Thursday, October 30, 2014

WEEK FIFTEEN: Really, could this week get any better? No.

FIRST OF ALL: Sorry everybody about no letter on Monday. We went to the TEMPLE this week, so p-day was Wednesday instead of Monday!!! I didn't die or forget or anything:) The beautiful, this was so special!!!

A lot of people have been asking for my address so here it is:

Taiwan Taipei mission
4/F, #24, Lane 183
Jin Hua Street
Taipei 106

But be aware that we hardly ever get our mail sent to our areas, so I pick up mail when I'm in Taipei which is hardly ever as well. But I REALLY, really appreciate it!!! I FINALLY got my mail today...Shout out to my South Pointe ward, I finally got the package with the sign! I LOVE IT!!

不好意思 I never actually told anyone where I'm serving...I'm in the Taoyuan 桃園 Zone, serving in Guishan 龜山. It's west of Taipei by like an hour and a half! 

I got a full name this week!
Which is said like run, mawn, sheen. The Pinyin spelling is ren man xin. :)
It means A beautiful singer and dancer and happy all the time. Cool right?? 
One of our investigators made my name for me...Chen Yi Lun, WHO IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!! She is having some doubts so please pray and pray and pray for her!! She is so ready!!!

We also got a new investigator Jerry, and he's GOLDEN!! He already wants to go to the temple. He's getting baptized in 3 weeks!!!

I took a picture of Walker with me everywhere and took pictures with him...I even wore the outfit in the picture!!!  I will do the same thing for Weston!!! 
Happy Birthday to any of my friends this week:) 

OH AND SHOUT OUT TO MY COUSIN MADDY WHITLOCK!!! Her one YEAR mark is coming up on November 6th AHHH!! :)SO THIS WEEK IS AWESOMEEEEEEEE:  Walker's birthday, Weston's birthday,
going to the temple, doing temple tours, Halloween (Although of course we missionaries can't celebrate it), and a baptism!! Like really, could this week get
any better??? No, the answer is No. 

We also had our Halloween party, such a success!!!! SO many people!!! 

One of our main miracles this week:
We were contacting this week and didn't feel like we were in the right area so we started to leave when I felt like we needed to stop and talk to these 3 girls. They were only 12 and didn't respond well to our message, mostly giggling and goofing off. We weren't sure why we stopped until two other girls walked up and we prayed with them. Still not much, but it felt ok. Then two days after that, we contacted two other teenage of which was the SAME girl we had contacted before! She was with her sister this time; we had a lesson, gave them copies of the Book of Mormon and set up a lesson!

This was so exciting to me because I learned about the importance of following the Spirit...knowing we needed to talk to the 12 year olds so we could meet the other girls so we could see her two days later! And the importance of people being prepared...the one sister was NOT ready the first day we met her, she would barely pray with us. But two days after that, with her sister, she was totally ready and willing to pray. Such a cool experience :)

Funny story:
Shadow puppets with my bike light - it's a talent
We met a guy who I SWEAR TO YOU was trying to turn into a tree. We have an investigator who lives in this one area and EVERY time we go there, there's this guy just standing there. He stands there for hours on end. Well we tried to contact him this past week. He doesn't talk, only shakes his head. He stands stick straight staring at us this whole time. Then he covered his mouth to talk to us and says "Wo bu tai shufu" which means "I'm not comfortable right now."  And then we came back to that area an hour later...HE WAS STILL THERE. (When he turns into a tree, I'll let you know.)

Well my love for this work grows every day. I am learning a lot about the power of the Atonement. Not just the cleansing power, but the improving and enabling power. I never was able to receive answers to my prayers and personal revelation like I do now, because I am studying the Atonement which improves EVERY aspect of my testimony. I love reviewing my study journal, past inspiration I had, and conference talks. I am learning so much and growing so much! My
attitude has drastically improved this week and my companion and I are growing closer and closer as we focus on what's important...helping people come to know their Savior.

Also, my companion is an angel. We grow closer every day!! Did I mention we have the same name? And we get told we're twins every day!! She makes me breakfast and writes me cute notes and AH I'm so lucky:)

I love you all so much. Just know it, even if I don't email you all individually, my time as a missionary is short and i will eventually respond :) I LOVE YOU ALL!! Keep praying and know that our Heavenly Father loves you and wants you TO KNOW IT AND FEEL IT. Just pray:)

Sister Wright (Salt Lake City South Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi (Taiwan Taipei Mission)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

WEEK FOURTEEN: Baptism Week!!!!!!!

