Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WEEK 27: hi craziest week of my life...

Well first of all, I'm writing on Wednesday because we HAD TEMPLE DAY, YAYYY!!! Thank goodness...because yes this has been one of the craziest weeks of my life.

First of all, I was SUPER sick Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I got a priesthood blessing and slept it off. On Wednesday we had to go to English class so I had no choice. But I made a MIRACULOUS recovery from Tues to Wed and its all because God knows He needs me to work. It was incredible how fast I got better because on Tuesday I was sure that I was about to die.

Most of the craziness comes from transfers...SURPRISE - I WAS TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!! So here's the thing... most of you know that I was in a trio with Sister Peng from another ward in our stake. So we hear that Sister Branch is moving so we stay up really late (sorry!) to pack and then we go to the transfer meeting expecting that me AND sister Peng will be getting new comps.  

But then I look at the screen and MY NAME is next to Sister Peng's name. Well, what's the big deal you ask? Not only do I have to say goodbye to my beautiful amazing trainer BUT ALSO MY WARD AND MY RECENT CONVERTS AND MY INVESTIGATORS - ALL WITHOUT WARNING. 

I was devastated. Jerry is going to finish reading the Book of Mormon and go to the temple without me there....Lu David will get baptized without me there....what about the new people we just met who won't know that ELDERS are taking over our area?? And how will the Guishan elders bike ALL the way (40 minutes) down to my area??? 

I felt like my area and my people were being abandoned...and that I also had to go home and throw everything into a suitcase and move to an old apartment that had had no one living in it. So let's just say that last friday was the most stressful day of my life....packing and moving and new area and a Taiwanese companion....A NATIVE of Taiwan. Yah so all of this one to truly talk it out with. Don't get me wrong, her English is great, and my Chinese is ok but not good enough to express all THAT stuff to her. 

I went to a baptism for Tao 1 just so I could give the Guishan elders my past area book...Jerry and Sofia and Yoyo and Yo Rong and Lu Xiao Ping and Wu Mama and Xiao Bao and Sandra and Zhi Yang were all there...looking at me like WHY DID YOU LEAVE???? it was a shock for everyone and its so so hard because they're all an arm's length away but too far because I can't go to their ward or call them to peike or anything. It's heart-breaking.

Well...about my new ward....first off, my past ward in Tao 1 is famous for being the best missionary ward. So yes, anywhere will be comparatively not as good. At Tao 2, no one attends the meeting we have every week and it's only 25 minutes long...compared to Tao 1 when we had EVERYONE there and 6 ward missionaries who dropped anything to help us. Elder McNeil trained in this area and Sister Peng was broken here (the term broken refers to the place you are after your trainer) so they don't know the difference or how it's SUPPOSED to be. 

So you could say at our first correlation meeting, everything thought I was too 認真...aka annoying. But now they know that I'm right to make things better in Tao 2. So that is the goal right now, to get people more willing to help us...WISH ME LUCK!!! I miss Tao 1 terribly terribly much...<3

I am so grateful for Sister Branch. I know how to everything that I know how to do because of her. Whenever anyone says I'm an awesome missionary, I know it's because of her. I know that I work hard and people see it because Sister Branch was the hardest worker I know. I know that my Chinese is as good as it is because I wanted to be able to understand all that she understood. I know how to write even a few characters because she taught me. I know how to listen to the Spirit and work with members because she knows how to do it. She is amazing and I am overwhelmed at how grateful I am for her and that Heavenly Father blessed me with her as a trainer. I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I think that God knew that I needed her in my life then and forever. I can never explain how many amazing crazy unforgettable experiences we had together and I only hope that I touched her life at least a fraction as much as she has touched mine. Also, she already promised me her basement when we get home soooo...

This week I have really realized how small this time is to serve God with all that we have. I have this badge on my chest that lets me tell anyone and EVERYONE about Jesus Christ and His love for them!! How crazy is that?? This all-powerful Savior and Redeemer of mankind is someone that I am representing and get to tell people about. Also, I read "Your Four Minutes" this week, a talk from the May 2013 Liahona and I invite you all to look it up. 

I realized that this life is such a short time, that we have prepared for it forever and will have forever to reflect on it.  And this mission time is an even shorter time in this short time to perform to the best of my ability. And I have been preparing all my life for this mission, I have always always known that I want to serve and now it's here and I constantly struggle to appreciate all of it, the good and the bad. So I am taking a step back from all the little details that seem too hard to deal with and seeing what God needs me to learn from this. 

