Monday, January 25, 2016

A Taste of Winter

Sorry I'm writing a little later today, we had a zone party today up the mountain in Danshui at Sister Jin's house! She's the best! We got zone t shirts, and she made all kinds of food.  It was so fun! Man, I just love Taiwan. It's so beautiful, especially from the 12th floor of a mountain apartment. Speaking of mountains, it snowed up there on Sunday! Apparently it's the first time in maybe 20 years since they've had snow! Hahah Last night we were contacting up the mountain a bit and there were hundreds of cars coming down, and about every third one had a snowman built on the windshield (: I just love Taiwanren! That was great.  It's been SOO cold though! We heard it was -5 Celsius (you do the math).  Hopefully it should be warming up. We're lucky that winter started late this year, and it should be ending pretty soon too!
                      We found this sweet litte ama who said we reminded her of her grandkids.
                                                                How precious (:
Oh ps, we had some technical difficulties so we'll be watching the missionary broadcast tomorrow.
Our people that we're working with are doing so good! So there's Chantelle, and she's great.  She came to church again, and she's working on buying a new wardrobe  so she can be modest. Ah, I love her.  Then there's Chen Lei, who also came to church.  Her mom is reallyyy Buddhist, and doesn't want her to get baptized.  She's like 50, by the way.  But Taiwanren really respect their parents. 
 English class
Anyway, she's doing her best to keep the word of wisdom, and she actually set a baptismal date!! March 8.  So we'll just keep jiayou with her! There's also a Brother Deng, an LA.  He's like 28 and he knows everything about the church in and out, but just lost his testimony a few years ago and never came to church for 5 or 6 years.  We had dinner with him one night, and he's come to church for two weeks in a row and even helped us peike! Umm.. he was the member present? yes. Wow huge miracle! 

We went on a ton of exchanges this week! I got to go with Sister Guo again, who is now the tour sister. She used to be my STL, so that was fun to be with her again! I learned a lot from her.  Always find something you can complement someone on! Then I got to be with Sister Qiu again.  She finally got her visa! So she'll go to the MTC around Feb 23, and then to temple square! I'm so excited for her (: I also got to be companions with Sister Nau, from Florida.  Ah, she's great! I've had so much fun getting to go on so many exchanges and getting to know everyone.  We've definitely seen the blessings in our area, and we've seen so many miracles from it! I always tell the sisters to expect miracles when we go on exchanges.  They just happen! But why not expect them every day, you know? It's been happening!

 Zheng Yi Ting
 Exchanges with Guo Jiemei.  She also goes home this week.
 Last exchange with Sister Qiu before she goes to Temple Square
Haha so something funny I found out.  To abbreviate 'thank you' when texting, they say '3Q'.  you say 3 as 'san' so it's san-q. say it with a Taiwanese accent and it sounds like thank you! Haha too funny. 

Man, Sister Wright goes home this week.  I've really come to love her so much, and just love being a missionary with her. I had my first breakdown of not wanting to go home as we were having language study.  Okay I have to admit, I've definitely been learning Chinese really fast, probably faster than I deserve.  But since my time in Taiwan is almost done, it seems like not fast enough! I just want to take this last transfer and work my very hardest and do everything in my power to please the Lord and find whoever He needs me to find. I know that He is guiding us every day. There is no other way back to Heavenly Father than through Christ.  But what an awesome way! I love this gospel! Have a great week! Love you!!

Love, Feng Jiemei
 Eating lunch with the sisters on exchanges

Monday, January 18, 2016

I could get used to this Chinese thing...

Hello beautiful family! 

