Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Love This Work!

Dear Mommy,

Are you ready for some exciting news?! Okay, well it's not that exciting but it is a fun fact that I just found out. So I am living in the same apartment that Sister Roy lived in when she first got to Taiwan! And I am serving in her first ward. How crazy is that?! She takes care of me so much. When I first got to Taiwan, there were so many missionaries who were expecting me because of the fact that Sis. Roy told everyone that her best friend was coming and that she was so excited. And now she continues to tell ward members wherever I go to take care of me. Serving with Sis. Roy is such a blessing from the Lord!

Another exciting news is that since I moved to the Central Zone, we are doing a pilot program for using Facebok in the Taiwan Taipei mission. So that means that I'll be using Facebook to proselyte! But according to my companion, we'll have to disable my old Facebook profile and the mission recorder will set up a new profile for me that is exclusive for the mission. I will only be able to add people in my ward here and use it only for the mission. But when I move out of Central zone, this profile will also be deleted. So this is surely new for me!

Here is my letter to President Day explaining some exciting events that happened this week:
Datong is certainly a different experience from Guishan but I love it just as much. I'm growing and learning in new ways. We had an incredible week! One of the things we did this week was do Temple Square tours. As we prayerfully set our goal for how many tours and referrals we wanted to have, I noticed that it was high, especially for a tour on a Friday. On top of that goal, we wanted 3 of them to be peikes. Well, the Lord just strengthened my testimony of how this is His work.

We got to Jin Hua and set up. We started with our prayer asking Heavenly Father to please send people our way. Immediately after getting settled and getting familiar with our resources, someone wanted a tour. It was a church member and her non-member friend. We found that they had been waiting for quite some time, especially since they thought that we'd be available at 1pm. When we finished that tour, we had a scheduled tour for 2pm with a brother. We asked the member sister if she'd be willing to peike for that lesson as well. During his tour, two other RC brothers came looking for us wanting a tour. After this lesson, she was willing to peike again. This wonderful member, Hong JM peike'd 3 lessons! She later told us how things she worked out. She actually was planning to have lunch with her friend and then go do a session at the temple. But because she misunderstood the time, she wasn't able to go to the temple. Instead though, she was able to peike for us and bring her friend in for a tour. She said it was doing the Lord's work in another way.

Later in the day, we found two sisters who came in the chapel and offered to take them on a tour and they accepted. We found out they were from China. We gave them a Book of Mormon before they left. What a wonderful opportunity to be a part in spreading the gospel to China!

Lastly, after dinner we get a call from the temple sisters who tell us of a last minute schedule. A male member wanted to bring his friend in a tour. The Lord is so merciful! He allowed us to achieve our goal of temple tours, referrals and peikes!!! He expects us to set the goals, have the faith, work, and let Him take over. He answered our prayer of sending people for temple tours.

This week, we really tried to focus on dividing our time equally in all aspects of missionary work. I feel that we were successful. I have a testimony of just sitting down and making important phone calls to former investigators, potential investigators, English class members, and sending referrals. While we do that, we must also talk to those around us. While we were sitting at 7-11, I decided to just spark a conversation with a sweet girl sitting next to me. She was on a lunch break from work. She ended up telling me about her family. Before she left, we offered to say a prayer with her. When I asked if there was anything in her life that we could pray for, she paused and tears came to her eyes. In the best English that she mutter, she explained how she was worried for her future and for her family. Although we didn't have a lesson with her, I truly felt the Lord had His hand in allowing us to meet her. He wanted us to meet her and to let her feel the Spirit. I can't wait to follow up with her and actually have a lesson with her!

I read this talk this past week entitled "Worship the True and Living God" By Pres. Spencer W. Kimball. He shares with us an important fact: " If a man owns a million dollars worth of gold … , he possesses approximately one 27-billionth ofall the gold that is present in the earth’s thin crust alone. This is an amount so small in proportion as to be inconceivable to the mind of man. But there is more to this: The Lord who created and has power over all the earth created manyother earths as well, even “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33); and when this man received the oath and covenant of the priesthood (see D&C 84:33–44), he received a promise from the Lord of “all that my Father hath” (D&C 84:38)"

What a promise!!! I testify of this and I know that there is more to this life than what the world has to offer.

