Sunday, September 8, 2013

Treasure the miracles- September 9

 Nimen hao! 
Well not a lot of time to type this morning but I will send another email with pics later! 
Some things I have learned about Taiwan:
  • Cockroaches are everywhere and there is absolutely no way of avoiding it so I have just kind of learned to deal with it. Like we don't even bother to kill bugs anymore - I'll see a giant cockroach and think nothing of it. IT'S THAT BAD!!
  • So, I got my bike! Biking in Taiwan is insane. My trainer was like "Okay let's go!" and I was freaking out cuz there were like 10,000 cars and scooters not obeying any traffic rules and swerving everywhere plus I was wearing a skirt so that was hard. Pretty much flashed everyone in JiLong--whoops. I decided that biking through Taiwan streets is a lot like the EAC from Finding Nemo. Buses are killer whales. Cars are Giant Turtles. Scooters are schools of fish. And I am Marlin and my companion is Dory because she is completely confident about riding through the streets. You basically just follow everyone and try not to get eaten by the bigger fish. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME NOT TO DIE ON THE ROAD!

  • They have a Starbucks here that no one ever goes to so, whenever my comp and I need to chill out we go there and eat our lunch and dinner.
  • I went to our bishop's restaurant this week for dinner and I had absolutely no idea what I was eating.
  • In fact, for the past week I have had no idea what I am eating unless I buy crackers from the 7/11.

  • The 7/11s here are INSANE! Huge stores with copy machines and lots of random goodies to eat.
  • The internet cafes always blast American music.
  • It's super rude to talk too loud on the bus--found that out the hard way.
  • The Moon Festival is coming up and we are going to eat lots of fruit and moon cakes.
  • People give missionaries so much food.
  • The Young Single Adults love feeding us questionable foods.
  • Everyone keeps speaking to me in English and I keep trying to speak to them in Chinese and its really lol.
  • I FOUND PEANUT BUTTER at a random bread store! It was super expensive but super worth it. I carry around the little jar with me everywhere. Mom can you send me more peanut butter in the future? and snacks cuz the only snacks they have here are questionable...

Some things I have learned about the mission: 
This week was really rough, not gonna lie. I have decided that the mission is officially the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have never in my life felt so uncomfortable, so emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. So stressed. It's been very hard. I've also never felt so insecure in my abilities. There have been difficult times, not gonna lie. The thought keeps coming: "Is this really supposed to be the best 18 months of my life?" 
Though its been hard, I still find that I am not willing to come home. I am not willing to give up because this isn't my work, it's the Lord's. And I find that it is true--when we really do put our trust in Him--He ALWAYS listens and provides. After every single trial I've had here, when I pray to Him for strength and align my will with His, He always brings me out of the dark. 

For instance, this week when we were finding, I was having a really hard time. It felt like I did not recognize the Spirit when trying to approach people. EVERYONE I talked to would reject us. And whenever my companion talked to people first, they would accept. I felt like I didn't have what it took to be a missionary and have a discerning spirit. That night I said a very heartfelt prayer that I would be able to really have the Spirit to be with me and that I could find at least one person to listen to my message and accept it. The next morning I had personal study. I went to Heavenly Father with a question and as I read the scriptures I found an answer. I really felt God's love for me through studying the Book of Mormon. I felt like I was having a personal conversation with Him right then and there in my apartment. That day as we were on the bus I decided to talk to this lady and just be myself and not compare myself to my companion. I didn't care that I couldn't understand her very well or speak very well. I just tried to be genuine. I just tried to keep it real and have a nice conversation with her. I felt a good feeling about giving her a Book of Mormon. I told her about my experience that morning and how the scriptures relieved my stress and became really personal for me. She very gratefully accepted the Book of Mormon and appreciated my story. We are meeting with her next week. 
Miracles happen. Every day. Like, I talked to a lady in Taiwan, in very broken Chinese, about God, on a bus and --she actually accepted...that kind of stuff does not happen on a regular basis! But hey, it's God's gospel--it really brings miracles! 
I am learning that this really is going to be the best 18 months of my life when I take moments each day to recognize the miracles I've been experiencing. Truely--it blows my mind. I will forever be grateful for these experiences. This is where I find happiness. This is why I haven't given up yet. I will treasure these moments forever. 

Until next time, 
Sister Tracy :)

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