Monday, June 22, 2015

From Taipei for the last time!

This is a pretty strange email to write. 

My setting apart blessing promised that if I followed the spirit, I would have the opportunity to "teach and baptize those who you knew in the premortal life, who are waiting for you to come". 

When I moved here last transfer, it didn't seem to make any sense for me to have moved to this particular area at this time. President Day told me that he had a very strong impression that I needed to serve here. I figured that God had a specific purpose He wanted me to fulfill here, and I was excited to know what that was.

view from the train ride to the east coast
I know why I am serving here.

My first week in this area, we got the referral from another set of sisters for CT. They said she was super awesome, and wanted to be baptized. I called her and set up an appointment with her. I remember praying to God and saying that if she was someone that I knew in the spirit world, then I knew that she would be able to get baptized before I left, and asked that if that were the case, for us to know what to do and how to help her and make that happen. She is getting baptized this Thursday evening. I can't think of a better way to end my last proselyting day. :D In Sister Graham's words, "Heavenly Father is awesome!". The whole situation is too "coincidental" to not be an incredible manifestation of God's ability to keep His promises. CT  moved here to Taibei from Taoyuan a month before I got here, but we didn't get her referral until my first week. If the referral had been sent right when she moved, she would certainly have already been baptized by the time I got here. 

 one of the sisters I taught last year 
She is incredible. She has such a pure heart. You know someone is prepared when the most spiritual lessons you have with them are about the word of wisdom and tithing. She actually started off the lesson by asking us if there is an age limit for girls to go on missions, because she was thinking about it. Teaching her is such a privilege! I think I have learned so much more from her than we have taught her. She had her baptismal interview yesterday before church. We were waiting outside for her while she met with our district leader. It's been such a privilege to have had a front row seat to the most amazing work on the planet. This isn't the end, though- just a new start. 

from Taibei for the last time (or at least until I'm called back as a senior missionary!),
Sister Murri

Monday, June 15, 2015

Seeing my "baby"

This week was a good one! We spent Thursday-Sunday morning down in Hualian exchanging with the sisters there....including my "baby", Sis Jenkins! It was so fun to see her and work with her again and see how she has developed and grown as a missionary. 

~First a neat experience with the Holy Ghost and finding this week:
 God really does number all of his sheep, and He knows them. Last Monday night we were out knocking and Sis Graham and I both had the impression to knock on a specific door. It wasn't a strong urge or a push, just a subtle idea~ so subtle, in fact, that neither of us said anything to each other, just both walked toward the same door, even though there were no lights on inside that we could see. The man who opened it recognized us as missionaries, and said he was a member of the church- but  it had been a while since he had been active. He actually lives in TaiNan, but comes to Taibei once a month to see a doctor because he has lung cancer. He told us he had been preparing to head back to TaiNan in just a few minutes when we knocked. We were able to have a little lesson with him on the door step and invited him to attend church this Sunday in TaiNan. We'll probably never know what happens to him, but it was a tender mercy to see how the Lord led us to find one of His lost sheep.

~And onto investigators...
C is FABULOUS!! She has a desire to get baptized and just loves learning about the atonement and the plan of salvation. She is on track to make her baptismal date of 6/25, my last prostelyting night. I am so grateful for the chance God has given me to work with her. 

The H family is doing great as well. I'm not sure if they will make a June baptismal date, but they are progressing toward baptism, and it will be an amazing day when they do enter into that covenant. 

~Sis Smith (Nicole's previous companion) called me with several pieces of exciting news from XinZhu:
-W is going to the temple to do baptisms for the first time on Friday!!
-W, the wife of the Z who we helped to reactivate, is getting baptized on the 25th! And her husband is baptizing her!!!
-A girl that Sis Smith and I met on our last night together is still going strong and coming to church every week and praying seriously about baptism.
-L was able to give his first blessing as a Melchezidek priesthood holder to another member of our ward who was sick this past week

Next week we'll be spending Thurs-Sat in TaiDong doing will be a busy one! 

Love you! 
Sis Murri

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Focus on "the One"

Wow, this week was crazy- and filled with so many miracles. I have come to realize this week that one of the greatest feelings in the world is to be a tool in God's hand- I was blessed to have several experiences this week that reaffirmed this to me.

I am trying to focus on the One- not just in our area, but with the sisters in the mission. I learned that Christ's greatest influence came through His ministry with individuals, not with groups- and I want to apply that to this transfer. Similarly, my greatest ability to help and influence and minister probably isn't in the trainings I give or a testimony I bear in sacrament meeting (although those things are important and influential) but rather in the one on one interactions I have with God's children. I may not be able to meet ALL the members in the ward, but I can make sure that I am able to spiritually lift the ones I do interact with. I may not know well ALL of the sisters in the mission, but I can pray to know what God would have me say to the one I'm on an exchange with. That's what I learned this week.