Today we are going to Taipei 101! YAY! I can't wait to send pictures next week.

I love you!!
Sister Sagisi

I love custard pies! Now I know how Hawaii got them. It's a Taiwan influence. :)

I don't really know what that is behind me, but I needed a picture to send in this email so I took it yesterday after church while waiting to cross the street.

We visited Zhong JM! And this is Sister Roy with her a year ago.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It Takes Everyone to Get'er Done

Dear Mommy!

I'm sorry, this is going to be long because I have so much to say!!!

So I am in the Central Zone, Wanda District, Datong Area!!!! I am in the heart of Taipei! And I absolutely love it here! I would have never thought I would be in the city. It's so different than being in Taoyuan, which is very industrial, but I love it so much! We meet so many people and often times, the lessons that we have on the street are people who don't live in our area. They come here for work or to visit. It's nice to send out referrals to other missionaries in Taiwan and answer their prayers in hopes of receiving a referral. I've met people from the Philippines, Honduras, South America, England, Japan, Singapore, and more! My Spanish comes in handy ;) My Tagalog does too, but only enough to start a conversation, haha.

My companion is Sister Smith! She is from Salt Lake City and believe it or not, we attended BYU together last fall. But she was a freshman and we didn't know each other. She is two transfers ahead of me. She was supposed to train this transfer but her trainee didn't come yet because of VISA problems. So her trainee is still somewhere in America because they had to leave the MTC so they got relocated. But whenever those missionaries get their VISAS, I'm getting a new companion and will be transferred out. The hard thing about it is that we don't know when they are coming. It could be next week or it could be after this transfer. I love her so much and I love this place!

I'm also in the same zone as Sister Roy!!!! The Lord is so kind to me that he allowed me to be closer to my best friend! We had Outdoor Zone Conference on Wednesday and we had training while hiking a mountain. It was soo fun!

Mosiah 15:16 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace!

I have beautiful feet :) My mission president and his wife are some of the most amazing people that I have ever met.

Here is a portion from my letter to Pres. Day:
On Tuesday after Transfer Meeting, Sister Smith and I went straight to work! She asked me what I liked to do and I without question said, "Finding!" And she told me, perfect because that's what we really need to do. We went out finding that same day and ended the day with 7 lessons. The next day, we went out finding again. The Lord this time allowed us to fulfill our goal of 8 lessons. I just kept thinking, "is everyone in Datong this nice?" It seemed like everyone we talked to wasn't in a rush to leave and was willing to listen to us. One miracle that we had was in the last 30 minutes of contacting this day. We made a goal that on our way back home, we'd talk to everyone who passed us and hopefully have 2 more lessons to reach our goal of 8 lessons that day. And as previously mentioned, the Lord provided us with people who would listen to us.

The following days were a little harder. Many people wouldn't even stop to listen to us. But those first two days that we had together just boosted our confidence and gave us the strength to press forward through those rejections.

On Thursday, we went out right before Weekly Planning to go contacting and were looking for a place to eat lunch. We followed our stomach and our senses which told us that we were really hungry but wanted to find a convenient place where we didn't have to rush home to start WPS on time. So we decided to just eat in the place right under our apartment. As we sat down, this guy, Jerry Cheng, comes up to us and asks us if we are Mormons. We showed him the Book of Mormon and he was so excited. He said that he had just finished reading a book called "Spectacular Grace" by a Mormon author, Adam Miller, I think is his name. And the next book he wanted to read was "Letters to a Young Mormon Boy." We ended up giving him the Book of Mormon and having a lesson. He asked if he could use the Book of Mormon as a reference to the two books. We laughed and said, "no, it doesn't work that way." Well, he was blown away at the coincidence that he just finished reading the book and he meets two missionaries. We got his number and had him add us on Facebook so we can schedule a time to meet. He's a university professor so he's really busy.
Pictures this week:

My last FHE in Guishan. Sister Wu made this food for my going away FHE.

