Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Give them life- January 28, 2014

Hey everyone! 
Sorry I didn't email you guys last Monday..we had a surprise temple day this week (aka APs forgot to put in the announcements that we had temple day THIS Wednesday..not last like they originally told us ha-ha) but it's all good! I am up for surprises! especially if it involves the temple! Today is beautiful and...WARM random. It hasn't rained in awhile and I am super grateful and it's actually something I prayed for as well cuz guo nian is coming up which means we are going to be outside knocking doors all day every day for the next two weeks. God is blessing us with a little sunshine. 

Well, since most of the day was spent at the temple I only have a little bit of time to email. But there is something I would really like to talk about in this week's email...
This past week I got the opportunity to go into the homes of many less active members. The biggest thing I have learned from talking to all of these broken families is that we need to focus everything we have on living up to our baptismal covenants. Everything! Every one of these families are broken and missionaries alone cannot help them. These families need the help of members. They need friends. They need a bishop. They need a Relief Society president. They need primary children to play with their kids. They need youth to fellowship their older kids. They need support. They need the Spirit--in their homes. This does not mean a simple text or phone call. This means go into their homes and reinvite the Spirit that has been gone for a long time. In Mosiah 18:8-10 it talks about our baptismal covenant. We are blessed with the Spirit in our lives. We know that through our Church attendance it will be renewed and continue to stay with us. It also says we will lift the burdens of others--so that they too may feel the Spirit. Let us take advantage of this! DO NOT OVERLOOK YOUR BAPTISMAL COVENANTS. We all need the Spirit. Its like Lehi's dream in 1 Nephi 8. Once we know what that fruit (God's love) tastes like, we realize that we never ever want to let go of the tree because if we do, it's scary. Being without the Spirit is scary. We get lost. We lose life. Its called the Tree of Life for a reason.
Let us help others find the tree. Let us help others have life. Do not overlook these gifts from God. Use them to help others. Beckon others to come and partake just as Lehi did.
This week I challenge every ward member to read Mosiah 18:8-10. I challenge every ward member to go to a less active member's home this week invite the Spirit into their life. Let them lean on your testimony. Give them life, just as Christ gave us life.
I love this mission. I love this work. I love this life. :)
I love you all too!
Sister Tracy 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Busy busy changes and more business- January 20,2014

Nimen hao! 
This week was good. Busy busy busy. But good. 
1. We had this really long specialized training last week from President Day, his wife, and the Assistants. It was really crazy. They are trying this new thing where they split every single area in half and they gave one half to the sister and one half to the elders. So Sister Zippro and I can only teach people who live on the left side of Jilong. This includes ward members, investigators, contacting, RC/LAs..everyone! The purpose is so that we can travel more and more easily get around our ENTIRE area. Our area is REALLY spread out which means we are going to be traveling A LOT. Mostly by train and bike. Also, pretty much all of our ward members and investigators live on the Elder's side so we had to pass a lot of people over which means we have A LOT of finding, traveling, and overall a ton of work to do. Pretty much all of the LAs live on our side so we are going to be visiting a lot of people this week. Its going to be a busy week. Also, sisters are allowed to teach boys now (as long as we have a female member present and they live in our area). That means the ward is really really going to need to help us out. Which means we can teach Young now! (the man I contacted last week!) Lots of changes to come and a lot more work but its all going to help our area flourish in the end.

2. Another challenge that's coming up is Guo Nian (Chinese New Years). From what I understand, during guo nian no one works, no one goes to school, no one goes outside. It is one of the very few times the whole family gets together. Everyone sits in their house for a week and just eats haha. Its like a week long Thanksgiving. I've heard from older missionaries that it's the worst time of the year for missionaries because there is no one outside to contact and barely anyone goes to Church and no one wants to meet. The best way to contact is through the members. They made a schedule for us to go to their houses and eat food with their families and share messages to their nonmember families. Also, knocking doors is going to be big since everyone will be home. Pray that the Chinese missionaries have success meeting with people during this time. Its gonna be rough but I have faith we'll be able to find some wonderful people! 

