Monday, September 28, 2015

Watching for Miracles in Phase 2


 One the left-Moon cakes, and we got our 3rd cake yesterday
from the RS president.  Maybe it's the cool thing to give free cakes?
We're not complaining!
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!!
Honestly, I don't really know what that means, haha. But it's going on right now in Taiwan. I think all it means to the people here is everyone BBQ's and eats moon cakes! TONS of moon cakes. We've definitely not gone hungry this week! 
Apparently everyone's visas that were supposed to be coming this week got delayed for a minute, so we're having transfers this week instead of last week! Haha I don't quite understand, but I'm happy to have another for sure week in Yilan (:
To answer some questions: 
I loved the sisters in Zion song at the MTC! Whenever we sing that here, I always think of the words that had been written specifically for sister missionaries in the MTC.  It always made me a little teary-eyed (: 
That's cool that the missionaries get to watch the funeral at the MTC! I can't believe that 3 apostles have passed away since last GC. this will definitely be one to remember! I heard both Elder Scott and Elder Ballard in the MTC, so I'm grateful that I got to hear from them in person at least once. 
I think we'll do the RS meeting like we did in the MTC, we'll watch it the same time that the elders go to priesthood meeting.  And it takes a week to translate everything, so we'll watch conference the weekend of the 10th. 

Xu Jiemei, a LA who took us to her son's restaurant

Carly will be coming to the MTC in January, about the 20th? Her English is actually pretty good, her major is English or linguistics or something, so I don't know if she'll be fast tracked for just 2 weeks or what. Definitely look for her though! 
Our 10-year old friend at McD's who rejected us
So honestly, on paper at least, this week didn't go too well! Haha we had every reason to get down on ourselves and just pout about being xingku. Literally every person we talked to rejected us! Or we would even talk with people for a good 5 or 10 minutes, definitely long enough for us to share a brief restoration, and then they would reject a prayer for them, or a BOM.  Haha we even met a little 10 year old girl at McDonald's before a lesson and she wouldn't leave us alone,  (She was cute, so that part was okay) but she just wanted to speak English with us, so we gave her an English tract to come to our class, and then she wouldn't even take it! We got rejected by a 10 year old! That was a new low.  
 The cards in front are lessons 1-5 of phase 1.
The big stack in the back is only 1000 out of 2000
words to learn for phase 2.  Lots to work on!
One more thing, I passed off Phase 1!!! So now I'm starting to learn random foods and stuff.  Haha so of course, the day I passed it off, someone told me that they didn't understand a thing I said. Clearly, they didn’t realize I had just passed off my phase 1! 
 Finally getting home from cat village after missing our train
 Beware of humans crossing, and cats falling
 Last p day we visited this crazy cat village.  Literally the whole city has cat stuff everywhere!
It's actually a little creepy...
 Cat wall, of course
Despite all that stuff that happened, we still found success.  We still were happy.  We still had hope that a miracle would be right around the corner, and there was. One, we were able to take to members to meet a LA Melchezidek priesthood holder (that's been a focus since we're trying to split the stake and ward).  His phone didn't work and half of the month he's out of the country for work, so it was definitely a miracle that we found him when we did! 
 I think this is from the last taifeng.  That's why most houses are made from cement
 Yes, there is a dog's head sticking out of the backpack
And another one, Ming Yuan is getting baptized this week! He's the Guo son.  We were able to have two lessons with him this weekend, get his interview, and he's all set! He said he can't wait to go to the temple with his parents to do baptisms (: Okay, one more.  Guo DX passed the sacrament for the first time this week! That was so humbling to see him sitting up there with the 3 other deacons and teachers.
 Sunday night dinner with Guo Jiating (:
During the sacrament hymn, I just had one of those moments.  You think of the Savior and all that He has done for you, and then you take a step back and think of your circumstances and what is happening around you, and it’s almost more than you can take  in.  We are so blessed.  I am so thankful for the time I've been able to serve in Yilan.  It's seriously the promised land! This week, if everything goes as planned, 6 people will be getting baptized in the ward! I just know that the Lord is hastening His work here, and he's doing it through us and the members.  
We have been humbled so much this week, and I'm so thankful for that.  It's what I've been working on a lot, actually.  Tianfu definitely knows what we need, when and how we need it.  I love this gospel (:
Love, Feng Jiemei

Monday, September 21, 2015

Project Purification

Good morning beautiful family! I swear I say this every week, but I can't believe it's already another Monday.  Libai yi kuaile! Things are just going great here in Yilan.  The sun is shining, the sewer smell is only mildy strong, and the natives are up and ready for the day!
Transfers are this week, so we got up early go to see the sunrise on the beach! Plus a little frisbee and a nice run added in there.  I guess it's a district tradition now? This island is so beautiful though! I'm in love. 

