Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week 24

Hello Everyone!
What an incredible week we've had in Beiqu! From miracle after miracle to a wonderful day at the temple, I am grateful to be a missionary this past week!
I don't even know where to start! We'll start with last Friday. We found out earlier in the week that we would be able to attend and help out with the youth conference that was being held about 2 hours from where I'm serving. Youth from Taizhong (the middle of Taiwan where I am) all the way down to the south were going to be having a youth conference together and they wanted the missionaries to help teach the youth how to share the Book of Mormon with their friends and family. We were so excited! 44 missionaries were going to be going help teach 400+ youth about the Book of Mormon! But then, of course because we are in Taiwan, there were rumors of typhoons. Our mission president talked about the miracle that happened, and I like the way he put it all, so I'm copying and pasting what he said in his letter to us this week about the Youth Conference Miracle:
"The youth conference scheduled for August 23-25 was about to be canceled because of the typhoon that was bearing down on the central part of Taiwan.  The youth sent out a mass notification and 1000 youth throughout Taiwan fasted and prayed that their conference would be able to go on.  Then, to the surprise of all of the weather predictions and government agencies, but not to the youth, the typhoon abruptly changed direction, allowing the youth conferences to go on.  Taibei had to change the location, but they were still able to have a wonderful activity.  This miracle will go down in the memory of the history of the church as a clear example of divine intervention so that the purposes of God could go forward."
The Lord truly hears and answers our prayers. It is so true, Heavenly Father will not let things hinder His work, and with faith, miracles will happen. We were so grateful we were able to help and strengthen the testimonies of these youth and inspire them to want to serve their own missions. It was a night I won't soon forget.
Then, as most of you know, we've been struggling for investigators. We have one great progressing investigator that we are hoping will be baptized on September 15, but beyond her, we don't really have anyone. The beginning of last week was spent tracting and looking for former investigators and finding less-actives, but all without much luck. We have interviews with our Mission President last week, and we had area book and planner checks by our zone leaders and the assistants to the president. One of the invitations from one of the assistants was to make sure we have a full daily plan, for every half hour, and a full back up plan. So, we started making sure we had all of that, and by Thursday, we were seeing the Lord work through us and change our plans because we had been diligent in making plans and back up plans. This was also something my dad had said to me recently, and I was grateful to see it come to pass.
So how has the Lord been changing our plans to allow for miracles? Well, one day last week, all our recent converts called us and wanted to meet with us that day! We were so grateful for lessons! And then, over the last few days, we've been given 4 new investigators, 3 of whom have great potential! We are so blessed! The first one, Zhang JM, was someone Sis. Wilson met on the road. She is already Christian, but is searching for more. She has a lot of really great potential! Then there is Amber. She showed up at church, looking for peace and strength. She isn't Christian, but she wants to know if God exists. We are so excited to begin teaching her! Then we have Wan JM. She is a referral from one of the Elder's recent converts, and she had heard her friend talk about church and she wanted to find out for herself what it was all about. She doesn't live in our area, but if she wants to meet with us, we are going to since her friend is in our ward. And then we have Candy. We aren't sure where her desire lies, but we are going to meet with her and see how we can help her. Sis. Wilson and I are truely grateful for the Lord! I was beginning to get really discouraged, as we were spending days biking around, looking for less-actives and former investigators, and getting nothing (addresses that didn't exist, no one being home, no one to talk to on the roads, etc) but I knew that as I was diligent and kept pushing through, the Lord would bless us, and He has and I can't wait to see what happens through all of this!
And then today! Today was temple day! I love going to the temple. Last transfer our zone was split, but because we now have 3 smaller zones instead of two bigger zones, we went to the temple with our old zone, so that was fun! It was good to see all those missionaries again. We had a wonderful time in the temple, especially because I got to see an old Young Woman's leader from when I lived in China! We were in the temple and all of a sudden, I was like, hey! I know you! It was so good to see her and her husband in the temple. We were only in Taibei for 4 hours, and they will be there for a week, and they just so happened to come to the temple the same time I did! It was so fun to see them! And then afterwards, one of the zones in the Taipei mission were having a zone conference next door to the temple, and I got to see several MTC friends! And one friend who I took Chinese with at BYU that is serving in Taipei, but she didn't know I was serving in Taizhong, so that was so fun to see her! So that was all just so much fun!
Its been a great week being a missionary here in Beiqu! I am so grateful I have this opportunity to serve the people here and be able to help bring them closer to Christ!
I've included 4 pictures from our temple trip =]
#3124: All the sisters who went to the temple: L-R - Sis. Vandigrift, Sis. Mitchell, me, Sis. Wilson, Sis. Cole, Sis. Bryce, Sis. Sterling, Sis. Christiansen

#3125: Sis. Wilson and I

#3126: Our "zone/district" - Elder Hermansen and Elder Lyman, our Zone Leaders. They were actually the only ones from our current zone and district who were with us at the temple. They are so fun!

