Sunday, August 24, 2014

Take No Thought For the Morrow- August 25, 2014

This last Saturday around 1pm, my companion and I were meeting with two members. As we were wrapping up the lesson I looked down at our cellphone (which was on silent at the time) and noticed that we had received 21 missed calls. I looked at the call record and saw that multiple different people had tried contacting us within the past 30 minutes: Mission leaders, members from our ward, investigators, RCs, LAs, missionaries... As I sat there staring at the phone thinking to myself, "Are we really THAT popular?" we got an incoming call from our bishop. I picked up the phone:
"Hello Bishop Chen?"
"(Frantically) Hello hello? Sister Tracy is that you? Are you still alive?"
"What? yeah I'm alive? What's up?"
"Thank goodness, there has been an accident..."

It didn't take too long before we had discovered what was going on. That day, around 12 pm a news report had gone out that two LDS missionaries in Xin Bei City (our area) had been found dead in their apartment due to CO poisoning. Reports had said that one missionary was from Gao Xiong (where my companion is from) and the other from America. Everyone thought that my companion and I had died! Later we had found out that it was two elders stationed in San Chong: Elder Xiong and Elder Thredgold. 

As this all unfolded we decided right then and there to get on our knees with our members and say a prayer. We prayed for the missionaries who had died, the safety of the missionaries in Taipei and around the world, we prayed for their families, for our mission leaders dealing with everything going on. After the prayer we all just kind of sat there in silence for while. I looked down at my open scriptures on the table. I re-read the scripture that I had just barely shared with our members:

3 Nephi 13:30-34

 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you,
 if ye are not of little faith.
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof. 

For the past 3 days members, investigators, RCs, LAs...all have been asking me over and over, "Why did God have to take away two young missionaries? They were doing the right thing. They devoted all of their time to God. Why did He do that?" I even had an LA ask me yesterday at church, "Sister Tracy do you still believe in God?" At first I got really freaked out at that question. It's crazy how such a sudden event can make you question and doubt your faith so quickly. Even if you've spent the past year of your life doing nothing but teach people about God, you can be so quick to throw away faith and doubt. 

I do not know why my good friends had to die so early in life, or why they had to die during their missions, but I do know that God made a wonderful Plan of Salvation for His children, and I know that it is true. The Plan of Salvation is God's plan for his children. It is perfectly designed so that we all may have the opportunity to have eternal peace, happiness, and life. I know that we obtain these blessings through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I have felt its peace and I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true.

I also know that the words from 3 Nephi 13 are true. We do not need to worry. Do not let fear dominate faith. God will take care of everything. We must learn to trust Him now. Through the teachings of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ we can. 

Please pray for Elder Xiong and Elder Thredgold's families. Please pray for the safety of missionaries all over the world. Please share your testimony of the Plan of Salvation with everyone around you.

Here are some pictures from last week:
A family from Canada came and sang in our ward!

My Companion and I going on the train to see the mountains 
A member of our ward

I love you all.
Sister Tracy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Talk to everyone!- August 18, 2014

Last week was pretty good!


Monday: I went to the zoo! Met a lady from Singapore and got her number and referred her to the missionaries in her area, super cool experience. Also I got to see orangutans and camels and sloths...but that’s okay. Also I found out in a very embarrassing way that I have been saying "naked bodies" instead of "camel" in Chinese for about over a year now.

Tuesday: we went to the temple and gave temple tours! something I haven’t done in a very long time! we had an awesome lesson about the MelchezidePriesthood with our RC. We had a missionary couple from America help us give the tour. Shout out to the Petersens! They had such an impact on him! Shout out to the Priesthood brethren!