Haha so I'm sitting here in the wangka with my stomach about to explode because I'm so full.  Since Sister Wright is going home soon on the 29th, everyone wants to qing us! We just barely had hot pot, which is just a bunch of vegetables and meat and dongxi, all together in a boiling hot stone bowl. I even had shrimp! Boy, how the mission has changed me. Too good! Our members are so great.  Today I think we're going biking up a huge mountain, and then hiking up to a volcano! Last night we had dinner with Jiang family, the family who we went to skype at for Christmas.  It always feels like Sunday dinner at home when we go there (: 
It's been pretty rainy this week, but today is nice and sunny! I still don't believe Sister Wright always telling me that last winter was so freezing, because this year has been hai hao.  I'm definitely grateful that it hasn't been bad at all!
Chantelle came to church--she's so cute!
It felt like we just went finding all day every day this week, but it was more than just that.  Our most progressing investigator, Chantelle (tian tian) came to church! We've been teaching her the Word of Wisdom and the sabbath day and stuff, and she just loves it.  We asked her, "so what do you think of all these commandments?" and she said," I want to obey them!" She's so awesome! We have another new investigator that's pretty cool, a Lin Luo Fan.  He's 17 and soo funny.  He came to church too! Then we have Wu Cheng and Wu Meng, who are brother and sister, 19 and 16 years old.  They're awesome too! They just kept saying that everything we taught them is so "ku" (cool) and they're excited to learn more.  The gospel is pretty ku, isn't it? 
Hui Ci (member), me, Chantelle (investigator), Sister Wright, 
Lin Luo Fan (inv) Brother Huang (RC), Zheng Yi Ting, (RC) and Chen Qi Ru (RC)
So I've been learning characters from phase 3 and it's so fun to use them to read the scriptures, randomly on the street, or in church.  Okay, so I know hardly a fraction of what is helpful, but I've got a start! On sunday, I forgot my hymnbook with the pinyin, so I had to read out of the normal hymnbooks.  I stumbled through a lot of it, but I could do it! I sang "Teach me to walk in the light" almost flawless (: I've also started writing a teeny bit, and the other day I was writing a B, but did it in stroke order.. haha okay that probably sounds dumb to you but I thought it was great! I could get used to this Chinese thing!
 Exchanges with Sister Zhong! She's just doing a week duanchuan, she's from Hualien!
 It's way more fun having all 4 sisters together for exchanges (:
Exchanges with Sister Zhong, and we met this awesome sister who said she's a really deep buddhist, but she set a baptismal date!
We went on exchanges just once this week, and I got to exchange with a duanchuan from Hualien.  Duanchuan is when we don't have enough missionaries so a Taiwanren comes and serves for a period of time.  Her name is Sister Zhong and she was baptized only in October! She's so awesome!! We found so many miracles! I always tell the sisters we go on exchanges with to expect miracles! Something about exchanges just spikes it! And now that they all come to our area, Beitou has been doing pretty well (: 
 This is someone kind of famous--he's running for a political office
English Class
Okay, that's pretty much all I have to say for this week! My ponderizing scripture is.. Enos 1:5-6 when he's forgiven of his sins and feels so much joy! Repenting is such a happy thing, it doesn't have to be scary or embarrassing.  Keep your covenants, go to the temple often, and share the gospel!

Love, Feng Jiemei

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Mission Vision

It’s a rainy Monday morning in Taiwan! We still took advantage of the rain and went on a nice run this morning though (: We had an AMAZING week this week! I don't know if it's due to the two exchanges in our area, making there be 4 sisters in Beitou, or if the Lord is just pleased with our efforts and rewarding us for it.  Okay, so actually all of our baptismal date investigators dropped... All we have left is Chantelle, who's an English student.  She reads and stuff, but she still hasn't come to church.

Dad would be so proud! We made a desk in 6 (not-so-simple-and-also-in-Chinese) steps!
Sis. Jin lives all the way up the mountain. Traveling up to her house
on the bus with Elders Francis and Doug from the Danshui ward 
Ready for the bad news? Xie Wei Jie, who was absolutely no doubt going to be baptized this weekend, brought up that he and his wife are actually (temporarily but legally) divorced, but they're still living together.  Something about the government and legal money safety stuff that I didn't understand.  Man, I was so bummed to hear that. Keep praying for him though.  I know the second they get married again, he'll want to be baptized!  It may be a year or so though.
 Our crazy church turnout.  Kenton (I), Sis Zhang (LA), Bro Tao (her friend), Louisela (I from Phillipines, so we had to translate), Bro Deng (really LA), and Sis Chen (also really LA)
We met this cool guy named Kenton on the MRT the other day.  He's from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I could not remember for the life of me where Lisa is from though! He's an exchange student, and has a Baptist background, just what I like (: we found out he's actually not in our area, but he'll be with a new family in March that will be in our area! So I'll get to teach him for a minute!
We had our two zone meetings this week, wow that seems like forever ago! It was a little crazy running from Shilin to Jin Hua to do both of the zone trainings, but I think they went great! It was interesting to see the different people's reactions to the new revelation about exchanges and transfer meetings and stuff.  Just have faith, little missionaries.  The Lord is hastening His work, and He knows what He's doing!
 Sister Xiao--Isn't she so cute?
 Exchanges with Sister Lin.  She's the best!
We had two exchanges this week, and I got to serve with two Taiwanese companions! Haha I'm glad I was with Xiao JM in breaking, so now they're not as scary.  I exchanged with Sister Lin, who I met doing the missionary Christmas choir, and we just became best friends.  And then another Sister Xiao, who's training right now and waiting for her visa to go to Washington.
 E'rybody needed new glasses at XiMenDing
 Carly and Hanny
We also had surprise interviews with President Jergensen this week! I love that man so much.  He's just so loving and makes you want to be better. He basically told me to set a goal of how many people I want to see baptized before I go home, and make it happen.  Also, my mission vision is now nothing but "teach repentance and baptize converts".  To go along with that, I had Mosiah 26:30 for my ponderize scripture this week.  Haha sorry I've been forgetting to include that! It basically says as many times as you repent, I'll forgive you.  That's so great, right? I think I'll try to share it on the street this week. 
 Sis. Jin, one of the members, does this for a living.  How cool!
Well, that's about it for this week! We're going shopping today at Taipei Main Station, so let me know if there's anything special you want me to get!
Repent every day, go to the temple regularly, and sustain the prophet! Love you!

Love, Feng Jiemei

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Xin nian kuaile!! Happy 2016!!

