Sunday, November 29, 2015

Set a Stocking for the Savior, make it a Consecrated Christmas!

All of these Sisters are going home in December - except me!

I hope everyone had an AMAZING THANKSGIVING and ate a lot of food for me:) We went to an American-ish restaurant and ate American-ish roast chicken. It was the closest we could get to:) Please eat pumpkin pie and eggnog for me, that will probably not be seen in these parts!

On Tuesday, Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to us about the blessings and happiness that accompany obedience. He also talked about how important it is to bear testimony to these investigators. He is so awesome, yeah he's a little new but he was so powerful!! I was in the choir that sang "Away in a Manger" for him, THAT was cool:) I got to shake his hand and hug his wife and look into his eyes. It went by so fast, but the Spirit in the room will be remembered forever! We were all standing SO silent as he walked in and the peace in the room was almost tangible. Mostly I will remember the immense feeling of love and unity I had as all of the missionaries in the whole mission were gathered and dedicated to serving our Lord Jesus Christ. 

We have an AMAZING MIRACLE to report: Theresa will be getting baptized on Christmas. Who is Theresa you might ask? She lived in Salt Lake City Utah for like 10 years or so, never got baptized, just started going to church the past 3 months, came back to Taiwan for the holidays and is going to be here JUST long enough so we can share all the lessons, get her baptized, and then she leaves December 28th, the DAY after her confirmation!!! Crazy!!!!!!!

Thanksgiving miracle:
We have this awesome investigator Zhang Wei Jun, he told us he was bringing 2 friends to our lesson on Thanksgiving. We taught him and them the Plan of Salvation. Literally best lesson ever. He asked such good questions and it was so inspired by the Spirit. Not many people in Taiwan understand everything we teach all at once, but he does. And by the end, his friend goes "I didn't know that my choices had real consequences. I will stop drinking coffee and I want to get baptized, I just worry that I won't be able to change fast enough. I want to change so that I can endure to the end, because if I didn't it would be disrespecting Heavenly Father." WHAT. This was our first time meeting with him, he has never even SEEN missionaries before as far as we know, and he uses language like this!!!!!! We also found out that the other friend is an eternal investigator who has already been following the Word of Wisdom and FINISHED THE WHOLE BOOK OF MORMON. Wow. So we will work on helping these people be baptized. Zhang Wei Jun told us his parents don't want him to keep meeting with us, so pray for him please!!!!

I went on exchanges with lovely 蕭姐妹 and Sister Gabbitas. I love these sisters, we are all best friends. Sister Gabbitas says everything about me reminds her of her best friend Brynn haha cool. Also, Sister Xiao told me that she loves me for loving her. I love being a leader who gets to show my love for others:)

Well, wish us luck this next week as we sweat for salvation and bike for baptisms:) Yes, it is still NOT COLD IN TAIWAN!!! Maybe by Christmas I'll have to wear a coat outside;) These pictures of Christmas decorations are at our recent converts house, she is from the Philippines, Sister Lita:) I love you all, PLEASE HAVE FAITH IN MIRACLES THIS WEEK!!!!!!!

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

Monday, November 23, 2015


Our new car! Just kidding...

Managing my cold the Taiwanese way

SO MANY CRAZY THINGS HAPPENED THIS WEEK I CAN'T EVEN EXPLAIN THEM ALL. All I can say is that THIS week was full of all of the miracles that made up for last week:)

As for the many people, like so many, people on the street and members and investigators and even other missionaries told me that I am not American, I am way more Taiwanese. I don't even know what's happening, but I know that it's true. Watch out. 

SO Monday, we met with Resa. She is a new investigator and she is AWESOME. She has never felt loved, always felt criticized and picked on. She has been to a ton of other Christian churches and still doesn't feel that it's right. She is awesome and wants to feel Heavenly Father's love so bad. She is preparing to be baptized on 12/19:)

Tuesday, we met with our RC Chen Hui Mu. He told us that when we took him to the temple for the first time, when I handed him a Book of Mormon to read while we waited, he flipped open to Alma 40:23 about the resurrection it brought him comfort that his bad knees and missing teeth will be restored:) 

Wednesday, we had a huge miracle. I start talking to a random couple. We start talking about family and the husband says they have no time to think about religion or go to church because he has to take care of his 100 year old dad!!! I was like "WOAH REALLY" and he invites us to go see. So yes, like a zoo, we go see his ancient dad just laying on the bed!!!!! Then this guy starts telling us the secret to living long is not eating medicine, just Chinese medicine, and then through massaging the pressure points on your body, you can activate your body's natural healing power. 

