Monday, December 14, 2015

Last email of the transfer!

​This was the funnest thing I've ever done.

​I just want to be an 阿媽 so bad. 

Best purchase I've made all mission!
Ahhhh I can't believe I'm writing my last email of the transfer! It went by soo fast. This will also be the first time that I don't get to attend the transfer meeting because I live so far away. I'm so sad because there are over 15 sisters and 15 elders all going home this week. Including my companion and my trainer, and so many more sisters that I've grown to love so much while I've served with them. But we get over 10 new sisters coming in this week! I'm also pretty sure every single sister companionship on the east coast will have some sort of change, so I'll have the pleasure of getting to know all of them this transfer!! Our moving calls are tonight so we'll see what happens.

This city of HuaLien!
So this week started out a little rough. We went to go meet our investigator, Sun's family this week to get their written approval that he can be baptized since he's only 19. His parents don't seem to care either way, but the dad's mother is a very very very very devout Buddhist and is completely against Sun being baptized. Sun's parents don't want to cause issues within their family so they basically said once the grandmother dies, he can be baptized. It was one of the saddest things I've ever witnessed. Sun just cried. He said his reason for wanting to be baptized is because he wants his family to be closer together. It was hard for all of us. Lots of missionaries have been involved in teaching him, and we were all really looking forward to it. But we helped him see that God has a plan for him, and he's giving him a little trial to test his faith. We told him not to give up and as he continues to do everything in his power to come closer to God, He would then provide a way for him to be baptized.

But the week went on, and we really made it the best week ever. It is Sister Griffin's last week as a missionary so you can imagine how crazy it's been haha. But this week was seriously SO COOL because I'm not going to lie, I really messed up a lot and wasn't really myself. It's stressed me out that I need to take over the area really soon, so I lost my patience a couple times. But the last thing I wanted was for my companion to have a difficult last week as a missionary because of my pride. So I just made the decision that I wasn't going to be this impatient, stressed out companion, and really prayed for help to change that. And instead, I'd do everything to give my companion the best last week of her mission ever. And then everything turned around! We had SO MUCH FUN and (I know I say this every week, but) I've never felt happier!! I just let go of all the things stressing me out like the language, the teaching skills, being unfamiliar with the area, etc. and I just put everything in God's hands. Then the biggest miracle and greatest blessing was on Sunday.... we had 5 investigators come to sacrament mtg! All transfer we have struggled so hard with that. It was so amazing.

I just learned so much this week. I really grew from this whole transfer actually. I feel like every transfer, Heavenly Father thinks of a new way to humble me. And it hurts every time. But the joy that follows is too joyful for words.

I think Alma describes it best:
"18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand,there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."

(Alma 36:18-21)

This experience has given me so much more reason to love my mission and to love what I do. We are all human and we all sin. We all make mistakes because we are imperfect. But the pain that our mistakes cause can be literally washed away. Jesus Christ is literally our Savior and He knows the pains we've felt. He knows the pains we've caused to others. We have to rely on Him to be forgiven and to be saved from ourselves.

I love you all and hope you have an incredible week!! Keep enjoying the Christmas holiday and eat lots of oranges and gingerbread for me!!

Sister Hendricks
Surprise visit from Sister Branch!! I love her so much!
Our English class Christmas party! Sister Branch came and visited us! She was my STL for the first 6 months of my mission -she went home 2 months ago but is already back in Taiwan to sight see :)
We acted out the Nativity for the spiritual share
Such a fun night!

Our elders made cookies and hot chocolate for the english party! Seriously they are so much fun
Weekly dinner with the elders and Brother Huang!
Taiwan dessert>American dessert red bean soup!!

​Not sure what this celebration was for, but it's all over HuaLien!!
We had lunch with some members, the elders, and Sun! 
These girls are my favorite members! Clover and Buffy :) The Taiwanese always have the best English names. 
​Brother and Sister Ou! Sister Griffin gave them CTR rings for Christmas :)

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