Who knows, maybe when the new missionaries finally get here, I'll train back in Guishan and that will be a whole new challenge. Or maybe I'll just move all together...Who knows?!! But I am learning to trust God because when I do, I'll have confidence in everything.

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

My district before transfers in Yingge鶯歌 !! We are models, don't even
worry about it. Also I'm wearing PANTS what.
We found a turtle on our last day - which I didn't know would be my last day. So amazing!
My beautiful wonderful perfect amazing phenomenal trainer/best
friend forever Sister Branch <3333

Monday, January 12, 2015

WEEK 26: 龜山4eva

The "hang loose" sign actually means "six" in Taiwan! Six months out!
Sister 彭 gave Sister Branch and I the biggest compliment this week, that we are like Elder Strong from the talk "Fear Not, I am With Thee" by President Uchtdorf. Basically this theoretical Elder Strong is awesome and fears no man and trusts God and brings miracles. 

Also Sister Branch said to me this week: "Your testimony is so strong, anyone can see that" I have been focusing on bearing my testimony even more and more powerfully and it seems to make a difference, remembering that I know these things are true that I am teaching. Sister 彭 also says that I bring the Spirit when I teach...I just feel like I fumble over my Chinese and don't say things right. So my companion thinks that about me...which I never see in myself, so maybe I just need to live up to that expectation! 

So I am going to work on seeing the abilities I DO have and appreciating what Heavenly Father has blessed me with even if it's hard to see it.

We are going to Yingge today to look at an Alice In Wonderland park type place and make pottery...and we are WEARING PANTS WOOHOO!! 


Jerry finished all of his after-baptism lessons and is going to the temple this week.
Tri-panionships are crazy.
I currently have a cold. Not fun.

This week held A LOT of miracles...mostly in 彭姐妹's area because we spent most of our time there! Lots of miracle investigators and so many copies of the Book of Mormon passed out. And whenever we spent time here in 龜山...we got lots and lots of doors slammed in our faces and lots and lots of people not answering. But we did see miracles with the people we do have!! We have this new investigator Lu David, the motorcycle man. He came to church and came to the baptism and told us that he is ready to progress, but is leaving it up to God's timing. OK GOLDEN. And we ran into his mom while knocking doors and gave her a chuandan and he said she gave it to him!! Haha wow awesome. He was praying during sacrament and said that he's been having reoccurring dreams thathe is at the door of the personal thought is that he needs to enter the gate of BAPTISM!!

So the 龜山Elders had a baptism this week, and it counted for us because they have 3 baptisms this month and want to split it evenly throughout the ward...what angels. So at the baptism...WE HAVE 4 INVESTIGATORS

THERE!! The 賴Jiemei that we have been teaching came with her amazing friend 張筠. 張 cried the entire time and said she felt the spirit the whole time and asked why she cried when she saw the baptismal water...I told her because God wants her to know she needs to get baptized!! Only after the baptism did we find out that she only feels the spirit when she thinks of God and not Jesus Christ because she doesn't know anything about we'll work on that. We also had 何WeiWei there, a Malaysian who wants to get baptized before she goes home in February! So we will see about that. 

The baptism was for Man Dixiong and he is incredible. This was the most spiritual baptism I've ever been to because of our investigators there and the testimonies born. Another really spiritual experience this week was the funeral for ChenWei's ex-husband. We sang "God Be With You TIl We Meet Again" and it was amazing to share this message of that we will all see our deceased loved ones again with his non-member family members!

I ate 臭豆腐...stinky tofu!!!!! I promised myself when I was in China that I would never eat it...but its actually SO good!!! :)

We taught a less-active member a lesson in an old folk's home this we are teaching her in a room full of 8 SUPER old people just laying there either sleeping or staring at us or making terrible groaning and coughing was super fun. And creepy. Bless their hearts.

Our bathroom curse is BACK. I was showering in freezing cold water when the lights went off. So I asked one of my companions to turn it back on and it didn't work. The power on the entire right side of our apartment went off, including the bathroom!! So my freezing cold dark shower was a lot like I imagine the opposite of heaven will be like!! But we had our landlord come to our apartment this morning and fix the lights...and hopefully the water will decide to work. I hope these upcoming transfers bring good luck to our apartment!!

I am terrified for these upcoming transfers, mostly because I am afraid my next companion will not be nearly as amazing as sister branch and will not be patient with all of my many faults and I will not even have that person to lean on. But I am learning more and more to trust God. I can do literally nothing about these upcoming transfers, so why worry about trying to change anything? I can only trust and pray to feel prepared and not scared. 