#3128: My friend Sis. Kang and I. We took 3 semesters of Chinese together at BYU and she is serving in Taipei right now. She goes home in January!

I hope everyone else is doing well! I love being her in Taiwan! The time is going so fast! This time next year I'll be home from my mission. Seeing as how fast this past year has gone, I can't even imagine how fast this next year is going to go!
Love you all!

Week 23

This week, I hit my 5 month as a missionary birthday and my 3 month in Taiwan birthday! I only have one year left in Taiwan! So crazy that I've already been here for 3 months. I know this year is just going to fly by!
This week was also my first full week with my new companion! Sis. Wilson is so great! I really love her! We worked hard this week and we spent a lot of time getting to know each other, which has been a lot of fun. We've also spent the week meeting with recent converts and members so Sis. Wilson can get to know people at church. She is a little rockstar! She just jumped right into it all and took off! I was so grateful to her for that! It took a little of the pressure of being the only one who knew the area off of me =]
This week Sis. Wilson and I spent a lot of time on finding - tracting, street contacting, McDonalds and 7-11 sit downs, talking to everyone at lights, etc - in hopes that we would find new investigators. While we did not find any new investigators for ourselves, we gave the Elders 5 referrals and a less active through all those finding efforts. We joked with the Elders that, this week we found them all their new investigators, and next week is their turn to find us all our new investigators =] We know that in the Lord's time, we will find or will be put in the right place to find our new investigators. This is the Lord's work and His timing, and there is no doubt in my mind that as we continue to be obedient and diligent, the Lord will bless us.
A fun story for the week! About two weeks ago, one of the elders in our area called and said he had a referral for us. It was a lady who already had a Book of Mormon and had already finished reading it!  Sweet! So we called and set up with her for this past week. She wanted us to come to her work and visit her class for a minute and say hi to them in English and then she wanted to treat us out to lunch and talk about the Book of Mormon. So, come the day of, it was me and Sis. Wilson. I had the name of the street but had no idea where it was, and since I didn't have the characters, I couldn't look it up on the map. So I asked the gaurd at our apartment, and geng hao ( the street was just one street over from where we lived. Cool! Then we needed to find the "Taizhong Kong Miao"...I had no idea what that was. I was assuming it was a school though. So we rode to the schools I knew were on that road, but none of them were it. Then some kids were like, its the Confucious temple...oh no. So sure enough, it was. We aren't supposed to preach in or near houses of worship, but, we didn't know what to do. So we went in and found this lady and her class. We sat for 30 mintues and finally she introduced us. It was a Confucious class that we were sitting in, and she was like, will you tell the class what the Book of Mormon is?...uh, ok....It was fun =] She treated us out to lunch after and we had a good discussion about the Book of Mormon and she wants to keep meeting with us. Ok! But we told her we couldn't come to the temple anymore.
Update on our investigators! We have two, the mom of one of our recent converts and a 13 year old girl. We'll start with the mom! We met with her twice this week and she is really progressing! She came to church this week too, even after she said she didn't think she'd be able to! She is keeping commitments, reading and praying every day, its all so great! I've seen a great change in her since I first met her (even before she was officially meeting with us) and its been really neat to see. She has a baptismal goal of September 1 and we are very confident she will hit it! Then we have our 13 year old investigator. She is so great too. She comes to my English class every Wednesday. She loves reading and praying, but her mom is busy on Sunday and isn't able to bring her to church. So we want to start meeting with her mom too so we can give her a baptismal goal and hopefully work something out so she can come to church =]
Not much else exciting happened this last week. It really was just a week of finding and meeting people, which are all super important things, since nothing happens in missionary work until you find people to teach =] I got a new desk and Sis. Wilson got a new chair this week and we got two new bookshelves, and we are anticipating getting two new wardrobes as well soon! We have a bedroom in our house that had two old, broken wardrobes in them, and I told Sis. Lee before she left that these needed to be gone, but that never happened. So last night, Sis. Wilson and I put together the two new bookshelves and put all of our proselyting materials on our old bookshelves (which are still super nice, we just needed more) and were kind of reorganizing the house. But, we had these two old wardrobes, an old bookshelf and an old desk and chair that all needed to get from our apartment down to the courtyard recycling area. So, we called our zone leaders this morning and they helped take it all down for us (though since they aren't allowed to come into our apartment, we had to take it all to the doorway and they took it all from there =] ). Our apartment is so much cleaner now with everything all gone! We are all organized and clean and I love it!!
Thats really about it for this week! Our mission president's invitation for this week is to be 100% obedient. Sis. Wilson and I are going to strive to be 100% obedient, and we know that as we do, the Lord will bless us this week with miracles and we will find new investigators this week! We are excited for the blessings that come when we are 100% obedient (not that we aren't right now, but we are just going to make an even greater effort to be =] )
Sorry I don't have any pictures for this past week. We can only take them on Monday and we didn't do anything last Monday and haven't done anything yet today either. Hopefully next week =]
Love you all!!

Week 22

Time is just flying!
This week I will hit my 5 month mark as being a missionary and my 3 months on island mark! Its so crazy!
There really are only two big things that happened this week:
*Our Investigator decided not to get baptized*
*I have a new companion!*
And a few other random things I'll include at the end!
*Our investigator decided not to get baptized*
We have an investigator that has been investigating the church for 6 years. She has met with the missionaries on and off. She really never would progress, so missionaries would drop her, but when Sis. Lee and I started meeting with her, she started really progressing, and so she had a baptismal goal, an baptismal interview, and we said, ok! you are getting baptized!! She had previously not wanted to get baptized until she had finished reading the Book of Mormon, but we thought we had helped her enough to realize she really was ready! Well, its not unusual to call her and not have her answer, or to not see/talk to her all week, so come Friday (the day before her baptism) we weren't shocked or worried that we hadn't heard from her. She called us and said she wanted to meet with us on Saturday at 10. We had never met with her in the morning, and Sis. Lee was worried she'd say she wasn't getting baptized. But, we went to meet her and she didn't show. She called later and said she wanted to meet at 2:30, but she didn't show up then either. She finally called at 3 and asked us to come outside the church. We did, and she's on her bike, hands Sis. Lee a bag and a note and drives off. We read the note, and she said she wasn't getting baptized till she had finished reading the Book of Mormon. So that was sad...
*I have a new companion!*
So Sis. Lee went home (or will on Tuesday) and that means I needed a new companion! Her name is Sis. Wilson and she is so great! She just finished training my MTC companion down in Gaoxiong, so I think its going to be lots of fun with her! She actually goes home in 2 months, so I may or may not be her last companion as well =] So weird! I am so excited to be companions with her though! She is from New Jersey and is a special education major right now, but will probably switch to early intervention. We have so much in common so that is really fun too! I am excited to learn so much from her and to see miracles in our area!!
Other random things from last week? We had a really great last Monday night. We went tracting in this one little area of houses and ended up having three miracle lessons! It was so fun! English was fun because we did it all together and played a game for the whole night! We had another recent convert party on Saturday night after the baptism and that was so great! We got treated out to eat so much this week because it was Sis. Lee's last week, so several days in a row we never had to pay for our own food =]
That's really about it! Nothing too exciting happened. It was a weird week because Sis. Lee was leaving, so we said lots of goodbyes, ate lots of food, and just soaked up our last week together. I'm definitely going to miss her so much! It will be weird not seeing her anymore.
I hope everyone is doing well! I included Sis. Lee and my's last picture together, and then Sis. Wilson and my's first picture together! And a few others.
#1: The big Budda by our house.

#2: This really cool 50's themed Taiwanese restaurant by our house that our investigator took us to.

