Monday, October 26, 2015

Just a Waiguoren on a Bike Wearing a Skirt

I guess it's p day again! You would think I don't have anything to write about, but we had quite a busy weekend. I did get the package, be sure and tell Pres Hughes thanks so much for bringing it! I almost forgot that it's Halloween time, but the treats were a nice reminder, and I've already got to wear my new outfits! Thank you! Haha and Xiao JM loves the kit kats and twix, by the way (: she'll eat one a day and then it gets too sweet for her.  Hope everyone has a fun Halloween weekend!
Our temple day last Wednesday was wonderful. That morning, our district all went to Costco!! Man, it was like stepping into America. The elders bought loads of stuff, but I was totally satisfied with Costco muffins and a hot dog. Haha the samples were all Asian noodles and weird 'healthy' stuff. 
 District COSTCO trip!!! Seriously, the best day ever
Mom, your friend, Sister (Alice) Xiao found me in the temple, and that was just the capstone of the temple trip. And yes, they did pray for the missionaries in the temple (: they didn't have a Chinese session at the same time, so poor Xiao JM had to come to the English one with me. What a trooper! 
We also had temple tours this weekend, and Steven was able to come, and of course, he had a lot of questions, which was great.  He can't wait to go to the temple! Believe it or not, we got to use the new iPads! That was a weird feeling. It definitely brings the spirit more when you use videos and stuff though.  Everyone thinks that the whole mission will get iPads for Christmas, but I won't believe it until I see it! Speaking of Christmas, mom, I honestly can't think of anything. Haha sorry I know you hated when Brigham and Joseph said that, but I'm happy with anything you send me.  I've still got the cute little stocking from last year, so that will be enough if you don't want to go through the trouble!
This was quite the week for my stomach.  I ate clams, pig's blood, shrimp, and octopus! I didn't even get sick! I would definitely eat them all again, except maybe the pig's blood, and now I'm motivated to eat this barbecued squid stuff that's always at the night market.  Haha Xiao JM says that my Chinese is getting really good because I will eat any Taiwanese food.  If that's what it takes, then I'm all in! 

Happy temple day (:
On Sunday during Relief Society, they played a song from Saturday's warrior! haha I'm sure everyone else ting bu dong since it was in English, but I quite enjoyed a little flashback to our Sunday mornings listening to 'Soft Sunday sounds" on FM 100.3.
This Sunday was another 'proud missionary/mother moment'.  Guo dixiong blessed the sacrament for the first time, Guo jiemei said the prayer in sacrament, and Ming Yuan and Lin Xian Shan DX both received the Aaronic priesthood.  I am so humbled to see them so active and just loving and embracing the gospel. I'm glad I've got to see them grow for at least one transfer more! 
 I'm not sure why pics with Guo jiating
is such a frequent thing. Well, here they are again!
This week’s ponderizing scripture is Alma 27:27.  “They were distinguished for their zeal towards God and men.  They were perfectly honest in all things, and firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.”  Haha just last night, we heard people whispering at the traffic light, "tamen shi momenjiao!" "They're Mormons!" Okay, it was probably just a waiguoren on a bike wearing a skirt that gave it away, but it's got to be more than that. I want to be distinguished for my zeal towards God and Taiwanren, have integrity, and be firm in my faith of Christ in order to let other people see our light.  It is there, and people do notice.  I'm thankful for the light that the gospel has brought into my life, and for the people I've been able to bring this light to.  I hope to see them all in the gaorong guodu!!

Love, Feng Jiemei (:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Temple Day--Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Happy temple day!!
We woke up early today to come email before the temple, but not as early as last time, thankfully.  our session is at 1 today, so we won't really get to do anything else while we're in Taipei. Going to the temple is worth it though! Man, this week was awesome. I feel like I became a new person!  
 Exchanges--back with Sis. Sagisi
Dinner with Carly.  The literal translation of what we're eating is "coffin"
We just finished with exchanges yesterday (with Sis. Sagisi again!) and she gave me a talk from Elder Bednar about the redeeming and enabling power of the atonement.  I feel like this week I have truly seen the enabling power of the atonement working in my life.  He strengthens us when we have nothing left.  He doesn't change our circumstances, but he gives us strength to get through anything! Just like in the BOM when the guy (yes, I can't remember who it is, don't judge) is wrapped in cords, and the Lord gives him strength to break free.  I love it!
 This is my usual breakfast-Passion fruit, kiwi, banana thing
of some other random fruit, and orange jam and toast--yum!
 Guess what I ate this week--Tofu and...pig's blood!
We had some great success with our investigators, and even our RC's this week, and we had a miracle lesson with Steven.  He said he wants to be baptized, for sure.  He's a little nervous about having to always keep all the commandments, but we taught him about the temple and how we have to be worthy to enter, and he's all for it! His baptism date is next Saturday, the 31st! Prayers for him would be awesome! Ah, he's wonderful.  
With our Lin Xian Shan DX, he's getting the Aaronic priesthood this week, and we'll go to the temple next Saturday with him! Wow, I just realized that will be a busy day! All the better. He's been so excited to go and just learn and be with the members. His latest thing that he learned is that Jehovah was actually Christ in the pre-earth life.  Haha oh the life of a recent convert (:

I really should have stuck with ballet...

