This week work was very very slow but lots of good things happened :))
So Sister Voss and I wanted to go to a night market (don't worry it opened at 3 pm). It is right next to the mission home and it's really cool! While we were walking there we ran into Wang Jie Mei's niece, Forest. She is soooooo cool! Anyhoo - She told us that this market is HER PLACE and she knows exactly where to to go. We looked around and we brought some really cool rings. They are stirling silver and roughly $5 USA. And that is like super expensive here. I love shopping in Taiwan!! She also had us try a bunch of food! I had the 1000 year old egg. It wasn't that good. It wasn't like I wanted to throw up or anything but it wasn't very good. We had fried banana and sweet potatoes. They fry everything here. And we tried this yummy milk tea with boba (szheng zhu). It is what Taiwan is famous for! And Forest knew that we didn't drink tea so she took us to a special place where you can get it without tea! yay! :) It was soooo delicious! Good thing we were with forest or else we would've been so lost!
Yesterday was fast sunday and I fasted for something special (of course) and it was really cool to see how God gave me strangth to conquer my weaknesses :) Who knew that not eating and drinking would give you power!
We visited a less active member, Gao Jie Mei. And Well, I honestly get really nervous talking Chinese to her. I have no idea why. I am totally fine until I start talking. She has a face full of interest and understanding when I talk. But I can't help but to feel that she is impatient with me. Mostly because she finishes my sentences if I am speaking slowly or struggling. I know she doesn't mean to ... but still.
It started pouring rain when we were at Gao Jie Mei's house. We forgot our rain gear so we were soaked within 5 minutes. At least the rain isn't cold here.
Even though it rained we had a great turn out for our exercise class. We taught the dance to the Waka Waka song :) That was really fun!
Wednesday: Today we got to go visit a member who has a date to enter the temple! Honestly I have no idea how to prepare someone to enter the temple - but so far it's been great! :)) We are giving her the lessons again so that we can help her strengthen her testimony of the restoration.
She gave us some fruit vinegar to drink. It stung my throat.
We met another less active member named Kathy. You know when you remember something that you learned a long time ago?! Ya that happened during the lesson. I learned a Chinese word forever ago and I remembered it right when I needed to use it. I know that good communication really helps hasten the work. And the Lord is there to help us. But we have to do our part to study so that He can bring back to our remembrance what we already knew. It is cool to think about too - that we learned the Gospel up in Heaven before we even came down to earth. And what we are doing is reminding other people what they already knew to be true. It is more of a Spirit to Spirit conversation. Because we can tell anyone our testimony - but to them it is just words unless they open their heart and are willing to remember. I feel like that is why the Gospel is so "comfortable" (that is how you would say it in Chinese) with people.
I have been thinking a lot about Obedience...so has Sister Voss. I wish that I could explain my whole thought process and the events that lead to a deep study in Obedience. But in short, I feel like Sister Voss and I need to work on a rule about worldly entertainment. Songs mostly. Members like to show us new songs and everything. Sister Voss has thought it's ok because we are connecting with the members. But things have gotten a little out of hand. And it has really effected my thought process as a missionary. I get songs stuck in my head and then it reminds me of home - to the point where I get home sick or I just can't focus on the work. Sister Voss has the same feelings. It is hard to quit a habit though. But we are helping each other to stay away from worldly entertainment. And it is true, sometimes songs or other thoughts for that matter do get stuck in your head but you have the choice to let it linger or to get it out. To help get those songs out of my head I really like to sing " I Love to See the Temple" or any song from Prince of Egypt :))
Also I've been thinking about the influence of your companion. And I think this goes for marriage too. You need to find someone to help make you better. And you need to be that companion to help them be better. Beau and Sarah I am glad that you two found each other and make each other better :))
Thursday: We met with Xie Jie Mei. We haven't seen her in about 2 weeks! She is awesome. She is kind of struggling with her testimony but she is trying so hard to get it back.
Sister Voss and I had an interesting conversation today about Jesus Christ and the Sacrament while we were out tracting. It was really good. Usually we talk about other things. Our lives and tell stories! But this time we had a deeper conversation about doctrine. It was pretty cool.
We met with a less active member tonight. Huang Jie mei. She doesnt like to read the scriptures or come to church - but she will pray. I remember at a pass off for phase one with my district leader he invited me whenever I feel the spirit leaving to invite him back by sharing a scripture and asking an inspired question. I love this invitation. It definitely helped me out a lot! You know sometimes the Holy Ghost doesn't feel as close as other times - but what is better than the scriptures to invite him back? And asking a question really gets the other person involved and helps them to see the relationship between principles and their own lives.
I tried Cantaloupe ice cream today! Over priced but really good.
