Friday, December 26, 2014

WEEK 23: 聖誕節快樂!!!

Which means: going to Taipei for our zone conference on Christmas Eve, going to Taipei for Temple Tours on Christmas Day, and skyping my family on the 26th!!!!!!!! YAYAYAYYYY!!

I literally have no no no time because we went to TAIPEI today to just walk around and have fun with our posse:)

This has been a very rollercoaster week. I had a lot of spiritual experiences, but not a lot of success with our actual work. We talk to everybody, all day every day but every person that we have talked to either has no interest or goes to a different set of missionaries. We sent out SO many referrals this week and hardly had any success for our area. I have faith that soon we will receive blessings from those referrals in the form of investigators!!! It is super frustrating though to not have anyone super interested in learning about the
gospel even though we talk to EVERYONE.

Besides not seeing a lot of blatant success, we have been spreading the Christmas Spirit like crazy!!! We have been handing out He Is The Gift cards A LOT and many copies of the Book of Mormon! Sister Branch
and I are working so hard together and I am learning SO MUCH from her! I know I have to eventually switch companions, but if I could I would want to be her companion forever!! We have such spiritual experiences
together and no matter how down we feel, we can always salvage the Spirit and move forward together. Not to mention we have A CRAZY AMOUNT of fun together!! In case she gets transferred this next week....I just am so grateful I have found a new best friend in Taiwan!

Remember: its not about immediate perfection, but immediate progression. If I progress everyday, my Father in Heaven is proud. I am just so grateful that this gospel allows us to learn and improve!!!

I LOVE YOU ALL AND WISH YOU THE VERY HAPPIEST OF CHRISTMASES!!!!!!!! Last week's email was awesome, this one is kinda 不好, so hopefully next week's will be better!! Please all remember what Christmas is really about. I love you all and I know this is SUCH an important work!!!!

Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹

Sunday, December 21, 2014

WEEK 22: 大同伴 for exchanges, say WUT

With Sofia Liu
Hello Everyone! How is everybody??? This week was AH-MAY-ZING!! I'll write from Sunday back to last Monday because it's easier for me to remember. :)

Yesterday was SO fun! We had an awesome church service.... Huangcong Min blessed the sacrament, and Jerry passed the sacrament! He passed it to US while we were sitting next to Chen Yilun! All 3 of our recent converts at church, ah, love it!! Then after church we took a ward picture, so fun!!! Then the ward provided dinner. Since it is Christmas time and everyone knows we missionaries are missing American Christmas, we get a lot of free stuff! Like mostly food haha, so much foooooddd!! Then our ward gave us the nicest packages from the ward with cards signed by everyone! OH wow, I was so touched, it was so nice! Full of candy and instant noodles! Haha yay:) And Jerry gave Sister Branch and I key chains with his name on it....a little strange, but so awesome! I absolutely LOVE our ward to pieces!!!!

Christmas Necklaces!
Saturday was so fun. Mostly because some ABSOLUTELY INSANE lady missionary from another church contacted us and started singing to us in a deep husky voice and started rubbing my ear and telling me she had Chinese medicine that is SUPER good for your ears. We pulled out our hymn books and sang "Angels We Have Heard on High"! And she starts to try to sing it with us...which consists of crazy jumping up and down and interpretive dancing and yelling on her part. An experience never to be forgotten that’s for sure!!

Then we taught Tony and his family!!! He seems to really want to learn about his gospel, but his wife is kind of we aren't sure if he'll progress but we hope so!!! He will continue to come to English class though so that’s good! We had a music party that same night for all of the wards in the stake to come to! It was beautiful singing and we got to talk to our members after! And JOY CAME!!! Yah, miracle right there! She showed up after it was over of course, always late, but she still came and got to feel the Spirit!

With Joy!

Then Friday we got to go to Taipei for Temple Tour Training!!! Let me tell you, seeing all of my beloved sisters and feeling their love and having everyone tell me they missed me and hear about everyone's success was JUST what I needed! Turns out I'm not the only one having trouble with skirts flying up while riding bikes and worrying about gaining weight and struggling with Chinese! That and along with President and Sister Day's training and delicious brownies made for a PERFECT day!!! I miss all of my amazing missionary friends so much!! Also...I saw all the new missionaries!! So, so fun! the MTC it was a joke that I had old lady clothes because we saw me wearing something an older sister missionary was wearing at least 3 times. Well this past month I saw an Ama wearing my favorite pants that I got from China and then this past Thursday I saw an Ama with MY BAG. Aw man...whatever, I guess I'm just fitting in to the Taiwanese culture:)

So the HIGHLIGHT of this amazing week was exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday. Why you ask? Because I was leading the area with Sister Cutler!!! On Tuesday when we exchanged, she had been in Taiwan for 4 DAYS. No pressure right?? So, I basically told Heavenly Father that I was leaving it to Him for me not to get lost, for me to be able to speak Chinese, etc. because I had absolutely no confidence that I could do it myself. 

Exchanges with Sister Cutler

Lo and behold, we saw SO MANY MIRACLES. We found 4 new investigators in one day, had 6 lessons in 30 minutes, handed out 4 copies of the Book of Mormon, and had a recent convert lesson with Yoyo. We didn't get lost and my Chinese was the best it's ever been. I learned from this many things...1. I need more confidence in myself. I actually do know what I'm doing sometimes. 2. When we trust Heavenly Father, crazy awesome things happen. Never in my life have I turned something over to Him quite so completely.

I can promise you all right now, if I were to have tried to do it on my own and rely only on my own abilities, we probably wouldn't have even been able to get back to our area from the chapel. But because I just said "Ok, I can NOT do this, please help me" we saw miracles. Also, we had awesome peikes of Sofia and the Tan sisters who just went out there and proclaimed the gospel with all their might.

Not to mention, how AWESOME Sister Cutler is!! She never got frustrated, she said what she knew how to say, she was sincere and kind and told me things that I needed to hear. She is fabulous and she's only been on island for a little over a week!! So my friends and family, here is a real life example of what amazing things can happen when we trust God, because He knows our full potential even when we don't know our own.

Monday was great too because we went to Yang Jiating's house and Jerry gave the lesson!! He shared a story from his childhood - in school, everyone brought gifts for their classmates, but he didn't get any. He went up to the teacher and asked why he didn't get anything - the teacher gave him a sock, and said that this the best gift that he could receive because then he could put things in it. He said he didn't really understand it until recently - at the Christmas party that we had for English class a couple weeks ago, he got a Christmas stocking for the white elephant gift exchange. He asked us where the gift was and we kept telling him that that was the gift and that he can put things on the inside. He said that he took it home and pondered it - he came to a realization that he has so many great gifts in his life, one of the greatest being the Book of Mormon.

He says that we gave him such an amazing gift when we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, because the previous missionaries he met with wouldn't give him one and he wanted a copy of the book that he heard would change his life and tell him how to return to live with our Heavenly Father. He is so amazing. Of course something from Jerry's childhood relates to something from the time we first met him, OF COURSE!! Our lives are forever intertwined with Jerry's and I love it. He applies everything to the gospel and says everything happened to lead up to now, getting to know and learn of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

I want you all to go on your Facebooks RIGHT NOW and post the link to He is The Gift on your profile.

THERE I even copied it for you!!! Please, please, please go watch it, it is amazing and such a good missionary tool. I can't use Facebook, so you all can just share it for me. :)

This has been such a good week for my testimony to grow. I know that I have so so, so much to work on but through this experience and with God's help, I can do it! I am fully ready to let this mission mold me in to who He wants and needs me to be. I challenge you all to remember that He is our Father and the one we should trust the most. Also remember that Jesus is our Savior and all mistakes and inadequacies can be made right through Him! Without his death, his birth which we celebrate this month would have been just another birth. So let us utilize the precious gift of Him.

Quotes of inspiration that I learned this week:
"Thoughts of helplessness, hopelessness, or harsh condemnation are not
from the Lord." -AML
"If you never try, you'll never fail so try it well." -Smiles for Life, Alex Boye
"Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of
God." -1 Corinthians 2:5
"Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow path to
Him." -Pres. Howard W. Hunter
"We celebrate the birth of a Savior who lives today and still works for our salvation. He knows what each of us needs and how to give it to us." - A Missionary Christmas

I love you all very, very much and I can't wait to hear about what Christmas miracles you have experienced!!!

Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹

Christmas Care Package from home!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

WEEK 21: You Must be New Here

The new missionaries are here!!!!! Which means I'm not the newest missionary in Taiwan; YIKES! Since everyone in my ward expected new missionaries, I got asked 3 times at church yesterday if I was new and where I was from...also I was told that I was unrecognizable because I had lost so much weight, which is NOT true but makes me happy I guess:) Weirdddd! Well Elder Anderton, Sister Cutler, and Sister Cardon are all in our zone now and I get to see them all the time, yay!!!

Transfers came and went and Sister Branch and I are still together, 
yayyyyy!!!!!!! But alas there are 2 more transfers this month and I'm scared out of my mind to leave my trainer!!! Like I am incapable of
navigating this crazy wonderful city on my own!! Sister Branch and 
I are seriously best friends I am SO lucky!! She and I just are completely ourselves around each other and I am SO grateful she doesn't judge  me for how crazy I am :)

We have a Christmas activity in Taipei in 2 weeks, sooooo if any of 
you feel so inclined to write me a letter that would normally take me forever to get, send it soon;)

Some miracles this week...most of them included Jerry!! He is such an amazing member! He got a new job this week and he works from 10:30pm to 7 the next morning! Then he sleeps a little bit and offers to peike for the rest of the day! He is a hero! But we are also worried that he is wearing himself out! He is a great peike and example though! He got the priesthood this week and didn't tell us until after! But that's ok, he was excited to share the experience with us. I'll never forget how he described his confirmation....just a hot feeling all over his body! Amazing.