Yes, my friends and family, I had a baptism this week!!! Huang Cong Ming got baptized! He's just awesomeeeeee! He is so amazing and strong!!

So Taiwan does this "tingshui" thing (stop water) and they turn off all the water in a certain district for 24 hours. We don't have the news so we didn't know!! So we had no water for a while and THAT was fun! Thankfully it turned back on in time to take showers for the day! But it was a fun scare!

I WENT ON EXCHANGES THIS WEEK!! Yah it was so fun, but I was like, 'great i'm still SUPER new and now I'm going somewhere else? Ah!' But it actually turned out really well....Sister Miller told me to go wherever and talk to whoever I felt like talking to. So I pulled over and talked to a guy at work. She was like "no, really, he's working" but I talked to him anyway, and we had a lesson!!! This was really exciting because it was the first time I had initiated a miracle of my own and didn't follow my trainer. I'm pretty insecure in my language abilities because I can't understand anyone hardly, but I did it. And he's their investigator now. Being a missionary is awesome. 

We went bowling on P-Day. Yes I'm still just as bad at bowling as when I left. But it was fun and a good stress reliever anyway! We are going hiking this next P-Day and next P-Day we are going to THE TEMPLE!!! So if I don't email next week, that's why! I love being a missionary. 

We had dinner on the street this week. Just walking through a night market buying yummy things. Holy cow was I stuffed and super unhealthy but it was SO GOOD!! I want to learn to cook this stuff...then I'll make food for my friends. ;) 

We have so many investigators. So many that I did my first split this week!!! I had two members with me who spoke English-ish...but it was still scary!! Haha we got so many new investigators this week and it's hard to keep up with all of the souls and names and people we need to contact but I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Heavenly Father loves Taiwan. He LOVES His Asian children and I am seeing it every day with every person who is willing to pray with us. 

Something I learned this week:
We need to ACT ON and APPLY what we are taught. I am learning that more and more each day. As I start to feel stumped, I realize it's because I haven't understood and applied what I've already learned so I am not in the position to learn more. But God loves us all and He will teach us so much if we are ready and willing to act on it!!

Funny stories:
-We have this bike friend who fixes our bikes for free, pretty much any problem! So we asked if we could say a grateful prayer with him. We say "amen" and he just sits there with his eyes closed and head down. We call his name, say we're done, and say amen again...he just sits there for like 3 minutes. It was SO funny and awkward and the day had already been so long we just couldn't keep it together and started laughing. Ah man. soo good.

-Apparently, I'm officially a missionary now. What does that mean you ask? I FELL ASLEEP WHILE PRAYING.  Sister Branch wakes me up at 11:30 and says I fell asleep while praying, kneeling, by my bed. HAHAHAHA! I woke up the next morning not even sure it happened, but she says that when I woke up, I looked at her as if "Yah duh I fell asleep down here on the floor, don't you do that?" Hahahaha, what the heck. I've heard stories about missionaries being that tired, but I actually did it! So I must be official ;)

-We met this Christian old man, Jackey, on the street and he invited us to dinner right then. We said no, but tomorrow night. So he calls us and just keeps saying I love you over and over. We ask him if he knows what it means and he says Wo Ai Ni, so yes he knows the meaning. So we hang up and don't go to his house...good thing too because he calls us again and again, and then again from  PRIVATE number and says "if you're ever by my house, I'll feed you," and hangs up. Yah. Never going there again. Hahaha, gotta love those old men who like young white blonde missionaries. 

-We teach English class on Wednesdays (this next week is A HALLOWEEN PARTY) and we teach the advanced class. So, everyone there speaks pretty good English. Well there's this Victor guy and he's HILARIOUS. We taught about eye contact and how it's polite to look someone in the eye while talking. So he comes up to me after class and talks to me about America while staring me directly in the eyes and I can't look away because Sister Miller had just talked about eye contact. Then he says "You are very cute and friendly" while just staring me down, and he's this 40-something year old man, and I just wanted to laugh so hard!! He is so funny.

I wish I had more time to write but I'm out of time. I love you all and I love Taiwan!!

Sister Wright (Salt Lake City South Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi (Taiwan Taipei Mission)

Monday, October 13, 2014

WEEK THIRTEEN: finally in TAIWAN!! And I got hit by a car...

Yes I am really here, this is my real real real mission! And it couldn't be better!!

My companion is Sister Branch and we are TWINS! Both blonde and we even wore matching clothes the day we got paired up! We even have the same name...but hers is spelled Makenna. FREAKY, but so awesome. I love her, she's so patient with me.