On our way home I was able to get two people to pull over and testify. People aren't always willing to pull over and talk to you but tonight was my lucky night and they seemed very interested!
Today was just an overall great day! Full of laughs, opportunities, and the spirit.
Friday: Today we visited a member. Her kids are so funny (age 5, 3 and baby)! On Sunday they bore their testimonies. They talked about praying for the kids in Africa. So cute! Even in Chinese little children's testimonies are so powerful.
We had a lesson with Jenny, our 17 year old investigator. We asked her if she prayed and read the Book of Mormon. She told us that she read 1/2 of it and that it was good. But then as we were trying to discuss it she really had no idea what we were talking about. You could just tell that she really wasn't reading and probably not praying either. She is just telling us what we want to hear because we are foreigners. It is really sad that we are inviting and really trying - but if she doesn't do her part then the Spirit can't come in and testify. I wish that we could do more but what else is there? Teach, testify, invite and wait.
We got to pet puppies today! Yup - today is complete :))
Tonight we were supposed to have a lesson with a less active member at the chapel. Our PeiKe came and then the lady called. She asked why we werent at her house. She totally forgot that we were going to meet at the chapel. It would've been very inconvenient to go to her house to see her. But Sister Voss and I had the impression that she needed a visitor. So instead of rescheduling we got her address and we eventually found the house. Thank goodness for the peike that was there. She was willing to go with us and she was able to kind of show us the way. I am getting a lot better with feeling the Spirit and willing to go out and do. Especially if my companion doesn't want to do it. Sometimes we are lazy ... I mean, we are human. But just because I am the inexperienced little missionary doesn't mean that I can't make decisions too. I am happy for the guidance of the Holy Ghost and I am so grateful for His comfort.
Saturday: Today was very long, very tiring and very slow. But guess what!!!! WE SAW A BUTTERFLY!!! Butterflies are hard to see in the city here but we saw one! And it was great! we chased it for like 5 minutes trying to get a good picture of it. I felt like a little kid :)) Sister Voss is a professional butterfly charmer! Like Kirby is with cats!
Oh I finished my phase one pass off!! I am officially done! yay! :)) I still have a lot to learn but I have the basics down :)) Now I can go on and learn stuff that can help me get around and stuff.
So that actually took most of the afternoon. For dinner Sister Voss and I went to a market place and I think that we should get a certificate for spotting samples. #freefood! When we sat down I was about ready to collapse and fall asleep. Saturdays are always the longest and most tiring because it is at the end of the week. We also ran into a guy who kept on talking to us about English and telling us stories and stuff. He was cool but right when I asked, "Are you interested in hearing about Jesus Christ?" he just went quiet. no. Ok well, we need to go out and find people who are ready to hear what we are sharing. We went out tracting and we found the cutest family! This little 3 year old girl came to the door and we asked her to go get her parents. "Mommy, daddy! There are foreigners knocking on our door!" Of course the question is why would foreigners be knocking on our door? We had a great conversation with them. We didn't get let in :( but we pray that our testimonies left a good impression on them. The little 3 year old kept on talking to us and it was hilarious! "Foreigners! I want to give you a present! " "What is it?" "I don't know." haha - she was cute. It's funny, everyone here calls us foreigners.
Sunday: In Gospel Principles class we didn't have any investigators but one of the men on the high counsel and a returned missionary came to the class and we discussed how to better contact people. One thing I need to work on ... small talk. I just finished phase one (all church terms) and so I just started learning about "small talk" vocab. My Chinese is terrible and so sometimes I am afraid to talk. But I will definitely work on that. If I would say something in English - I try to make myself translate it in my head and say it. Sometimes it takes me a little longer but I am getting better.
So there is a weird situation with a girl who is going to be baptized this saturday, Wang Jie Mei. The Elders were teaching her but then they gave her to the other sisters and then gave her to us because the boundaries changed. So technically she is in our area. But they haven't officially changed the boundaries - so for the next little bit she is in the other ward. At least we think so. And we aren't even completely sure if she will come to our ward. Anyhoo - the elders asked us to teach her this week to prepare her for baptism. We know her better than the other sisters. So it is just for support until she gets baptized and then we will introduce her to the other sisters and we will have a trade off. Sadly her husband can't get baptized with her. But we are really happy for her choice :)
So another ward had a FHE activity and they invited us to eat food with them! Oh it was all soooo good! the cold noodles with peanut sauce was one of my favorites :)) And the desserts are so different than the ones in America. There was one soup that was white mushroom with berries and another red bean soup. Super good!
Can you believe that I have been on my mission for 6 months?? It is sooo weird! I'm Lovin it!
Love you all and you are in my prayers.
Till next week
"Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes."