I could not resist no putting up the above meme. It was just too perfect. Hopefully Vanessa doesn’t get too mad at me. -L
No time to be super creative… too many miracles to report! Here’s a brief run down of what happened this week!
Temple Tour Training — The Temple Sisters did a great job at making training fun and meaningful. It’s a hard balance to strike. 😀 One set of Elders showed up late with a new member for a tour. Jiang Jiemei (my old MTC companion whom I love and adore!) and I volunteered to take them for a tour while the rest of the Sisters received additional training from the Temple Sisters. We decided on a simple, 15 minute tour including Christ’s 2nd Coming on the 2nd floor, The Tithing Office painting of the Salt Lake Temple, and the Temple window. Turns out this new member is also recently less active, mostly because of a concern over tithing. This was a problem she hadn’t told anyone before, and the Elders offered to set up an interview with her bishop for that Sunday. We bore testimony of the blessings of paying tithing and how every missionary has a story about when there was not enough money to pay for their mission, but because of the Law of Tithing, God made it enough. She was in tears and committed to go to church that Sunday and interview with the Bishop. It was an incredible experience and good to know we helped this woman from going completely less active. Point for Team Jesus! And, it was incredible to be able to teach with Jiang Jiemie again — we’ve come a long way from the MTC. 😀
Young Men / Young Women Activity — given that we only had a three-days head’s up about that activity, I feel like it went pretty well. 😀 We took our group out for some contacting on the train and then to an MM meeting at XinZhu chapel. We weren’t originally planning on taking them to the meeting with us, but there wasn’t another really convenient way to get them where they needed to be. We also asked them if they thought it would be boring, and they said “No! We want to know what real missionary work is like.” Hahah! Our MM Leader was obliging and the whole experience was actually perfect for them. Before we left Zhubei we talked about always having the doctrine and your testimony in the front of your mind and in your heart, and natural ways to bring up the Gospel when you’re on a train or waiting for the bus, etc. They were on fire! Saw some kids come out of their shells and some people really open up and be receptive to the Gospel. Pretty awesome! Our MM Leader took some time to explain what his calling is and what he does — they asked him questions and afterward they all committed to go home and introduce themselves to their MM leader, ask him what he needed help with. One of our girl’s dad is the MM leader and she has no idea what that means! 😀 They were all fired up to go home and be better fellowshippers after that. 😀
Questions of the Soul Miracle — So, I’ve been working on putting the Invites in the front of my mind every day. And, it’s working. In companionship study last week we discussed our questions of the soul and how the Book of Mormon has answered them. That Wednesday night, we had a first meet with a member referral. Our peike bore testimony that the Book of Mormon has all the answers to life’s problems… on a whim (read: prompting of the Holy Ghost!), we invited her to think about what kind of guidance she needs, what questions of the soul she’d like answers to and write them in the front cover of the copy of the Book of Mormon we gave her. She did and was really excited and committed to every time she opened the Book of Mormon to read it with the intent of seeking answers. We met with her again two days later and she reported that she’d already received an answer to one of her questions!! In the course of our lesson, my companion shared a scripture that answered another one of her questions! Now she’s only got one left and she’s had two experiences receiveing revelation from the Book of Mormon in one week! Sweet. 😀
Mainland China — we had a contacting miracle this week! Monday, the Elders went to a market-type area to pass out English tracts. We’d never been there before and after they finished they didn’t feel like it was a place we’d return to. However, English class came around and we had several new students. One of them picked up a tract from the Elders at this market area, and even remembered the Elder who gave it to her. She loved English class and set up to meet with us on Friday. Even better, she hit it off with a couple members who were there and they all agreed to go eat together with us before our lesson that Friday. 😀 That Friday, we met at a member’s pizza shop to eat and have a lesson. As we were talking, we found out that she’s from China and realized she has absolutely no religious background…. and in some ways is just like a little kid. The lesson went really well, but probably the coolest part was on the way out. She said she’d been sick for the last couple days, but on our way out she admitted that she’d tried drinking alcohol for the first time in her life a couple days ago and was still feeling aweful about it. She asked if I drank, and I said no. Then, she asked an even better question: “is it because of this book [The Book of Mormon] that you don’t drink?” “YES!” I explained to her that God wants us to be happy and in order to be happy, we need to have a healthy spirit and a healthy body. Her eyes lit up and she could feel it was true. She committed to never drink again and was so excited to meet with us again, begin reading the Book of Mormon, and get to know God better. So legit. 😀
Ward Mission Plans — Starting this last Sunday, these three weeks we’ll be attending Ward Councils where the Ward Mission Plan for next year will be discussed. Each of our Bishops have asked us specifically to be in attendance, which I thought was a little out of the ordinary because we usually are. But this Sunday rolled around and I found out why. Our Bishop gave a presenation on what a Ward Mission Plan is, how the Ward Council, Ward Members, and Missionaries work together to bring people into the Gospel, and then he had each of the Ward Council members personally commit to the missionaries that they would work next year to prepare one family to begin meeting with us. It was so moving to see a Bishop lead his Ward in missionary work through example and dedication. He even brought up examples from his recent experiences with us and our new converts — all of which have had at least one lesson in his house, with his family. I absolutely love that Bishop and his incredible work. Being a missionary in his ward is so wonderful because he knows he’s also a missionary. On the way out, several members let me know of some family members in their own family they feel are close to ready and they committed to inviting them to the Christmas and Thanksgiving activities coming up in the next couple months.
So… yes, the work is moving forward and quickly! It’s incredible to be in Taiwan and to be on the cutting edge of missionary work. Even better, I’m excited to go home and be a better Ward Member. I feel like I didn’t even begin to tap my potential as a member-missionary before my mission. 😀
I love you all!!