Best tongbantuan ever!
Ming Yuan (Guo jiating son) came back from dangbing for the weekend! I think it's some kind of military training, but everyone has to do it.  We just have a few more commandments to teach him, lesson 5, and he's all set to hop in the water! Since it's bu yiding (not for sure?) what weekends he'll be back, we're just going at it with a weekly basis.  He's so stoked to be baptized though! As we've been teaching all the commandments, he keeps saying, "I'm already keeping that!" Haha he's great.  It definitely helps that he's already Christian and knows all the basic stuff. Guo DX can't wait to baptize his son! What a cute happy little family (: The older sister and brother might take a little longer, but they'll come around!
                    Our favorite little Asian friend, Carly.  And the cool tractors photobombed us... 
We had exchanges this week! I sometimes dread exchanges, but I left my area this time, so it wasn't so stressful.  I went to Beitou (in Taipei) with Sister Sagisi, she's awesome! She's from Hawaii, and she actually goes home next transfer! Crazy stuff! But we had the coolest miracle while we were together! She wanted me to try all this food that we don't have in Yilan, so at night we were planning out everywhere we wanted to go.  I have no doubt that Heavenly Father was listening to our planning session, because there is no way that we found Liu JM by accident.  We were debating to get a drink with dongxi in it, and we figured what the heck, haha.  So as we were just on the side of the street drinking, this woman comes up to us, and just kind of stops, like she expects us to talk to her. So we did of course! It turns out that she's Christian, and she was just so humble and wanting to listen and learn.  We set up a time to meet with her, and she accepted baptism.  It just amazes me how perfect our Heavenly Father's plan is.  He knew exactly where we would be, he helped lead Liu JM to us.  And to think that he's doing that to everyone, all around the world! Man, the gospel is so cool!

District sunrise beach party
Sister Sagisi gave me a cool talk to read called Project Purification (sorry I don't know who it's by but go find it!) It basically went through every aspect of missionary work (but can also be applied to every day member life, of course) and it talked about what a social missionary would do, an honorable missionary, and a sacred missionary.

District paidui at mai dang lao (McD's) plus Carly and Craig (:
Even the littlest of things that seem so insignificant but are still disobedient will take the spirit away from you.  Then there was an invite/plan that I definitely want to do this next transfer! So you fast to know which things you need to change to have the spirit more in your life.   Every morning, ask for help through prayer in making those changes, and every night report how it went, repent if needed, and recommit. I'm going to start at the beginning of the transfer, and I expect to see miracles! It will be great.  
  Funnest food I've eaten yet! 
I have no idea what they're called haha.  
You crack it open in the middle, and you have to squish 
out this red bean/potato stuff. 
Haha it's an odd concept.
​Exchanges with Sister Sagisi!

Hong dou bing! It's got cream stuff in the middle,
or red bean stuff.  Too bad they're not in Yilan :(
I just want to thank everyone real quick.  Thank you for your prayers, your letters and emails, your encouragement, and your love.  Sometimes it's weird being on the other end of all those, since I've had 3 brothers serve a mission.  I'm the missionary now! And we do need prayers because we definitely can't do it alone! But I'm so humbled and so grateful to be serving a a mission for the Lord right now. I literally can't think of anything else I would rather be doing than teaching the restored gospel to these precious little Taiwanese ren.  I know it's true, and they will too (:
Love, Feng Jiemei!
                                                         Good morning, Taiwan (:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tianfu is Waiting to Bless Us

