understand the blessing that they can get in this life.  But I know that God, this gospel, this church, is the most realistic thing that ever and will ever exist.

I love missionary work SO MUCH.  And sometimes you don’t get to see the fruits of your labors until later, but I have seen the fruit of my labors from Taoyuan this week!

During our Temple Tour training, the Temple Sisters put up a slide show of baptisms/acts of service that we have done recently.  There were lots of sisters who sent in their baptismal pictures, then a picture from Tao 2 popped up….IT WAS ALAN!  Sister Ioane and I taught him from the beginning, and he got baptized the day after I got transferred to Taipei!  I haven’t seen a picture his baptism, but I saw his for the first time dressed in white, and I flipped out and jumped across the room to find Sister Ioane to give her a big hug.  Seriously the best feeling a missionary can get is when you see your investigators make that special covenant with God.  And speaking of special covenants…

Sister Sorenson and I were just finishing up a lesson at the chapel, and we were heading back to our area to do some finding since we had about 45 minutes left before curfew.  Sister Sorenson wanted to bike around the church, and past the temple because she heard that one of her recent converts from her last area in Zhongli was going to be going to the temple for the first time today.  We biked around the chapel and past the temple gate, and we didn’t see anyone from Zhongli.  Who we did see was Sister Ioane (my last companion) and her new companion, Sister Harvey, with a woman who looked really familiar.  As I looked to see who it was, I realized that it was SISTER ZHONG!!!!!!  I taught her and her daughter Cindy and they were baptized together on September 12th in Taoyuan!  I started screaming and she turned around and saw me, then she started screaming and we were totally not reverent outside the temple haha but I just missed her so much and can’t believe I saw her!  I asked her what she was doing up here and she said that she did baptisms for the dead for the first time.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  I can’t believe it!!!!!!  She went to the temple!!!!  She has a temple recommend!!!!  I asked her how it was, and she said it was the coolest experience ever, and that she felt the love of God so strong.  WELL OF COURSE THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, YOU ARE AT THE TEMPLE!!!!

This was the goal that I set for my mission:  that I would find someone who has never heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ before, teach them, baptize them, and see them at the temple.  AND, IT HAPPENED!

I just know with all my heart that this gospel can change lives.  And, it is very much REAL!

Love,

 

Sister Good

 

 

 

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Exchanges with Sister Kuan!

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Sister Zhong at the temple!!

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 Temple Tour Training!

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All of the Sisters in our MTC generation!!!!!  REUNITED!!!

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But forreal dough.

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Sister Shen, who is going to reporting to Temple Square in February!

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#T-Nix photobomb

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Exchanges with Sister Torres Ortiz!  We went to the Shilin nightmarket (士林夜市) and got some DOUHUA!!!!! (豆花)

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CHRISTMAS IS HEREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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I missed Elder Young hahaa

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Week 61 – Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles! November 30, 2015

Hey y’all!

[For the record I am currently depressed because after I uploaded my pictures from this week, I ejected my SD card, then all of a sudden all of my pictures from the last 7 months of my mission got deleted. I am just grateful I was able to send the last of them before they disappeared. So If I sound weird in this email it’s because I’m shaken up from my loss….😢] [Never fear…Dad has them all…at least the ones she has sent to me! 😉 ]

This week was super spiritual because we had an apostle visit the mission!! We were all super, super excited to see him! The day before he came was P-Day, and we have a mission Christmas choir that practices every P-Day, and Elder Stevenson, Elder Stevenson’s nephew is in the choir! We were riding the MRT and I was asking him if he’s excited to see his uncle! His response was so funny:

“Yeah, it’ll be cool to see family, but it’s just Gary…”

Me: “Oh haha weird you know him as Uncle Gary, don’t you?”

“One time, my dad and Uncle Gary threw me into a pool at a wedding. I was wearing a suit and tie and everything!”

I laughed so hard!! I love the fact that yes, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Bednar, and Elder Holland etc…are all apostles of the Lord, but they are also just so fun and totally normal!

Before the training, he invited all of the missionaries to shake his hand. IT WAS SO COOL. This is my 3rd time shaking an apostle’s hand! Anyway…Elder Stevenson gave an amazing training. There are so many insights and he touched on so many different topics and I didn’t bring my study journal with me to this internet cafe, but I will touch on some stuff that really stuck out to me…

He touched on obedience and how we need to follow the Missionary Handbook. He invited us to take out our handbooks and on the cover page under “Missionary Handbook” we wrote “of Blessings” because it’s true! Every time that we obey a rule, Heavenly Father will give us a blessing. It is the coolest thing. Just like following the commandments. He shared with us this awesome formula:

Obedience = Blessings

Blessings = Happiness

It is literally THAT simple.

Sister Sorenson and I have been really using the Promised blessings aspect that Elder Stevenson taught. He did a little roleplay with himself for us and mentioned that promised blessings will help our investigators and less actives see themselves through God’s eyes. By living the gospel, our relationship with our family will be strengthened. Our lives will improve. Our jobs will be better. We will be healthier. We will be happier.

Sometimes that is really difficult for us to understand. How can that even be possible right? It’s literally the power of God. [I just proofread this and I think it sounds funny. And now they are playing Adele really loud in the wangka (Internet Café 網咖) and I can’t really concentrate I am so sorry. I can’t believe my pictures got deleted also. AGHHH.] The point is, LIVE THE GOSPEL AND ETERNAL HAPPINESS WILL COME.

There are so many miracles that happened today through finding and sacrament and I have AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE THAT I REALLY WANT TO SHARE but I have no time. I still have to write to president. I’m so sorry for this email, hopefully I can mention some things I learned next week.

I love you all and I hope you kinda understand my email from this week haha. Again, I’m sorry and I will be praying that y’all will have the gift of interpretation as you read this poorly written email!

 

Sister Good

 

顧姐妹

 

 

“Dedicated 1984”

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On my way to meet the apostle…

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Sister Oviatt and I went on exchanges this week! We hit up the night market and brought out the good ole Texas flag and our Buccee’s shirts!! It was soooo fun being her companion for the day!

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We planned a fun Turkey Bowl activity with our ward with the Assistants and taught our members and investigators how to play American Football. IT WAS SO FUN. I haven’t thought about football in the longest time and WOW I miss watching football so much okay. We played at the biggest park in Taipei…Da-An Park!

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Then we made pancakes and french toast for everyone to eat!!

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Jim Lin, our investigator who is GOLDEN and getting baptized on the 12th! Sister Sorenson, Me, Jensen, who is AWESOME!

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cont’d…and Sister Sorenson and I teach him English! THIS WAS THE DAY HE GOT BAPTIZED, and then his brother Zayn who is also in our English class! [See more pictures of Jensen in my Turkey Bowl pictures above]

Me and Sister Hendricks at Missionary Leadership Council!! We are BOTH Sister Training Leaders!

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Me and my lovely comp at MLC:)

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(The wind was strong that day…)

More pictures from the Turkey Bowl breakfast! [See Jensen in the back] Haha I totally sound like I’m stalking Jensen. He’s just really awesome okay.

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Okay so this is a cool picture. Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders walking on Temple Square. Can you tell which one is me?

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