So we are talking about religion and this body stuff, and I give him a Book of Mormon and because of the culture here, they ALWAYS feel like they have to give you something back, so he starts scurrying around the house trying to find a book to give me. He gives me a book about the pressure points of the feet and how you can heal your body from it. Then he grabs my foot and starts kneading my toes and I'm in so much pain, and then at the same time, his wife starts to ask about the Book of Mormon. I'm unable to process the fact that she says that she has FINISHED READING the whole book, then gave it back to missionaries a couple years ago, because I'm in so much pain. 

The husband stops "massaging" my feet (also, who would want to touch a missionary's feet???) and I start to ask her what she thought of the book and why she gave it back. She starts to ask what we think the purpose of life is and where we were before we came to earth and where we will go after we die and why we even need this earth life. Once I compared it to how little children need to grow up and get jobs and go to school and get married so they can experience life on their own, she totally got it. AND YET she still didn't want to learn more, still was unable to accept that our Heavenly Father loves us. Anyway, this whirlwind of strange foot-mangling and free books amidst a gospel lesson was the miracle we had prayed for that day:) We will go back and talk to her more about the Plan of Salvation pamphlet we gave her. :)

That same day, we met with Xie Dixiong, the eternal investigator who is like a Taiwanese cholo beaner guy. He moved to Neihu!!!!!!!! So yah its definitely a sign that we can't help him here, the answers will be found in NeiHu for him!!! (that is still in our mission zone, but not the area me and my companion cover)

THEN that night, we went to the night market to eat dinner with our district and recent converts before English class and LO AND BEHOLD there were 3 white women visiting Taiwan from UTAH. Two of them had return-missionary sons!! They paid for our meal and thought it was amazing how we could communicate and understood and accepted the culture. It baffled me at how baffled they were! They asked me to have a full on conversation about our day's events to our district leader Elder Boyce and it just came so naturally to me, more naturally than English:) So that was a huge miracle to see them too. :)

Thursday I was sick. Ugh it hit me hard, this cold, I am still getting over a cough. I've been really weak, but through resting and drinking water, I was still able to work on Friday.

FRIDAY OH MY GOODNESS FRIDAY. THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE BIGGEST MIRACLE OF MY MISSION. So I was still sick, but rested in the afternoon so we went out at 3. We were trying to find less actives and no one was home. It's about time for a lesson we had at 5 so we turn to go. For some reason, I turn back around, look up at the man and his son in the 2nd floor window and shout "HEY CAN WE GIVE YOU A PAMPHLET?" And instead of the expect "不用謝謝!" He says "Are you Mormon missionaries? Welcome into my home!!" and so we go up. 

This man, 陳崇勇 pulls out a MoMenJing (the current version we use is MoErMenJing, so the version he had was an old translation) that he got 15 years ago that a missionary gave him before he went home. This Chen DiXiong says " I LOVE THIS BOOK. It has gotten me through some really hard times. When my relationship with my wife was bad, I read this book and prayed like the missionaries taught me, and then my wife joined a Christian church! I feel like God speaks to me through this book. I know that our prayers have to be sincere in order for God to hear us and help us." 

He then goes on to explain that he doesn't believe in the Trinity like every Christian church in Taiwan does. He knows that his wife's Christian church is good, but he doesn't like to go because they pray to Christ and not Heavenly Father. He says "I know that Heavenly Father is our Father and Jesus Christ is His Son, He is our Savior." He practically just bubbled over with joy that we came into his house to share about the message that he ALREADY believed to be true, but because no missionaries had stayed in contact, he never got to be baptized. We invited him to be baptized on Christmas and he accepted. WOW. 

Sitting there, I could not even comprehend this huge miracle we had stumbled into. Here I am, sick and weak and just soaking up the Spirit that this simple man's simple testimony invited. It was incredible. He came to church yesterday in a white shirt and we are visiting himtonight. He hopes that we can meet with his wife too and help them both become stronger Christians:) I don't know WHAT we did to deserve this miracle, but I know that RIGHT NOW is this man's time to accept the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Also, Chen Hui Mu went and did baptisms for the dead at the temple!! He is a stubborn old man and likes to be lazy, but he went!!