Wednesday: It POURED rain. Like typhoon status. But we still went out and saw miracles. We saw a man with crutches fall down in the middle of the street and we went to save him. We carried his groceries and helped him limp all the way back to his house. We had a 45 minute walk/conversation with him and ended up setting up to meet with him again. A little act of service can go a long way. Also English class was boss. Lots of members showed up, yay!
Thursday: I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I was hearing a noise in our kitchen. FREAKED out because I thought it was a thief. So I said a quick prayer and grabbed a frying pan and sat in my bed. My companion woke up and screamed because she thought I was going to attack her ha-ha. I told her I heard something outside in our kitchen. So we both got up and went out and saw a RAT on the floor. I flipped out and smacked it with the pan and it completely got smushed. Then we used the frying pan to grill it and eat it...

okay just kidding. no we didn’t eat it. but it was super terrifying and nasty.

Friday: We met with a super cool former from the elders old area and I learned how to make apple curry.

Saturday: all appointments fell through so we hit the streets all day and NO success until the VERY LAST person we contacted! It was so weird. We were walking down this trail and suddenly I just had this urge to stop. I don’t even know why. My companion said, "Why are you stopping?" and I said, "I don’t know." then she said, "that guy" she pointed to this guy and we talked to him. He was super cool and set up and really excited to learn more.

MIRACLES COME FROM TALKING TO EVERYONE. That’s been the main thing I learned this week. Talk to them when you least feel like talking to them. Talk to everyone and you will see miracles.

Look who is learning how to cook Taiwanese!  

More next week

Sister Tracy

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Not wasting a second- August 11, 2014

This past week was a week of miracles and success!

Today I brought my gratitude journal to email with me:

Monday: Sister Fan and I went on a Carrefore adventure. WOW, Carrefore is awesome! It was my first time every being in one. Its better than Costco! Plus they gave me a bunch of free taro bread samples so I was super stoked. We bought a ton of Taiwanese vegetables. I would tell you what kinds except there is no English translation...

My new Planner I bought and decorated!  (Me on the right, Sister Fan on the left!)  

Tuesday: Had dinner with this really nice LA and her son. She is ready to go back to church. It was really cool. She told us that she stopped going to our church for a while and went to a few others but realized that the same spirit wasnt there. We also met with our baptismal investigator Lin Jia Qing...he is super ready to be baptized. He is also quitting smoking. He can do it! Ive seen it done!

Wednesday: Went on an emergency exchange with the Sister Training Leaders because the Liahona people wanted to interview my companion. Look for Sister Fan in the next Liahona!!!!! Shes famous. Sister Bywater and I saw a TON of miracles. Particularly at English class. Two college-aged girls came to English class for the first time. At class I was sharing a message about the Book of Mormon. After class they came up to me and said, "Can you tell us more?" "Ummm Yes..." Luckily enough our WM Leader was there too so he sat in on the lesson and helped us teach a brief lesson on the Book of Mormon. We invited them to set a date and they said okay! Our WM Leader was blown out the window. Yesterday during Ward Council he testified that English Class was the bomb and every member needed to go so we can invite more people to come unto Christ. Awesome.

Thursday: We trekked up a SUPER steep and long hill. (Exploring the Elders area) and as we were making our ascent we crossed paths with a young woman and helped her carry her bike to the top of the hill. She was really grateful. We talked about the Gospel with her and she is willing to be baptized as well. It would have been really easy to just be like..."Im too tired to talk to anyone" BUT NO. We need to talk to everyone!!!! You never know!

Friday: A member gave me avocado with honey...surprisingly really good. Also we got to go to temple tour training and it was cool cuz I got to see a bunch of people that I love :)including my trainee (who is training!) and my trainer (who is also training) and my trainers trainer. We got a family picture together.  Also it was Fathers Day in Taiwan. Happy Fathers Day, Dad!!!!

Saturday: In the morning we ran to the park and crossed paths with a bunch of Amas (Grandmas) dancing to Gangham Style. Our workout from that day was from laughing so hard. Also,we met with the bishop and he let me feed his pet squirrel that he and his wife rescued. Also it started thunder-storming on the way to their house and we were biking in the middle of it. It was super epic!

Sunday: Miracles! Lots of people came to church! Also we have the best ward I’ve ever been to in my life. At ward council everything was just super organized and the members just knew what was up. Also, Bishop and our WM Leader bore testimony about English class and got members to sign up and help us. We are going to see fruits of blessings harvest from the work of these members. I feel so blessed. 

