Monday, August 31, 2015

In the Right Place At the Right Time--How Blessed Am I?

 After a long day, we were blessed to find a comfy seat on the train (:
Greetings, beautiful family!
This week went by so fast, I just don't know where the time is going! I can't believe tomorrow is already September, especially since last year's September was kind of non-existent to me. Before I forget, happy birthday dad on Sunday!! Maybe they'll let you have an extra dessert or something at the MTC.  Canyon and Savanna, I hope you are working really hard in your new school and making new friends.  Write to me and tell me about all the new things you are learning!
 We went to the fish place again! Who needs pedicures when you have fish?
With Elders Gray, Clawson, Mertz, and Seamons

That's crazy that a ton of changes are being made at BYU! I'm hoping that will still accommodate my scooter (: Sorry sacrament meeting at the MTC didn't go as well as planned! You can only imagine what us 9-weekers felt like! Haha but I promise, I always did my best to sit up and pay attention, even if I was falling asleep.  I hope you'll be able to make a difference with this new district. 
Shower items in a phone booth...go figure
Obviously missionaries aren't all there with the right intent, but as they continue to serve, they will develop it.  Someone said that at the beginning of the mission your motives aren't typically what they should be.  But as you serve diligently and faithfully, all of the beginning motives will fall away and change into what they should be; that is because you love the Lord and want to help others receive eternal life through accepting the restored gospel.  
 We had an LA take us to a way fancy restaurant with about 5 courses!
I never thought the nicest restaurant I've been to would be in Taiwan.
Well, my dreams came true.  On Saturday, Guo jiemei was baptized by her husband! Haha it took a few times to get her all the way under, but it was totally fine. They are so cute! I can't believe how amazing they both are, and just the fact that both of them (not just one of them) are so excited about the church.  Their son, Ming Yuan, and daughter were able to come to the baptism too so that was awesome! We're kind of in the middle of teaching Ming Yuan but he has danbing (army?) until the middle of September, when he'll move closer to home.  The daughter gave us permission to have other missionaries call her, so I really hope that will go well! She didn't seem terribly excited to learn, but maybe this will soften her heart.  There's still one more son, but he's in a band or something and will take a little more time haha. But now this means in one year from now, Guo dixiong and jiemei can get sealed in the temple!! We already have them on date to do baptisms at the temple next month (: I can't wait!!

GUO JIEMEI'S BAPTISM!! With Ming Yuan, Guo dixiong 
(who baptized her), Guo jiemei, and their daughter (:

I often wonder why Sister Strong and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to teach Guo jiating.  I honestly don't know.  We haven't done anything that any other missionary could have done.  But I just feel so blessed that I've been able to be a part of their conversion.  They were seriously so prepared.  If anything,  we just taught the lessons, and the spirit did the rest. 
Lin Xian Shan dixiong is all ready to be baptized this next week! Haha he's also another one who has definitely been prepared.  Everything we tell him and invite him to do, he just has so much faith to accept it and obey.  We've been in such a hurry to teach him everything he needs to know, but he's taken everything really well.  He's such a trooper! 
We've also got in contact with a recent convert from February, a Yang Zhen Yu. He's so awesome! He's 17, and he just got back from visiting his mom in China.  Last week we taught him, and this week he went early to church to learn how to pass the sacrament! He did awesome! Yesterday we reviewed the plan of salvation, and we also set a goal with him to go to the temple with the ward next month.  Ah, I just love teaching about the temple (: Haha it's always a little scary with members that might get excited and share everything, so we share just the very basics. I'm so stoked for him to go though!
Please do not speak unless asked to do so
The weather this week has actually been quite nice.  It's finally got into a recognizable pattern.  After lunch it rains, then after dinner, it sprinkles a bit, and may or not stop before we go home for the day.  I figure I'll always be wet from either sweat or rain, so I'm okay with the rain to get cooled off.  I'm quite enjoying it. 
 About to eat spicy ice cream--disgusting, by the way
We switched what class we teach for English class, and that's been fun! It's weird having to speak a little more Chinese since we're in the beginning/intermediate class, but I'll get the hang of it. 
Well, that's about all I've got for this week! I'm definitely thankful for the Atonement, and the power that the Spirit can give you.  I feel like I've conquered mountains this week, and we just keep going up from here.  The gospel is a never ending growth process, and I'm so thankful for that.  I keep getting humbled over and over, and I keep receiving strength to overcome my weaknesses from my Heavenly Father.  

