Sunday, December 27, 2015

.....AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

Let your light so shine...

Teresa's baptism on Christmas - the most perfect baptism ever!

I literally don't know where to start with how INCREDIBLE AMAZING FANTASTICALLY 

Christmas was so fantastically amazing. We woke up at 5, and put all our Christmas presents on our bikes, and rode up the mountain to the chapel just so we could have a Christmas tree to put our presents under:) JiaQi came with us and she got her first American style Christmas morning:) 

We met with Xie Dx again on Christmas, he said he has been pondering the Holy Ghost and he says the ways he feels it is that he has a clearer mind, and he is in a better mood and he feels like someone is hugging and comforting him. He told us thank you for giving him the keys to unlock the truth and happiness in his life. WOAH. So cool:) He invited his wife to meet with us, but she just sat there look miserable and making rude comments. will take some time with her. 

We had amazing lessons all day all the way up until we ate dinner with Teresa. I gave her a CTR ring and she freaked out she was so excited and was like "Yes, I'll marry you!!!" kidding around putting it on her ring finger haha AH I love her so much. Also...she COMPLETED READING THE BOOK OF MORMON BEFORE SHE GOT BAPTIZED. Who does that???????? She bears a testimony that sounds like she has been a member for years and  years. She is the cutest thing ever and I literally don't know what I did to deserve a miracle like her in my life. Best Christmas present I could ever ever EVER ask for was her perfectly smooth baptismal service. She only had to be immersed one time, her boyfriend attended, there was chocolate cake after the service. So amazing. Get this....Xie Dx and his son came. His son is 9 and wanted to see someone be cleansed from their sins. Rich also came, the man who had to seperate himself from his family and friends because of the government. And RESA CAME. The Resa who stood us up like 5 times and we stopped meeting with her. She never ever ever has time, but then I called her at 6:45 telling her to come at 7 AND SHE DID. Such a Christmas miracle:) 

And after we left to go home, we had about 12 minutes. We hadn't had time to contact all day (weird right, we were so busy and none of our lessons fell through, another HUGE miracle), so I said to Sister Facer, lets find a Christmas miracle. I talked to a cute little 23 year old girl named Christina...her family is "Christian" but she doesn't feel like she is satisfied with it. We took a picture with her and she was an automatic best friend:) I LOVE TAIWANESE PEOPLE. I don't think more friendly people exist in the world:) 

Christmas Eve: our missionary Christmas choir went to the BanQiao station where there was a huge Christmas light display so TONS of people were there. We sang our regular songs along with some fun Christmas songs too. People joined in and took pictures with us and gave us hot was SO fun, I felt so festive and it was definitely one of the best Christmas Eve's I've ever had:)

The Day After Christmas:
We went to YongHe to perform, and VALERIE WAS THERE!! She's a recent convert from Tao 2 when I was there for only 6 weeks. She and I were like besties and she was so excited to see me...SHE IS GOING ON A MISSION!! We are still waiting to find out where:) On the way home that night, I got to talk to some Mexicans. Yah WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE MEXICANS DOING IN TAIWAN. I have no idea, it was the first person from Central America I have ever talked to in Taiwan!!! One of the men ( i couldnt pronounce his Spanish name, English is Jerry) told me he thought I was so inspiring to be doing this work. Definitely made my day to talk to them:)

Sunday: Zhang Jia Qi GOT HER MISSION CALL, SHE IS GOING TO AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE!!!!!!!!!! ENGLISH SPEAKING!!!!!!!! She is one of my best friends, she helps us every day, she exercises with us and eats with us and supports us in everything we do. She is going to be an amazing missionary. She enters the MTC on May 10th:)

Mission Christmas Conference:
go on to look at the video of our Christmas party!! We had a talent show, Sister Facer and I sang "Come Unto Christ" and it sounded really good. But the best performance was definitely our performance of "The Twelve Days of JieKou" which means "The Twelve Days of Excuses"...Taiwanese people have SO SO SO MANY weird excuses when you want to share the gospel with them. These are the most common ones, that happen every single day. You might think some of them are fake, but like seriously. I wont explain it in Chinese because you wouldnt get it, but in English:

12 "I want to get baptized!"......*stands you up at the lesson*
11 It's all pretty much the same
10 I'm too embarrassed 
9 I am Buddhist
8 It's almost New Years (middle of February)
7 My body is uncomfortable
6 *silent hand in your face symbolizing rejection*
5 I have no time
4 It's not convenient right now
3 I'm too busy
2 My house has some stuff happening
1 thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