#3: Sis. Lee and some of our English Class Students
#4: Sis. Lee and I
#5: Sis. Wilson and I

Here is to a new week! Love you all!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Week 21

What a great week I've had here in Taiwan!! Why? Because it was my birthday week! And I have a marvelous companion who loves me so much! This week I'm going to do my email by day =] Sorry I'm a bit short on time!!
Monday: We went tracting and the first house we knocked a mom let us in! She wants her son to go to church. We'll see what happens there!
Tuesday: I woke up to a present from my family! Candy! Then we had sister exchanges, a crazy lesson with a recent convert, a crazy lesson with an investigator...
Wednesday: My birthday! Woke up to a DVD from my family for my English class! Then we changed back companions and my companion had had all the sisters that were on Sister Exchanges sign a huge card for me, that is by my favorite Taiwanese cartoonist! I was so touched! And then that night we went to dinner at a members and my companion threw a mini surprise party for me with one of our recent converts. Love them!
Thursday: I woke up to cough drops and peanut butter from my family! My companion surprised me with smores that night. This was also a typhoon day!! Yup! We had a typhoon! My companion was sick, and combined with the crazy wind, we stayed inside till 4 PM. We went out to dinner with the same recent convert from the night before and then went back to the church for the rest of the night.
Friday: I woke up to more peanut butter =] We had weekly planning and...I don't remember what else. Oh, we went to see our wonderful Chen Jie Mei and her daughter and that was fun. And we went to Subway for dinner and Sis. Lee paid for my dinner =]
Saturday: Crazy day! We got a call in the morning that the husband of a family that we taught a lesson to and then referred them to their home area, was getting baptized that night and we were invited to attend! A ward in our church building was having a huge second hand sale, so we went to that, played with recent converts, taught a lesson to our incredible 13 year old investigator, and went to a miracle baptism that we didn't know was happening!! And then our eternal investigator has her baptismal interview at 9 PM that night, she passed (hoping she will get baptized this Saturday!) and then at 10:15 at night, on our way home, Sis. Lee stops at a flower shop and buys me flowers for my birthday weekday surprise =] Love her!
Sunday: I woke up to two beautiful new outfits from my family! Loved them! Not much else. We have 7 out of 10 recent converts at church (such a miracle!) and a miracle investigator! We were so grateful! And then that night we went and talked with the office couple. Love them so much!!! And the surpise from my companion was a face mask =] We will do them tonight =]
So, it was really a good week! I've included some pictures of the week =]
Next Monday I get a new companion because my companion goes home on Tuesday! I can't believe its been almost 3 months already since I arrived in Taiwan! The time has flown and I'm going to miss Sis. Lee! But, life goes on, and I'm looking forward to being able to introduce my new companion to you all next week!
I love you all!!
#3025: Outfit from my family

#2988: The front of the birthday card from my companion (it was huge! we buy every card we see from this artist)

#2989: The inside of the card, filled with love =]

#3014: Flowers from my companion

#2993: Zhang DX and his wife and my companion and I at his baptism!

#2999: Another outfit from home!

#3005: My happy birthday week card and all the daily cards from my companion!

#2992: On Saturday we had 3 recent converts at church! We had a big group lesson =]