Guo Jiating is also doing good! They had a death in their family last week, so we're holding off on getting MingYuan the priesthood for one more week. They can't wait to go to the temple though! Ahh, and neither can I (:
 Today was beautiful.  Had to capture this Kodak moment.
Haha okay, Xiao JM is so funny!! We've been really focusing on baptism this month, and we were trying to think of a good biyu (comparison?). She thought of a sneeze! Like before you sneeze, you're all uncomfortable and something's not right. Then you sneeze and you feel so free! So of course, before baptism, you may have sins and guilt and stuff, but then you get baptized and you're clean and free.  Not a bad biyu. 
 Kaorou--District BBQ!
We also had interviews with President Jergensen! I love that man. Hahah and he's as on board with Guo jiating as I am! We didn't really address anything too serious, but I'm definitely going  to gang hao with helping Xiao JM learn English! It will definitely bless her for the rest of her life, so I want to do all that I can to help her learn. 

The view from the mission office--*sigh*

Sorry, today's got to be quick! Oh I almost forgot this week's ponderizing scripture! Mosiah 3:19 for the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been since the fall of Adam, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and becometh a saint through Christ the Lord,and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, willing to go through anything that the Lord sees fit to put him through (paraphrase) and to be patient. It goes along perfectly with the enabling power of the atonement talk! It will be a great week for ponderizing.  

Love you!!

 I just love Xiao JM (:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ponderizing on Gospel Blessings

 I love being a missionary!!!!
Obviously I've still got some time here in Taiwan...
Why hello beautiful family!
My mind is fried from the burst of spiritual input from general conference, so bear with me! This was a great week though.  Do I say that every week? Whatever, every week is great! First before I forget, we're going to the temple next Wednesday! WHOO!! That also means that p day will be on w\Wednesday, just for a heads up.  
 Hurray for rain and wind and stuff!
 Soo.. on taifeng day last week we forgot the keys 
                                          and I had to scale our apartment up to our balcony!
Okay, so Xiao Jiemei is seriously the best.  She has already taught me so much! Haha she kind of reminds me of Katie Henderson. She's a cute little package and she's not the most girly, but she's got so much fire! I am so thankful to be her companion.
                     We got Momenmian (Mormon noodles) after our English leader meeting. 
         It's right by the mission home and temple, and so many Mormons go there, apparently (:
First time teaching ertongban! 
Coco, Bubu, and Andrea (:
 After our lesson with Steven
We made leaps and bounds this week with our most progressing investigator, Steven.  We've been teaching him about the whole time that I've been here, and he's awesome! He thinks A LOT though hahah. But last week he fasted, and this week (well, Saturday) he went to general conference! He just has a hard time differentiating between his thoughts and the spirit.  He loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk about making things simple, and had a good discussion with some members after the session.  This next lesson with him we're going to set him on date for baptism (again) and I think this will be the time! 
Speaking of general conference, it was just great.  Us missionaries got to watch it in English in a separate room, so that was nice. I loved whoever talked about asking "What lack I yet?" That goes right along with my 40 day challenge! And I'm still working on getting my answer.  Haha for some reason, I can't decide if revelation will come to me in English or Chinese. And if it's in Chinese, what if I can't understand? Haha I'll keep trying. Anyway, it just goes along with the two talks that I love that I gave you a few weeks ago that have totally just shaped my mission, and helped me be a more consecrated missionary.  
 Accidentally took the wrong train...but we found this little gem!
 Exchanges this week with Sister Wright.  We were together
for a minute in the MTC.  She's Sis. Strong's generation.
 I've also been "ponderizing" this week with 1 Nephi 8:12.  That one is about Lehi's dream where he eats the fruit and wants his whole family to eat it with him because it gave him so much joy.  We're trying harder to think of every person we meet as children of God, and I want to share that love of God with all my Taiwanren brothers and sisters. 
 One of the employees at a lunch place got us ice cream! #waiguorenperks
 haha she likes adventure time
 Share it with everyone, right?
We also had zone conference this week! We focused all about baptism, and we all just got a renewed desire to invite everyone to be baptized. They showed a video of all the missionaries in our mission at the time of their baptism.  The sister right after me showed her at her investigator's baptism instead of her own.  That just made me think.  When I was 8 years old and got baptized, I had no idea that I would be serving a mission!  I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to help others have what I had just experienced.  And to think that everyone we've helped receive baptism received the same gift as me, and will receive the same blessings and complete joy that I've received.. That's just awesome! I am so grateful that I have been baptized and that I can help others receive the same blessings.
I put on a cardigan for the first time in Taiwan... It's getting to be that time, eh? Bring it on! I hope everyone has a great week!   

