Sunday, April 28, 2013

Week 57: A New Companion!

Hello Everyone!

What a big week we've had here in Zhang Hua!! I don't even know where to begin!!!!

We'll we can start with the biggest news! If you look at the pictures I've attached, you'll see one with me and my companion, Sis. Jian, and then you'll see one with me and another sister. That is Sis. Wu. We started our missions at the same time. She is from Taibei.

And she's my new companion!!

Yes, I have a new companion. Now, you might be thinking, if you came on a mission at the same time, who is senior companion? Well...

We both are!

Now you might be thinking, how is that possible? Well, have you heard of Sister Training Leaders? Probably not. Why? Because it is a new mission leadership position just announced a few weeks ago because of the influx of sister missionaries in the mission field. 

And, well... 

Sis. Wu and I are one of our missions first Sister Training Leaders!ll

Our mission will be split into three and there are three companionships of Sister Training Leaders, and my companion and I will cover zones (yes, plural...3 or 4, we aren't quite sure...) in the middle of our mission. We are excited, yet a bit overwhelmed at the same time. Because this is a missionary-work wide new leadership position, no one really knows what we are doing, especially us. From what we can tell, we are zone leaders for the sisters. We will be going on exchanges twice a week with sisters in the zones we cover, and will be following up with several companionships every night. We are very excited to have this opportunity to work more closely with these sisters and to learn lots from them!

So that's the biggest news of the week =] 

Other than that, we've had some great miracles this week! Last week our zone leaders invited us to look at our key indicators and pick one to set the goal higher. My companion and I decided to set a high new investigators key indicator. The key indicator is split, new investigators (those who you have a first lesson with and set up a return appointment) over adds (those you meet on the road or over the phone and set up an appointment to go teach them). We generally get 2/3 or so, so this week we set a goal of 5/15. And we blew that out of the water! We were blessed this week with 13 new investigators over 16 adds! I have never had 13 new investigators in one week!!! And how did we do it? We found 3 families this week!!! This is where the miracles come in. Last Sunday night we went tracting and found 2 families who were willing to let us come back last night. So we went and both families are so great!! One of the families actually knows a less-active sister in the ward, so we are so excited to have an instant member who can accompany us to lessons (and who we can help come back to church!) and we think that the bishop and his family will be great to fellowship the other family! We are seriously so excited! One family has 3 children, two over the age of 8, and the other family has two children, one over the age of 8. And both of the boys who are under 8 are 7, so they too can be baptized soon! We will be going back again next Sunday night to visit these families! 

On Saturday, we decided to go to a far away area, one that my companion and I had never been to. We were kind of lost, so we were asking people along the way, but were getting different answers from everyone. So, we see a mom and we ask her, and she said she wasn't sure, but her husband was the postman, so we could go with her to ask him. He helped us out, and then we shared with them a little about our message about families and they were willing to let us come back next week as well! How blessed we were with families! 

We also got a super great member referral this week! Sadly she doesn't live in our area, so we will meet with her once and then refer her, but she sounds so great!

This past week we also had zone conference! We got to go down to JiaYi for the day. We learned all about how to use Preach My Gospel every day, as well as were instructed on the importance of obedience. So great! We also had breakout sessions where we talked about rules clarifications and a new tool we are being given: a map with members addresses already plotted out! These last two things might not seem all that exciting, but let me tell you, I was so grateful for the rules clarifications (it helps everyone be on the same page) and for the map! Oh the little things that make missionaries happy =]

Well, I think that's about it! All our investigators are still doing well. I love being a missionary! I can't believe how fast time is going! I'm nervous about this new position, but I know that the Lord called me to be in this position and He will help and sustain me. How grateful I am for prayer!

I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support!! I hope you all have a fantastic week! I know I will!

#1: Sis. Jian and I (she got to go down to GaoXiong!)
#2: Me, Sis. Jian, Sis. Shultz and Sis. Jarvis (Sis. Shultz and Jarvis are the other sisters in our zone)
#3: Sis. Wu and I

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week 56: A Week of Blessings

Hello Dear Loved Ones!!!

I can't believe we are in the middle of April! I really thought we just had Christmas, but such is life, and time continues to move on. 

We've had a great week here in Zhang Hua! The best being that we got to watch General Conference! It is such a blessing that we have a living prophet who leads and guides us! I can't imagine not having one! We were spiritually fed for 2 days, which was so much needed! My favorite talk by far was Elder Holland's on faith and believing. Ah, I can't wait till we get the Liahona next month and can read the talks again! While none of our investigators came to conference like we were hoping, we look forward to being able to share with them the messages and help them develop their own testimonies. 