Week 20

What a great week last week was!
Sis. Lee and I were quite nervous because we had just baptized our only investigator, so we knew it was going to be a long week, but we planned accordingly so we would find new investigators! On Monday night, we were about to go out, and it started pouring rain! We decided to call phones for an hour and then go out. We started calling old records, and within an hour, we had added 3 people (when you add a person, it means you've set up a time to meet with them)! We were going crazy! So we ended up calling phones for 2 1/2 hours and added a total of 5 people! We were thrilled and so grateful! Well, unfortunately, one of those adds, we eventually found out, was an active member (we aren't sure why they didn't say they were a member when they called...), and the other 4 never showed up/weren't home when we went. So, that was actually kind of sad. But, thats ok. The week only kept getting better from then! We ended the week with 4 new investigators, and two of them are progressing! One is our eternal investigator that we discovered this week really has potential to get baptized soon. A second is the mother of our 10 year old recent convert. We realized she was interested for reals when she called and practically begged us to come over, and then when we were meeting with her, she said she knows the church is true. Score! A third was a former investigator from when I first got here. We aren't sure where her desire lies right now, and it will still be a while before she gets baptized, but we are still excited. And the fourth is an english student of mine. She met with the missionaries last year and loves the Book of Mormon and loves praying (she is 13) but stopped meeting the missionaries because her mom got busy (mom doesn't have as much desire). So we went by their house and they were home and let us up. We talked with my english student and asked her if she had a desire to get baptized and she said yes! So we are going to start working with her and mom and hopefully she will be able to get baptized! And her mom is an INCREDIBLE quilter!! She makes such cute things and is so talented! So neat!!!
So that is how things went proselyting last week. Overall, we were super grateful for what the Lord provided us with, and Sis. Lee and I had such a great week together and we had so much fun! It is definitely going to be weird when she goes home and I get a new companion. I'm not sure how I feel about that...
Nothing really exciting happened last week, except for today, preparation day! Well something that was cool that I learned this week was BoPoMoFo which is the Chinese way of texting characters. Its pretty cool and I'm pretty excited that I can now text characters! So on to the excitingness of today! Wednesday is my birthday and so today is my birthday preparation day, so Sis. Lee and I planned out a great day!! The day started off with cleaning the apartment, which was sevearly needed, since it had been a few weeks since we had deep cleaned. So we did that, and then I wanted to go to the breakfast truck that is outside the church. It is so stinking good!!! So we went there to grab breakfast, came home, ate and got ready for the day. While I was in the shower, Sis. Lee threw together this incredibly cute sign (which is crazy because I was only in the shower for 5 minutes) and she gave me one of the presents my family had sent me =]. Then we had personal study, a little companionship study and then were out the door at 10:30. I needed to get money and go to the post office, and then we went grocery shopping. We finished all that by 11:30, and then went to windowshop at the mall for a bit before going to our recent converts work to get our hair washed. She is a hair stylist, and I wanted to get my hair washed/ massaged for my birthday. So we went and did that for 1 1/2 hours, which was so fun and my hair turned out super cute.
Then we went to this restaurant called The Modern Toilet. I know its been featured (or a copy of the restaurant) on TV, and my friend has been before, so we wanted to go for the experience. It was a little more expensive than we would normally pay for food, but it was actually really, really good! And what I got had cheese on it!!! I haven't had cheese in 2 months! So that was super fun! After lunch we ran into some other sister missionaries who were here visiting an investigator, so we chatted with them for a few minutes and then went shopping! Sis. Lee still had a few items she needed to buy for her family, so we went and got those, and I wanted to buy a purse. But, I didn't find one I liked, so I didn't buy one today. And thats been our day! It's been super fun, and I'm so excited for the rest of the week, especially my birthday day because then I get to open the rest of the presents my family sent me =]
And Sis. Lee is so sweet! She told me at lunch that she was going to have my best friend Sis. Taylor come to lunch with us today, and she told her at zone conference a few weeks ago to ask our mission president to come to our area today so that they could come to lunch with us. She had to tell her at zone conference because they aren't in our zone, so she can't call them, so she was thinking way ahead. Sis. Lee asked the assistants yesterday if she could call them, but they said no, and sadly, Sis. Taylor didn't come today. But, I'm still grateful Sis. Lee was thinking about me and my birthday and how much I love Sis. Taylor ahead of time, even though it didn't work out. And its ok because I'll get to see Sis. Taylor tomorrow and Wednesday because of sister exchanges. So I'll actually get to see her on my birthday =]
Anyway. I hope everyone is doing well! I have a lot of pictures included for today =] (They actually are in two emails, so sorry about that!) I hope you all enjoy! Thank for all the love and support you all give to me! I love you all!
#1: Sis. Lee, German and I: Our weekly planning buddy =]

#2: My breakfast zhua bing (for my family, its those onion pancakes I've made before) and then egg. SOOOOOO GOOD!

#3: My breakfast danbing (its like a creape and egg and bacon, not quite as good as a zhuabing, but still good!)

#4:  The card, note and gift (from my family) that Sis. Lee gave me this morning!

#5: Sis. Lee, Me and Sara, our recent convert, in the process of doing my hair!

#6: Sara and I before she put my head under the steamer. She had put some stuff in my hair and then she put it in four big curls, put cotton around my face, and suran wrapped my head.

#7: My head under the steamer!

#8: She was braiding a braid across the front of my head, so it required laying in a weird position so that she could braid it all =]

#9: Braid done! And the clips in my hair are two of the clips from my family for my birthday

#10: The place we went for lunch - The Modern Toilet

#11: Sis. Lee and I because Sara braided our hair the same!

#12: Sara, Me and Sis. Lee

#13: The table at the restaurant

#14: Sis. Lee at our table

#15: My lunch! In a bath tub! Grilled chicken with rice and a creamy, cheesy white sauce! So yummy!!!

