Happy New Year! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. Some big changes have been happening in our mission and my preparation day will be every Monday now. Cool, huh? :)
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! It didn't really feel much like anything to us--the weather was quite nice, and Christmas morning (for me) I called my family. Which was fun, but what do you say on the phone to everyone--hello! ummm...hello! But it was exciting to hear my little nephew Peter's voice. (As a side note to my little sisters and brother, I hope you liked the Christmas package. Especially the dried spicy seafood and quail eggs :).
While I was talking to my family, my brother mentioned that he could tell from my emails that I was trunky. What?! Trunky? I think that we both decided that the word was "anticipatory," not trunky. I am quite anticipatory of the next thing--freedom, cars, and jeans. :) But I think the people in the wards here are more trunky than me for me to go home! They keep talking about how soon I am going home and how they will miss me--but not too much, because some of them have asked if they can stay at my house when they come to visit Utah. And then last night we were at a member's house eating dinner and the people there all started talking about how I am going home so soon and all the movies I should watch. I don't even like movies! And I still have 2.5 months left! But whatever. As my father said, I still have a lot of work to do--even if the members talk about me as if I have already died. :)
So yesterday I felt particularly guided by the Spirit, for which I was grateful. The past few weeks have been particularly discouraging, with a bunch of our really awesome investigators disappearing or telling us they don't want to meet anymore. When that happens it is easy to question your own ability to listen to and obey the promptings of the Spirit: "Did I do something wrong? Should I have contacted them more? Should I have contacted them less?" etc etc. And I have been feeling the numbers stress (missions are about service, not about numbers, right?) more and more lately. So yesterday I put some extra effort into my prayers, pleading with the Lord that He would bless our efforts in this area.
So we went to church in Bade. And then after it was over, we were leaving, getting ready to go home to eat lunch, and for some reason I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I didn't know what it was, just this nagging feeling. So after we had already unlocked our bikes and started leaving, my companion and I stopped and went back into the church. And just as we walked in, the elders (who were standing in the chapel with some girls) said, "Sisters--these two girls want a tour of the church and they want to get baptized!" (the elders are always a little overexuberant). So we gave them a tour and set up another time to meet with them. They were 17-year old neighbors who had taken a bus to the church just to check it out and see when we meet and if they could come to church. What a miracle! It was wonderful to see the hand of the Lord working like that. And although the elders could have given them a tour (and then set them up the next time for us, since they were girls), it was a beautiful tender mercy to see that He led us back in to the church just for them.
And then last night we still had 10 minutes before 9pm, so we stopped at a pay phone to call some land lines (we can't call land lines from our cell phone, and we can't use our land line. lame). I parked my bike and stepped up onto the sidewalk just as I put my hand up to smooth my hair down--and stood up right under a metal sign. It hurt my finger a lot, and just as I was about to get frustrated the Spirit let me know that I had been guided by revelation to put my hand on my head at exactly that moment. Otherwise, it would have hurt my head a lot worse than it hurt my finger! Isn't it a beautiful thing that Heavenly Father is so willing to guide and direct our lives--even in the little things that matter so little in the eternal scheme but are important in our personal lives?
That's about it. A member called us Christmas Eve and said, "Sister White, what do you want for Christmas?" My first thought was, "An investigator that wants to progress toward baptism!" And my second thought was "or a referral!" The ward members were so nice and gave us a lot of gifts. I have never received so much chocolate in my life! I guess that is the easiest thing to give missionaries, eh? I think I have gained back everything I lost from riding my bike all over Taiwan!
Love you all,