Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Here are a few of the miracles we saw this week:

-Alpha and Beta
We have met with them several times in the past week and a half and they are doing so well- soaking it all in. When we had our second meeting with them, we asked them how their Book of Mormon reading was going and they had read the first 2 chapters of 1 Nephi in 3 days, which is huge. They had marked stuff and written in the margins. They are so awesome! Beta came to church this last week and stayed for the whole thing. They always ask the greatest questions, and we are so excited for their baptism on May 17th!

-Contacting in 'Miracle Park'
We found a great walking park and contacted a ton of great people. We had a conversation with a couple that was super prepared and asked a lot of great questions. We also started talking to a lady named I. Her sister's family was there at the park (the son, A, was shooting off water rockets and let us have a try- see the pic!). She was amazing! She kept asking us great questions, and she is already Christian, so she wanted to know what makes our church different. She practically took the Book of Mormon out of my hands. We met with her on Sunday and taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel and she committed to pray and read. We are praying really hard that she will get and answer and keep meeting with us. 

S is our cute 9 year old. When we went in, her dad and some of his friends and family were having a party. It was super loud, so we ended up teaching her and her mom and little brother the Plan of Salvation in a closet. She had absolutely zero trouble focusing, though. She really wants to be baptized. S is so sweet- she has such simple faith. We asked her if she believed Joseph Smith, and she said, "God answers my prayers- why wouldn't he answer Joseph Smith's?" (Joseph was confused because there were so many different churches and they all understood the Bible differently.  One day in 1820, after reading James 1:5, a scripture that had a great impact on his heart, he decided to pray to God to know which church he should join) She also has a baptismal date for the 17th, and we're really praying and working with her to make that goal.

-M Li
We were walking home on Sunday after having dinner at the bishop's house, and we were near the church when I heard a lady say in English, "Are you Mormon?" I turned around and told her yes!. She said she wanted to come to our church and asked when it was and when we had activities. She said she has a teenage son and she wants to come to church with him. This NEVER amazing!! She really wants her son to have a belief in God and come to our church. Sweet!
It rains A LOT in Taiwan

 -C JM
She came up to us at church on Sun and said she wanted to be baptized. Apparently her son was baptized here a few years ago and she was at all the lessons with him and came to church with him, but had no interest until now...she said she's ready to be baptized!

We came, we Raid-ed, we conquered!! Yay! No more giant horseflies or little toothbrush bugs! We discovered that our back door has a huge gap in the bottom, but once we fixed that and nearly suffocated the place with bug spray, they stopped coming in. Woo! I said to Sis Petersen that we were getting places with the bug situation, and she responded, "Yep, we're going places alright...places with lung cancer! If raid will kill a horsefly, it will definitely kill a missionary!" Hahaha! We've gotten so much companionship unity from our war with the bugs.

Bugs beware-your days are numbered!
 This really has been a miracle week. I know that all of these miracles are gifts from Heavenly Father. The week before last, we had a lot of promptings while we were out on the streets- go talk to this person, ring that doorbell, go back and give them a pamphlet- and none of them were fruitful. Every single time we would follow a prompting, the people wouldn't be interested or wouldn't be home. But I think this was Heavenly Father's way of testing us to see if we would be obedient. I think we showed Heavenly Father that we are willing to follow him, and this is one of the reasons why we have seen so many miracles this week. 

Other things that made this week great:

-lots of white butterflies
-lots of referrals from our members
-cool, overcast weather
-finding a little neighborhood with tons of greenery that looked totally untouched right in the middle of the city
-old men chewing binlong and yelling out "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!" in English. Totally not as creepy as it sounds. Everyone tells us we're beautiful because we're white, and it's not a creepy thing. Sounds weird, but it's hard to explain. 
-other old grandpas who pass us on the street and say "amen! hallelujah!" when they see our tags

We are working so hard and seeing so many miracles here in SongShan. 

I love being a missionary and I love you!

Me :D

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Temple, Bugs, and a Revelation

I love reading emails from everyone on Monday mornings...makes me so happy! Thank you to everyone for sending me emails even though I only have time to send you a short reply.

This week was really great! Here are some of the highlights:

Temple Square Tour day!
This week on Wednesday, it was our turn to do Temple Square tours. Mostly it was just great to be near the temple and teach people about how important the temple blessings are and think about how much the temple means to me.

Sister missionaries from central and east Taipei-together for training
One morning this last week, I went into the bathroom and discovered some little brown flying bugs on my toothbrush and flying around. So I washed it off and brushed my teeth, and put my toothbrush on a shelf in the hall. That night I went into the bathroom and was pleased to see that there were fewer bugs, and went to go get my toothbrush from the hall...only to discover that the bugs had followed it! The next morning, the bugs had multiplied and replenished the earth, so now there are bugs flying around everywhere. And last night we may or may not have had to kill a cockroach. Don't bother telling me- I know: where there's one, there's more. Regardless, this afternoon, I am buying some Raid and doing a Sydney B number on our apartment. Now, I know there are WAY worse places in the world as far as bugs are concerned. I'm just so not into bugs. Asia is just not a clean's turning me into a neat freak.