Everyone loved it, our district made it up:) Anyways, it was SO fun to see all of my friends from all phases of mission life. I loved the feeling we had all being together, knowing we would be spending our Christmas doing the Lord's work. The food was also great too, I GOT TO EAT AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS MEAL:) minus the pie part:( but that's probably for the better haha

Tuesday to Wednesday:
exchanged with Qiu Jiemei and Sister Chan. I went to ShiLin with Qiu Jiemei, I love speaking Chinese 24 hours a day with a Taiwanese companion:) Haha when we switched back though, Sister Chan didn't give me my bike key, so we had to walk everywhere. It worked out though because we met a Li Jiemei who was so fascinated by our message of the Restoration and how different it is from her Christian church, that she followed us all night, she ate dinner with us and walked all the way up the mountain to English class!!! She told us yesterday that she doesn't want to come to church...but in the moment it was a CRAZY MIRACLE:)

This email is alllllllllll over the place, definitely not in order of events. I don't know why or how that happened, its just the order I typed it in. Well, welcome to my brain haha. I am super good at missionary things, other social things and expressing myself in English, not so much!!!

I want to testify that I know that this church is true and spending Christmas in Taiwan was way better than in America:) I loved skyping my family, but getting back to sharing the gospel was what I felt was most rewarding. I love Christ and I love Heavenly Father and I delight in using the Atonement to better myself and the lives of others. I love teaching others this important message.  I love you all and I hope you set some specific goals on how you will improve in this next year!!!!!

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

JiaQi's mission call opening plus saying goodbye to Teresa, who is on her way to SLC!

Our missionary choir drew a big crowd! 

Making friends at the train station

 Christmas morning!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Coming Soon!

Probably my favorite mission picture of all and a big pile of poop. And I just happen to match...

Well, this month is like, over, and well it went by really fast. It's almost a new year. I will have spent the ENTIRE YEAR OF 2015 in Taiwan:) I'm pretty cool I guess.

So biggest news first:
ALL OF MY SISTERS WENT HOME. So except for Sister Strong, all of the sisters who came on island with me went home this last Thursday, left a transfer early to start school. Yah its a pretty weird feeling. It was so strange to see Sister Morris standing up to give her final testimony, thinking "Wasn't the MTC just yesterday?" I think it was like 15 sisters went home this past week. I am officially the oldest 傳教士 :)

Other cool stuff:
-We went to the zoo last Monday with a less active LinDiXiong, a recent convert ZhengYiTing, a member ZhangJiaQi, and an investigator Teresa:)

-So Sister Facer and I are still together, we are now Sister Training Leaders over the new north zone and now central zone too, wow!!!!!!!! I am excited to work with new sisters:) My old companion Sister Chan is in our zone now, yay!!

-TERESA PASSED HER BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW!!!!!!!! She will be having a Christmas baptism:) We are SOOOOOOO excited!!

-We had our fabulous ward Christmas party, we had 7 investigators come and a ton of less active members. Our choir performed great and our ward had a Nativity skit, so cute. I am telling you, Heavenly Father loves me because He put me in this ward. Everyone is so spiritual and loving and it truly feels like a family, every one is close to every one else and I am just accepted and fit right in:) 

-MIRACLE TUESDAY: We were fang'd by Resa, so we "broke up" with her and told her that she could contact us, but we weren't going to keep wasting our time setting up with her when she never showed up. So we went to go contact by the train station. I started talking to this man, and we hit it off pretty well. I shared prayer, the Book of Mormon, and baptism. People in Taiwan don't really understand prayer or scriptures or church or any of this kind of religion thing, so when this man 謝偉傑 said "Oh, so I pray to communicate and get to know God, and I read this book to get to know Christ and how I can have a better life? Ok, I get it. I would like to learn more." I WAS LITERALLY BLOWN AWAY. Pretty sure it was the first time I had ever heard that on my mission. And that started a beautiful friendship:) We shared the first lesson on Friday, he loved it and actually understands that no other church is complete and directed by God's power. He came to the Christmas party and brought his son, then he came to church all three hours yesterday, dressed in a white shirt and tie, slacks, and a sweater vest:) Not to mention, that when we had our lesson with him, he asked what kind of commandments we have to follow, our peike answered no drinking coffee or alcohol or smoking. He replied "BUT I LOVE TO DRINK COFFEE EVERYDAY!!!" But we set a date to be baptized on the 16th of January, and he said "well I don't know how it's gonna happen, but it will, I'll do it." He doesn't even know why yet!!!!:)

