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!
With Sister Liao
Exchanges with Sister Kuan!
Sister Zhong at the temple!!
Temple Tour Training!
All of the Sisters in our MTC generation!!!!! REUNITED!!!
But forreal dough.
Sister Shen, who is going to reporting to Temple Square in February!
Exchanges with Sister Torres Ortiz! We went to the Shilin nightmarket (士林夜市) and got some DOUHUA!!!!! (豆花)
CHRISTMAS IS HEREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
I missed Elder Young hahaa