Investigators are awesome. Our investigator Huang Cong Ming has his baptismal interview yesterday and passed!! He has a problem with smoking but is SO close to being done with it. But he JUST texted us saying he had a fire in his house and has to take his parents to the hospital and has to clean everything....this is SATAN preventing him from being baptized! Come on, did it have to be a fire? That's intense....but Huang is SO valiant and has such a strong testimony and is so excited, I know he can do it! 

We also have 4 other people on date to be baptized! Chen Yi Lun, Jeff, Cai Zi Ming and Cai Dixiong. Here's the thing...Cai Zi Ming has been to jail 7 times in the past 20 years and is currently wanted by the police. Sooooo we're not sure what to do about that but he's already changing his life!! So we'll see. 

Cai DX is mentally handicapped. He has throat cancer and brain damage from  a stroke. But he is so ready for the gospel! 

Chen Yi Lun (Luna) is SO CUTE! She is pretty much already a member and has a ton of friends in the ward! Her baptism is in two weeks!!

We had a miracle find! We seriously just picked a spot on the map, drove to it, knocked on the FIRST door and found a golden, prepared child of God!! Zhou Dixiong had previously met with missionaries and already was reading the Book of Mormon and praying but no one was teaching him! So we just invited him and he came to General Conference!!! Amazing!! I loved it:)
Raining and tracting is always a good time and brings MIRACLES
We have gotten a new investigator every day that I've been here, that's NUTS!! But I love contacting. Everyone (almost) is willing to pray with you! People here are so nice!

Culture stuff: the food is like the food I had in China last summer. My comp is vegetarian so that will help me be healthier too:) But all the little snacks are so good and it's hard to resist!

TRAFFIC RULES ARE NONEXISTANT. I almost die every day. It doesn't help that I'm extremely uncoordinated and it makes riding a bike hard. Funny bike got hit by a car the first 10 minutes I was riding it. No worries, I'm fine and the tire was just a little dinged. But my bike-riding ability has already improved drastically! Just keep all us Taiwan missionaries in your prayers that we don't get hit by cars or buses :)

I rode in the rain in traffic this week...THAT was scary but exhilarating haha! Re-learning to ride a Taiwan...hen hao xiao!
 our fashion...the poncho and the reflector belt and the helmets and the jealous.
Halloween exists here! I didn't know that! We teach English class once a week and we are having a Halloween party this next week! So that will be fun! Last week in English there were two little boys and one little girl...yes I wanted to wring their necks, they were so naughty!!! But the lady there was very very attentive so I hope we helped her learn:)

Language...NO, I CAN'T UNDERSTAND ANYONE. I had one lesson this week where I understood everything, and that was the only one. But - I have this vision of where I can be and where I can get to with the language. I keep having this vision where I understand everyone...It's just not reality yet but I know it can be! Just keep praying for me, that's where the real power comes from!!

Trying to eat healthy!

General Conference was AMAZING! Yes, it took us a week to get it over here on the other side of the world :) but I testify that our leaders are inspired!!! It was all about being prepared spiritually and having a strong foundation so I know that something hard is coming, but if we have that firm testimony and habits of what we need to do, we will be protected and will not fall or fail!

I saw Elder Anderton and a ton of other Elders from my zone in the MTC in the MTC choir when we watched conference!! And I saw Elder Kieran Bennett from my Folk Dance Team at BYU! But I did NOT see Forrest Mitchell! Either way I feel slightly famous by association! haha :)

Well this week was amazing. I love the people and the area and my apartment and my companion and the culture and the weather. I love all of you and I love my Savior. I am SO blessed to be able to teach His gospel to God's children who desperately need it. I love you!!!

P-Day emailing!

Rèn Jiěmèi (Taiwan Taipei Mission)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

WELCOME TO TAIWAN!! This is Where I'm supposed to be!

I'm so happy! This is where I am supposed to be.

I have no time! I only have 30 minutes to write this, so I will do my best on a quick update! Traveling was…an adventure! We met up with everyone – the 30 other missionaries from the MTC headed to my mission -  in the plane from Tokyo...we had about 5 minutes to get off the plane in Tokyo to get on the plane to Taiwan. WE BARELY MADE IT!!

The 13 hour flight to Tokyo was fine; I slept a lot and caught up in my journal and watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 and yah. Lots of sleeping and eating the plane food. Then the 3.5 hour flight to Taiwan wasn't bad, I slept then too!

I didn’t get sick on the airplane at all and didn’t even get a headache. feet swelled up A LOT. And everyone was laughing about it and the swelling wouldn't go down!!!! Hahahaha it was pretty funny and Sister Morris was like "wait till you're pregnant, it will be so much worse!!" haha!

