Hello and welcome to my last email as a missionary. Before I leave you with a few closing thoughts I thought I would tell you some funny experiences. It just wouldn't be natural if you read an email from me and didn't laugh.
First of all, last Sunday we went to stake conference up in Taipei. I was getting a drink of water when suddenly I heard someone say, "Hey Breanne!" Shocked to hear my first name, and especially to hear it in English (because everyone calls me "Sister White" but in Chinese) I turned around and saw Anna, my dear friend who was in my branch in Jordan. She is Taiwanese and last year moved back to Taiwan. And then I ran into her at Stake Conference! It was really a beautiful little tender mercy to see my dear friend from Jordan in the middle of Taiwan.
Well, and I forgot what I was going to write that was funny. So maybe just laugh.
And now, as I conclude my final email as a missionary, I wanted to tell you about my testimony but in a different way than just saying "I know...". I want to tell you about three people on my mission that represent faith, service, sacrifice, and the truthfulness of the restored gospel.
The first is Huang Xin Wei, who has been baptized for a little more than a year. Before she met the missionaries her life was really difficult and she has a 2-year-old son but no husband. However, her son's father is very controlling (in Taiwan if a case goes to court almost always the father gets the children, not the mother) and controls her life, including where she lives and tells her that she can't go to work. She also can't go home to Hong Kong unless she doesn't take her son.
One day several months after she was baptized her son's father got angry about something (he still visits his son frequently) and told Sister Huang that she could choose her son or the church, but she couldn't have both. Sister Huang was devastated. She fasted and prayed and finally told Heavenly Father, "I won't leave the church." And Heavenly Father, seeing His faithful daughter's sacrifice, changed the heart of her son's father, who changed his mind and said he didn't care if she went to church.
Her story reminds me of the first chapter of Moroni, where Moroni says he is in hiding because the Lamanites would kill everyone who would not deny the Christ. "And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ."
The second is Achin, my dear friend from Indonesia. Even after she joined the church her life still had many, many trials. She misses her children and husband in Indonesia. Because she is taking care of her sister's husband, who is very old, her income is not always constant. But her husband in unemployed in Indonesia so she can't go back home.
When I was leaving Bade she told me, "In Indonesia when things got hard I would smoke and drink. But now that I have been baptized I don't feel any temptation to do that any more. I know that Heavenly Father will take care of me and my family."
Every time I see her I think of the marvelous change that comes into one's life because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost.
And third is Yao Yu Er, a 16-year old new member in Taoyuan. Before her baptism she was very very faithful. She came to church every week and went to early morning seminary every day--often being the first to arrive. But she resisted baptism for a long time because she didn't feel she was ready or worthy. Her parents have 9 children and haven't been very good about taking care of them, leaving the older siblings to take care of the younger siblings. Before her baptism she looked so unhappy, usually wearing all black every day.
When she finally decided she was ready to be baptized, she was so happy. The day of her baptism she was just glowing. And after her baptism she changed so much! The Spirit changed her heart and sanctified her, and her face was filled with joy. She is working on her Young Womenhood recognition, wants to graduate from seminary, and is sharing the gospel with her family. And she doesn't wear black all the time any more.
Dear friends and family, I know the gospel is true. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and Heavenly Father loves us so, so much. And I am grateful I had the chance to serve them for these past 18 months.