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

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