Saturday, we got stood up by an investigator, so we got to eat cream puffs with Jin Jiemei, the one with the super fancy house up in the mountains:) I also ate apple pie at a fancy little cafe we found. LIKE LEGIT APPLE PIE, NOT TAIWANESE STYLE. SO GOOD. We also met with an awesome less active who has real desire to come back, he's a super cool 20 year old Zhan DiXiong:) Then we went to visit our Philipina recent convert Sister Lita. She is so adorable, we are going to eat lunch with her this Saturday:) oh also.............I hit my 500 DAYS AS A MISSIONARY mark:) SO COOL, I love being a missionary:)

Then SUNDAYSunday was nuts. Most importantly...JERRY HIT HIS YEAR MARK!!!!!!!! Who remembers Jerry, my recent convert when I was in training, the one who got baptized in like 4 weeks and was super golden and has visited me a few times since then?? Yesterday marked a year since he was baptized!!! So he will be getting his endowment soon and I got permission to go:) Congratulations Jerry!!!!!!!!! 恭喜陳鈞毅!!

We had 6 investigators at church, the most I've ever had in my mission. One of them was a man I met on the street, asked him if he wanted to come to the free English class we teach, he said he didn't want to come to English class, but he would want to come to church. And yep, sure enough he came!!! 3 other English class students came too, and then the miracle Chen Dixiong and Resa. SO AMAZING. Then later that day, we tried to contact a family, only to be told by the dad that the way we were doing missionary work was wrong and we should probably just stop. "不要傳教" (bu yao chuanjiao) is what he said. Well, in Chinese, missionary is chuan jiao shi, so he was basically telling us not to do what we are. So yah, we walked away from him:) 

Then we had an AMAZING lesson with a referral named Zhang Dixiong. He is 21 and amazing. I have never had such a smooth lesson of the Restoration!!!!!!! He said he is going to think about when he wants to be baptized, but having Christmas be a goal is pretty tempting:)

Something that I have been pondering lately is how amazing it is that we are spreading the teachings of Christ in Taiwan. We had another lesson yesterday and he was an atheist who wanted to understand God. He did not understand ANY of the words we used to teach. Prophet, authority, disciple, apostasy, restoration, but even simpler words like gospel and truth were hard concept for him to grasp. 

People here in Taiwan are literally trapped by the "traditions of their fathers," to quote the Book of Mormon (standard missionary). They CAN NOT seem to grasp why they would be able to chose for themselves their religion or why they would be able to change or why they would even need to change. When we get told a million times on the street "I'm Buddhist" and we ask how their religion has helped them, 98% of the time, the answer is that their religion hasn't made any difference in their lives. My question is why would you even make it part of your life then? I am so grateful for this great, DIFFICULT calling we have to help bring these people who are so buried in darkness into the light. They do not know God. They do not know Heavenly Father. Most of these people don't even understand that sin is even bad. It's pretty stinking cool that we get to help people learn the truth, even though, I can tell you, it's super hard. :)

Fun facts about our week:
-I had my first Chinese medicine 中藥 this week because I got a really bad cold. It is just...powder, some really weird herbs or something and it is NASTY. NASTIEST THING I'VE HAD IN MY LIFE and I have had some pretty nasty things. Like bitter and sour and dry and just UGH. But I hope it helps me heal:)
-We also helped a blind old man cross the street this week. That was awesome:)
-A member gave us homemade bread this morning and an apostle is coming to visit our mission tomorrow!! :)

I know that this gospel is true. I know and I live it and I love it. I also know that happiness is for those who proactively seek it. I don't know how this directly translates in English, but Jin Jiemei shared with us 幸福是給主動的人的. 

I Know that Heavenly Father is waiting to give us whatever we want, but we must use our agency to go after it. This life, our agency, the Plan of Salvation, it's all so wonderful. I love you all, I hope you stuff your faces full of the turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie that we will not see on Thanksgiving because it is not celebrated here. :) 

Be grateful and remember that all of our blessings come from our Father in Heaven and we can progress because of Jesus Christ. 

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

 My sweet little Ren (in Yuli) got baptized!!

Portable font!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We must have broken some kind of world record....

My dearest family and friends, this was SUCH a funny week for me as a missionary. First funny thing first: I want to explain what it means to fang gezi. In Chinese, it literally means to let your pigeons go. What it means in context is that you get stood up, someone sets up with you and then they don't show up. It is one of the HARDEST things in this culture because no one likes to call and cancel, they don't want to reject you, it's just a thing to save face. SO this past week, finding all day every day, setting up appointments with people, being SO excited to share the gospel and THEN.....getting stood up 15 times this week. It's a record, it must be!!! But despite the fact that all day every day our lessons fell through, one after the other after the other, we just went out and talked to everyone and opened our mouths and spread the gospel. 