Bro. Huang was one of my favorite investigators. He has a baptismal date for 10/18!!! Pray for him  to overcome his Word of Wisdom/smoking problem!

My new companion, Sister Smith!!!

My last FHE with them!

In the city!!!! Me and my mango ice cream cone. Yes, I look like the Asian Statue of Liberty.

On the bus to go hike :D

President and Sister Day <3

The Sisters of Central Zone!

Sister Roy and Sister Sagisi...in Hawaii...? IN TAIWAN!

Boarding the bus!


My first Night Market experience. It's right behind our house.

Sister Su and her cute bakery!

This is the Ning Xia Night Market sign. I like it because it has Xia in it and I am wearing yellow.

I love this quote that Fabian shared with me: “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” -Joseph Smith

Remember the sacrifices we make and who we are making them for. :)

​Have a beautiful week! There is a typhoon going on right now outside but at least it's not during prime proselyting time. Love you!!!!

Sister Sagisi
Xia JieMei

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Farewell Guishan

Dear Mommy,

Saturday, during Daily Planning Session, we get this unanticipated call from our zone leader. Move calls!!! I found out that I'll be leaving Guishan. That's all they tell you. We find out on Tuesday at the transfer meeting. At the transfer meeting all the missionaries who are leaving their areas and their companions all go to the chapel across the Mission Office in Taipei. We all sit together and Pres. Day has a projector set up. He announces the areas and he announces who is with who. It really is a big party!!! But this time, I'm not too sure how big it will be because the new missionaries who are supposed to come from the MTC haven't gotten their VISAS yet. So we're praying for them.

Here is a portion of my letter to Pres. Day:This week was another speechless week here in Guishan. The Lord is just blessing with so much success. With the notice that I'll be leaving Guishan, we were all surprised but it felt right. I did not expect it, especially since everyone thought that Sis. Koch would be leaving, but I feel ready. I made Guishan my home. I truly grew here. I admittedly gave it my all. When I came on-island, I had a firm mindset that I will leave all of my areas better than how I found it. The feeling of satisfaction and love that I have from serving here in Guishan for the past 13 weeks are indescribable. I'm so grateful that the Lord trusts me enough to build other areas.

This past week, we've just been having days of miracles. One miracle occurred on Friday when we were contacting down Zhongxing Rd. It was afternoon and people seemed very chill. Well, in one situation we get completely rejected. All we said was "hello" and he immediately turned another way to walk around us. As we kept walking, a few minutes later we run into this girl who says, "I know that church" We later find out that she was baptized. And out of her mouth comes these words, "I know this church is true." Then she said that her mom also believes and knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It's that her grandfather or grandmother is a Protestant church member and doesn't want them to go to another church. She gave us her number, address, and we set up a time to visit their house. As she left, she said that her mom will be so excited. When she was out of sight, Sis. Koch and I screamed for joy!

Later that night, we were still searching for a peike. We were calling all day and it was a hard time because everyone is attending the YSA Conference and the guy we were meeting with is a university student. Well after trying our best, we called our WML who also called everyone for us. With no luck, he told us that we have one more option and gave us her number. We called her and no answer. We said a prayer to know what to do because we really wanted to meet with him and it was our first lesson that we'd have. And lo and behold, right as we said "amen" a few seconds later, she calls us back and we ended up having a wonderful lesson with a member present!

Yesterday was my last Sunday in Tao-1 ward. It was perfect. We had 2 LAs at church through our efforts and 1 investigator at church. And best of all, they were a part-family! I wrote about meeting the two daughters last week and having our RS president peike their lesson. They also committed to coming to church. And our RS president got in contact with their mom and invited her to church as well. The best part is that they all came!