Our investigators are all doing well, but definitely have things they need to work on. We are working on them all developing faith, the faith to act on commitments, the faith that they can gain answers to prayers, the faith that there really is a God and Jesus Christ who love them dearly. But I guess we need to start with them just having a hope that it is all true, just like Elder Holland said. 

We saw some really great miracles with less-actives and investigators this week. On Monday we met with a less-active who is working on coming back. She has been working on quitting smoking, and she told us on Monday that she had officially quit! And as far as we know, she hasn't smoked since then. She came to all 4 sessions of conference as well, and we know she will be blessed for that!

Then on Wednesday we went to see the oldest of the Zhang sisters. She hadn't read the Book of Mormon since our last visit, but she had several questions, so we used the Book of Mormon to help her see how the Book of Mormon can answer her questions. She was so excited to see this and then we recommited her to read the Book of Mormon, and she readily agreed, seeing how it can help her life. 

Then Friday night we went back to the Zhang sisters house, to teach the middle sister, but she wasn't home yet. But! We got to meet her mom, dad and husband, which was super great! There were so many people there (mom, dad, oldest sister, husband and 4 kids!) Plus me, my companion and our two members who came with us! So a lot of people! We taught a bit of the plan of salvation, but then we decided it was a bit too crazy (too many people) and it was getting late. But the really cool thing was the father, Zhang Ba Ba, was participating in our lesson on the plan of salvation! He read a scripture for us, and then prayed with us, and kept flipping through the Book of Mormon! So cool!

Then Sunday night, we went and did some tracting. The first house we knocked on was a former investigator of the elders. He said they were welcome to come by anytime, he was always home. So we knock about 6 doors, and we knock on a door with two dogs, and all of a sudden 3 wild dogs come running to the door we are knocking at. I'm like, oh great. I don't like wild dogs. So we talk to them then leave. We go to visit a few people, all of whom aren't home, so we tracked the doors around them, and set up two families for next week! So excited! Then we went to one last street and the first house there was a woman outside smoking. She invited us in and we started talking to her. It came to teaching her about prayer, and she was telling us how her son has met with the missionaries recently. My companion asks her son's name and realizes it was a kid she had met on the street and referred to the Elders. He was home, so we had a lesson with him and then told the elders to start meeting with him again =]

I am so grateful for the blessings of the Lord! We have work to do this week, getting our investigators baptismal goals again and finding more prepared people, but we are excited to do so! We have zone conference this week as well and I'm so excited and ready for a spiritual feast!!

I hope you all have a great week! The work of the Lord is moving along! I hope you all can help the missionaries in your areas. They, and your friends and family members who haven't come to know the gospel yet, all need your help!

I love you all!

-Sis. Busath

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Week 55: Happy Easter!

Hello Everyone!! 

I can't believe it's already April! Where is the time going! We just had Christmas didn't we? 

We had a great week here in Zhang Hua! We had a bit of a scary/exciting event: a 6.1 earthquake! The epicenter was about 45 minutes away from where we live, but we still felt it super strong! We were doing studies when it hit and soon enough decided we should go under our desks. We live on the 12th floor, so it was actually really scary. We had an earthquake about 3 weeks ago in GaoXiong, but that time the room just kind of swayed. This time it was violently shaking! Anyways, we are all fine. Our apartment is fine and we are all recovered emotionally =]

Other than that, not much else exciting happened this week. Today is move-call and my companion and I are both staying. We had another sister with us for a few days because her companion is training. It's been fun! 

We did meet with a new investigator this week! She was a referral from another missionary a while back, and we got to go visit her this week. We met her and her sister. They are not only super funny, but they are super interested in the gospel! So excited! We are going to go visit them again this week and start teaching them! We also met a super great lady on the road last night! She doesn't have a special religion, and she set up right there on the street! We are going to meet with her next Sunday! Yay!

Our other investigators are doing good, especially our mom, Wang JM and her son. They have so much faith and are so willing to keep commitments. They weren't able to come to church again last week, but hopefully next week! 

Last week for English we had an Easter party. We painted eggs and had an Easter "egg" hunt (we couldn't find plastic eggs, so we cut out paper eggs and taped them to candy =] ) and then talked about what Easter is and watched a small clip on Christ's resurrection. I am so grateful for Easter because it is another time that we can remember Christ and what he did for us. How grateful I am that because he was resurrected, we all will be resurrected, regardless of who we are, bad and good, old and young, we will all be resurrected. That is such a reassuring feeling!

I hope you are all doing well! Hopefully this week will be more exciting so that I'll have more to write. Sorry for the lack of pictures...we don't do much on preparation day so I don't have much to take pictures of. Here is a picture of the street outside our house. I know you'll all love to see it =]

Love you all!