Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Baptisms, mountain climbing, and a little typhoon

This week will be my last week in SongShan! Sis Roy got the call Saturday night that she will be training this upcoming transfer, which means I will be moving! I was not surprised, actually- I've had the feeling all transfer that I would move. Transfer meeting is this Friday, so on that morning, I'll find out where I'm going and then head out! I have loved my time in SongShan. As I sat in church yesterday for the last sunday here, I realized how much I love the people who I've met the past 4 months! This past transfer has gone by SO fast! But I am excited for the new opportunities that are waiting in my new area!

Last Monday for p-day, we went with W Mama, the elders, and a couple of ward members and hiked a mountain! It was absolutely exhausting but so fun- and the views were incredible. The very last part up to the peak was 300 super steep rock steps basically straight uphill...we all huffed and puffed our way up and just collapsed at the top! Afterward W Mama took us out for mango shaved ice, which tasted so good because we were all so hot and sweaty! 

On Wednesday we had a little typhoon. It was not actually that exciting. No one was on the streets and we had to stay in our apartment until 1 pm (usually we leave after studies at 11 am) but other than that all that happened was a little wind and rain. 

The best part of this week was that H JM and her two daughters got baptized yesterday!!!! They are the most prepared people ever. They were a referral and had already been going to church for 6 mo- they just love the gospel and were so excited to get baptized! H JM said that she always thought her family was just different but didn't know why- as soon as they started learning about the gospel, she said she felt at home because everyone was like them- trying hard to be a strong family with good morals. Their whole baptismal process has been one miracle after another. Their schedule was free so they could meet often. They accepted all of the commandments in one lesson (usually we break it into two or three) because they were already living most of them, including tithing. They- especially the kids- just "clicked" with Sis Roy and me, something that just hadn't happened with missionaries they had met with in the past. The Lord's hand has been guiding this whole process! I am so excited that I will still be here in Taiwan in a year and will be able to accompany H JM to the temple to receive her endowment. That will be such an amazing experience! I feel like their conversion is a fulfillment of the promise in my setting apart blessing that if I would follow the Spirit, I would "have the opportunity to teach and baptize individuals who.... are waiting for you to arrive.”

I love Chinese! I feel like my Chinese is improving every day! I rediscovered again this week the power of the Book of Mormon. The past couple weeks, I had been skipping reading the Book of Mormon in Chinese because I felt like I needed more time to learn my phase 2 words. But then I started noticing that I was having a super hard time memorizing the words and getting them to stick. So, I made a more concentrated effort to read the Book of Mormon in characters for 30 min during language study and use the remaining 30 min for vocabulary. The result has been incredible: memorizing has been a hundred times easier, and the words just stick. I have no other explanation than the power of the Book of Mormon and the gift of tongues. I have been picking up a ton of characters lately- I can get about 50% of the Book of Mormon, which is super exciting! I really love Chinese- I feel like it just makes sense in my brain. So many blessings!

from SongShan for the last time,
Sis Murri

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