Yes. Yesterday was my last Sunday in this wonderful ward. So as we got settled in and sat down for sacrament meeting. The first counselor, Bro. Liao explains the program. And he says in Chinese, "We'd like to thank Sis. Sagisi for serving here. She will be moving and we'd like to give her an opportunity for her to bear her testimony." WHAT?! Haha. Yes, my Chinese got so good because I understand that part. Well, it was an honor to bear my testimony to such a wonderful ward. And my Chinese improved so much from that first Sunday I shared my testimony with them. ;)

I want to quote a recent RM, Bro. Liao, who served in Melbourne, Australia, who spoke in Sacrament yesterday. "What do I keep on going when it's so hard? Because I do not want these souls to perish."

Every soul is precious. Let's go save them!

Love you! I can't wait to see where I am called to serve next.
Sister Sagisi

Sister Ma and Sister Chen. Sister Ma has been so good to me! She paid to fix my inner tube for my bike! Her daughter is serving at Temple Square so if anyone is going there, go say hi to her for me!!!

This is delicious! I still don't know what it's called!

Asian babies are the cutest! He didn't want to smile though.

Tao-3 Sisters! Love them!

Our investigator and her son came to English Party!!!

The District. Tao-1 District.

More BBQ!

What that? Chicken butt. It's quite good.

BBQ! Happy Mid-autumn festival!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Dear Mommy,

First, I would like to congratulate Fabian for making the BYU Rugby team! I was blown away by that! They are totally gonna go to nationals again this year!!! I can still be a cheerleader all the way in Taiwan. :)

This is my letter to Pres. Day that includes the successes of the week:
The Lord is pouring His blessings upon Guishan and the people here! Since we've been here, we have never had a more successful week than this past week. And it is solely due to the Lord and His timing. I'm just blessed to have been a part of it. Well, where do I begin?

There are things to sacrifice in order to obtain blessings. On Monday, Sis. Koch told me that instead of going to FHE with a member family that normally invites us for FHE, she felt in her Sunday night prayer that we needed to go contacting instead. I, of course loving food, was a little less than happy to accept the plan. But we did see a miracle. After an hour of rejection, we found a new investigator. This investigator always wanted a bible. And when we gave her the Book of Mormon, her eyes just lit up and asked, "really?!" We have not been able to meet with her but I look forward to meeting with her hopefully this week!

On Tuesday and Wednesday we had exchanges. It was just so nice to talk to Sister Miller. I found strength through just talking to her and hearing her insights on things. We also encountered miracles while together. We wanted to head up to Min Quan University and go contacting in the college town. However, while on our way there we talked to some people along the way and asked about the college. They said that classes don't start until 9/15. We pondered whether we still wanted to go up the long hill...and I thought, "we might as well." On our way up, I felt a need to stop on the side of the road and just go door knocking. I wasn't too sure why because it was the afternoon time and people are normally sleeping. After 30 minutes of no one opening the door to us, I finally said, "okay, one more door then we can head out." But just as I said it, we see someone walking on the other side of the road. So then I say, "after her, then one more door." We go and talk to her and have a lesson. Her name is Alice Liu. We explain our purpose and share a little of the Restoration. We also ask her to give the closing prayer. It was the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard in a street contact. She started to cry and she just poured her heart out in the prayer, thanking God for allowing her to know that He still loves her and cares about her. She is looking for a job right now and she was on her way to meeting with a college professor to give her an opinion on what direction she could take. The Lord is mindful of everyone's situation. I am so grateful we were there at that specific time. We set up with her to meet again and we gave her a Book of Mormon.

We also tried to go Less-Active hunting. We have a list of members in Guishan and decided to try a specific area. Instead of finding an LA, we found a new investigator! The LA that we tried visiting was this girls mom who wasn't home. Her mom actually divorced her dad so now she lives with her dad. Well, she let us in her house and we had a lesson. We found out her situation and found that her older sister is also a member. We set up to visit 2 days later when the older sister will be home. So yesterday we visited the both of them with the Relief Society president. That was a blessing as well! We hadn't planned to have the RS president peike but because the lesson before had cancelled and we were invited to a last-minute dinner before, circumstances allowed it to be this way. And there was no better way! Our RS president recognized the older sister and was actually just recently thinking about her and her mother. The Lord seriously works in mysterious ways! Well, the two sisters committed to coming to church next week Sunday!!!