Love, Feng Jiemei 

Monday, August 24, 2015

I'm Missionary First of All

 We shared some awesome mango ice cream to celebrate my one-year mark!
Hello there!

This week got so busy in the snap of a finger.  We ended up having to go to Taipei 3 times this week, while planning for two baptisms, and who knows what else! It was awesome and we got really good at going to Taipei! I'm pretty sure I could do it on my own now, despite the 12 elevators, bus ride, and 2 subways.   
This is by one of the escalators.  Taiwan is way more creative...
Haha I never thought I would get the hang of public transportation! The first time was for our trainee/trainer follow up meeting, and then I got made the English unit leader so we went up for a training with that. We're really starting to improve the program, and I'll be making a few changes in our ward to make it more of a finding activity, rather than just teaching English. 
 Just relaxing before temple tours
Then on Saturday we did temple tours again! Honestly, we were both kind of dreading it, but we found so many miracles from it! We literally did 5 tours all one after another.  We got to help a RC start on his family history, but I have NO IDEA how Chinese people do family history! Everyone has the same last name! Haha so we just left it to the specialist.  
 We saw a wedding as we were doing temple tours.
I can't wait until Guo family gets sealed in the temple!
We also had the cutest family from China randomly walk in to the church, and they were awesome! Surprisingly, one of them already knew a good deal about Christianity, and they were all super interested and they loved the tour about the life of Jesus Christ! As we were sharing about the Atonement and giving them a Book of Mormon, I just wanted to cry! Christ suffered for these people, and they don't even know it.  They're so hungry for the truth, and we just gave them a piece of hope, but they'll go home and not be able to do anything about it.  The people in China are so prepared! I know Heavenly Father is preparing those people so when the government allows freedom of religion, the church will just explode over there.  That's definitely something I need to keep in my prayers. 
 Found this in a random little neighborhood on a wall.
Maybe missionary work is a part of their culture, too?
Okay, I feel like I need to talk about Guo family in every email haha. They're doing great! Guo Dixiong received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday so he can help his wife get baptized this Saturday! That came so fast!! They're both so excited (: I've really noticed a difference in Guo Jiemei, even just since GUo DX got baptized.  They've been reading the BOM more, and they've been so much happier, and her testimony has really developed.  Ahh the Book of Mormon works miracles! Haha They're just so funny.  They were starting to fill out Guo JM's baptismal record, and they couldn't remember when they were married! And in Taiwan, it's the year 104 so that made things even more complicated.  Haha I don't even understand what they're saying half the time but they're hilarious!
We're also working with a Lin Xian Shan, and he's so awesome! He's the Christian guy we found on exchanges with Sister Graham, who was baptized (sprinkled) 10 years ago.  He wants to be baptized on Sept 9 because that will be exactly 10 years from when he first got baptized.  He literally set up 5 appointments in the future with us so we could finish all the lessons with him! Haha he also loves the BOM.  He has a ton of questions about it, which is awesome.  
 Our trip to the festival got rained out, so we went to the beach.
haha, that's Hanny in the rain coat, an RC.
That's what all the Taiwanese wear on their scooters (:

Our stake (East Taipei) has a goal of splitting into two stakes by November 1st.  I didn't realize there's so many numbers behind these kinds of changes! We're working really hard to find 9 more melchezidek priesthood holders, or bringing back LA's who hold it.  Yilan just became a ward at the beginning of the year, but they want to split it again! We're just going hard in the paint!
 I think Taiwan wins for the most scooters.  I'll probably need one when I get home.
 We found a Krispy Kreme!! Hurray for American food!
Ah, bless. Last week I hit my year mark. I'm officially old. I can't believe how much time has flown by! I've had a lot of moments this week where I just take a step back and think about what I'm doing.  I'm a missionary first of all.  I represent the Savior Jesus Christ in preaching his gospel.  I'm in Taiwan.  And I love every second of it.  It's definitely not easy, but it is so, so worth it.  I love the gospel so much, and I am so humbled to be teaching these people about their Savior. Until next time (:

Love, Feng Jiemei

Love that Benadryl cream!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Garbage Is Gone