We got to talk to Joy this week. She is an eternal investigator who we killed but resurrected this week. She hasn't answered our phone calls for a month and miraculously she answered and met with us 3 minutes later! She hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon and so we gave a very spiritual lesson about it's importance and also about baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I asked her an inspired question and it just came out of me, the Spirit wanted me to ask her if she would get baptized and she straight up said "No. " 

She feels like she can only get baptized when she is 25 because "Jesus was born on the 25th of December." She promised her family that she wouldn't until she was ready, but she feels comfortable on the Christian path AND the Buddhist path she is on. We honestly have done all we can for her, we
role-play for her all the time and have read with her and texted her every day...we had to transfer her to the former investigators this week unfortunately. Hopefully missionaries with talk to her when she
is 25! Pray for her!!

I also witnessed a lady get hit by a car this week. And I got hit by a scooter. I'm ok and so is that lady. But just saying once again how NUTS Taiwanese traffic is!!!!

I cut my bangs again...I'm getting bored of how I look haha uh oh I hope I dont do anything drastic! Oh and i got letters from Sorella Nicole Decker and from Caleb Lystrup this week YESSSSS <3

English Christmas party was this week!!! success!!! Pumpkin pie was....NOT American pumpkin pie thats for sure!!! Haha i'm missing my holiday food right now but I guess I wont get fatter then;)

Quote from Sister Branch this week: Everyday is full of growth, whether for yourself or for other people. I love that, it’s SO true as a missionary!! I want to invite you all again to go watch He Is The
Gift on because Christ is the CENTER of this season and the center of our lives!! He is the reason we can grow and progress and change! 

Sister Branch and I had a very spiritual comp study this week. She has always seemed so perfect to me, but she expressed concerns about things she needs to sacrifice because that is what Zone Conference was about. I received some very amazing revelation for her and for myself and I realized that I will 100% defend this gospel to everyone I come in contact with when I get home, even if it means giving up friends I had before the mission. This is what is important and what will save my soul and others' as well. That is all that matters, is what my Savior and my Heavenly Father think of me. I know that if I make sacrifices, I will be blessed for them and compensated even better than what I gave up!

Speaking of change...Sister Branch told me that these past few weeks have been the most improved on my mission so far. Wow I don’t feel like that but that’s pretty awesome to hear! I am just so so grateful for this gospel and that it allows me to improve!!

Pray for Sofia this week, her bunny Susie died and she's really sad bout it.
Pray for our new investigator Tony, that his wife will allow him to come to church! Pray for anyone you know who is struggling and pray for missionaries everywhere because our work is hard but incredible!!!

"The happiest people in the world are those who love their neighbors as themselves and manifest their appreciation of God's blessings by their conduct in life" -President George Albert Smith

May you all show your appreciation through your actions this wonderful season! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! 加油!!

Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WEEK TWENTY: 感恩節和巧克力蛋糕

At the Restaurant

As I write this, I can barely move because we just ate at a restaurant where you just have a hot grill in front of you and you grill your own meat and it just keeps coming and the goal is to eat at MUCH as you can before 2 hours runs out!! So meat and fruit and marshmallows and ice cream...PLEASE keep a look out for a place like that in America! :)

The reason for this occasion is because our district leader Elder Chen goes home on Wednesday!!! How sad. :( So this was our last hurrah! My companion is vegetarian soooo she ate vegetables and ice cream haha.

We decorated for Christmas this week!!! Yay I'm so glad my parents sent me a box of decorations :) We also got our TOILET AND SHOWER AND FAUCET FIXED!!! Thank you, all of you, who have been praying for that to be fixed! It's the little prayers of loved ones that produce miracles!!! Our faucet is no longer leaking, our shower is normal temperature, and our toilet flushes :) That along with the Christmas decorations made our apartment a lot more cozy this week :)

JERRY GOT CONFIRMED THIS WEEK!! Since he was baptized on the day we had Stake Conference, he received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday!! He said it was the most wonderful feeling he ever had! He's pretty much an experienced member already, he 陪課'd for 3 different sets of missionary lessons, meaning he was the "member" for investigator lessons. He met with us at McDonalds on Friday, then helped us clean, then helped other missionaries with their lessons that night! And yesterday he helped us with an investigator lesson then went to church then came to dinner at a member’s house. Then today he ate lunch with all of our district's missionaries and is coming to family home evening tonight. He is ALWAYS with us or other missionaries. Wow, he's amazing!!

