Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"I made Brownies with a Buddhist Monk and other interesting things about missionary life"- October 16

Hey all! So I should start out by apologizing...I was supposed to tell you last P-Day that I wouldn't be able to email this last Monday because our P-Day got changed to today (Wednesday) because today is our Temple Day! Yes, in just a few hours I will be in the Taiwan Taipei temple and I am soooooo stoked! :) But sorry if I caused any worry mom and dad...I will have P-Day on Mondays again after this so it's all good! 
WOW! So a TON of things have happened in the past week. Here is a list of cool things happening in Taiwan: 
1. Shout out to Beverly Evans...I got her letter this week and it was totally an answer to my prayers. I was feeling super inadequate two weeks ago and her letter and experience totally lifted my spirits and helped me realize that everyone feels inadequate for their callings at first. But the Lord prepares us for these things. I have no need to worry. With faith there is no fear. Thank you, Sister Evans. These past few weeks things have been exponentially better. The work is growing on me and I realize more and more every day that I am supposed to be here. 
2. Last Wednesday we had our English Class Party. SO fun! The theme was "Fall Festivus" (festivus for the rest of us). So, I was in charge of the BINGO game and I made fall themed bingo cards. Turns out that Taiwanese people love bingo. hahaha they had a blast. We also played the Joseph Smith stick pulling game (they didn't like that so much) but the elders were fun to watch as they played! We also gave them hot apple cider and it was sooooo funny because the Taiwanese were like, "What the heck is this?" They thought it was soooo weird that we heat up fruit drinks. They could not get over it. hahahaha. I love the Taiwanese soooooo much.

3. Last Thursday Sister Barden and I had temple tours. It was amazing - a day literally full of miracles. We conducted 5 tours in 5 hours--nonstop. when you do temple tours you basically show them church pictures and portraits and teach a lesson at the same time. Missionaries bring their investigators or you bring your own or you find people on the street and invite them in for a tour. We brought a less active member from our ward and she was fascinated. We showed her pictures of the inside of the temple and described the inside and she was like, "I feel so much peace...I need to go inside." Also, we taught a ton of new investigators. I invited someone to baptism for the first time and they accepted! and it's a lady from China. She said she was so excited to tell people in China about the gospel. This is such a happy message indeed. This day was just really amazing because it was hope and reassurance for me and Sister Barden that there are truly prepared spirits in Taiwan. We've had some rejections recently and felt pretty down, but on this day the Lord sent us miracles who are ready and excited to learn about this Gospel and make and keep sacred covenants. It was a testament to us that we really can do this work. 

4. Also, on temple day I met this guy and his wife who live in Okinawa, Japan. He served a mission in Taipei 10 years ago. He flies F15s in the airforce and his name is Jeff LoMeyer. He says Uncle Jim is his general!!!! He was like, "General Hecker has a Mormon niece???" haha just thought I'd throw that out there. 
5. We had a week full of miracles. We made specific goals about inviting EVERYONE (literally, everyone) to church and giving out more Books of Mormon. We have had a lot of success! 4 investigators came to church on Sunday! Oh, and it was General Conference after all so we didn't have to wait for forever! But anyway it was awesome for them to come and hear the words of our leaders and socialize with the ward members during lunch. We are working with incredible people right now. 

6. Conference was great! Favorite talks were Holland and Uchtdorf. And after all the mission talks we've had a lot of the ward members volunteer to help us teach - sooooo thankful! 

My District

7. A lady in our ward gave me Pride and Prejudice in Chinese...I'm going to send it home and I cannot wait to read it in Chinese...SOOOO COOOL :) 
8. It's transfer #2 which means I am more than 1/2 through training. Never thought that would happen!!!!! So crazy! I have 10 transfers left. On Dec 5, I will be home in a year 
Frozen yogurt  (trainee) picture

Frozen yogurt (our trainers) picture

9. There is this awesome investigator I gotta tell you guys about. His name is Zhou dixiong (but we call him Dreamer). He is an endowed Buddhist monk. He saw us missionaries from the temple and ran down and said, "I saw you in a dream!" He started meeting with us and he is all about it. He knows the Church is true and has sooooo much faith and wants to get baptized. Problem is...he's an endowed monk so he lawfully cannot get baptized. We're trying to work around it but the technicalities are out of our hands. Until we figure that out--he is literally the coolest, most spiritual person I've ever met in my life - so zen. And he likes to cook. I made brownies with an endowed Buddhist monk! 
10. The language is getting so much better. I feel the gift of tongues in my life. I can understand people a lot better now. And talking to them is a lot more natural. It's honestly a miracle. I cannot wait for you guys to hear me speak Chinese. It's so Asian and amazing and I love these people more and more every day. This is where I am meant to be!

Okay, off to the temple! Until next MONDAY :) 
Love, Sister Tracy 

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