 GUO QI XIANG'S BAPTISM!!! with Guo DX, Guo JM, and Chen Ren Jie baptizing him

Libai yi kuaile!! Happy Monday!
Boy do I have news today! We had so many awesome miracles this week. But first, happy birthday to Grandpa Sumner, and happy anniversary to you and grandma as well! Dad, I'm stoked about your new calling! The MTC will bring you so much joy (: 
So First of all, Guo Qi Xiang DX got baptized!! It was a great service, and the spirit was just so strong.  He came up out of the water and just looked so happy! I got to introduce him, and I didn't do too bad! I couldn't help but think as I sat next to him that he's come so far to get to this point.  Both of us have, really.  Even just since I met him.  This week, we were literally  out of ideas of what to share with them.  We've taught all 5 lessons (multiple times haha), we watched the resto DVD, even talked about and gave them a family proclamation! So we decided to have a little testimony meeting.  Both Guo JM and DX's testimonies were so powerful! Guo JM said that at work, she looks for opportunities to help others because that's what Jesus would do.  Guo DX said he always knew what he had was special.  The fact that we have one God, let alone our loving Father in Heaven, was the biggest thing that really got his attention.  He knows the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith really saw Tianfu and Jesus Christ.  When we asked them why they both want to be baptized, Guo JM said, "I want to be baptized because I love God, and he wants me to be baptized." and Guo DX said, "I have finally found what I'm looking for." AHH!!!! They're amazing.  Seriously, I could go on forever.  But I'll stop. I love Guo jiating (:
 One last district pic :( Elders Gray, Wheeler, Mertz, and Francis, and me and Sister Strong

 Our last pic with Craig! He's the best member ever! and Huang JM, one of our investigators
We had a temple tour training, and our mission really has some big goals! Since we have temple sisters that do tours at the church by the temple, they really want it to become like another visitor's center.  So when we do temple tours, we'll get ipads, and do a lot of other upgrading stuff. I just love mission meetings because that means we get to listen to President Jergensen.  He is so easy to relate to! He knows exactly what we need, not just as missionaries, but as individuals.  Ah he's great (: 
 Another free cake from an investigator!  Next time, we're hoping for steak
I'm almost finished with Phase 1, lessons 1-3! So I should be right on track to be completely finished at the end of this transfer in 6 weeks.  Everyone says I'm going really fast, but I don't really see any other way to do it, haha.  I'm sick of ting bu dong-ing anywhere other than in a lesson! I will learn Chinese!
 A taipei district came down for p day to go to the 
Fulong beach with us, but it was closed because of the taifeng :( Still fun though!
 Somehow, I always seem to find Sister Jensen...
Yesterday before Sacrament meeting started, like 30 Mexicans walked in the chapel! Haha that's something I was not expecting.  It was so fun to talk to them though! And they were all from Joseph's misson! They're here for a festival thing in Dongshan, which is in our area.  Anyway, I don't know why but having them there just made me feel at home.  I've completely forgotten how to speak spanish, but listening to them was awesome because I could understand them.  Now Chinese from the pulpit and Spanish coming from behind me almost blew my mind, but I lived through it haha. The spirit was so strong though! Just knowing that the church is exactly the same anywhere you go in the world was such a cool thing to think about. Guo DX got confirmed, and they had no idea what they were saying, but they knew what was happening because it's all the same.  Hurray for the true church!
 Playing a uke on the train?  Seems like a pretty chill p-day activity
Have I told you about Lin Xian Shan yet? He's legit.  We found him on exchanges with Sister Graham, and he was baptized Christian 10 years ago, and has read the bible a few times.  He's so sincere though and he's already come to church twice.  He came up to us after the baptism, and said, "I know this book is true!" Haha both me and Sister Strong were both like "what? We just gave it to you yesterday!" So apparently he prayed right after we left and told God to that if the garbage outside his house from the taifeng is gone, then he'll believe the BOM is true.  What do you know, it was all gone! I don't know how it happened, but that was enough for him! Haha miracles really do happen. 
Well, that's enough happiness for one email! This week was really just wonderful. We're just enjoying to the end over here in Yilan. 

Love, Feng Jiemei
Update from Elder Herrera in Thomaston, Georgia--Christ Deal finally got baptized!