A Revelation!
Went somewhere on my mission that is a place from my dad's mission
I had a revelation as to why we have so many people who study with the missionaries who are reluctant to commit to baptism. Taiwan is a society of perfectionists. Their culture sort of makes them that way because from a young age there is a ton of pressure to be the best. You are always taking tests, even after you graduate. Studying and doing well is the way to honor your family and get a good job- it's just super competitive, and keeping face is important. No wonder people are a little wary of entering a sacred covenant with God- they know there's no way for them to perfectly keep their side of the promise and that upsets them. Also, love is expressed very differently, so it is more of a challenge to grasp the Atonement and God's mercy and eternal love. I think that's why they send so many perfectionist type missionaries here- we can relate to them, and watching them helps us realize that we are the same way.

not sure what that says about their ideas of animal health
 Beta and his friend...
Yesterday we met with an 18 year old guy named Beta and he even brought his friend. Guess what his friend's name is? Alpha. Yep, Alpha and Beta. They have a metal band together, and they enjoy growing plants and they want to build a free school in Africa. They are super great! They wanted to know what they need to do to be baptized and they really think about the things we teach them. We're excited to see them progress.

Someone asked, “When you eat with the members of the church, do you eat in their homes or eat out?”  (Here in Texas, the missionaries eat in the homes of the church members most nights for dinner) Answer- They always take us out. Very few people really cook a lot since eating out is so convenient and inexpensive. And no one has dishwashers or ovens.  And people here just don't use credit cards. It's mostly cash based.

One of the things I have learned since I’ve been here is that The Lord really doesn't need us missionaries- He could do this work much more efficiently without us, probably, but He lets us participate so He can change us and so that we can benefit and see His power. How lucky am I to be here at this amazing time!

Love you! Love the work! Love miracles! Love being a missionary! Love Taiwan!

Your favorite Sister Missionary-turned-exterminator

Monday, April 14, 2014

General Conference!

I love reading everyone's emails! It makes me so happy to hear from my friends and family!

General Conference was so great! (each April and October the church conducts a worldwide conference where Priesthood and female leaders in the church give counsel and teaching) It is like missionary Christmas, but twice a year. All of the talks were so good...the weekend just flew by. The main theme seemed to be that we need to be willing to defend our faith and our beliefs and recognize the "uncomfortable" part of discipleship. I LOVED Elder Ballard's talk (one of the twelve Apostles) because he talked about members of the church doing missionary work!! Before serving a mission, I knew that members of the church were important to missionary work, but now I realize just how essential they really are.! I also loved the apostles who talked about their wives- they are just so cute. :)

We are trying to work really hard right now with the members of our ward to visit them in their homes and help them make goals as to how they can share the Gospel with others, like directing people to, inviting friends to activities, doing family history and temple work, giving away copies of the Book of Mormon, etc, and then sharing their experiences with others. We met with a lady this weekend who has 4 kids and a really rough marriage situation, but without us even asking, she brought a friend to the lesson and also gave us 6 other referrals of others who may be interested in the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

 We got stood up a lot this week, but we also met some really cool one of Taiwan's congressmen! He and his wife were really cool and we gave them a Book of Mormon. We also met with someone who had starting learning about the church in the past who is now interested in learning more. Actually, we called her up and she said she was hurt, so she couldn't meet with us. We asked if we could come help her clean her house, and she agreed (which was exciting, because most people here don't want help- even old grandmas). Mostly we just helped her organize some of her stuff and put it in better piles, which was fun. :D Afterward, we sang a hymn with her, and she volunteered to pray. In her prayer, she thanked God for sending us and told Him that she hoped we could come back and say more prayers and sing more songs and talk about church stuff. It was so neat to see the way that service softens people's hearts.

Last p-day W Mama took us out to pizza hut. Now let me tell you...Pizza Hut here is NOT the same as in America. There are weird kimchi and "American" and seafood pizzas and Taiwanese soups and noodles. Pretty awesome, but not really my favorite place to eat. :D The people here love thousand island dressing- that's the only option if you want to eat salad. 

No sexual harassment, smoking, birds, or food on buses
 I want to share a few things I've learned this week from my study. How am I supposed to talk to everyone when I can't understand what they are saying back to me? I was praying about that and then opened my Book of Mormon to Ether 2, where I had left off the day before. When the brother of Jared is building the barges, he builds them according to the Lord's instructions. (the Jaredites were a group of people who were led to this part of the world around the time of the Tower of Babel.  Their journey and civilization here in the Americas are recorded in the Book of Mormon) As he was doing this, I'm sure he figured out that if he built the barges "tight like a dish" that would mean no light or air. If I were in that situation, I think I would be tempted to question the inspiration I had received or make my own modifications to fix those supposed problems. But that's not what he did- he was obedient to the lord. Later, after the trial of his faith, the Lord provided a way for light and air to get inside, but they weren't easy answers. They required some work, but these problems allowed the brother of Jared to see the Lord's hand- both figuratively and literally. I really felt like this applied to me. The instructions of the Lord are to talk to everyone, and this brings up the issues of speaking Chinese and understanding Chinese. The Lord will provide a way for me to overcome them, but I must show my faith first. The revelation I received was that I just need to speak to people as if I had perfect language abilities, and if the Lord needs me to understand or continue to speak, He will help me. I am so grateful for the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon- I know it's a tool the Lord uses to answer our prayers.  I am learning so much from being on a mission. It is stretching me and forcing me to work on my weaknesses and making me grow. I know the Lord knows us personally because he is giving me exactly what I need to become a better person, but also, he gives me exactly what I need to make it through the hard days. 
some employees out on the street doing synchronized exercises