I realized I only took a few pics this week so I took this random selfy while walking.

3. I decided that I am naming my future daughter Cora, after a member here in JiLong. She is the coolest person ever and I promised her I'd do it so everyone needs to hold me to it. 
4. Last Saturday we had a baptism! Her name is Wang Mei Jun. She is the cutest little girl. She was soooo nervous to be baptized. Afterwards she went up to bare her testimony and started to cry and say how happy she was that Heavenly Father helped her have courage to be baptized because she is scared of going under water. But it was something she really wanted to do because she wanted to be like Jesus. Her whole family attended too and they were in tears. So precious! What a great example! 
5. Last week we had a miracle with an LA family. It was a miracle. The husband usually never ever comes out when the missionaries come over. We said lots of prayers beforehand that we would be able to teach him. At first it was us, a few ward members, the mother, her son and daughter just sitting in the living room. My companion got the impression to sing a song. So I jumped on their piano and played a hymn and we all began to sing. Suddenly from the corner of my eye I saw the husband come out of the bedroom. He stood in the back of the corner and watched me play. Then he came over and sat on the bench next to me and started to accompany me on the piano. He has beautiful talent. At the end of the song he started to cry and he said, "I forgot about hymns." We started teaching their entire family about Jesus Christ and Sacrament. The husband listened the whole time and told us that his faith was coming back. It reminds me of that scripture in D&C about how music has a powerful power and invites the spirit. We have hymns for a reason. Reasons like this. 
6. Please everyone pray for our investigator Lin Chun Zi and her family. I promised her more prayers would be coming her way. She is ready to be baptized and her date is this Friday, but were still working on getting her husband's approval. Pray for them please! 
These people are all so special. I don't want to leave them. Transfers are coming soon and it just makes me sick that I might be leaving them. Need to cherish every day! 
I was praying next to the heater and I caught on fire. (I'm ok!)

There are now duck stores on EVERY corner.

Also, I want to say THANK YOU to my friends from MI who emailed me! I really appreciate it and I read all of your emails. I ran out of time today but I am going to email you next week! Kelsy, Nina, Sarah Lee, and Joey: you rock!
Have a beautiful week!
Sis Tracy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Look to God and live- January 13, 2014

1. Went on exchanges with my new sister training leader, Sister Gruwell, and we had a blast! Also she gave me a lot of great wisdom. I am so impressed with the sisters in this mission. They are too incredible. 
2. Lately our mission prez has been discouraging meeting at the chapel for lessons. At first I was really hesitant to follow this rule cuz I think that it's good for people to be familiar with the chapel. But ever since we made a decision to follow this rule we've seen soooo many miracles. Last Tuesday we had a lovely lesson with an LA at Starbucks. As we were leaving I looked behind me and saw this 30 yr old man reading my favorite book, The Book Thief. I said, "THAT'S MY FAVORITE BOOK!" Then we started talking to him. His name is Young and he is Taiwanese but he grew up in Alabama. We got his number and I called him and we set up to meet with him. I was really really nervous to teach him because it was my turn to lead and teaching in English is not what I am used to so it was scary. But Heavenly Father answered my prayer and the Spirit was there and we had an incredible lesson. He is a modern day Joseph Smith. He is a truth seeker. He was in a car accident a few years ago and he cannot use his left arm. A few of his nerves in his spine were removed. He said he was really depressed about the whole thing. One day he decided to get in his car and hit a tree, just end his life. But he said when he went to the gas station to fill up his car and man came up to him and said, "I don't know why but I feel like I should tell you to stop doing what ever you are doing and tell you that God still wants you to be here." Young decided not to take his life that day. He decided to move to Taiwan for work and he has been investigating a bunch of churches ever since so that he can know more about God. At the end of his story he said looked at me and said, "...and then you found me, and now I am here. listening to this message. Thank you." He is so amazing. I want to keep teaching him but rules are we have to give him to the elders. :( BUT still super cool :) 
The Elders, a ward member and us

