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 a 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
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.