I’d like to start of today’s email with a musical lyric that has been coming to my head a lot lately. Since I can’t actually look up and listen to this song while on my mission, I will type it the best my memory is able to recall. It’s from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”.
“Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere? Have you ever thought that you could disappear? Like you could fall and no one would hear?
Well, let that lonely feeling wash away. Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay. ‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand, you can reach, reach out your hand. And someone will come running, and I know they’ll take you home.
Even when the dark comes crashing through, When you need a friend who can carry you, When you’re broken on the ground, you will be found! So let the sun come streaming in ’cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again! Lift your head and look around. You will be found!”
So, you’re probably wondering why was it THIS that has been playing through my head on repeat. Well, I’ve got a few reasons.
First up. This week, we “found” some amazing people, who in their young lives have been very prepared to hear this Gospel. And by young, I’m talking 11, 14, 17, and 19. Their English names respectively are Gary, Ellen, Anita, and Caroline.
Gary was found this week when trying to visit a less active member who is Gary’s aunt. While we were at the house, Gary came home from school and started asking all kinds of questions about prayer and living latter-day prophets.
Ellen was found at a bakery helping her mom make bread. We started chatting about everything under the sun when she asked us if we were the church her friend had taken her to when she was 7. Sure enough we were, and right then and there Ellen asked us if she could come to church again. Our response was “Of course!”
Anita was found biking down the road. I pulled up next to her and started talking while we were biking. Shortly after we stopped our bikes and she told us about how earlier in the week she had started reading the Bible for the first time because she was curious about God. She had prayed and asked God for an answer. She told us she knew that we were the answer to her prayer and that she needed to learn more.
Caroline was found in a Starbucks where we were doing our companionship study. She was sitting next to us when all the sudden she leaned over and asked us in English (which definitely threw us off) what the difference was between our church and other Christian churches. About 50 questions and an hour and a half later we had taught her the first, second, and third lessons in the middle of Starbucks.
Those all are crazy miracles of people who were waiting to be found!
This week we had two major meetings up in Taipei. One of them being a mission tour from the Area Asia President, Elder David F. Evans. We talked all about having the faith to find the elect. I know that there are so many elect waiting to be found that, by evidence of this week, they are starting to find us!
The other reason I wanted to share this is because this week I truly felt those words speaking to me. As most of you know, I am in a trio right now in the middle of the boonies. And as much as I love my companions, it is not always the easiest trying to balance everything with three of us. There were times this week when nobody was on the roads…literally nobody was there but the three of us and a few cows or water buffalo chillin out in the field. On those long bike rides it became easy to think that I had been placed in the middle of nowhere and forgotten by everyone (and we were lost haha). In lessons when both of your companions grew up speaking Chinese, and you struggle to get your point across sometimes, it feels easier to just sit there and let them do all the talking. This week I felt a little broken, a little lost, and a little lonely. But this song doesn’t stop after the first few lines, and my mission doesn’t stop when things get hard.
When things get hard is when I have the opportunity to turn to Christ. He is the reason I have to believe everything will be okay. When I’m not strong enough to keep going, I can get on my knees, pray, and reach out to Him. He is the one who is always reaching out to us; beckoning us to come unto Him. He is the one who will come running to carry us home. Christ will find us when we look to Him.
I know He will always be there for you and me. If we only look up and reach out for help, He will bring us up off the ground. Christ is our brother and friend. But most importantly, He is our Savior, and He will always come running!
Funny things that happened this week:
1. We got to the church building yesterday at 8:30am for our first ward…a few wards later it was 3:30 and we were ready to go home and do some personal study before our evening appointments. Well we walked outside, and someone had locked their bike to mine with no way for me to get them unlocked. Let’s just say we ended up waiting at the church until 5 o’clock for the person to come unlock their bike hahaha.
2. Every morning when we walk out of our apartment their is the definition of an old Taiwanese man always sitting on a chair by his front door. He has got this incredibly long, wispy, white beard that reminds me of the emperor from Mulan. Anyways, every morning, as we walk to our bikes, he lifts his cane in the air and proclaims in English, “I love you!” And then proceeds to continue spouting out Taiwanese that I don’t understand hahaha. The way he says it is just so funny
3. As I mentioned, we had two meetings in Taipei this week. Because the travel was too long to go home and then come back, we had a sleepover at President Peterson’s house. They have an American style house…so me and Sister Smith legit walked inside and laid on the carpet for a solid 10 minutes. It was so nice and so soft that I actually slept the night on the carpet hahaha.
Well, that’s about it from me. Through the good times and the hard times, I still love being a missionary!
I hope you all have a great week!
I love you all so so so much!!!