I wish I could talk in detail about every success we had this week. The other success of having new investigators came through just diligently taking the time to make calls to people we've had street lessons with but weren't able to set up.

This week was so great! I read a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott entitled, "Living a Life of Peace, Joy, and Purpose." I would like to share two quotes from it.
"God uses faith to mold your character... Character is the manifestation of what you are becoming. Your character will be the yardstick that God will use to determine how well you have used your mortal life."
"You really have no idea yet who you are and what you can accomplish in life. You have great potential far beyond what you can imagine today."

I'm learning so much about character on my mission. What a wonderful time to reflect on my character and see what I want to change in the next 14 months of my life to be more of the person God wants me to be. A mission really is the time to prepare myself for who I'll be when I'm 60 and in the eternities.

I saw this on someone's shirt and it was worth recording. "Essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail." Yes. I love it!

Love you!!!!
Sister Sagisi

Tsui Mama took us out for dinner. One of the best noodle places in Guishan!

Melon ice cream at 7-11. These 7-11s are the best!!! This is Sis. Miller, one of my sister training leaders!

Love park <3

Check it! A closer view of my hat.

GUISHAN HATS! It's the character for Guishan. Can't wait to rock these in America. We got these from a baseball coach. Next week I'll share the story of how we obtained these hats. But this is our most prized possession right now. Other than the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of course.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! A member gave us these moon cakes!

It looks like a turtle. :) Guishan...hehe.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Smile Bigger

Hi Mommy,

This past week we had the Memorial Service for Elder Thredgold and Elder Xiong. What a marvelous opportunity to hear of their stories and to learn more of what kind of people and missionaries they were. Elder Thredgold's mother always told him to "smile bigger" and he was always willing to help someone in need. Elder Xiong was so bold and always brightened everyone's day. They both remind me of the type of missionary that I want to be. I need to talk to more people, love more, and smile bigger!

Here is a portion of my email to President Day about my investigators:

One of our investigators, Luna, is progressing so well! She came to FHE at our WML's house. She's slowly reading the BOM and as she reads, she likes to ponder. She has also been praying. When we followed up on her thoughts of the Plan of Salvation, she said that it's very abstract, and she was very respectful about it. She has a baptismal date for 9/20 and we are so excited for her. Although right now, she just feels "content" about her baptism, we want her to feel prepared and ready!
Another investigator, Huang DX, is also slowly progressing. Scheduling with him is not a problem. In fact, we've been consistently meeting with him twice a week for the past 3 weeks now. However, his work schedule is a problem for him coming to church. He only has two days off in a month. He was a devout Christian and he hasn't been to church in a while because of work. But each time we meet we know that he wants to follow Christ. He was even touched to tears when he heard about the service of missionaries and how he wishes he could serve the Lord like that. We talked about church attendance in our last lesson and we'll keep encouraging him to really make an effort to come to church.

After thinking would never meet with her again, a miracle happened. We were able to have a peike with Wang XiaoJie! We were so happy that even though her husband opposes, she still allowed us to come over to her house. We didn't have much time, but we sang a hymn for her and it seemed like she developed a small friendship with our peike who also spoke Taiyu.

It's a new month and time is just going by so quickly. I want to share something from my personal studies this week. This is from a conference talk entitled, "Drawing Closer to God" by Elder Terence M. Vinson

"...rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him."
"For us to be like Him is His goal."
"Our Savior wants us to really love Him to the point that we want to align our will with His. We can then feel His love and know His glory. Then He can bless us as He wants to."

Each and every day, my love for missionary work grows. It's become my life right now. The thought of people around me who don't know of Jesus Christ and His love just saddens me and it pushes me to talk to more people. Missionary work is so hard, but if we know that He is our strength, we can do anything.

Love you!
Sister Sagisi

Don't be decieved. These stairs aren't as bad as they look. 70 year old grandparents do this all the time. :)

We made it to the first gazebo. This hike is in my area! Guishan is absolutely beautiful.

I look like I gained 30 lbs. It's probably true. But hey look we found tortilla chips, salsa, and pico de gallo in Taiwan!!!