Ni hao ya’ll!
So last P-day we had an absolute blast with our Stake President and some of the prettiest views I have ever seen on this island. It definitely reminded me that I am actually living on a tropical island – haha – sometimes it’s easy to forget. After a really pretty trip to the ocean we took a 10 passenger van straight up the side of a mountain (Dulan Mountain). I legit mean straight up. Then we pull off to the side in this tiny parking lot and our Stake President says okay, “now we hike, everybody make sure you grab a walking stick”…by hike he meant a muddy rock climbing experience straight up the mountain Haha. It was hard but SO fun and SO pretty!! When there were gaps in the trees you would look out and legit only see sky! But after making some friends with some monkeys, running into a few too many spider webs, and laughing non stop, we saw the prettiest view! Wow. It was breathtaking!
Life is a lot like climbing a mountain. We know there is a pretty view waiting for us at the top, but a lot of times the spider webs, the incline, and the scraped knees and elbows can make us want to give up. We know God has promised us these wonderful blessings, but the trials that come in our lives can be overwhelming. At this point a lot of people will say, okay, this is just gonna take a little more elbow grease, one foot down and then the other. This is when spiritually we turn to praying, reading our scriptures, going to church, and attending the temple. But sometimes our challenges don’t just disappear when we start or continue doing what’s right. Sometimes our trials are meant to be endured. But that’s why God sends the cute little monkeys and other missionaries to make you laugh. God’s hand is truly manifest in our lives every day! It’s in the little things. Make someone smile today. You never know what trial they may be facing. Help them climb their own mountain.
So, on a different note, if you remember from last week, when we found some amazing people…we were able to meet with Gary and Anita again!
Gary is awesome! When we gave him the Book of Mormon to read he got really excited. When we left his house he was sitting on the couch eating noodles and reading the introduction. We go back to visit him on Tuesday, and we will see how it’s going!
Anita is also really awesome! She came to church! Actually we got a text from our bishop 45 minutes before church was supposed to start, telling us that she was already there. So we booked it over to the church and she said that she was just too excited! Haha! After church we shared the Restoration and invited her to be baptized. She had the biggest smile on her face as she was literally bouncing in her seat saying yes! Then I kid you not, an hour later, we got a text that said she could never meet with us or come to church again. Talk about biggest heartbreak ever! Well, she was telling her parents about church and apparently they weren’t too happy. But when we gave them a phone call, they agreed to let us come over this week and share the message of the Restoration. So we are definitely praying for some softened hearts.
Switching keys here, we’ve been doing a lot of our studies at the beach and it’s been amazing! But one day we woke up with a completely blank schedule. We had no lessons planned. And Sister Smith goes, “What if we go to a faraway land?” Well a 30 minute train ride later (because we didn’t want to bike that far), we found ourselves in TaiMaLi, a beautiful little beach town.
The first person we talked to invited us inside to meet her husband and give us oranges. When we were asking about their family, we found out one of their sons was killed in a drunk driving accident. We testified of eternal families and invited them to learn more. They said we could come back anytime.
After doing language study on the beach we found ourselves talking to two guys chewing betel nut. The conversation turned to belief in God, us sharing the Restoration, and one of them committing to pray. The one who committed to prayer gave us his phone number and said that any time we were down in Taimali, we could come find him and share more.
With about an hour before the last train back to Taidong, we saw another miracle! We started talking to a husband and wife who kept giving us banana after banana to eat. But our conversation led to the Book of Mormon and prayer. Sure enough, after feeling the Spirit testify of the truth, they told us to come back next week and share more.
You can bet that we’ve already planned the trip back to Taimali, and I’m so excited!
Funny things that happened this week:
1. One of our bishop’s wife told me I had Cinderella feet…apparently my shoe size is still considered small, even in Taiwan!
2. Sister Wang turned to one of the guys from the beach who was chewing betel nut and said, “here, eat an orange instead…it’s healthier” haha the man took the orange but just gave her this look like she was the crazy one hahaha
3. I found the biggest pig. I’m pretty sure it’s part bear! When I stopped to take its picture it got up from it’s nap…you can bet I started booking it…so I didn’t actually get a picture haha
4. We went and had family home evening with one of our bishops and his family, and I got to play the fiddle! It was frickin’ awesome!
That’s about it for this week Haha sorry it’s kinda all over the place.
I hope you all have a great week!
I love you all so so so much!!!