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 Mormon.org, 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 people...like 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!