#16: Me and my lunch

#17: Yes, that is poop shaped ice cream in a was fun =]

Week 19

Oh my goodness! Where has the time gone! I am already on Week 19 of my mission, that its already July 23, and it was almost exactly a year ago that I even decided to serve a mission! That is what really blows my mind, that its already been a year since this whole experience started! It really feels like its only been a week!
We've had a busy, fun-filled week with lots of great stories so I'm sorry the email is incredibly long!! I actually had to make a list for the first time in a while about what I wanted to talk about today! So here we go!
Stories for today:
*15 spider bites*
*Our ward correlator's scooter accident...*
*Our previously famous less-active*
*Zone Conference*
*1st letter in Chinese*
*Melody's BAPTISM!!!*
*15 spider bites*
This story isn't all that exciting. We had like 20 minutes before it was time to go home one night, and my companion wanted to call phones outside. I wasn't thrilled because I didn't want to be eaten by mosquitos, but being a supportive companion, I said that was fine. So we found this gazebo, and it actually didn't have any lights, but there were enough lights around that it was fine. So we call phones, and go home. The next morning I wake up and I'm fine, but that night I realize that there are 15 little red dots on both of my legs. They don't itch, so I knew they weren't mosquito bites. But, the next morning, they all itched like crazy! So it wasn't fun, but I got 15 spider bites all over my legs =]
*Our ward correlator's scooter accident...*
...which may or may not have been caused by my companion...
We were walking home from a park run and we saw him riding his scooter. My companion yelled out "ZLDX" (thats the abbreviations of his name...), he turned, saw us, and stopped in the middle of the road, then starts to pull over. What he doesn't see, because he isn't looking, is that there is a scooter right behind him, and she hits him. He gets bumped forward, and then falls over....Sis. Lee and I are like, oh my goodness!!!!! We weren't sure what to do, but we go and help him. He wasn't happy, and neither was the lady who hit him, and he just tells us to leave and "qu mang" (go be busy). We felt horrible and we werent sure if we should have stayed since we were witnesses (we didn't know if he ws going to call the police or not) so we went to the mission office because we knew the office elders were there, and we relayed the whole story to them. In the end, they said not to worry about it. We were super nervous because we had a baptism the next day that we still needed his help with and we were a bit worried he wouldn't be in the mood to help us... that was fun! (he was fine by the way, and so was his scooter)
*Our previously famous less-active*
Oh Chen JM (jie mei - sister). She and her daughter joined the church about 6 years ago, but quickly went inactive. Several months ago, they were rediscovered and reactivated. But then Chen JM got sick and they haven't been to church recently. Now Chen JM is so funny. When she was in her 20's she was a really famous Taiwanese singer and so she is so full of drama. Everytime we go over there there is something funny going on. Her daughter is in her 40's but she has some mental handicaps, and so she lives at home and helps her mom out. Well, recently Chen JM went to bai bai (worship her ancestors) and when she came back, she thought that devils were after her because she knew she shouldn't have bai bai'ed. So anyway, she's been super weirded out and kind of sick with some weird virus, so she's been super uncomfortable. So we went to her house this week and are invited in, and she is sitting at the table in a towel....she is so funny! So we visited her while in a towel =]
