What a week!
In previous letters and I think even my farewell talk I’ve talked about the people waiting for me to find them in Taiwan. I found one. Actually to be more accurate, she found me. My new absolute best friend was baptized on March 2! 洪嘉君 (Hóng Jīa Jūn) summed up the day perfectly when she proclaimed, “BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!” Her baptism day just happened to be her birthday as well. She and I had the biggest smiles on our faces the entire day! I love her SO much, and am just so happy that she has found the same love for the Gospel that I have! I can’t even put in to words how amazing this moment and process was, but it was and still is incredible!
For Hong JM birthday/baptism we got her two framed pictures. One was of the Taipei temple and the other is of Christ holding a baby lamb. She has always love the analogies of gathering the sheep, and since that is one of my favorite pictures, it seemed only fitting. When she opened it up she was so happy! She pointed to the lamb and goes, “That’s me!” Then she gives me this big hug and says, “Thanks for finding me”. You can bet that I literally started crying I was so happy! I love her so much!
Last week I told the experience of this cute 78 year old lady who has an incredible bond with her mother and wants to go to the temple. Well, this week we went back to explain more about temple ordinances. Towards the middle of the lesson she just kept saying that she didn’t know if her mom had accepted the Gospel yet and the Spirit World and didn’t know if she ever would. I had this strong impression to have her pray right then and there and ask. So I invited her to, and I invited her to pay attention to her feelings.
Never have I ever heard a more sincere prayer that was full of faith and pleading. As her prayer came to a close we all sat there in silence for a very long time, tears streaming silently, and the power of the Holy Ghost filling the room. Finally, my companion broke the silence and asked 何詠媛 (Hé Yong Yúan) how she felt. She then sat there trying to explain the warm feeling of the Holy Ghost. She couldn’t give it a name though because she said she had never felt that way before. We testified that it was the Holy Ghost. We sat in silence for a little while longer before she said, “I know this Gospel is true and I know my mom has accepted it!”. It was incredible!
Transfers will be on Thursday. I am being transferred! I will be leaving the people of 新竹 that I love so very much. I am so grateful for the time I have had to serve them, and I will miss them so much! BUT! I am going to 台東 (Taí Dong)! I will be in a trio with Sister Smith and Sister Wang. Sister Wang is from Taiwan so hopefully my Chinese will get really good! I’m excited to see what new adventures are in store for me!
Spiritual thought of the week:
I read a story from a talk given by Elder [Boyd K.] Packer called “The Candle of the Lord”. He tells a story of a missionary who on his first day knocked on his very first door. An old lady, who was a Christian minister and knew the Bible inside and out, answered the door. The new missionary companion nudged him to say something, and this new missionary said “As man is God once was, and as God is man may become.” When the lady asked what that was, the missionary said that it was in the Bible. This old lady went back into her house, pulled out her Bible, and asked the missionary to show her were. He started flipping pages, then handed the Bible back and said, “Here, I can’t find it. I’m not even sure that it’s in there, and even if it is, I couldn’t find it. I’m just a poor farm boy from out in Cache Valley in Utah. I haven’t had much training. But I come from a family where we live the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it’s done so much for our family that I’ve accepted a call to come on a mission for two years, at my own expense, to tell people how I feel about it.” The old woman responded by saying “Come in, my boy, I’d like to hear what you have to say.”
I love that story! Someone with amazing speaking skills, a sly smile, and a perfectly planned out script could have gone up to that old lady’s door and gotten it slammed in his face. But in the end what really mattered wasn’t the words that were used, but the heart of the person saying the words. This week I have learned the power of personal testimony because no one can take away your personal testimony or tell you it’s not true.
Even in the scriptures Alma uses his personal testimony to defend God against Korihor. Elder Jeffery R Holland said, “Alma used a timeless and ultimately undeniable weapon in response — the power of personal testimony.”
I found myself this week little frustrated with Chinese because I couldn’t perfectly explain the Atonement of Jesus Christ in Chinese. I had no idea how to fully explain it and convey it’s beauty and power. However, I’ve learned that when someone testifies of the power of Christ in their life a power enters the room. It’s an amazing feeling, and I encourage you all to seek after that feeling. You don’t have to speak well, you just have to speak about good things.
Funny things that happened this week:
1. I don’t think I have quoted Hercules more in my life than this week. Quotes included:
> I’m a damsel, I’m in distress, I can handle it. Have a nice day!
> *shoes squeaking* I think they’re kinda dashing
> singing I can go the distance while biking for a very long time
2. I got chased by a dog on my bike hahaha
3. Hong JM was bearing her testimony at her baptism and she forgot to say Amen so she was just walking away wondering why it was so quiet Haha then the moment of realization hit she ran back to the microphone to say it haha it was so cute!!
Well that’s about it from me!
I hope you have a great week!
I love you all so so so much!!!