I have been called as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve in the Taiwan Taipei Mission for 18 months. (Apr. 2014-Oct. 2015) This blog is a compilation of the weekly e-mails I send home, which contain my experiences, thoughts, and feelings in the mission field.
I noticed something that touched my heart and it's something that I'll never forget. As I was unlocking my bike getting ready to leave, I saw a blind man with a walking stick. He attempted to cross the road. As he did, he stuck out his walking stick straight in front of him. I saw that as he took his first few steps into the road with many cars, a man comes, grabs his arm and safely takes him to the other side of the road. I saw that when the blind man felt the man next to him, I could see that the blind man was suddenly comforted, put his stick down and held on to the man. After dropping him off, the man who helped him went back across the street and continued to walk in the opposite direction. I'm not too sure if anyone else saw what just happened in a matter of probably 30 seconds, but I did and the Lord did. It was so touching and I'm so grateful I was able to witness this tender act of service. Despite some of the things that happen, this world is truly full of wonderful people.
We found a miracle LA this week! The Lord seriously has a plan for everyone. After lunch we had some things that our landlord suddenly need to fix so we couldn't move forward with our original plan we had. After our landlord left, we only had about 30 minutes of finding before we needed to head back to the MRT to exchange back. I suddenly felt that we shouldn't go with our original plan. As we headed to our backup plan, while biking up there, I had this weird feeling to stop by the nearby park. As we parked our bikes, I realized that it was a really "not smart" idea because there was seriously no one at the park. Haha. But we said another prayer and went to work. I asked Sis. Luo if we could talk to a man and his two toddlers. We gave them an English tract. He said he attended before he was married and had kids. When we started to talk about families, we asked if we could pray with him. He then said that he was actually baptized in our church before. WHAT?! We ended up having a lesson and finding out why we left. We have a return appointment with him this week Saturday! The Spirit led us to find him and even though it seemed like a really weird thought at first, we later knew why the landlord came, why we decided not to go with our original plan, and why we had to go to the empty part instead.
Oh my goodness! The Lord is so merciful! At the temple on Wednesday, we met some Filipino sisters! They did an English session with us. They are Sister Emma and Sis. Naty. They asked us where we were serving and I said Beitou. They told us that that's where they first met the missionaries 4 years ago and were taught in Beitou. In fact, it was a Filipino elder who knocked on their door and helped teach them the gospel. Sis. Naty gave me a referral of her friend, Sis. Lita who was also taught with her but never got baptized. The next day, Sis. Lita calls Sis. Naty out of the blue after not having been in contact for 4 years. Sis. Naty was so confused and asked if the missionaries had visited her. She said no. But the next day after that, we ended up visiting her. (I had no idea of the phone call the night before). But we met Sis. Lita and asked why she hadn't been baptized yet. We also shared more about the message of the Restoration. I called Sis. Naty later that night to tell her that we visited Sis. Lita and she told me about the previous night. We visited again on Sunday along with Sis. Naty and other Filipino members and we set a baptismal date with Sis. Lita. She is ready to learn again. Perhaps this is a reason why I came to Beitou. Perhaps this is a reason why we were assigned to the temple that Wednesday and not some other Wednesday. Perhaps this is the time Sis. Lita is ready to be baptized. It was a miracle.
I love this work! I love being a part of it. Every second of everyday is a miracle to me.
Here is our website that our mission president, Pres. Jergensen made! He invites all of our family and friends to view it and see what's happen'n in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. :)
Filipinos, a Nicaraguan, and Americans eating Pinakbet, Paksiw, Vegetables and Patis, and other amazing Filipino dishes. :) I love being Filipino!!! I was able to practice my Ilocano and Spanish all in one place :) In the salmon is Sis. Lita and in the black is SIs. Naty. (Mommy you need to add them on Facebook!)
Another picture of them. :)
Lots of pink! In the back it's watermelon drinks!
Exchanges with Sis. Luo! These are what MRT's look like. I love them!
I'm sorry, I forgot to mention last week that this week our Pday is on Wednesday because we're going to the temple today!!!
Lately, Pday just comes without me even knowing. I feel like Pday waits for me. I no longer wait for Pday.
I like getting big, square-ish letters from my district leader. It usually means it's a wedding announcement! Haha. I like guessing who it's from and who's getting married. My trainer, Sis. Koch just got married last month. And this month I got an announcement from Melanie Serrao. She'll be getting married in August. So crazy how fast time flies! So happy for her!
As I'm getting older in the mission, I can really feel how I'm becoming the missionary the Lord expects of me. This week I really felt the Spirit in every phase of the work. 1) Where to go (we were led to a recent convert in a park full of old people). 2) What to do (I didn't know how to address the pack of cigarettes in his pocket but with boldness and the Spirit, I was able to ask). 3) And what to say (I didn't want him to feel like we would judge him or embarrass him but through the Spirit, he felt the Lord's love for him as we talked about the Atonement). The Spirit is with us in Beitou. The Lord is directing His work here. I am so grateful to be a part of it!
The view of Taipei 101 from the freeway.
Shout out in Espanol! ;)
Lunch with the Hong Family! They took us to an amazing Italian restaurant.
The Young Women performed the cup song for the Ward Talent Show!
The Primary danced for everyone. So cute! And so funny!
Exchanges with Sis. Haupt!
In America we use these things to hold napkins. In Taiwan it's used to hold straw/chopstick wrappers.
We bought some "Jesus Noodles." A Christian lady opened a restaurant and wanted people to know who Christ is so some of the dishes have "Yesu" in the name.
Lunch with the Xu family! Yes...that's Taiwanese burritoes!!!