Then we invited them to come to church since it had been a while since they had been there, and they came! It was so great. I was sitting with them in Relief Society, in betwen Chen JM and her daughter, and Chen JM passes some stuff to her daughter to put on, and then her daughter passes it back, and Chen JM puts it on behind her ears and all over the back of her neck. I'm like, oh no, she's going to try to give it to me to put on. But no, she just starts putting it on my neck and behind my ears herself. I didn't know what to do!! I think it was like perfume or something. It smelled good. I was dying inside, and we were sitting on the front row, so I knew my companion was behind me dying of laughter! Afterwards I asked her if she saw and she was like, yes, and I was full on laughing. So that's the story of our formerly famous less-active =]
*Zone Conference*
This was my first zone conference, and the whole northern half of the mission came! It was so much fun to see my friends, especially my MTC companion Sis. Taylor! We had so much fun sitting together for 7 hours =] And zone conference itself was really great too.
*1st Letter in Chinese*
I wrote my first letter in Chinese! I wanted to write a thank you card to our recent convert who took us to the country club-like thing. It took me two hours to write, but I did it! And I'm so proud of it! I'll include a picture of it =]
*Melody's BAPTISM!!!*
The most exciting part of our week was that Melody got baptized!!! It was such a wild day too! Around 4:30 that day, it started thundering and lightning really crazy, but it wasn't raining. We had just gotten back from going out with a recent convert so we were at the church with him (it was our 10 year old recent convert) and the zone leaders were at the church waiting for an appointment when all of a sudden the thunder cracked above us! It was sooooo scary loud! So everyone leaves and we are walking to the mall to visit a former investigator when I see a lightning bolt in front of me (in the sky) and the thunder cracked above us. I jumped, held onto Sis. Lee and was plugging my ears while saying, we need to get away from this thunder! So we go mang (be busy) and when we come back to the church it was pooring rain! I was like, oh no. The first time we had ever set up to meet Melody it was raining like this and so she didnt' come, and I was worried the same thing would happen! We go inside the church to start the font, and she calls and is like, so I was worried that the rain was going to get back, so I'm at the church already. I'm like, you are a rock star!!!! So we decide to go out to eat (in the rain) and then come back, and she gets baptized! In between that, we had the font overflow into the bathrooms because we forgot to turn it off, it was still raining, but people came because they love Melody! So it was just so incredibly great! Our 10 year old recent convert gave an incredible talk/testimony about the importance of baptism and how we all need to repent. What is so incredible is his family are not members and so he did this all on his own. We were so proud of him!
Then, on Sunday, Melody was going to get the gift of the Holy Ghost in church. She has cram school till 2 PM, which is when church starts, but we told her it was super important for her to be at church on time because she was receiving the Holy Ghost. So 2 comes and she still isnt there. I'm freaking out, and Sis. Lee is sitting in the chapel when one of the elders comes up and says, do you want me to tell the bishop your investigator isn't here to get the Holy Ghost and Sis. Lee is like, ah! So she comes out and we start calling Melody but she didn't answer. The bishop announces her name and right as he does, she comes walking in the door!!! We usher her into the chapel, take her bags from her, and shoo her up to the front where she becomes the newest member of the church! It was just so great and we love her so much! Being a missionary is an incredible thing, and I love it more and more every day!
Well, I'm sorry this letter was incredibly long, but it was a good week =] I hope everyone is doing well! I miss you all and am so grateful for the love and support I receive from everyone!
Enjoy the pictures!
#1: Our recent convert Guo JM, our recent convert Yang Di Di (when he went out doing missionary work with us) and Sis. Lee.