Just some silly sisters (:
Wow, I feel the exact same way, that time is going by way too fast.  How are we already half way through September? For all I know, it's still August of 2014.  This is not real! I'm glad you got to start enjoying the peaches! I've been craving them as mango season is coming to a close :( We'll see what fruit is the next best in Taiwan! To answer your questions... No, I haven't quite passed off phase 1.  Today I just finished with lesson 4, and we have exchanges this week where I can pass stuff off with the sister training leaders, so I'm trying to have lesson 5 done by then! President Jergensen basically ma (scold?) everyone that didn't finish phase 1 by the end of training, so I'm trying really hard to finish by the end of this transfer on the 25th!
Is this Asian? Somehow this seems totally normal...
I definitely have felt more comfortable with teaching, or even just talking to people on the street, but if we're having a conversation not about the gospel, I'm still completely lost, haha. But that's what phase 2 is for, so no worries.  Yi bu yi bu! Step by step. Our mission is really lucky to have the language study program! We do temple tours about once every transfer, so those will still happen regularly.  Next time, we'll get to use the ipad! Also mom, did you find those two talks I gave you? I found out the one was called "Becoming a consecrated missionary" by Tad R. Callister.  definitely read it! It's totally applicable to the gospel in general so it's great for everyone!
 Always need a bus selfie
Random cool waterfall on our hike up to zone conference
 We had our zone conference this week, and I found out that 'outdoor' actually means up Yangming mountain! So that was way fun!! We hiked a ton (well, if walking up a million rock stairs around a mountain counts as hiking) and had some great trainings about positivity, effectively learning the language, becoming a better shepherd of our flock, and representing Christ. We kind of established a mission scripture: 3 Nephi 5:13, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ in everything we do! I just feel really motivated to do everything I can to represent the Savior in everything that I do.
Sister Lindsay-we were together for a minute
in the MTC, and she was reassigned to Georgia.  Love her!
I just love how President can call everyone to repentance, but in such a loving way and with the spirit, so it's only motivating you to do better.  President Harding was really good at that, too. The spirit will work miracles, people. Haha, I have to admit that it was also nice to feel sore muscles again! It's a familiar feeling that I actually miss.  Thank you, high school soccer haha.
 cute little bendiren (:
Diqu pic-Elder Seamons, Mertz, Clawson, Gary, Sis. Strong and me
zone pic! 
We were able to meet with Bishop Zheng this week and talk a little bit about our less active Melchezidek priesthood holders since we're trying to split the ward.  It's cool to see how much his heart has been softened and he's hopping on board with this plan to hasten the work.  I hope I'll be able to see the results of our efforts! If not, we've definitely watered some good seeds.  
I ate a few interesting things this week! We had vietnamese with Carly and she ordered noodles with pig scalp and let me try some...Not my favorite haha.
I had this for breakfast on exchanges in Taipei-Totasted dongxi with rice
Before I forget, she got her mission call! She's going to New York, New York South, Chinese speaking. I'm so excited for her! We also had dinner with Guo family for the first time! Seriously, if I could have a decent conversation with them, they would feel like family! They're the best.  So with them, we had rice (of course) with soup, and something that looked like a chicken hand was chilling in the soup, complete with finger nails and all.  Luckily, no one ate that.  But there was also these little finger sandwiches with pigs ear and basil leaf, which was way good! I'm glad Sister Strong didn't tell me until after we left what it was.  Ignorance is bliss, isn't it?
One last miracle! So Steven came to church for the second time! We've been teaching him for a while, but he's just progressing kind of slowly.  Mei guanxi though! He's done really awesome this week.  So after sacrament, he was going to run to a 7 to grab something to eat, but we were like, "wait! you have to keep the sabbath day holy!" so he stayed hahah. Then he received an immediate blessing because there was tons of food for everyone after church! That seems to be a common occurrence, I wonder if it's just the Yilan ward, or all of Taiwan.  I'm not going to complain though! But it certainly worked well in this instance and it was cool to point that out to him and help him realize that Tianfu will bless us for obeying his commandments.
The beautiful valley of Taipei
I have a firm belief in promises and blessings.  Last time I went through the Book of Mormon, I wrote out all of the promises and blessings that are given.  There's so many! And they're all recurring, too.  Like D&C 130: 20-21, every blessing we obtain comes from being obedient to a commandment.  I definitely believe that to be true.  Tianfu is so merciful, but he is also a just God.  He is just waiting for us to obey his commandments so he can bless us, more than we can even imagine! I love how predictable the gospel is.  I love teaching it, and the simplicity of it.  I love representing it. 
Love, Feng Jiemei

9 pm, waiting for our bus to come...