Dear friends and family,
Today I would like to share with you the best thing that has happened in my life, besides of course the saving ordinances such as baptism, temple ordinances, and being called to Taiwan on a mission.
THIS PAST WEEK WE GOT A BOOK OF MORMON IN PINYIN!!
For those of you who do not know what this means, I have never been able to read the Book of Mormon because the only copy the church had was one in Chinese characters--and since there are about 3,000 or so characters, and I can't by any means memorize them all at the MTC, I couldn't read it. Pinyin is the sounds the Chinese makes but written in the English alphabet. We have a Pinyin Preach My Gospel, but the work will move forward so much more incredibly quickly now that we can read along with our investigators, or write talks using scriptures for sacrament meeting (which we do every week and, wouldn't you know it, this week the branch president called on me to give a talk--the first week I could actually use the Book of Mormon!).
Our teachers have been preparing us for this and said if we exercised enough faith and showed the Lord that we really wanted it, we might get a Pinyin (actually a 3-column, with characters, pinyin and English) before we left the MTC, and we have been praying and exercising our faith. Miracles do come through our faith and the timing of the Lord!
So that you all can share in on this bounteous blessing, I will share a verse of scripture with you all. Since this computer doesn't even have italics and definitely doesn't have the Chinese tone marks you will miss out on that, but here is the core:
"Ta bi dao ge chu qu, shoujin ge zhong tonku, zhemo, shiran, yiyingyan ta yao chengdanren min tongku, jibing de yuyan." (Alma 7:11)
Wow! Exciting! I feel like I should declare glad tidings from Cumorah! Imagine a life without being able to read from the Book of Mormon--and then one day after gym you walk into your classroom and there it is, sitting on your desk, in all of its newness and glory!
Needless to say, the Chinese-Mandarin department is quite excited about it. I feel incredibly blessed to be a Chinese speaking missionary at this time--lots of incredible things are happening that are moving the work forward at an incredible pace--and in two weeks I will be in Taiwan! With a Book of Mormon!
In other news, my younger sister got engaged. So in the first 9 weeks of my mission, I missed my brother's baptism and two sisters got engaged. Really, I should go on a mission more often! (Both will get married in December-or Kaitlyn early January.)
And finally, the topic I have been studying to teach in Chinese this week is tithing, so I decided I should share a story with you about how paying tithing has blessed my life. Last year I bought an old car with a lot of problems. I had no money (I never have money!) and my brother fixed the essential things at cost for me. I took it in to be inspected one day so I could get a license and it didn't pass the emissions test the first time around. When I took it back in, with my brother having done what he could, they tested it again and it almost, but not quite, passed. They said they would run the test again since it was so close.
I immediately started praying. I had no money to pay for another inspection, let alone get it fixed, and I told the Lord, "I am a faithful tithe payer. I don't have money to fix this car. Please let it pass inspection."
I am sure that you all know the end of the story. Matilda (my car) passed inspection--and I fully believe the Lord helped it pass because I paid my tithing and had faith that by obeying that commandment He would bless me.
So what about all of you? I would love to hear stories of how tithing has blessed your lives.
I love you all. I love the Book of Mormon. I love this gospel. I love Chinese. And in two weeks, I go to Taiwan. !!!!!