#2: Elder Badger, Yang Di Di and Elder Hermansen: They all had on matching ties, and we hope that Yang Di Di will go on a mission one day. He is such an incredible missionary already!

#3: Elder Chen, Elder Hansen, Melody, Sis. Lee and Me right before Melody was baptized!

#4: Melody right after she was baptized! She had the biggest smile on her face!!!!

#5: Melody and I right after she was baptized =]

#6: My letter I wrote to Sara! I was so proud of myself =]

Week 18

Hello Everyone!
I can't believe we are halfway through July! I feel like it was just the beginning of July! So crazy!!!
What a great week we've had (well, at least from Thursday on =] )! There are so many stories I'd love to tell, but I think I'll just pick a few, since I don't think anyone wants to read a novel =]
Stories of the week!
*Finding Formers*
*Stake Young Men/Young Woman's Activity*
*Nail Painting Activity*
*Our hilarious recent convert, Tiffany*
*Our incredible investigator/soon-to-be-recent convert, Melody*
*Out of area adventure!*
*New Investigators!*
Hold on for the ride, here come the stories!
*Finding Formers*
We (my companion and I) have been very diligent the last few weeks in trying to find investigators, since without someone to teach, being a missionary is very boring. Well, the things we've been doing have not been leading us to any investigators. And so, we decided to look at old teaching records (when you teach someone, you fill out a record so that you know what's been taught, etc, etc) and we pulled out some that had addresses so we could just go visit them. We started out on Thursday night and we visited a few houses, and the last one was a husband and wife. They were home, remembered who the missionaries were, and they kindly let us in. We visited with them for a bit, shared a short message and the said we could come back! Yay! We were so excited and so grateful! The next day we found two formers, and while they weren't as interested, they listened to our message and we hope we rekindled something in them to help to prepare them to receive the gospel.
*Stake Young Men/Young Woman's Activity*
We've been hearing about this activity for weeks now. Rumor had it that young men and women were going to be coming and doing missionary work with us. We were told that on Saturday from 9-4 we would have 6 young girls with us doing missionary work! We were freaking out because that is a lot of girls, a lot of time, in a small area! We got to the activity and discovered that we really only had 2 girls coming with us, thye could ride bikes, and it wasn't completely from 9-4. Long story short, it went really well, the area we went to go tracting was great and almost every house had people home, so they were able to talk to people, and so it was all just really great! The girls were so brave and such great missionaries! It was also fun to see some other missionaries that we don't often see.
*Nail Painting Activity*
My companion and I have been planning a nail painting party for a while. We wanted to have an activity that would get sisters in the ward together and our recent converts and investigators could get to know people and become closer with the ward. We were excited, but then realized that none of our investigators or recent converts could come...zao gao (like...oh man!). So we really weren't sure how it would go, nor how many people were actually going to come. As it turns out, we had one recent convert come, four sisters from the ward, and 3 investigators! It was great! One investigator is the one we met last week and her kids, and we think they had a great time. The other two (a couple) had walked into the church about 10 minutes before it started. The guy had met some elders on the street and they invited him to come take a tour of the church. There weren't any elders there at the time, but we took them on a mini-tour and invited them to stay for the activity, and they did! It was so great. So, yes, it was small, but we had some great fellowshipping going on, and I was super grateful! I also got to play with kids for most of the night, so I was thrilled =]]
*Our hilarious recent convert, Tiffany*
Oh, Tiffany! I love her! She is so funny! The long story short is that, she is Taiwanese but her chinese is horrible. She came to our activity and wanted to know what missionaries can and can't do. After talking to her about it, she eventually just asked if she could read our missionary handbook, so I gave it to her, and she loved it =] A pregnant lady from another ward had come to vacuum the church in hopes of inducing labor, and Tiffany just could not let her vacuum because she is pregant! So Tiffany vacuumed the entire church and was just loving it! I don't think she'd ever vacuumed in her life =] So anyway, those are just some funnies about Tiffany. She is so great and she has such an incredible testimony!
*Our incredible investigator/soon-to-be recent convert, Melody*
Oh Melody! What can I say about her! She is incredible! She is getting baptized this coming Saturday and we couldn't be happier!!! We were a bit nervous because we hadn't finished teaching her all her all the doctrine she needed to be taught before getting baptized. But we had given her some pamphlets to read and she read them. She called us last Friday and she had had an incredible experience! She felt like this Saturday was too soon to get baptized, but we told her to go home and pray about it. When she was reading one of the pamphlets, she was reading about repentence and finally understood what it was and that she needed to repent and be baptized and that this was the true church and it was what she wanted in her life! It was just such an incredible experience and I'm so grateful I've been able to be a part of helping her to get to know the church. She had her baptismal interview on Sunday and passed and is all ready to get baptized on Saturday! We are so excited! I will tell you all about it next week!!!
*Out of area adventure!*
Today we went with our recent convert, Sara, to this really cool country-club like place and we had so much fun! It wasn't in our area, and so we had to get permission to go, but our zone leaders said that was fine. We took a bus and a taxi there, and then just a taxi back home. The place is called Monseur and its a little village like thing that is super, uber cute and has a few little shops. It is in the mountains and so it was super beautiful! We had so much fun taking pictures and I was so excited to take pictures! I wish I had had my professional camera with me, but it was all still good =] We were there for about 1 1/2 hours and it was just fun! I hadn't been anywhere fun yet, and so this was something fun to go do.
*New Investigators*
We finally have a few new investigators and are super grateful! I already mentioned the mom and kids, and the husband and wife. We also have another girl, the only sad thing is her dad already said she can't be baptized, and so she is going to have to wait a few years till she is old enough to be baptized without parental permission. I don't know her very well, but I'm excited to meet with her!
Well, I think that is about all! We had a great week, and I have high hopes for this week! I included a few pictures and I hope you all enjoy!
#1: People at our nail painting party!

#2: Me and our investigators son; he painted my nails for me =]

#3: Me and my companion and two little statues at the country club that looked like sister missionaries =]

#4: Beautiful Taiwan mountains!

#5: Sara, Sis. Lee and Me

#6: Sis. Lee and I =]

#7: Sara brought bubbles and this was my favorite picture that I took. Sis. Lee was loving the bubbles!

#8: Me by the gate =]

I hope you all are doing well! I love you all and am so grateful for all your love, prayers and support!!!