3. We were walking to the bus stop and these girls stopped me in the middle of the road and said I had eyes like Miley Cyrus [Father's editorial note: Sister Tracy has been out of the country long enough that she probably doesn't know the path Miley has taken of late]. I invited them to come to church and they came the next day. And we taught them Lesson 1 and now they both have dates. Thank you for giving me my eyes mom ha-ha. 

4. Sister Zippro and I were contacting and she stopped me and said, "I feel guilty for walking past all of those people back there and not saying anything to them." I felt guilty too. I said, "Okay, let's make a goal whenever we contact we will talk to every single person." So that's what we did. And we saw MIRACLES including finding this super golden referral for the elders, praying with girls who just took a really hard test, inviting an old man to baptism, and many many more! 
5. Our baptismal date investigator has a realllllly bad addiction to coffee--well guess what...SHE DIDN'T DRINK COFFEE AT ALL LAST WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! everyone keep praying for her! Her name is Sister Su. 
6. Since we told our investigators about the "no using the chapel" rule they have been more willing to let us visit their houses. And we've been meeting with their family members now...MIRACLES 
7 WE HAD A BAPTISM! Tina is incredible! By the time she got her interview she had obtained a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon! She is amazing! PRAYER AND FASTING WORKS. Oh and her baptism story is one that I will never forget. The water for the baptism wasn't working. We had a man try to fix it and he said it would take 3 hours to get the water running. We almost had to reschedule. I kept saying prayers in my heart "no no no Heavenly Father, help her to get baptized today, she is so ready." Suddenly a member said, "Wait! I have an idea!" She ran into the kitchen and grabbed every single pot and pan available and said, "Let's use the water from the kitchen sink and fill up the font ourselves! With faith there is a way!" So all of the members lined up in an assembly line and we passed buckets of water to each other until the font was full. It took an hour and a half. It was...a hilarious but successful miracle. One I will never ever forget and will forever be grateful for. 

Team effort!

Still filling the font...

Tina and I

Wonderful Baptism for Tina!

8. I am learning more and more every day that there is nothing in this world that matters more than the Gospel. Therefore, it is worth sacrificing for. I find that the more small things I give up for this work, the more miracles I see, and the happier I am. There is a scripture I found in my studies this week at the end of Alma 37 that says, "Look to God and live." I've kind of made that my motto for this transfer...perhaps my whole mission. Just give up your wants and desires and trust that Heavenly Father knows best. There is no need for worry; there is no need for fear, He is the great Provider. Look to Him and live. It is a happy life indeed.
More to come next week. I took lots of pictures. 

Crazy Suspension Bridge!

Sister Tracy 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Transfer #4 results are in!- January 5, 2014

WELLLLLL here are the results for this next transfer....are you ready????????????? 

STILL here in Jilong, with the same companion too. Yep, JiLong is not ready for me or Sister Zippro to leave yet. I am actually super relieved that I did not move. I love JiLong too much! We have seen a lot of miracles lately and I am just not willing to pack up and leave in the middle of a slew of miracles like this. Thank goodness Heavenly Father is merciful this transfer and let me stay. :) Here are some amazing things that have happened in the past week. 