A miracle experience I had this week was in finding. Sis Graham and I had about an hour, and decided to go to a place that we planned to weeks ago but had never gotten to go to. We thought from looking at the map that there were some small lanes with houses that we could knock, but when we got there, all there were was tall office buildings. We saw some doorbells that were facing the street, but didn't have any particular feelings about ringing them, so we kept riding our bikes...and riding...until we got to our area boundary. We were a little confused because we hadn't felt prompted to stop at any point along the way, but really felt like that was where we were supposed to be. We stopped for a minute and said hi to a college kid walking on the street- and ended up having an INCREDIBLE, entire first lesson with him right there on the sidewalk. He is one of the most truth-seeking people I've ever met and thought so deeply about everything we shared and asked really good questions- just a really genuine person. He set up to meet again and said in the closing prayer that he really wanted to know if all of this was true, and was willing to read the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately (for us) he lives in the Elders' area, but it was just such a privilege to find him and be able to share with him the message of the Restoration. It was amazing to see how the Holy Ghost led us to be right where we needed to be at the right time. 

the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
Next Miracle experience- I was on an exchange with another sister, working in her area. We were in a park contacting, and we saw a lady in the distance who was walking with a little kid, and we decided to go contact her. As we approached, she got a big smile on her face and said hi to us. Turns out she had met with sister missionaries before, and had loved it, but had gotten busy and sort of stopped meeting with them. But she was super excited to see us, and set up to come to English class last night. She told us what a "coincidence" it was that she ran into us right then- she had planned to meet a friend at the park, but right as she was heading out the door, her friend texted and cancelled. She decided to come anyway....and ran into us. Pretty amazing. 

Not done yet! This week we got to help one of our Recent Converts go to the temple for the first time to do baptisms. It was such a neat experience- we got to be like temple workers and hand them towels and squeegey the floor. I love the temple, and the influence that it has on new members' faith.

Okay, last of all, I want to tell you about our INCREDIBLE investigators. They are miracles in and of themselves. 
-H family: Dad, Mom, 9 year old son, 5 year old son. They have been coming to English class for about 6 months but hadn't ever been invited to meet with missionaries. We invited and they accepted immediately, and even came to church last sunday! Their 5 year old son has a terminal disease that requires constant monitoring, so the Dad does that, and the mom works night shift as a nanny to support the family. They are amazing. They currently all have dates for the end of this month (6/28). It will take a miracle to get them there, but I believe in miracles :D

-C T: She was a referral from another area and had already had the first 2 lessons and been to church twice when we got her. She is such a sweetheart! I asked her if she had a baptismal goal with the other missionaries she'd been meeting with, and she said, "yes, but then I moved here, so I need you to help me have the lessons and get baptized." Can do :D She now has a goal for the end of the month as well. 

 This week is going to be CRAZY! Zone Conference all day Wednesday, and then we're taking a trip to HuaLien Thursday through Saturday for exchanges with sisters on the east coast. It's going to be a great week! :D

Love you, Sis Murri

Monday, June 1, 2015

"My mission is not about me"

Hi again! This week was good and busy- filled with meetings and exchanges. This week we provided trainings at a New District Leader/ Sister Training Leader meeting, a Trainer/Trainee follow up meeting, and our monthly Mission Leadership Council, and exchanged with both sets of the sisters in XinZhu, which was really fun. 

I feel like every week I learn more and more that you just have to pray about the truthfulness of things! We met (in two separate lessons) with an active member this week and an investigator who has been investigating for 2 years but hasn't been able to be baptized because of family opposition and talked about Joseph Smith with both of them. Neither had actually prayed and received an answer about him being a prophet. They both just "believed". I feel like there are 2 levels of knowledge- the first is a more logical or "this makes sense" sort of knowledge. The second comes from the Holy Ghost as we exercise faith and pray for testimony. The first kind is great, but the second is absolutely essential. We invited both the investigator and the member to join us in praying every day this week for a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. I felt my own prayers answered as we read Joseph Smith's account of the first vision and I felt the spirit witness to my heart that everything we were reading really happened. 

We found a couple of really great new investigators this week, one of whom set a baptismal date, and the other ones are a family- a dad and two sons! I'm really excited to see how they progress. 

Also, just because it's funny....

Foods I Didn't Like Before My Mission That I Now Like:

I am still trying to adjust to the new type of missionary work that is serving in this area. I think one of the things that God is trying to teach me is that my mission is not about me. It is supposed to change me, it's all about my work and effort and love and change...but it's not about me. 

Well, that's about all for today....

Love you!
Sis Murri