Hello everyone! It’s just little old me, still here in central Taipei serving with a bunch of great people.
All this weekend it was raining cats and dogs. Taiwanese rain really is something. It was raining so hard for so long, I was surprised that everything didn’t flood! If it rained as much in Utah as it did here, the whole valley would flood I think.
One of the most interesting investigators we are teaching right now is this 50-ish year old woman named lu jie mei. She fang’ed us twice the first two times we set up with her. Then on Wednesday it was raining really hard. She called us and really wanted to meet with us but she had no way to make it to the church. She told us she was in an area outside of our district so we got permission from the zone leaders to take the MRT to her sister’s house so we could begin teaching her.
Then on Saturday we did a temple tour with her and taught her the restoration and about Thomas S. Monson. And we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She definitely has the desire but her health is not at 100% and due to the rain she didn’t come to church on Sunday. She also is a little bit slow and a little bit nutty. But we’ll keep working with her.
Last week for P-day we went to Taipei Main station and got Coldstone ice cream. Haha. Then for English boarding that night some random Japanese people gave Sister Bradley and Sister Barber a stuffed alpaca! It was really funny. They tried to give them an English tract and they just handed this stuffed alpaca to them and said “Present!” Sister Bradley, the nice person that she is, pointed at it and said, “You don’t….want?” And they in return, looked really confused and said “want….want…” a couple times, then shook their head and said, “No, Alpaca!” and basically pushed it into their hands.
On Wednesday night we had dinner in the mission office building with the Temple president! It was very interesting. His half-deaf older brother was there and talked to us about the Canadian medical system and sports. The temple president’s family is truly awesome–they are so blessed and you could just feel the love in their home.
On Thursday night we had dinner with some of the other sister missionaries at Macho Tacos, a LITERAL Mexican place in Taiwan. (It’s no Cafe Rio, that’s for sure, but it’s just close enough.) There is probably n where in Taiwan with such a highly concentrated group of Caucasians constantly congregate. But as we were eating there this random American guy working in Taiwan started talking to us about his problems at work and home. He talked a lot about “being the Alpha dog” and wanting to talk smack with people, but as we shared with him the wonderful example of Jesus Christ he was very accepting.
On Friday we took Tina to the temple! She is moving back to Canada in a few days so it’s truly cool that we were able to give her this opportunity only two weeks after she herself was baptized. It’s kind of funny because us, the English ward bishop, and countless other people have told her what we do in the temple. But as we were about to go inside and we talked about doing baptisms for the dead, she had no idea that we had actually planned on doing baptisms for the dead with her that night. She was like, “can’t we just look around?” But we were able to talk her into doing baptisms in the end. And she liked it.
I’ve learned a lot this week.
Here’s a section of the letter I sent to my older sister:
By the time I entered the MTC I think I had basically abandoned all the expectations I had about what a mission could/should be and just kind of went along with the unique ride I knew I was about to have. In fact, everything happened so quickly that I didn’t even have any time to breathe before the mission just…happened. It kind of forced itself upon me like one of the rainstorms here.
So basically I’m telling you, get rid of all your expectations about missionary work because every mission is so unique and is designed to test/help the missionary grow the most, provide them with all the tender mercies they need, and to get them converting the people they need to convert. We are also meant to serve with the missionaries we serve with, meant to have the mission president we have, meant to go to the places we’re meant to go to.
When I was in the MTC, I realized that even though I was serving a mission, God could still have had a great plan for me even if I had decided not to serve. It was during a dark time where I thought that literally nothing could be better than just giving up, going home, and starting school again. It would have been so easy.
But now that I’ve been out here in Taiwan for 5 months I know that being here and sticking it out means that God can truly work wonders for me, even more so than if I had decided not to serve. If you don’t serve a mission God will still bless you, but if you do serve a mission He will pour out so many blessings into the eternities that you really won’t have room to receive it–especially as a sister missionary.
If you choose to serve it’s going to be rough. No doubt about it–although every mission can be a dream of a mission if you look at it the right way.
When things get rough on your mission, all you have to do is think for a second about everything you’ve seen and done and then you’ll realize that you wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. In. The. Whole. Dang. World. No siree.