THEN right after we finished talking to him (this is still Tuesday, sorry I dont know why I am ALL over the place today) we were about to walk onto the train and we were stopped by a man wearing a BYU Hawaii sweatshirt! He and his wife came to Taiwan from Malaysia to be sealed in the temple. WOW. I was so moved by their dedication. This man served a mission in Malaysia and is from Singapore. His whole family are also members and they all came to Taiwan together to attend the sealing. He just got back from his mission a year ago and was SO excited to see missionaries in the place that he was staying for the week!! So amazing!! THEN we got to ZhuWei (where we were going to have district meeting) and went upstairs to the Starbucks to use the bathroom. There I started talking to a woman and she spoke fluent English because her and her husband lived in Dallas! So I started talking to the husband and his sister is a Mormon, and would actually be coming into Taiwan the next night!!!!!!! He said that she has been trying to "convert him" for years but he never has listened. He says that he is amazing by us missionaries, his nephew served in my mission 5 years ago! It was so cool to meet him, he gave us his number and they invited us over to their house to talk to him and his sister sometime next week:) Yes, this was all Tuesday.

-Miracle on Wednesday: we met with Cindy and Chantelle, two english students. Cindy is living in Canada and goes home soon. We shared the Plan of Salvation with them and pretty much every time we asked a question, Cindy would answer and Chantelle would say "me too." So we invited them to baptism and Cindy started saying a million excuses and talked for a few minutes. So when I turned to Chantelle and asked her too, I was expecting a "me too." But...she quietly said "Actually, I am willing. 我覺得可以." IT WAS SO COOL. So she came to English class's christmas party, our ward christmas party, but not church because she got a cold:( But we are SO excited to help her, she is the most beautiful cute 22 year old ever!!! We're already like BFFs!

-Walking along the street at night, I ran to catch up to a woman I just knew I needed to talk to. She is a single mom named JoJo or 陳妍伶whose husband divorced her on their 10 year anniversary. I literally just boldly bore testimony that she needed what we had, and she agreed that meeting us must be some sort of God's plan for her. I love following the guidance of the Holy Ghost when it leads me where to go and what to say. I love running after people too because there are thousands of people on the streets at night, how are you going to talk to so many unless you run from one to the other? Just like the awesome missionaries in the scriptures:)

-I rang a door bell two days ago and the lady let us in. She acted like we had known her for years, she was so friendly and told us to sit down and listened to us share about Christ. I don't know if we will keep meeting with her (ZhangJieMei) but it was such a miracle...because hardly anyone ever lets you in from ringing doorbells:) No, not the same as knocking doors, when I say ringing doorbells, I mean the buzzers on a big building with lots of floors.

-I met a man from Ireland yesterday. He doesn't believe in God, but we got to pray with him. It was special, I told him my dad served his mission there!

Funny story, so in Taiwan, if you sneeze (you know, like regular people sneeze, its part of life) everyone automatically thinks you are sick or have allergies. So we were having scripture class with our recent converts and I sneezed like twice. Everyone flipped out and said I was sick because it was cold. (It was only cold on Tuesday andWednesday of this week) So 蘇弟兄 BOUGHT me a brand new winter jacket. If that wasn't enough, someone must have posted on the Ward LINE (LINE is a group chat app that everyone uses) that I had a cold because all throughout this week, members were asking me if I was feeling better, if I needed anything, how my cold was, giving me clothes and food. I was the only one unaware of the fact that I had a cold. So don't worry mom, I was well taken care of:)
I wanted to share a few scriptures:

Deuteronomy 13:4
"Ye shall walk after the Lord our God, and fear him,and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him."

I love this scripture because its pretty much my mission vision. I want it all to be about HIM and what HE wants and the vision that HE sees for me. If I focus on the  verbs that are in this scripture, if I follow him and trust him and love him and obey him and listen to him and serve  him, I will return home knowing Him. 
another one is:

Alma 31:35 in the Book of Mormon
"Behold, Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, Lord,power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee."

