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!

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