So I am learning to do that and seeing what I can learn from amazing Sister Branch in these last few days together. I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father for blessing me with her. I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I am eternally grateful. Whatever this next transfer brings....Heavenly Father has a plan that will help me become who He needs me to be and I only hope that I can see it.

Please pray for our 桃一 ward. A lot of people have passed away recently and a lot of people have been getting sick and needing surgeries and stuff like that...our ward members are all angels and I'm sure they would all love if they were receiving prays from America:)

Well I love you all and wish you the best of weeks. I hope all of your New Years resolutions are to build your testimonies even stronger:)

Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹
 ice cream plus 摩爾門經 

selfie while riding a bike...sorry mom and dad.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WEEK 25: last week with 枝姐妹和彭姐妹 is sure to hold lots of surprises...

1. I'm out of training
2. I got a haircut
3. I've been in Taiwan for 3 months now and my 6 MONTH MARK IS THIS WEEK AHHHH!!

Pretty big starting off news huh?? This week was NUTS, full of many unexpected things!!!

So even though there is also a Chinese New Years here that is the SUPER celebrated one, the Taiwanese still celebrate regular New Years and everyone gets off work/school for a week!!! You would think that means lots of success for us right? WRONG, it means very very many doors slammed in our faces hahaha I've also never had anyone say "我聽不懂" or "I don't understand your Chinese" until yesterday!! So that's good haha:)

So Monday night we are on our way to Family Home Evening and we are told that we will be getting a new companion, 彭姐妹! She is a native Taiwanese stepping up the Chinese game a bit!! So she's with us and her bike is still in her original area and we have no way to get it, so we get a ride to the chapel and have NO RIDE HOME so we make the HOUR AND A HALF WALK home. Yes, we walked home! Then the next day

we find out that 彭姐妹 is going to be getting a duanchuan, or a companion who serves as a missionary for a short amount of time...about 6 days. So she leaves again the next morning. And now she is currently sitting next to me writing emails. So now we are a tripanionship until the 16th, transfer meeting!! Craziness. It's a bit stressful to have to speak Chinese ALL the time, but I guess it's what I should be doing anyway.

Transfer meeting...ay ay ay. I am very much scared for that because Sister Branch and I are most definitely getting separated. All good things must come to an end right? But as to what will happen to me, I have no idea. I have had no feelings as to where I will go, if I'll
stay or if I'll go or if I'll train...Sister Branch thinks I'll train!! But my last full week with 枝姐妹 is going to be crazy, sharing it with a new sister!! We have shared some of the best memories of my life and I am so incredibly grateful for her!

Well this week was BEAUTIFUL weather, winter seems to last only for 3 weeks here! Spring is next month so I guess it could get cold again, but hopefully not!

Crazy things this week:
-There was a fire next door, 3 huge fire trucks barelled down our tiny


-We were knocking doors and this family let us in and sat down and just stared at us, totally ready to hear a lesson but not telling us they had already met missionaries. They humored us and let us teach a
lesson. We tried so hard to bring the Spirit but they just were being polite and then were like Yah we have no interest, but most people are rude so we decided to be nice. Then the next day we see them at a 7/11 after just having a lesson with someone else and there are all mortified!!! They were so embarrassed and covered their faces haha!! -蔡耀德 fanged us twice in the same day and asked if our parents were coming to church with us...he is a strange fellow. He called us like 35 times in one day. Gross.


Crazy spiritual things this week:

-We met with 賴姐妹 and her new work associate was there. We start talking about the Plan of Salvation and the new employee 張筠 starts to cry. She says she just heard about Jesus Christ last week and doesn't
know a lot about him but she already considers herself his disciple. WHAT she's incredible and said she felt the Spirit.

-We went to a members house on New Years Day with our district and ate lunch. Her two nonmember sons were there and she said the closing prayer--the most heartfelt prayer I've ever heard about how her new years resolution/goal is to help them receive the gospel.

-The same members helped us peike for a man named Lu, we call him motorcycle man, who we met on New Years Eve and he said he might come to church. During the middle of second hour, he calls us and runs into church. There was a video playing in Gospel Principles class, called "Todd's Story" (GO WATCH IT, IT'S INCREDIBLE, I saw it in the MTC and I love it) about a man who overcomes drugs and alcohol and says the spirit is more powerful than those influences, and motorcycle man walked in just in time to hear it. 