Rumbing!!! Love love love!!!
On exchanges with Sis. Child in Neihu and met Sister Chen! Her husband studied at BYU-H so her daughter Kalani was born in Hawaii. :)
Beautiful Neihu!!! Went on a hike for morning exercises.
There are some things that I wish I'd known before coming to Taiwan on my mission. This might be helpful for missionaries who have gotten their call and are wondering what to pack. Haha.
1) Clothes: Taiwan has a BUNCH of really cheap clothes. I wish I hadn't brought so much of my own clothes. I would've just brought maybe 5 skirts and bought more skirts here in Taiwan (enough for the MTC). Then I wouldn't have so much clothes to carry around. It also gets pretty cold here in the winter. It doesn't snow but because of the humidity, it feels like it should start snowing, especially when you've spent the summer in Taiwan and it suddenly becomes winter. I had to use scarves, gloves, leggings, and boots during the winter. And again, you can buy all those things here.
2) Shoes: I would've just brought a pair of running shoes and missionary shoes and bought more shoes here as well. The shoes are so cute and pretty cheap here.
3) Rain gear: Taiwan has all the rain gear you need.
So last p-day, my companion and I go to the market. We find a Taiwanese burrito stand. It's called 'rum4bing3' I believe. And Guo JM starts ordering and says all these things. I am next and whatever she ordered sounded really good. So I just say that I want the same thing... When I took a bite into my rumbing, I realized that I made a huge mistake. She asked for wasabi in hers...And I really dislike wasabi. After I'm about halfway through my rumbing, I tell my companion what happens and she just feels so bad. Lol. On the flipside, I'm the one laughing at myself. We laugh about afterwards and she says that she wants to buy me another. However, I learned that because my companion is a native, I should ask what she ordered before I just say, "Oh, make that 2!"
Last week Friday we had a typhoon. Last week Friday we went proselyting in the typhoon. We got news that we were supposed to stay indoors all day. Then an hour later we got news that we were free to go out. It was awesome! We saw so many miracles! It was really windy and it was raining like crazy. But the Lord watched over us and blessed us with so many miracles that day!
So at BYU in the Wilkinson Center, there would often be people playing John Schmidt on the piano. I know that it sounded so good but I didn't know how intense it was to play his music. Well, last night, my life was made complete (haha). One of our ward members played one of his songs for us. And anyone who uses their forearm to hit the keys on the piano is AMAZING! I have so much more respect for the people who plan John Schmidt's songs in the WILK now. I think when I go back to BYU, I'm going to start clapping for those who play John Schmidt even though people look at my weirdly.
Here in the mission, we get this letter towards the end of our missions. We call it "the Death Letter." It tells you that they are about to start ordering our plane tickets and all that and it tells us our departure date. I'm scheduled to depart Saturday, November 7. Oh my goodness!!! That's less than 4 months away. It's time to start sprinting to the finish line!!! Here we go!!!
Love you all! Have an amazing week!!!
Zeng JM took us all to TGI Friday's!!!! So GOOD!
My companion and I and our water bottles. Haha.
The Zhang family!
This is a rumbing. Taiwanese burrito!!! :D
I love the mountains in our area!
I went on exchanges with our temple sister, Sister Graham during the typhoon!
Some really large mosquitoes.
My daughter, Sister Akita has grown up!
President and Sis. Jergensen's children! Maddi, Breckon, Daxton.
This week, my companion and I cried for America. Thanks to Meihua I heard about the Supreme Court Justices decision on same-sex marriage and I told my companion about it. We just cried together. Shes not even American and she cried. We love this gospel and the happiness and truth that it gives us and we just want to share that with everyone.
So many things happened this week. I wish I had more time to type them all out. But Ill share them all during the course of my lifetime.
Well while on exchanges with Sis. Johnson, we found a Christian woman named Shao JM. There was a gate that hindered our ability to ring her doorbell. As I tried to open her gate, I realized it had two locks. I said out loud, maybe the Lord doesnt want us to come here. Right after I said that, she comes out and asks who we were. After finding out that she was a Christian, we asked if we could say a prayer with her. After the prayer, she asks if we want to come in! President Jergensen, she felt the Spirit and invited us in! Thank you for reminding us of the power of prayer at MLC!!!! Okay, anyways, we enter in her home and share the #BecauseHeLives video. She starts tearing. Afterwards, her niece and her nieces family come over and she tells all of them to listen to the missionaries. They all gather around the table and we start teaching the message of the Restoration. We give them Books of Mormon and Shao JM says, Wow, Ive been hoping for scriptures. It was so crazy! The next Sunday Shao JM comes to church. And she walked up that hill to our chapel! She is truly a miracle and I cant wait to keep helping her progress towards baptism!
Have a wonderful week everyone! Love you all!
Pictures this week:
Ate dinner with the Jiang family again! We had our RC, Su DX and our Ward Mission Leader, Hong DX there with us too.
You know youre old when youre the oldest sister in your zones! Well, for the South Taipei Zone, Sister Van Tonder and I are the oldest. Oh my goodness, I am an old missionary.
Happy 4th of July with Sister Johnson! We had a passion fruit drink at Coco!
Our mission president and his wife made us Enchiladas and rice! I just about died. I was so happy!!!!
Our temple <3
Funny story, one of my friends from my freshman ward, Victoria Fisher married a man named Tyson Jergensen. I knew Tyson because he worked for SOAR as one of the ACT subject teachers so I saw him a lot as a SOAR counselor. Turns out that Pres. Jergensen is his dad. This world probably doesnt get any smaller. haha. I love our mission president and his wife!!!