1. It became 2014! It still really throws me off that it is 2014...or January for that matter. Idk. I guess it's cuz I wasn't allowed to stay up late this year ha-ha. Also, on New Years Eve there was a huge concert going on right outside our window. I think Beyonce was in Taiwan or something because they were BLASTING Beyonce music. It was crazy too because I slept through the whole thing. My comp didn't get any sleep. She told me it was super crazy that I was out for the whole thing cuz it was super loud. I have gotten the best sleep of my life here on the mission. Which I believe is good because it means I've been working hard right? #stillasloth 
2. I got the package from the Hsu family. THANK YOU. CHOCOLATE AND NUTELLA!!!!!!!!!!!!! (the nutella is almost gone by the way) I've eaten a banana nutella pb and j sandwich everyday for the past week. 
3. Also I got Nicole Carlston's package. THANK YOU. The scarf is BEAUTIFUL and I really appreciate everything you do to support me :) thanks!!!! 
4. We had a scary experience this week. Last week a former came to the chapel after English class and asked if she could read the Book of Mormon with us at a member's house. We told her "Why yes, of course we can." So last Tuesday we took the train over to a member's house and had a lesson with her. I noticed that as we were taking the train she snuck on with me without paying. I told my comp and we just kind of ignored it. At the members house we had a nice lesson. Invited her to baptism and everything. After the lesson we got on the train and she tried to sneak on but the guard caught her. Since we were running late for an appointment I just really quickly paid for her and we got on. When we got back to JiLong she said, "I need 5 kuai to ride the bus." I told her "I'm really sorry but it's a rule for missionaries that I am really not supposed to give other people money." She started yelling at me and yelling and yelling. My comp and I tried everything to help her. We offered to say a prayer, give her snacks she could sell to get money. She kept staring at my bag like she was going to grab it. I suddenly felt a huge impression--run. I jumped back and my comp and I took off running. We got to the chapel and told our MM leader what happened and he stayed with us and walked us home to make sure we were still safe that night. Later this week we found a sign in our apartment. (I will send you the pic). Basically a warning to stay away from a former investigator who fit the description of this lady. SCARY. But thank goodness the Lord was there to protect us. Thank goodness we have the chapel as a sanctuary. 

5. We had a MIRACLE BREAKTHROUGH with an investigator. We call her Wu Mama. She is this 60-year-old lady who LOVES coming to church. We have been meeting with her for a while now. The problem with teaching her is that she thinks she is too slow to understand anything we are teaching her. She gives up really easily and refuses to pray out loud. This last week we invited her to come to the temple with us. We gave her a tour and showed her a bunch of portraits of Christ. She was still doubting her understanding a ton and it was becoming frustrating but I had the impression to go into the chapel and sing a song to her. So we did that. We sang "I am a child of God." Afterwards, we sat with her and started talking to her about prayer. She kept saying, "I cant do it..." then there was a pause. I asked her, "How do you feel in this room?" "Peaceful."...we sat there in silence together a little longer. Suddenly..she said "I like this feeling. I think I can pray.." And then she just started to do it! SHE PRAYED. And it was beautiful!!!! It was the most powerful prayer I've ever heard in my life. It was only 3 sentences long. It was simple and sweet but because the spirit was was POWERFUL. At the end of her prayer, Sister Zippro and I were crying and Wu Mama was like, "Oh no, was my prayer really that bad?" "NO NO NO IT WAS AMAZING THESE ARE HAPPY TEARS!" hahaha. AHHHHHH sooooo happy! This is what its all about! It reminded me of that scripture in 2 Nephi 32:8-9 about how the Spirit teaches a man to pray. That rings truer to me now more than ever. 
6. We have an investigator with a baptismal date and she rocks but she can't come to church for another 2 months because she works for the yellow duck festival. Sister Zippro and I prayed a lot that she would be able to come to church. Well....I think Heavenly Father answered our prayers in the funniest way ever because this last Tuesday...the duck BLEW UP. SUPER RANDOM. I called our investigator right after we watched it explode. She said, "Well...looks like I can come to church now." 

 Duck Exploded!

7. We have a baptism this week! This Saturday! It's with a referral named Tina. She is 20 and her English rocks. I love her! She has so much faith and its seriously been such a pleasure to see her faith build and build. She recognized God's hand in the little day-to-day, hour-to-hour moments of her life. Pictures to come next week! :) 

Until next week, 
Sister Tracy