Love, Feng Jiemei (:
 Xiao Jiemei is introducing to me to a million fruits! 
This is dragon fruit, which is the next best after mango
GAHHH!!! This huge spider just ran across the wall at the computer place I'm at!
Probably the size of my palm?
                                    #Englishfail. These are my favorite to find around Taiwan (:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Phase Two

Yubei tian kuaile! Happy P day!

I hope everyone enjoyed conference weekend! I thought of y'all as we were were just having a normal fast sunday sacrament meeting. We'll get to listen to it all this weekend though! 
This week was just so fun.  I remember Carly, the member that's going on a mission, was asking us if missionary work is fun.  Haha well, you see, there's different types of fun.  There's "P day" fun, where you go out and do cool stuff because you're in Taiwan, and there's "spiritual" fun, where you go out and get to help others come unto Christ and see the changes they make.  So yeah, this week was both types of fun (: Last Monday, there actually was a taifeng! Who would have thought? I heard it was even bigger than the last one we had.  Sister Strong and I had fun in our apartment while she taught me more chords on the ukelele, and she played along on her guitar.  We're quite the companionship (: It was crazy what damage had been done though! I got a few really good pics.  One family mart sign had been ripped out of the ground, and our church glass doors had shattered.  Haha the Taiwanren are so prepared for it though.  We went to the church the morning after, and people were already there cleaning up and just so willing to serve, even before they clean up their own house.  We stayed for a few hours and helped as well.  

                                                                On top of our roof 
Guess what? I officially passed off phase 1 of language study! Okay, I might have lied last week.  I still had a practice teaching thing to do that was just waiting until district meeting. But now I'm done for good! Phase 2 is so crazy though! I'm still figuring out how to study for 2000 words.  I was thinking the fibbanocchi sequence (or however you spell it). Joseph and WOJ, this means you! Haha please remind me what it is so I can start applying his wisdom. Thanks (:

 Last pic with Sis Strong at transfer meeting.  Carly had to be included, of course

Last district pic! Elders Seamons, Mertz, Gray,
Clawson, and me and Sister Strong
Transfers were this week, and I got a new tongban! A bendi even! A native! Her name is Xiao Jiemei, and she's a little ball of fire! She's from Jiayi, which is in the taizhong mission, and shs been out for 10 months.  She's already helped me so much with the language! Every night I come home though and my mind is just exhausted.  SO MUCH CHINESE. I'll get used to it though.  We already get along really well, and she's just an awesome missionary! Haha the first day she came to Yilan we had weekly planning, and of course it was just total Chinese.  Halfway through, I just stopped and realized I was speaking Chinese with this girl from Taiwan! I can actually communicate with people! Wow, haha definitely Shen de zhufu.  God's blessing. 
Xiao Jiemei! She's so cute! And would you look at that, we found a cool bridge!
We got to see Ming Yuan get baptized this week! the Guo son! Along with 3 other people from both sets of elders, so that was sweet! Ming Yuan in his testimony mentioned how we taught him about agency, and he's so happy that his parents chose to follow Jesus Christ.  Aww (: Now we just need his big sister and big brother! Guo DX and Guo JM already have their temple recommends, so we're just waiting for the temple to open back up and we'll take them as a family! Ahh I cannot wait for that day (: 
​Ming Yuan's baptism!! What a happy little family (:
Oh.. I forgot to mention.  I got my death letter yesterday! AHHH :/ I'll leave March 12.  Only 5 more months of this pure joy! Mom, they said you should be getting a similar letter to just to make sure I'm all set for school and stuff.  I have no idea what I'm doing after the misson... Find a job and work until summer, and then take like two classes? Eh, I'll cross that bridge when I get there. 
Anyways, back to missionary work and stuff! We found a few cool miracles this week! First, we were at the train station and we randomly decided to buy a rice ball from our friend.  It turns out that the lady in front of us is either ABC or lived in America for a while, but she's from Atlanta!! It was so fun to talk to her, and it was just a nice, subtle reminder that Tianfu is very aware of  me (: 
Another one just happened last night! We were out looking for LA's just around the church and our house, and we knocked on one's house, no answer.  We cross the street and knock on another's house, no answer.  Then Dong DX, a member, comes walking by and we talk to him for a minute, and he gives us some information about those LA's.  Then the first Zhu JM that we knocked on walks by!  Hahah Dong Dx yells out her name and starts speaking broken English to her.  He's hilarious! We wouldn't have even known it was her if he wasn't there with us.  I'm grateful that he was following the spirit to go out on a night walk around the neighborhood! 
Well, that's all for this week.  Stay tuned for next time! I'm so grateful for the little miracles that keep happening every day.  Sometimes you really do have to look for them but they are always there if you're praying for them and looking hard enough.  We've definitely seen a lot of miracles this week, and I'm so grateful for the Lord's hand in my life! 

Love, Feng Jiemei