Also, Sofia got set apart as the ward missionary, Yoyo is now the sacrament meeting greeter, And 黃聰敏 got the priesthood!!! All 3 of our recent converts were at church, 黃聰敏,陳逸倫, and Jerry, along with a new investigator, 鍾仁德. He and Jerry are basically twins, he is quiet and shy and also ALREADY is telling us thank you for helping him learn of this gospel! we are SO blessed so be teaching such amazing people, I am humbled and grateful every time I think about it!!!

So this week I'll try to organize my thoughts a little (may or may not be successful)...this past Monday, Sister Branch (my companion) surprised me and bought me this giant B-Mo stuffed toy!!!! Adventure Time is a HUGE thing here and I told her how much I loved it and she bought it AHHH I love her even though it was TOTALLY unnecessary haha!!

It's always Adventure Time on my mission!

VOTING WAS THIS WEEK!!! Yes, so I don't think I have mentioned this because I've become so used to it...習慣了。 But there are signs for voting candidates literally EVERYWHERE. Do you remember high school voting time? Yah posters and huge billboards and stickers and merchandise and voting stuff showing up in mailboxes..all pretty normal stuff. But in Taiwan, there are these trucks that have the person's advertisement on it and a VOICE BOX so it’s a car that drives really slowly blaring the person's campaign slogan+why you should vote for them. And they're EVERYWHERE. So we wake up to it and its for different people at different times of the day and we had just become used to it...but this week was NUTS because there were parades of people and giant trucks blaring their messages and the people handing out stuff and setting off fireworks, all in last-ditch efforts to get votes!!! So crazy!! So we have yet to find out who won, but that happened this week. It's going to be oddly quiet from now on...

Thanksgiving was this week 對不對? For Thanksgiving was go to our mission leader's parents-in-law house and eat food. This was the same house that we cleaned all of the bugs out off...needless to say, there were still bugs crawling all over the table as we were eating. Yummy. I ate a shrimp...peeled off the head and legs and antennae and everything! Then we ate CHOCOLATE CAKE!!! Pretty much the best thing ever, it’s pretty rare here in Taiwan!! But I'm so glad we got to go there because the mother in law is not a member of the church and now she wants to come to church! Service is the best way to open people's hearts to the gospel! Speaking of service...

Remember our slow investigator 蔡松林? The one who got in a car accident and was in a coma for a year and now has brain damage? We cleaned his house this week and now he wants to continue meeting with us and maybe come to church! It's amazing what this gospel can do for people, truly amazing. There are people here in Taiwan who have NO idea that there is a loving God, our Heavenly Father who loves us and created us and wants to bless us. That is the knowledge we are bringing and it is wonderful!

I want to challenge all of you this week to be diligent in all that you have been given to do. When I am a lazy missionary, I am not happy. But when I do all I can to bring people closer to Christ, I am happy. When we are doing all we can do be the best people we can be, that is when we are happy and satisfied with life. Also, SERVE OTHERS THIS WEEK. Find someone you can say a kind word to, or smile at, or lend a helping hand. Sister Branch and I have only gotten closer this week as I have sought out every opportunity to serve her!!

Speaking of Sister Branch....her English is suffering. BUT I LOVE IT. I have started keeping track of "枝姐妹 Quote of the Day" because there are SO many good ones!!! I'm not sure what ones I should share, so I just won't but let it suffice to be said that she probably communicates better in Chinese than in English:)

This week, please pray that Sister Branch and I can stay together for as long as possible. She literally is my angel, she is the perfect missionary to be my trainer, probably the best missionary ever, no offense all of my friends, but that’s just me boasting about my trainer. :)

Sister Wright & Sister Branch

She had her first milkshake this week!! I'm so proud that I'm making this little past-vegan into a little sugar-lover:) We also had a lot of lessons at McDonalds this week and consequently ate a lot of McDonalds this week...

This week we had a crazy English class. The spiritual share lasted most of class because we have a student who is an investigator and he has a friend who makes fun of him for going to church and listening to those "Mormons". He is questioning if there is a God and questions that the things like prayer and reading the Book of Mormon can bring us happiness. I PROMISE that they do! Whenever I am sad and have no other way of being happy, I read the Book of Mormon and I pray and I ALWAYS find comfort.

EVERYONE GO WATCH "HE IS THE GIFT"!!! It's on YouTube, it's a Christmas video made by the church. I want you all to remember that He is the REASON for the SEASON and to show you love Him by loving others.

THIS JUST IN: the missionaries that were a transfer below me in the MTC who are all in re-assignments right now are coming in on WEDNESDAY!! YAY!!!! This is so exciting!! Prayer is SO powerful, I love it! If you are reading this and haven't been praying it. Heavenly Father wants to hear from you SO bad, just like I love getting everyone's emails SO much!! I love you all and wish you the best in whatever you are going through or striving for! I constantly pray for everyone back home <3

Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