Another thing I feel I need to explain is the grip that Buddhism has here in Taiwan, especially in Taipei. Because family and ancestors are so prevalent, everyone thinks that if they change their religion, it is betraying family and their dead ancestors get lost and their ghosts come to haunt their lives. They also just don't like change. The main thing I have heard this past week is "I am Buddhist. I can't understand this." It is so confusing to me, when we promise the blessing of a remission of sins, a chance to start over, a path to eternal happiness and progression and an escape from lonliness and sorrow, and people say no because it's too hard to change. But I have faith that we will find someone to be baptized on Christmas!!!!!! 

Funny story from this past week:
Last night we got stood up so we started street contacting. We asked a guy if he needed directions because he was clearly lost. He said no, then a minute later comes up to us and says "I wanted to come talk to you because you're cute." and i'm like wait WHATTTT. And he is this 33 year old man (looks like he's 25 because he's Asian) telling me he wants my number so he can take me out for a drink and I'm like going into shock because my brain no longer understands how to process this kind of interaction with the male species. It was definitely weird. I told him I want to help him learn about Christ and he said no, so I said no and he walked away. Yup. 

Miracle story from this past week:
This is our Sabbath miracle:) We went trying to find Less Actives and we found a man who was baptized 49 years ago, only 10 years after Taiwan even got missionaries, and he is now 73 and hasn't been to church in over 10 years. He still remembers how to pray and set up to meet with us next Sunday!! Crazier part is that we met him LAST week and he told us he was a member of our church, but then again everyone thinks that all Christian churches are the same so we thought he didn't know what he was talking about, but we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY.

Right after we walk out of this man's house, we start talking to a young couple who went to Salt Lake City on their honeymoon, and then the man says "I was baptized into your church like 30 years ago! I don't remember it much..." and we're like WHATTTTTTTTTT!!! AND THEN his wife goes "don't you know that they pray and ask God for help to learn Chinese so well? That's the only way it happens obviously!" And I'm just like CAN WE PLEASE HAVE YOUR NUMBER!? haha they move to a different area next week, but literally, we found this couple and this old man on the top of a mountain. It was so cool.

Well, this week was nuts. I have never had a week quite like this on my mission. It was hard, I'm not gonna lie. But I still had a warm light fuzzy feeling all day every day because I KNEW what I was saying was true. And I KNOW that someday we will receive blessings from our work. I KNOW there are people waiting to hear the gospel here in Beitou, we just have to listen to the Spirit to find them:) I encourage you all to listen to the Spirit more this week. I have made it a focus every day to be in tune with Heavenly Father's will for me. This week did not go AT ALL as we planned. But I was never even tempted to get discouraged because I know that Christ faced similar trials when He was on the earth:) I love you all, have a great week!!!

Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹
Relief Society activity, I LOVE THESE SISTERS.

my first pizza since I left Yuli <3

UM YAH MY TRAINER SISTER BRANCH IS IN TAIWAN AND DIDN'T TELL ME. We match...companionship and mother/daughter unity from all the way in the states:)

Making a chocolate chip cookie mix that my family sent me

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Companion Number 11

Counting all of my companions since the start of my mission, Sister Facer is #11!!! I was her STL last transfer and now she is my companion!! Haha it will be interesting but fun I think. 

This week has been so great. Why? Because we have been finding all day every day! It's been kind of funny, NO ONE wants to hear the gospel!! It's been super fun for me at least though because we still get to share this wonderful message, even if it's just "Hi, we represent Jesus Christ and we know that He lives and He loves you!" with everyone. No, no one wanted to pray or accept a Book of Mormon or get baptized, BUT we got to be able to share our testimonies. We aren't giving up, we will keep trying to find the place that all the prepared souls are:)

We were finding all day yesterday and after having all our appointments cancel and no one wanting to talk to us, we finally found the prepared Li Jiemei who set a date to be baptized on Christmas!!! Heavenly Father has been teaching us about going to the very end because that's where all the miracles are seen:)

OH I ALMOST FORGOT. We went to the celestial kingdom with a view of the ocean and beautiful mountains this last week. Our member lives in a penthouse that she designed up in the mountains:

Yes, Sister Sagisi is gone, but it's ok because I get to start and build the kingdom here in BeiTou all over again! We baptized all our progressing investigators and not we get to start from the bottom up:) It's gonna be hard but fun. No one ever said a mission would be easy right?? I love doing hard things. I am positive that the Lord wants me to succeed. I am working on feeling the success that He sees. I have really been praying hard to feel the Spirit in every aspect of my life and it's already starting to make a difference. I think that Heavenly Father wants me to learn how to rely fully on the guidance of the Spirit...I feel like Heavenly Father might be saving a lot of my most difficult decisions to be made after the mission haha. I know that Heavenly Father expects great things from me and gives me hard challenges that He expects me to accept because He knows I can do it. 