 Brother Xie, Su, Chen, and Huang at the new member fireside.
 MLC.  What a shuai group of missionaries... 
                                  Sister Bowman at MLC.  Not to mention on top of the roof
                             of the mission office, and the beautiful temple in the background.

No one really celebrates it here, other than replying to our "happy new year!"  The big holiday is guonian, Chinese New year, which is in February.  I really don't understand that, but right now is the year 104 in China.. Don't ask, I really have no idea.  But I got my first hongbao (red envelope) yesterday at church! Usually they put money in it.  Let the celebrations begin! 
I need to say thank you to the Eliason's for sending me a Christmas card! Their family is so sweet for always thinking of me.  Also, happy birthday to Brigham yesterday! Yue lao yue hao! The more older you get, the better!
I had just a tender moment this week as we found ourselves in a random country patch of the city up on the mountain after making dumplings with an ama.  I'm so grateful to be in this beautiful land of Taiwan and serving these amazing people! I love it here.  There's nothing better than this (: 
 The cutest little ama teaching us in Taiwanese how to
make dumplings
Speaking of, Xie Wei Jie (sorry, Brother Xie) is doing awesome!!! We met with him twice this week, plus he came to temple tours.  As we've been teaching him the commandments, he always says how great they are and he's so willing to obey them! He even fasted yesterday that his wife's heart would be softened so they can get sealed in the temple, and he paid fast offerings! Oh man, I love him! The elders told us that in opening exercises in priesthood yesterday, he was introducing himself and one of the members asked about his goal of the 16th of January.  Then he said, "it's not a goal, it's for sure!" Yeah!! So.  We're having a baptism in 2 weeks, and this one's for sure!

Sister Nanney and me

We went on exchanges this week, and I was with Sister Nanney.  She's so great! I found out that she has gluten allergies, and so it was kind of fun to go on a search around our area for something she could eat.  Reminded me of the good ol' days with Sister Call (: To answer your questions, We're still getting to know a few of the newer sisters, but I love getting to know everyone and serve with them.  As I did my training with Sister Nanney, I was just kind of lead to say what she needed to hear, and by the end she was very grateful to what I had to say. I don't know why, I've never really done a lot of trainings or anything, and I just don't know how others receive my encouragement and training.  But as long as I'm trying to listen to the spirit, that's all that I can do, so I'm glad I could help her (: Sister Wright is originally from Florida, but she moved to Henderson, Nevada in high school.  Right now, we don't have anyone from the ward that we're teaching, but the members are soo willing help us pei ke (umm.. be there for the lesson?) and stuff, so that's great!
 New Year's Day--not so fun if you're not feeling well
We had temple tours again, and we saw so many miracles!! We were praying so hard to find a new investigator for our area because we were lacking a bit this week.  So we found this girl on the street who was willing to come in and do a tour.  At first she said she lives in Danshui, which is in our same district, but not our area.  Then we asked where in Danshui, and she said Guandu, which is this tiny city in Beitou! Yeah! What are the odds! That was definitely a miracle.  As always, we also found a guy from China! I swear, you can't do temple tours without finding someone from China who's interested in the gospel.  Haha it's great (: I love the Chinese people. 
Bowling--Elder Francis, Hawkes, Dixon and Dong.  Sister
Wright, me, and Jia Qi.
 I was forced by my tongban to wear a kouzhao...
I guess there's a first for everything.

Lunch at the poop restaurant--We're sitting on toilets, the table
is a bathtub, the plates are squatty potties, sinks, and
the cups are urinals.  Haha what an experience!

We also had Mission Leadership Council this week, in preparation for our zone meetings.  We got training from the executive council on teaching repentance and baptizing converts.  So we're putting a huge focus on that and making sure these people know how to repent and use the atonement.  What if people go LA because they never knew how to repent? 
 Look who I found--Sister Jensen!
 Carly and Hanny at the new member fireside.
Carly leaves on her mission on the 16th of January.  AHH--she
doesn't have her visa though, so it will be a minute until she
comes to the MTC.
 Sister Lin-We randomly became really good friends through the 
missionary choir.  She's going home soon.
We also got some crazy news! So the brethren really want the leadership's areas to be a model for other missionaries.  We're now going to stay in our area for exchanges, and the other companionship will come to our area.  Wow! Haha that's going to be awesome for our area! And also, we really need to make sure that we're doing everything we can to be a good example to the sisters who come here.  Including buy more pillows, mattresses, desks, probably a new fridge, and bathroom light hahaha. Step by step.  Also, there will be no more transfer meetings.  At first I heard that and was super bummed because we won't get to see everyone before we go home, but it's totally understandable.  The Lord's work is hastening, and He needs us in our areas as much as possible! I'm down for it! So now I guess we just travel by ourselves to our new areas. Good thing I'll probably die in Beitou.  I think it's cool though.  If I didn't have a strong testimony of the prophet and the 12 apostles, maybe I would have had a harder time with this new revelation. But it's been a good check to see that I fully support them and their decisions.  Hurrah for Israel. 
Well, all is well here in the wonderful land of Beitou.  We're working hard, and we're happy. Keep your covenants, go to the temple regularly, and do missionary work! 
Love you!

Feng Jiemei