Monday, October 20, 2014

"Being a monk is harder than it seems!"

I feel like the weeks just go by faster and faster! 

Blowing out her "candles"
My birthday was so fun- being together with a bunch of my missionary friends on the beach...doesn't get much better than that! We all ate mint m&ms (thanks mom!), built sandcastles, and took a ton of pictures. There are always a ton of couples taking wedding pics on the beach, so that provided for some great people watching opportunities. And my cute companion left little notes all around the house for me to find. So all in all, it was a great start to being 20. 

Funny stories from the week: 

-This week we contacted a guy on the street who told us that we were skinny- he said, "I expected Americans to be fatter. No! Not fatter....more wide." Hahaha! Then he asked if our church was the one that had polygamy because that sounded good to him. Well, we did a little doctrine correction, gave him a pamphlet, and went on our way. 

-While we were on exchanges this week, a group of old people doing their old people exercises (which mostly involve hitting themselves in various places and shaking different limbs) invited us to join them every morning at 5:10 for exercise and promised us it would make our bodies really healthy. Then we met another group of old ladies who started touching my skin and saying how white it is. I love Taiwan. 

-A guy on a motorcycle told me I looked like a movie star. I tried to share the gospel with him but then the light turned green and he pulled away. 

-The title of the email comes from a role play that sis Jenkins and I did yesterday. I was trying to help her get a perspective of what people here think about us (that we are a little weird) and how to connect with them. So I pretended to be a monk and contact her. It went really well until I realized that I don't even know what monks do or really what they believe in! So then we just had a good laugh. :D Sis Jenkins is great- she is really enthusiastic and loves to learn. 

The best parts of this week came from the lessons we had with our investigators:

We met with L twice this week and shared with him the gospel of Jesus Christ and the commandments. When we were talking about repentance, I used the analogy of if he lied to his grandma to illustrate the steps of repentance. He looked a little offended for a minute and then said, "but I don't lie to my grandma!". Hahaha! We assured him that it was just an example- that we weren't saying that to imply that he was dishonest. So cute. Last night we shared with him all of the commandments in one lesson- which is something we don't usually do; usually we split it up into two or three. But we knew that he could handle it. When we taught him about the word of wisdom, he said, "that's fine, I already don't do any of that stuff." What?!?! Everyone- and I mean EVERYONE- here drinks tea. Yep, he is awesome! The only obstacle we have run into is that his dad wants him to wait to get baptized. We asked him if he thought he was ready, and he said, "yes, but my dad doesn't want me to get baptized right now". So we are praying really hard and will be fasting for him and his dad this week. We are trying to find a way to get in contact with his dad (he lives with his grandma, but his dad is his legal guardian, so we need his permission). Luckily his dad is still fine with him learning about the church and coming to church, so I hope that if we can meet with him, we will be able to convince him to let his son get baptized. I think family opposition is the hardest part of teaching kids- other than that, they are so much easier to teach than adults because they are so willing to learn and change. 

We also taught W the Word of Wisdom this week. We explained the principles and then asked her what she thought of it or what she thought the hardest part of living it would be. She said, "I don't do any of those...I don't drink tea or coffee and I don't it shouldn't be a problem." What?!? That was the second time this week a teenage investigator has said that to us! These youth are so prepared to hear the gospel. In her closing prayer, she said, "Thank you for sending the sisters to my house. I am going to follow your commandments and not do any of these things."

This weekend we got to meet with L family. In the opening prayer, the dad said, "thank you for sending your servants here to teach us". I got chills when he said that- it was a neat thing to see that he already recognized us as representatives of Christ. We taught them the first lesson- the restoration of the gospel. They received it really well. We used lots of pictures, which the kids really liked. Mom- those things you sent will really come in handy with the 5 year old. At the end we asked them if they would be baptized on 11/22, and they all said yes! At the end, we asked if they would read 1 Ne 1 before our next visit, and the mom said, "I've already read past that." What?! We asked her where she was, and she said she had read through the part where Lehi's family builds the boat. Wow! We hadn't even asked her to do that- she did it all on her own! I asked her, "What do you think about it? Do you believe it's true?" She said yes, that she believes it is true. Wow. They didn't come to church yesterday because they overslept :( but we have a lot of hope for them still. 

 Yesterday after church there was a little 8 year old girl in our ward who was baptized. As I was sitting there during the service, I realized that it was exactly 12 years ago that I had been baptized- and exactly a year ago, I went to the temple for the first time. The Spirit bore a sweet witness to me of the necessity of these saving ordinances in Heavenly Father's plan. I want everyone to get baptized! I want to help these families become eternal!

I love you!
Sis Murri

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