It's November and still a million degrees here. I love that I have a FULL CALENDAR YEAR IN TAIWAN. I love it here. I live for the culture and the language and the people. I love you all, have a good week:)
Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹

Fun at Halloween time:) No, it doesn't really exist in Taiwan.

We took 陳輝木 to do baptisms at the temple!!! This man just glows:) 

Me and the departing sisters. I don't know if I told people that Jaina Allen moved to Taipei from the Taizhong mission, but she had to go home for health reasons. :-(

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Birthdays, Baptisms, and Halloween!!

As I am writing this, my awesome little bro Weston turns 15! Also, shout out to the coolest NOW ADULT 18 year old Walker who turned legal last week:) love you two <3

We went to an all you can eat Thailand restaurant today...I don't think I'll have to eat for the rest of the WEEK!!! haha so good:) Also , I hope everyone had an amazing Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!! I wore orange to celebrate. Thanks mom and dad for the Halloween package. We also had a BAPTISM TO CELEBRATE!!!!:) I made sure that Zheng Yi Ting participated in the festivities:)

Elaine Zheng is so amazing. Like, a one month baptism. Her ex boyfriend brought her to church with him while he was investigating the church, all the way down in NanTou, at the bottom of Taiwan I think. Then she came up to BeiTou and came to church, and now she got baptized before him!! Haha he came up to see her be baptized, and loved it!!

THEN, the next day, the Sunday that she got confirmed, the first Sunday of the month, is the New Member Fireside, where we all go to the big chapel next to the temple and missionaries bring their recent converts. Zheng Yi Ting gave the first talk, as her FIRST day being a member!!! She shared about how when she was younger, she was always teased and grew up with depression. But when she found the church, she felt Christ and Heavenly Father's love through repentance and reading the scriptures and praying everyday. She loves keeping commandments and her favorite thing is going to be enduring to the end. WHAT HOW AWESOME IS SHE. We also brough Chen Hui Mu to the Fireside, his first week as a member:)

This week will be my last week with Sister Sagisi, who is going home on Saturday!!! I will have another new companion, leading another area that is brand new to me! I could definitely use your prayers please:)

Well, we got broken up with by ALL of our investigators this week, so we will be working really hard to find all the prepared souls to accept the gospel this week! Actually, a really cool miracle was the Li Jia Hong we found last week, the man who was super willing to pray and said he needs to find God again after 20 years of not going to any church. He came to the baptism and brought his little daughter. We shared the message of the Restoration with him and the Spirit was so strong. He is willing to learn more, but hesitant to come to church. Hopefully we can help him learn of the truth:)

We had MLC this week, so fun, I love all these missionaries so much!! We went on exchanges after with Sister Hadley. I had an inspiration to go visit Judy, our 15 year old 6-year-former investigator. She can't get baptized because of her mom, but she came to English class last week and told us her birthday was October 30th. So we bought her chocolate and went over. She was SO happy to see us, her mom actually welcomed us in, her grandma told us to stay to eat cake, and then right when we were about to leave, her DAD came home. The dad has an intense desire to be baptized, ever since he was supposed to get baptized 6 years ago, but his wife STILL won't let them. But this was our first time meeting the dad, he still keeps in touch with the first missionaries he met!! Wow, it was such a miracle to be able to show this family that we care about them and get on good terms with the mom. Judy also came to the baptism and the ward members all love her:)

This week was really good. I still am looking forward to learning more and more how the Spirit communicates with me and really understanding what an investigator must feel in order to be converted. They have to feel like Zheng Yi Ting. Sorrow for sins, relief and comfort when they are forgiven, and God's embrace when we follow commandments. These investigators and less active members need to feel the love of the ward. I am SO grateful that our members, especially our Relief Society, love and accept Elaine Zheng so much!! We all need to receive the testimony of truth from the Holy Ghost itself in order to KNOW these things are true. And they are. I love it:)

Love you all!!! Stay tuned for me to have ANOTHER new companion next week!!

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