We got to Taiwan at almost 10 pm...then met our mission president, took pictures, got our luggage, rode a bus to the mission home and did introductions on the bus.

I sat by Mo Jiemei and we caught up a little. Apparently she threw up in the Tokyo airport, poor thing!! Guess who else I saw? Elder Luke Sanford from Henderson, NV!! He's the mission recorder, so he has been helping take us around everywhere!! So cool!

I had an interview with President Day; he lived in Cookville, Tennessee, in my mom’s mission!! Also, he knew Elder Michael Bowcutt, the ward mission leader in one of my SLC wards. So Elder Sanford and Michael told him about me, haha!

This is where I'm supposed to be. I love the humidity! The weather has been perfect; not even sunny or that hot. Everyone is telling us how lucky we are with the weather. 

YESTERDAY WAS THE BEST DAY EVER. We did a proselytizing activity and it was the single best 90 minutes of my mission or basically my life! The thing is that, in America where I know everyone can understand me and they're judging my every word and I know it, it makes me more timid. But in Taiwan, I only know a few things so I share what I know and it's fine!

We did a little scavenger hunt thing, where there was a list of certain types of people they wanted us to talk to, such as a grandma, a teenager, someone with a dog, a family, someone smoking, someone waiting on a bench. And there was a list of things we were to share, such as about the restoration, the Temple Tour pamphlet, ask for referrals, have a prayer, and a first lesson. So we each got about 3 of each of the 5 pamphlets and 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and set out.

I was scared out of my mind but it was SO much easier than I thought it would be. And I HANDED OUT EVERYTHING. I gave out all of my papers and half of my companion’s papers and both of my copies of the Book of Mormon.

Here was my favorite experience from this: We walked past this man watching us. Then I felt like we should turn around and go back so we did and he actually spoke really good English so that was a bonus! But we talked mostly in Chinese still. We talked to him and he has been to Las Vegas and Utah and we taught him about our loving Heavenly Father and how we have a prophet and how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, which was written in the Americas and how we read both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We handed him a Book of Mormon and he said, "This is the first time I've touched this thing," so obviously he knew something about it, and it was just awesome because I knew I was bringing him something that would change his life.

We also talked about temples and he asked where church was and we gave him a map and a temple tour card and a restoration pamphlet and a family pamphlet and he said he didn't really have time so I said "yidian meitian" which means "a little bit every day" and he said he would definitely read it all! He also had 2 daughters and one had been taking English in school so she was shy but she spoke a little bit to us! I said how we believe that he could be with his daughters and wife forever and wouldn’t that be awesome? We taught him so much and his daughter was listening too, and IT WAS SO AWESOME.

My second favorite experience was the very last man we talked to. We asked him how his day was in Chinese and he responded in English with "Bad, I'm SO OLD AND MY WHOLE BODY HURTS!" HAHA it was such a nice surprise to hear that! It was just funny because he was so old and spoke really good English. He told us how much he respected what we were doing and how young we were! He was actually Japanese and 82 years old, and got shipped to Taiwan during the war.

He told us that old men are very stubborn and not easily converted but he would take our pamphlet and call us if he needed anything. And then he gave us suggestions on how to preach to the Taiwanese people! He told us we have to be very patient because they're stubborn. He was so great! Ah, man it was amazing! It was so exhilarating using my Chinese and having it flow off my tongue and seeing how the Lord was blessing me to be able to communicate!

Last night we had a missionary fireside and we saw Sister Tan, Sister Hughes, Sister Wood, and Sister Stevens from the MTC!! It was a pretty good fireside...from what I remember!! I was so tired! I looked around at all the missionaries, and EVERY ONE (minus Elder Griffin because he's a champ) had their head down or was KNOCKED OUT! Haha it was so hilarious to see how everyone just fell asleep as soon as we had a moment to rest!! We went to bed at like 9:15 pm last night...much needed. :)

This is where I'm supposed to be. I feel happy and alive and everything is good. Just know that I am so, so, so happy!! I know that this is where I will thrive the most as a missionary. I have so much gratitude for my current situation, and I know that whatever I learned in Sandy will help me here. :)

This morning we all went on a run at 6:30 am to the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial and it was so beautiful! Everything here is just amazing and reminds me of China. I can feel it in my bones that I will learn everything so fast. :) Oh, and it made the swelling in my feet go away. :)

I don’t have my address yet, since we are still here at the mission office! We are RIGHT across from the temple! We are staying in temple housing! We have a tiny locker, and grabbed out of our suitcases 3 days worth of stuff! Me and Sister Strong sleep in our own bedroom...and we have a KING SIZED BED! Ah man I don’t know how I got so lucky, but it makes up for my tiny house in Sandy!!