He has a problem with those addictions so it was incredible. Then a sister stands up and bears her testimony about how it is worth it to give up those things. Then we meet with this man and he tells us that he has met missionaries FIVE TIMES in passing so this must be his time to accept the gospel. He also said that he had plans that day, but they cancelled right before church. He has an incredible story about how he was in a coma for 6 months and recovered and how he knows that God wants him to learn about this because he is still alive. 

That Sunday was Fast Sunday. Fasting truly brings miracles. -Jerry set a date to go to the temple, January 10th!! That is his only goal basically...his number one goal!! We wanted to set a date for him and he said he wanted to pray we prayed right there in 7/11 to know what day he should go. And he decided the 10th. He has so so so much faith.

 -We will finish teaching the after-baptism lessons to TWO of our recent converts this week yay!

-One of our ward missionaries invited her work associate to meet with us and she is INCREDIBLE. She has tons of questions but she really wants to truly understand. She has yet to set a date for baptism but that is our goal this next week. She has two little kids and we hope that by her knowing this gospel, she will bring her family into the church too.
 Please pray for our ward mission leader, his mother-in-law recently passed away. Please pray for our area. I have never seen such a strange pattern....every single soul, and i mean EVERY person we have met in the past 3 weeks who is super prepared to receive this gospel has lived somewhere else. Besides the 2 people we met this week, every single person who even talks to us for a second has lived somewhere else. As a result, we have had an IMMENSE amount of referrals for other missionaries. 

Sister Branch and I believe that through this
incredibly uncanny trial, we are supposed to be humbled because we already had 3 baptisms, and we need to help other missionaries more.

Hopefully the people of 龜山 will open their hearts to us soon instead of slamming their doors, but we can only pray and exercise faith!

My personal revelation this week was to remember my testimony from before I came on a mission. I don't know why, but recently I have been feeling super inadequate and always worried that I am not good enough. But during sacrament on Fast Sunday I had the idea that I need to remember why I came out here in the first place. 

Why? Because I know t's true. Frequently I compare my testimony to others who have crazy conversion stories, but I don't need to do that when I have known this gospel is true my whole life. Before my mission, I bore my testimony every Fast Sunday. I brought other people to seminary, I read my scriptures every day and listened to EFY music for fun. Who I am now is definitely different than who I was before my mission, but who I was before should bring strength to who I am now. I encourage you all
to look at the growth you have made in your lives, especially what has changed this past year.

This week I set very very many goals because this time next year, I've have close to 3 weeks left on a mission!!! So I hope you all are making some very inspired goals for this next year!!! God will help us in all that we hope to accomplish if we prayerfully seek His help.

Remember: Our Heavenly Father expects immediate progression, not perfection. I love you all! This week has been so so much improved!!! I am focusing on consecrating all my efforts, thoughts, and actions to this work so I can be a CHANGED person when I get back. 
No worries, still crazy, but different.

I hope you all have an incredible week!
Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹

p.s. are bathroom selfies still a thing? This bathroom was too cool
not to take a picture of!

Monday, January 5, 2015

WEEK 24: 新年快樂!!!

WOW THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!!! And New Years is RIGHT around the corner!!!!

Some things that made this season special:
Sister Branch's family always has a Christmas Elf that visits them so I thought it would be special if I played that part and left her cute notes and a teddy bear and stuff:)

EVERYONE gives us food and random crackers and anything that they can. I know everyone else is getting chocolate and we get that too, but also tomatoes and bread. Haha awesome.

We went to have tons of fun with our posse (Sofia, Yoyo, Jerry and 小寶) in Taipei and just look at trees and eat food and it was SOOOO FUN!! Just felt like a normal day out with friends....definitely going back to Taiwan after the mish:) Sister Branch had Krispy Kreme for the first time and there was a Santa Claus handing out free gifts!!

CHRISTMAS EVE ZONE CONFERENCE!! Oh man this was incredibly fun, all of
the zones outside of Taipei got together and we ate food and got
presents--a pinyin+characters+English NEW TESTAMENT!! And had training and a talent show and listened to the choir. We did this hilarious activity were we were given a bag of tools and then Sister Branch had an occupation on her back and we had to see if the tools matched up. Her's said PLUMBER, which is Oh so applicable to our lives. Oh man so so so much fun! OH AND I GOT TO SEE SISTER AKITA WHO IS HERE NOW IN MY

