Sunday, August 2, 2015

Wow I love being a Missionary!

Cute member from XinAn! Ou Jie Mei~
Sister Branch and I with Ou Jie Mei! 

It doesn't matter how much I've already learned, because every single day there's a new lesson to learn. Recognizing and accepting weaknesses has truly compelled me to learn and it's really strengthened me.

I can't choose one highlight of my week, because it was all great!  Great English Class, lots of new investigators, Temple Tours, spontaneous exchange with our sister training leaders, Father's Day activity with our members (this week is Father's Day in Taiwan), and an amazing Fireside last night.    
Temple Tours
But if I had to choose, I really feel like our exchange this week taught me a lot. So I went to XinAn with Sister Branch, and then Sister Aldous came to XiZhi with Sister Peng. We planned on taking the train and meeting them at the MRT transfer station at 5 pm. Sister Peng and Sister Aldous had a lesson at 6 pm, but our STLs told us they were going to be late, and then our phone stopped working and we were getting pretty stressed because we had no way of calling our investigator to tell him they'd be late. And then once we finally exchanged, I realized I forgot to give Sister Aldous my bike key. Basically, it was a stressful start. It was so interesting that in that short amount of time, it felt like the end of the world. Nonetheless, we had an incredible exchange. And I learned quickly that things always always work out! The stress is never worth it.

Recently, a problem I've been dealing with is having confidence. I learned a lot from Sister Branch and felt very uplifted. I've been wondering why I've been feeling this way lately, and I thought back to when I was serving in Georgia where I felt very confident in myself but most importantly my calling, and who I represent. I've been pondering lately on what has changed, and I thought back to the day when I started filling out my mission papers and felt the impression that I would be sent to a place where I would learn a very difficult language. I remember feeling so clearly that I needed to learn a language because there was a big lesson to be learned from it. 

There are many reasons why I'm in Taiwan, learning Chinese to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But this week, I feel I learned at least one reason why I've been given the challenge to learn Mandarin Chinese. I realized that something holding me back and making it difficult for me to have full and complete confidence is this language. Despite the dramatic change I've seen in my language skills since having a native companion, I've noticed that there's a voice in the back of my head telling me I can't do it. I've almost started to believe that for the rest of my mission, I will only be able to speak enough "to get by", instead of fulfilling the vision I have for myself. 

However, coming to this realization has done a lot more than motivate me. It's really helped me remember that "I can do all things through Christ". I have full and complete confidence in Him. I learned this week that if I have confidence in God, then that's enough. It all starts with humility, then prayer, and then getting up off your knees and going to work. I know I will learn this language. I know I will be able to make a difference. I have so much confidence in God's plan for me.

Long email this week, sorry. Last thing. Yesterday, after 3 weeks of having no investigators attend church, we had 2 attend. TWO. And they are both incredible!! One is our cute investigator that's been out of town for a couple weeks, Xie Wen Yun. And the other is named Wang Jun Fu. We met him sometime last week, and it was really a miracle. We were praying the night before, deciding where we needed to go to find a new investigator. This random image came into my mind of a 7-11 on the side of a not very busy road. So, we went. We started finding around that area at night and it started raining, but we didn't have umbrellas and we hadn't talked to anyone with potential for 25 or so minutes. So we started walking back to our bikes, and then the image of the 7-11 came back into my head. I looked at the building, and saw no one around, but we started towards the 7-11 anyways and then literally right outside the front door of this tiny convenient store, a father and his daughter walked passed us to enter. We immediately started talking to him. He was in a rush, so we just wrote down his phone number, and then Sister Peng suddenly asked him if we could set a time to meet up with him and he did. It was probably a total of 25 seconds that we talked with him. But while we were on exchanges, Sister Peng met with him and he set a baptismal date for August 29th. He came to our Father's Day activity and the Fireside. Such a miracle. 

Well, that's all for this week. I know I know I know this work is true! I know that no matter what the challenge is, if you push through with faith, I KNOW the blessings will come. Those blessings and the lessons learned along the way are worth more than anything I could ever ask for. 

Sister Hendricks

Hot Pot! Probably my favorite meal in Taiwan. You pick the ingredients you want and cook it yourself. 
Buy your companion ICE CREAM day! It's incredible how much my taste buds have changed.. I could hardly finish.
Our investigator Xie Wen Yun gave us the cutest gifts from GaoSheng!  

Some good lookin' missionaries!

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