This is my letter to Pres. Day this week:
Don't you just love miracles that top off the week? These are the miracles that happen on Sunday, the very last day of the week. Yesterday, we had three Filipinos at church. I have such great respect for them because to Sis. Zippro and I, they aren't 'inactive.' They would be at church in a heartbeat if it weren't for their work schedule. They leave their families in the Philippines to work in Taiwan and to provide for their families. One of them, Bro. Romeo, an RM, brought his girlfriend for the third time to church and she wants to meet with missionaries. The other, Sis. Barila, comes whenever she can. After the lesson in Gospel Principles, she wants to start doing family history on familysearch.org. But in order to do that she needs an LDS account and she doesn't know her member record number to make one. We're going to work with the bishop and ward clerk to see how she can get it and also to see if her records and temporarily transfer here to Taiwan so that she can get her Patriarchal Blessing. I am slowly realizing my reason for being here in Taiwan and I know that it's no coincidence that the Lord called me to a place that has a lot of Filipinos!
This week, we've actually met a lot of Indonesians and Filipinos. It's so hard to communicate with the Indonesians because they are limited in their Chinese and English abilities. But I want to help them out so badly. I want them to feel the Spirit and know that we are representatives of Jesus Christ. I'm still learning how to do this despite the language barrier. Sometimes I feel like a failure because I can't communicate as well with the Filipinos even though I am full Filipino. I wish I had been fluent in the Tagalog language before. But I know that after my mission this is no doubt a pursuit of mine. I know that I'm called Mandarin speaking so that is what I'm focusing on now. I know that if the Lord needs me to communicate in another language, He will allow me to do so through ways that I already know how to do.
I don't know what happened this week! Either we can't find a sister peike, we get fang'd, or our investigator cancels. This has definitely been one of the most challenging weeks. But regardless, Sis. Zippro and I are able to see those tiny miracles in each day. Sometimes, though, it's hard to not think, "what did I do wrong? Why is this happening?" However, I can sense those times when I know it's nothing that I did but rather it's the agency of others or it's probably just a trial from the Lord.
One investigator, He JM, probably the most sassiest lady I have ever met invited us to her house only to drop us. She explained that having a God who gives us everything we have is just something that she can't fathom. We spent the last couple of lessons focusing on God is our loving Heavenly Father and on His Son, Jesus Christ. She said that it was just a personal problem for her to accept that. She knows we love her and she loves us too, but she just doesn't want to waste our time anymore. She didn't want us to be disappointed either. At the beginning of the lesson she wanted to give us back the Book of Mormon but at the end, she allowed us to leave it with her. Today during studies, I read the conference address by Elder Perry, "Obedience to Law is Liberty." I learned so much more about the gift of agency. I know that God gave us this gift because He loves us. And likewise, we let He JM go because we love her and she has her own agency. I know that God has a plan for her and maybe now isn't the time. But I have hope for her!
I'm not too sure if you remember, President, but I told you how learning Chinese was the last thing on my list. It was something that I never wanted to do or even imagined doing. Back in high school I told myself (and everyone else) that if for any reason I needed to learn Chinese, I said that I would hire a translator. I don't know why I didn't want to learn it. I think that it's because I knew it was the hardest language and I didn't want to put myself up to the challenge. But I am so grateful for the Lord's trust and Him allowing me to reach my full potential. Look at me now, I'm teaching in Chinese! It's a miracle! It's a blessing! It's only going to get better from here on out.
During personal study today I read this scripture in Abraham 4:21, emphasize added:
And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good.
God has a plan! In addition to the Plan of Happiness that He's given us, we know that from this scripture He is a planner! It's so important to always have a plan. In missionary work, if we don't have a lesson plan or a plan of what we want to accomplish this day, we won't be successful at all. I love planning! Granted, sometimes what we plan doesn't go through or new things come up. But if we have a plan and we put in our effort, the Lord will help us along the way.