CHRISTMAS DAY TEMPLE TOURS! First of all....The Plumber occupation was
given to us on Christmas Eve...well first thing Christmas morning, I'm
going to take a shower and I turn the water on and the pipe under the
sink BURSTS. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US!! So we call a plumber and he comes
over and fixes the pipe, tracking mud all over our house while we open
the presents our families sent us:) Very memorable to say the least:)
But really,  I really am such a lucky missionary to be able to go back
to Taipei on Christmas and be on the temple grounds all day and find
people and give them tours of the chapel and tell them about Jesus
Christ! We were walking around in the pouring rain and we found a mom
who was going to pick her daughter up from school. We all went
together and we gave her the first lesson about Joseph Smith and the
Book of Mormon. The incredible thing about this: her daughter is 7 and
partially deaf so she only listens to her mom. Consequently, her mom
explained every picture of Jesus Christ and every aspect of the first
lesson to her daughter, so she got to say all of these incredible
details about the Savior's life in her own words!!!!!! I know from
personal experience that when we testify of His life, our own
testimony grows stronger and so I can only imagine what it did for
her!! Then we were about to go find some more when we talked to a lady
sitting in the chapel. We assumed she was a member...she told us she
comes to the chapel at least once a week with her friend during a
Relief Society Activity and sits and waits for her. So we gave her a
tour too and she accepted a baptismal date!! It's so incredible the
miracles we saw on Christmas, truly testifying of Jesus Christ and
having the wonderful opportunity of sharing about Him on the day we
celebrate His birth!!!

SKYPE MY FAMILY DAY!!!!! Not much to say more than I love them and I
miss them and it was a million years too short. It didn't distract me
from my mission or anything...just made my Chinese pretty bad for the
rest of the day because I spoke so much English! haha:)

MIRACLE: we saw JOYCE!!! Joyce, went to Australia for a month Joyce. We
felt like visiting her and as soon as we go over to her apartment, she
comes out and is like "Oh I'll see you at church tomorrow!!!" She
looks 12 times happier, truly a miracle! Also, we talked to this dad
and his little kids. This 6 year old little boy kept calling us "hot
girls" and "perfect girls" and telling us to stop by his house the
next night!! WHAT in the world!! He tried to hold our hands and play
with our hair and he is SIX. Hahaha hilarious but concerning.

Joyce didn't come to church but she is coming to Family Home Evening tonight!!
Raymond came to church and got to attend the baptism after church!!!!
We still can't tell if he is progressing because his understanding is
just so slow, but at least he came!! Then we met with Jerry and found
out that he hadn't slept in 48 from 10:30pm to 7am the
next day is SOOOO 辛苦!!! But he is such a hard worker and now he is
WARD MISSIONARY!! Along with 黃聰敏...two of our recent converts!!! As
for 陳逸倫, please pray for her! She never has time to meet with us and
has work on Sundays sometimes...she doesn't seem to be putting the
gospel first and doesn't seem to understand some very basic doctrinal
principles so pray she can meet with us! Also pray that Tony and his
beautiful family will come to church!! We still have hope for them!

WE GOT UP at 5 am!! Yah what who am I right?? We exercised and then
cleaned our apartment for an hour and a half because it was NASTY. But
now it has never been cleaner everrr!!! The floor is no longer covered
in hairballs, but is super shiny:) I'm still living, so I guess the
extra sleep wasn't needed;) Haha we even were awake before the
BUTCHER!! Whatttt crazy!! If the rest of you don't live above a
butcher who chops meat every day for 7 hours (and I'm assuming most of
you don't), I would invite you to imagine

Feeling pretty good because despite all the goodies we've been eating,
I am still getting comments about how I'm losing weight and asking if
my parents were worried when they saw me on Skype and wondering on how
I'm losing weight so fast...HAHAHAHA not true but cool I guess!

This week has been amazing because I have been learning so much about
what I can do to become more like my Savior and how His infinite
Atonement applies personally to me. And helping people feel it has
been so amazing!! Helping people understand that HE is the reason for
the season, not Santa Claus like many people think haha!! I can feel
myself improving each day, more confident and more able to feel the
Spirit and more able to see myself for who my Savior and Heavenly
Father see me as! We can still share the gift even when the holidays
are over. We make new year's resolutions to change and improve
ourselves...let us not forget that Jesus Christ is the ONLY reason we
can change in the first place!! I invite you all to make it a goal to
be more spiritually oriented this year, always reading the Book of
Mormon and the scriptures and finding out just how much He loves us!!!

Well a ton of missionaries are going home this Wednesday, so I might
still be here with Sister Branch or not, but whatever happens, I am
learning more and more how to trust God and His plan for me!!
Also I'm sorry my emails are taking a weird format...I don't know how
to fix it!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! <3

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