Today we are going to the zoo!!!!! YAY!!!

Also, every day I feel more and more blessed to be working with my awesome companion. It is the opportunity of a life time. 

The other day a woman on the street told me I was wasting my time being out here. Though in the moment I just smiled and told her, "Have a nice day," my heart was pounding for a moment because I got really mad. Sister Fan put her arm around me and said, "Dont worry, you're not wasting a second." I know what my companion says is true. I look back on all of the friends Ive made, miracles Ive seen, trials overcome, laughs Ive had...yeah...nothing I’d rather be doing right now. 

I love you all 
My Beautiful City!

Sister Tracy

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hello from 鐘恩曦- August 4, 2014

Nimen Hao!

Well here are the latest updates:

~I moved!!!!!  I really, really, really miss Hualien. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life and I really miss the people. Such a privilege to have served with such amazing people and to have seen such amazing miracles...But I didn’t feel too bad leaving because I know that I will be back one day!

I will miss Sister George

I Will Miss these people so much!

I will Miss them all so much!

~I moved from the country to the city! I am in Xin-Dian! It’s really close to Taipei in North Western Taiwan. It’s different...but thankfully, I have experience because I was in JiLong for awhile my street contacting techniques are coming back to me ha-ha.

~We’ve taken on a challenge. This transfer they have temporarily shut down the Elders’ area so we are in charge of working with all of their RCs and LAs and investigators. Plus we need to find in their area. Elders should be coming in next transfer so we need to maintain 2 different areas...pray for us ha-ha. But it should be good! We’ve already seen miracles left and right. And we both love exploring this place and finding new people to share the gospel with. The key is DON’T GIVE UP. Last Saturday it took us 90 contacts until we found a miracle new investigator! Don’t get discouraged if you get rejected the first 89 times. KEEP GOING. You’ll see miracles. Missionary work is like a treasure hunt ha-ha.

~The members here are BOMB. Seriously super-duper awesome and excited about missionary work. I love their fire!

Taking the train to Xin-Dian!

~I GOT MY FIRST NATIVE COMPANION! FINALLY. Her name is Sister Fan. She is 23 and she’s from Gao Xiong. She is a rock star. She got baptized about 2 years ago. Her family doesn’t support her being out here. They don’t talk to her at all. It’s really sad, but she has an amazing attitude about it! She writes her mom and brother cards every week and bears her testimony. She also took all her family names to the temple. We pray together every day that her family will accept the Gospel in God’s time. She’s also just a really good people person. She’s been on her mission for only 4 transfers but when we serve together it feels like much longer because she’s a pro! Also she’s super hilarious. I LOVE HER.

Sister Fan and I

It’s a little tiring speaking Chinese more often now. I haven’t spoken a lick of English in the past 36 hours (my companion doesn’t speak any English). Plus there are a lot of times I’m not quite sure what she’s exactly saying...BUT it’s actually real good because its forcing me to focus. So in the end its actually really awesome :)

Also, she is showing me a whole different side of the culture. Turns out, living with a Taiwanese is a lot different than going to church with one. I’m learning that if you learn to be open minded and just accept the culture it’s super fun!

I guess I say all of this because before moving here I was told by a few different people that having a native companion was a bad experience. Not gonna lie I was scared at first when I found out I had a native companion. But as I’ve been keeping this gratitude journal every day and studying the words of Moroni in chapter 7 about charity...I’ve been learning that we have full control over our situations. We have the Atonement of Jesus Christ and gratitude to brighten our lives and change our perspectives. Ultimately we have prayer and our Heavenly Father. He will comfort us. He will allow us to feel more love for others and to be grateful in our situations. I am so thankful for this mission because its opened my eyes to these things in a special, unforgettable way.
Love you all!
Sister Tracy

p.s. I always told myself that I would let my first native companion give me a Chinese here’s what Sister Fan picked:
鐘恩曦 (Zhong En Xi) (Pronounced Jhong Un She)
So En-Xi is my first name. It means "A gift of daylight" :)