I love this because I have truly come to rejoice in talking to people all day every day about this gospel, because I know that it is the ONLY way back to Him. I know that there is no other reality besides the reality that we will one day stand in front of Christ and He will ask us what we did with our lives. I know that no matter who says what and no matter what happens, THAT IS TRUTH. No matter if no one else on the whole earth believed it, it wouldn't make it any less true. And THAT is why what I do, what every missionary in the world does, is SO STINKING IMPORTANT. So I know that this scripture is true and I pray every day that I can have the power and wisdom to convert people and bring them unto Christ!

PLEASE OH PLEASE MY DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS, take the time to remember and ponder Christ, the TRUE meaning of this season. Everything in this season is for us to have joy, but the true joy is in celebrating Him and His life. I love you all and I hope you have an incredible holiday season:)

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

Monday, December 14, 2015

On the First Day of Christmas..........

Missionary Choir
Nativity Shepherds

Past companion and new convert visited!

WE ARE NOW IN A NEW STAKE!!!!!!!!!!! They split our stakes this past week at stake conference, so now we are part of a new North Taipei Stake!!! LuZhou became a guess what, YuLi is the ONLY branch left in ALL of Taiwan!! Wow.

The transfer meeting is this next Thursday. All of the sisters that I came with are going home except Sister Strong. I am attending the transfer meeting to hear their testimonies, since I probably won't be moving. It's gonna be a weird feeling...I'll be the oldest sister missionary in the mission:) (talking mission age)

So we had so so so many choir performances this past week, I LOVED all of the Christmas spirit. The English ward in Taiwan is huge and they put on a Nativity every year, and we sang in it. It was HUGE and such an amazing spirit. We were at the JinHua chapel ALL day on Saturday pretty much, performing and practicing and more performing. Teresa and ZhengYiTing and our self-contacting investigator Guo Dixiong came at 4 on Saturday and stayed the whole night!!!!!!!!! Then the next day was stake conference, with thousands of people there to form 3 stakes out of 2. Our new North Taipei stake became the 15th stake in Taiwan!!!! WOOOO!! And Guo DiXiong came WITH A FRIEND. Our investigator brought a new investigator, who does that?? It was so so so amazing. BUT THEN GUESS WHAT HAPPENED. Guo DiXiong texted us last night saying that after a lengthy discussion with his dad, he told him that he is no longer allowed to meet with us or attend our activities or church. The thing in matter how old you are, whether you be a child or a 40+ year old adult, what your parents say is most important. So Guo DiXiong, our miracle that only lasted a week, has now been dropped. I am really sad, but I know that Heavenly Father has His plan for him. It's a miracle he got to attend so many amazing activities though.

Teresa has her interview this week!!!!!!! She is SO excited to get baptized, then go back to Salt Lake City! She is already preparing to go to the temple when she goes home:) She is also almost done with the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon and her boyfriend is a teacher the MTC...SHE IS LITERALLY AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN. 

Go check out the website. There's a video on there from Stuart Edge, who is one of my friends, that was pretty funny to see:)

We have some cool new investigators, I started talking to a Zeng DiXiong at a table at the 7/11 last night and he was riveted on what we were saying. He said that he is SUPER interested in stories about Christ and said a prayer that he would be able to come to our ward Christmas party this Saturday and church on Sunday. We also got a new investigator Chantelle who is super cute and has lots of time to meet because she doesn't have work! We are also still working with Resa, but she is so full of doubt and not willing to keep any commitments. We are meeting with her tonight, we are hoping she is willing to open her heart!!! The miracles here in Beitou are daily, but I wish some of the miracle investigators we are finding would STICK!!! Haha we keep cycling through new investigators and finding new ones, but I wish we could just help everyone get baptized, you know?:)

Christmas season is so amazing. I love it and am SO grateful that I get to serve in Taipei for all of these fun activities! I hope you all have the spirit of Christ in your Christmas:)

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

In the hospital, trying to get to the bottom of back problems. 

"Peace" on Earth

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I Glory in the Miracles of My God

These are all of my companions (minus the two that have gone home)!!

This week was SO FULL of the holiday spirit!! Me and my companion are part of the Missionary Christmas Choir, and we get to tour around Taipei singing for people!! So our performances were super fun this past week:)

Thursday was temple tour day!!

