Thursday, April 15, 2010

28 October

Wow, November is almost here! I feel like this month has just raced past. I think the cooler weather helped alot. Oh, and next week my preparation day is TUESDAY, so if you want to write me be sure to write a day earlier than usual.

Let's see, what is exciting about this week. My companion and I are riding just as much as ever but we have slowed down just a little (we have tried not to be so late so we don't have to ride so fast) and it is not so hot, so I don't feel like I am going to collapse every second anymore. Just every other second. Yesterday I was on exchanges so me and Sister Chen (my MTC companion) rode from Bade to Inge and then back to Bade and then to Taoyuan, took the train to Zhongli, and then changed back and Sister Olsen and I took the train back to Taoyuan and then rode out to Bade. Unfortunately my speedometer was not on so I can't tell you the stats, but I was so tired that in our 7:00 lesson I kept yawning. I thought I had covered them up pretty well but my companion told me after that it was really funny--I would be in the middle of a sentence and then there would be a long pause and I had this huge smile on my face (trying to keep my teeth clenched while I yawned) and then I would keep talking. Oh well. And I messed up a rather important grammar structure and instead of saying that Jesus Christ was crucified, He crucified them. I was so flustered after that that it took me several minutes before I could speak normally again.

Sunday night we went to a member's house for dinner. Unlike the US, the ward members in Taiwan don't usually have the missionaries over for dinner. But our MM leader in Taoyuan is a returned missionary from California (and the one before him served in Canada) so they started a program where each month they pass around a sign up sheet in Relief Society and we have dinners with the members most nights. It is a great chance to meet the members and work with them with referrals, etc--and most of the time the food is great. I have gotten used to almost all the foods in Taiwan and have come to love lots and lots of it. There is only one thing that I can't stand and that is stinky tofu--it smells like open sewer and tastes about the same. Well, Sunday night we went to this really sweet members house and she was so excited to tell us what we were having for dinner--duck soup and stinky tofu! Well, missionaries are always polite and eat everything but my stomach was really unhappy with me the next day. Oh well, the things we do as missionaries, right? :)

And then a little story about what I have learned as a missionary. When I left the MTC I thought I knew what to do to be a good missionary--and things like going to funerals, weddings, and track meets did not fit in that category. But I quickly found out that as missionaries, we are not entities unto ourselves--we are here to help the ward. And I learned that when you do what the ward asks you to do, no matter what it is, the Lord blesses you in incredible and miraculous ways. Last week we were going to visit a less active that the ward asked us to meet with. She had been quite hard to get ahold of and had cancelled on us before so we were a little wary of what we would find when we got there. What we found was a beautiful mother with two adorable daughters (12 and 10) and the 10 year old had not been baptized. Their 12 year old friend was over at their house as well and when we started talking about baptism and how we wanted to help the 10 year old (her name is Xiang Rong) prepare for baptism, their friend (Shu Hui) said, "I want to be baptized too!" So they both set dates for the end of November and all three little girls came to church on Sunday. My companion and I have been so blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord--He is pouring them out without measure upon us!

And one more lesson. I was reading in the David O McKay RS/Priesthood manuel and he told a story about his father, who on his mission to Scotland found that when he preached about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, the people turned away and would not listen. He decided to just preach about faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, etc.--the basics of the gospel of Christ. It says, "In a month or so he became oppressed with a gloomy, downcast feeling, and he could not enter into the spirit of his work." He decided to go to a cave (after several weeks of this) and pray with all his heart to find out how to get this feeling to leave. "He entered the cave or sheltered opening, and said, 'Oh, Father, what can I do to have this feeling removed? I must have it lifted or I cannot continue in this work'; and he heard a voice...say, 'Testify that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.'" (pg. 91-92)

After several months of being in Taiwan, I found that many people, when I told them the story of the first vision and used Joseph Smith's own words, spaced out, didn't listen, and then would ask weird questions as soon as I was done, such as, "Do you want something to drink?" It irritated me and I decided to not use Joseph Smith's own words, to just tell them the story and try to help them understand that God loves them and they can feel that love through the Book of Mormon. After all, most people in Taiwan do not have a correct understanding of or even belief in God, and I felt that this was an important principle for them to base their belief on.

Well, I soon learned my lesson and repented of this behavior and use Joseph Smith's own words as often as possible--even with members, etc. So yesterday we went to visit a referral in Inge and shared with her a first lesson. She had a Christian background but hadn't been to church in a while and wasn't really familiar with Christian doctrine. So we started teaching her the first and tried to get her involved. After a few unsuccessful tries, we just continued to the part about Joseph Smith, at which point her attention became fixed, the Spirit came into the room, and we bore powerful testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. It was beautiful. And then my companion (Sister Chen) asked her if she believed what we just said, and she said, "Yes. I don't know why, but I believe. I was getting so excited to hear what would happen!"

It was a beautiful testimony to me that through a knowledge of the Restoration, people can gain a beautiful testimony of the truthfulness of this work, the nature of God, and everything they need to know to progress to salvation and eternal life. This gospel is true! Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and through him They restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Love you all,

Sister White

No comments:

Post a Comment