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! I AM SO, SO, SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!! Did I mention this is where I’m supposed to be?

I gotta go, I LOVE YOU!

Rèn Jiěmèi 
Taiwan Taipei Mission

SLCS Pictures

Thursday, October 2, 2014

WEEK TWELVE: change of attitude

 I don't have a lot of time today but I'll do my best to convey all of the spiritual experiences I've had this week. So I have been struggling with my desire to be here in Sandy. Of course I want to be in Taiwan, but I should want to be wherever the Lord wants me. So I have been praying really hard for that.

This week I have experienced so much success!!! I read a talk called "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" by Tad R. Callister and it said THERE IS NO RETREAT TO YOUR FORMER LIFE. That kind of hit me right in the face and I realized that I can't hold onto everything. I can't hold onto my selfish desires, I need to just accept that God wants me here. I have been having a lot of pain in my back and my foot and having constant headaches, but the day that I made this realization, it all stopped. As I am focusing on others, I am not thinking of myself, so I am happier. 

We had a lesson with Midnight this week. He is 18 and a recovering crystal meth and alcohol addict. I had never met him, but when we came out of our lesson, my companions said "Wow, what you said really clicked for him, his eyes lit up!" and I couldn't remember for the life of me what I had said. The Spirit had just spoken through me and said what he needed to hear. We also had a lesson with Quentin and the same thing happened with him. Because I was giving my will to the Father, I was able to be a more holy vessel for His Spirit and was able to tell everyone what they needed to hear. 

Some other awesome people we are working with include Markus Sharette. He is coming back to church and he is SO awesome! He compared scripture reading to being lost in the desert for a long time and they someone serves you a four-course overwhelming feeling of gratitude and comfort. Also, we missionaries teach a class Tuesday nights and he's the only one who has come both times so far!! He told us he's our number one fan:)

I also learned more about Jonathan Bosch, our golden investigator!! He came to America for college and learned English on his own and is now working for the NBA because he's so ambitious. His main goal is to be more selfless. He is so perfect! I just can't wait for his baptism in November!!! We also have a guy name Robbie getting baptized this next week or two! 

One of the highlights of my week was dinner on Friday. One of the ward mission leaders, Michael Bowcutt, served in Taipei. He invited us over to eat, and there was him and 2 other RMs from Taipei along with two Taiwanese members! We had homemade dumplings and wintermelon tea!! Then two non-members from China came over!! I canNOT express how good it was to use my Chinese and how awesome it was to realize I still understood everything they were saying! God is good, He gave me such an amazing opportunity and is helping me maintain my Chinese skills! I am so so so grateful! I am also grateful for all the rain and the beautiful rainbow I saw this week. God also knows how much I love rain:) 

We had 1st Transfer Training this week so I got to see all of my Chinese friends from my zone!! They are all having such awesome success and Elder McNeil even has the chance to teach in Chinese sometimes! It was so good to see them and speak Chinese and realize I get to see all of my MTC friends in Taiwan!!

The General Women's Broadcast was also awesome, plus we got chocolate fondue after:) MAN I AM EATING SO MUCH! This past Thursday, we had 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches and a dinner. People love to feed us and my comps can't say no!!! Yikes...I'm ready for all that biking in Taiwan!

Funny stories from this week:
We are trying harder to talk to more people on the street so Sis. Swain was talking to this one guy about how she is a representative of Jesus Christ and he says "Did Jesus tell you that?" well...the prophet called us and Jesus told him! haha We also sat at the LONGEST red light ever between very sketchy looking guys who motioned for us to get in the backseat and then followed us for a bit...yah well that's pretty much it for funny stories. It's less funny, more awesome out here in the real mission field :)

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have a renewed vigor and determination to do the work. Since I had that realization that I needed a serious attitude adjustment, we have had more and more lessons and more people telling us they want to meet with us. The work is picking up!! I am so excited!!! I love you all and wish you the very best of weeks! Also, listen to Vocal Point's CD Lead Thou Me on because we listen to it every day and I love it:) 

We sang in church yesterday!!! That was good...I Know That My Redeemer Lives was the song. I also GET TO GO TO CONFERENCE!! yay:) Oh and I finished my first REAL planner! That's exciting. And we get to see Meet the Mormons next week!!

Sister Wright
Sister Wright (Salt Lake City South Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi (Taiwan Taipei Mission)