I love Taiwan, love the people, love the food, love the work, love you!

Don't forget to get your guesses in on the price of my meal...only one week left! (see the picture with the grilled greens from last week and make a guess as to how much it cost in US dollars!

Sister Murri

Monday, April 7, 2014

Harry Potter is real

This week was great- we worked really hard. I've got some great, crazy stories from this week. First, Harry Potter. We were teaching English class, and we had everyone introduce themselves, and this 55 year old man introduces himself as Harry Potter. It was seriously all I could do to keep from busting out laughing the entire time. Apparently his English name used to be Peter, but when the HP movies came out, he decided to change his name. During the English class, he asked a ton of really good, deep questions about God and missionaries, so afterword, I went up to him to get his info and see if we could set up a time to meet. We realized that he lives in the Elders' area, so we told him to go talk to them. He is really an interesting man, and we actually saw him on the street several times this week. He tries to recruit us all to help him in his business ventures. We keep telling him he will have to wait until after we finish being missionaries, but he still keeps recruiting us anyway.  Next story- a few days ago while we were out on the street, a guy came up and told us that he is looking for Wyguoren (foreigners) for his modeling agency. He gave us his business card and everything. Sorry, bud, not going to happen! Last story- I had my hair curly and pinned up in the back, and a member family we went out to dinner with told me I looked like a mermaid. Cool! People on the street tell us all the time that we are beautiful because our skin is so white. 

skin whitening products used by the Taiwanese
 I want to tell you about some of our investigators. I think I mentioned S last week- she is the super cute 9 year old we are teaching. Love her and her little brother so so much. Next we have C Jiemei. She knows everything is true and has a testimony, but her mom opposes, so she is afraid to be baptized. We fasted for her this week, and we are really trying to help her have the courage to use her faith to do what she knows is right. Next, Y Jiemei. She is a lady we met on the street last week and had a great lesson with her. She is super sweet and humble- she works as a sanitation worker on the streets sweeping up trash. We met with her this week, and invited her to pray to know that the Book of Mormon and church are true, and she said that she already knows they are true. Wow! She said she knows because of the way that she feels. She is great.

Things I learned about Taiwan this week:
-Taibei has a ahem, distinctive scent...but I know I am acclimating because I don't smell it anymore
-Traffic. Traffic rules are really suggestions- even the lane markings. Pedestrians supposedly have the right of way, scooters ignore the right of way and just zoom through everyone, taxis claim the right of way, and busses ARE the right of way. They'll just honk until you move. The whole "3 seconds of space between cars" thing doesn't apply here either! It's crazy, but I actually haven't seen an accident. I am a little glad I don't have to bike in it though....
-People here love being busy
-the beds are wider than in sheets don't fit!
-Taking out the trash is an event! The trash truck, the food trash truck, and the recycling truck all follow each other around, and the trash truck plays Fur Elise really loudly so you know that it's here. When you hear the trash truck, everyone brings out their trash and separates it into the trucks. Everything has to be in specially certified (and expensive!) garbage bags!
-paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, and napkins are one and the same
-there is a relaxation clinic near our apartment where you just go and hang out with cats.

Those are grilled green beans and broccoli!
Good eats of the week:
-bouzas: puffy rolls with delicious meat inside
-sausage on a stick
 -drink that tastes like liquid gummy bears
-Taiwanese curry
-yummy pancake things with cream inside
-hot pot! Basically, its a restaurant where you choose a kind of broth and they bring it to you and put it on this special burner in the table, and then you go pick out veggies and and meats and noodles and stuff and put it in the boiling broth, which cooks it. So good
-tofu.....just kidding, it was actually gross. yeah.
-hard boiled ostrich was interesting. super salty and not at all like chicken egg taste. (food is so inexpensive there that the missionaries eat out for both lunch and dinner)
I still don't understand most of what is going on, but I am really good at smiling, so I do that a lot! I am not stressed about the language, but I really am looking forward to the day that I will really be able to talk to people and get to know them on more than a surface level. I know it will take time. Missionary work is not easy- it is hard sometimes and frustrating sometimes and annoying sometimes, and sad sometimes, but it is the Lord's work, and He gives us peace. I know that I am doing His work and that He is directing it.

Can't wait to watch Conference next weekend- everyone said it was so good in their emails.

Mu Jiemei

Love the English translation on this box!