Biggest miracle of the day:
We were buying dinner with JiaQi and YiTing, and we went to buy a drink. JiaQi took a long time, but it was part of God's plan because just as we turned to leave, a girl comes over and says in English "Hi, I'm from Mainland China, I am majoring in English. Are you Christian? Can I come to your church?" WHAT. We were headed back to the temple to do more tours so we said of course! Turns out...she's also 20 years old the place that she lives is where I taught English 2 years ago!!!!!!!!!!! She says to us "This is God's plan for us to meet here!" We proceeded to explain the Book of Mormon. She was baptized into Bread of Life Church 2 years ago. She says she is willing to follow Jesus Christ's footsteps every day of her life. So we explained the priesthood and baptism and the apostasy and Joseph Smith. It was so natural and the Holy Ghost was almost tangible when I invited her to be baptized. She said simply "I am willing." Then when I invited her to be baptized on Christmas, SHE FREAKED OUT AND WAS SO EXCITED! We hugged and high-fived and she went to church yesterday and  attended the New Member Fireside activity:) She goes back to China January 16th, just enough time to go to the temple after her baptism:) Literally, biggest miracle ever. 

Other miracles that day include: Teresa came and did a tour and it answered all her questions! She is excited to get baptized on Christmas:)
Also, Chen Chong Yong came and we had a great tour. He expressed his concern about how his wife's church, a different Christian denomination, pressures him into not joining our church even though he doesn't like their church and he wants to join ours. He loves the Book of Mormon and praying to Heavenly Father. However, the day after the tour, he called us and said that for right now, he doesn't want to keep meeting or going to church because it causes too much stress for him in his family. We were really sad, I started crying....but it's according to God's will. 

We also had a tour with two recent converts from MainLand China!!! SOOOOOOOOO Amazing and adorable and excited about the gospel!! Thursday night we did baptisms for the dead with ZhengYiTing and it was also the first time for the Zheng JieMei from Mainland China!!!!!! I love the temple! ZhengYiTing, if I didn't explain this before, was a referral from NanTou. The coolest thing, at the temple, one of the workers was the missionary who gave us her name, as a returned missionary!!! :) Seriously such a miraculous day.

My dear family and friends, I really need your prayers. We had Temple Tour Training this past Friday and I lost my scriptures. I accidentally left them at a convenience store, went back 2 minutes later, and they were gone. Convenientally, the surveillance cameras were broken. SOOOOOOOO...yah, about 2 years worth of the most priceless scriptures in the world to me are lost. I really would appreciate it if I could get more pray power behind finding them:)

Temple Tour Training was great though, I saw allllll of my past companions that are still in the mission, including Sister Haacke - yay!!!

I have been praying to know how to follow the Spirit better. On the MRT on the way to the temple on Friday, I saw a young adult man walk on to the train. I felt like I needed to talk to him, so I walked all the way across the car (which is really weird for people to do, talk to someone you don't know is weird anywhere) and started chatting. He was super wierded out and didn't know why I was talking to him. I kept talking though, because, well that's what missionaries do. Finally, I just started stating who God is and who Christ is because he wasn't responding. I told him that He can help us receive strength and peace and I don't really know what else I said. He was instantly mesmerized by the message and his eyes didn't leave mine. I asked if he would be willing to keep meeting with missionaries, and he said yes but wouldn't leave his phone number. I wrote down mine and moved on. Fast forward to the end of the day, about 9:15. I get a phone call, and he says "Hi this is Tobias, we met this morning. I don't know why you started talking to me, and it was really strange. Normal people don't do that. But actually, I have been going through a rough time and I would like to set up a time to talk. Can you meet tomorrow?" I was instantly touched by how Heavenly Father let me see the outcome of my decision to follow the Spirit's promptings. 

A miracle yesterday.....a self-contact investigator GuoChengTai came to church!!!!!!!!!! He wants to come to the church activity all day on Saturday andSunday:) He set up to be baptized January 16th:) These blessings in BeiTou are truly miracles. God is a God of miracles and if you haven't seen a miracle today, GO OUT AND FIND ONE. Was it not amiracle that Christ was sent to us? Was it not a miracle that He now lives and loves us, every one? Miracles can exist in each and every one of your lives. I love you all:) 

Mosiah 3:4 We are so lucky to know this truth, it is our job to go out and share this truth, THAT HE LIVES and THAT HE LOVES US. 

Sister Wright (Taiwan Taipei Mission)
Rèn Jiěmèi 任曼欣姐妹
Our amazing zone!!