"Bubba stop falling off your bike"
"I'm sorry you fell off your bike. That made me sad."
And here is the latest message from Sister Fernley (would I be a crazy missionary mom if I wanted to send a thank you note and even a little gift to the bishop of the Nantou ward who was so kind to the missionaries?):
This week has been such a crazy week and the Lord has blessed us so much! I'm going to try something a little different and go day by day so my letters will be a little easier to understand and I'm not jumping around all of the time. But first it sounds like this week was a good one. I'm sorry about the roof and the winds, that's no fun. Thanksgiving sounds pretty low-key, but I feel like that is always the best. Its just great to be in the company of family. It probably isn't very good, but Sister Anderson and I have been pretty nostalgic and sharing family traditions that we have and the more I think about it the more and more grateful I am for a family that I love so much. We are so blessed to have a family who is strong in the gospel and that we can get together and just enjoy one anothers company. I got your letters this week! I loved them! Jemma's letter made me laugh and I loved her pictures as always! I really liked the talk that you sent as well. I actually was reading in 2 Nephi the morning after I got the letters and it was talking about broken hearts and contrite spirits so I stuck the talk there because they went together so well. I also got grandmas package a little while ago and she did send me the October Conference Ensign. I was so excited! I love the conference editions!
Anyway to get into the week we didn't really go much. We went to Hong and Zhang's place (so many people have their shops or resturants in front and their houses are built in behind) and just hung out in the corner of their shop while they worked. We studying and when the two of them had time they would sit and talk with us. We took a Pomello to eat for lunch there, but they wouldn't let us just eat that so they fed us some of their resturant food. It is so good! I could eat there everyday and be completely happy, but I would probably gain a lot of weight. (So many sisters here complain about gaining weight, but the elders all loose weight. Such is the life of a Taiwan sister missionary.)
We got home a little later than we expected (we had to go down to jiayi which is about two hours away by bus and train) so we decided not to try and visit the people we had planned on and just tract for a little while before our next appointment. We decided to pray and asked to be lead by the spirit. Sister Anderson told me to lead the way, which is always a little intimidating because I want to go where the Spirit leads us, but sometimes I don't feel like I am listening all that well. I started riding and we came to a roundabout and my first instinct was to go straight through it, but as I slowed down and looked around more I felt I needed to choose a different exit. So I took it and went up to this neighborhood not far from the roundabout. As I rode to a stop I realized it was the neighborhood we had been tracting in the night before that Sister Anderson had led us to. As we tracted we ran into this lady who at first said she didn't want to talk to us, but as we talked more she eventually let us in and let us share a little with her. She opened up to us and told us she believed in Christ and wanted to change and become Christian but didn't know how. She talked about her family and how they are really struggling and she doesn't know what to do to help them. It is incredible how prepared she is!
As we left that neighborhood Sister Anderson and I just kept looking at one another and were amazed that we both led us to the same neighborhood and I know it was to find Chen Zhen Zhen (that lady). We had a lesson with her yesterday and were able to have a member attend. We didn't really teach anything because our member just talked with her for a long time and shared her conversion story and experiences she has had. It was really good and left Sister Chen knowing exactly how this gospel applys to her and how it can help her life. Near the end of our meeting Sister Anderson went to share a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon and explained a little of what the Book of Mormon was. Sister Chen got up and said she though she had one of those books. She looked around for a little while then pulled out a Book of Mormon from her bookshelf. It turns out that she was tracted into by Sister Anderson's trainer and her trainer! I guess they shared a little with her, but she wasn't really willing to listen. And now we have found her again and I feel like the timing is no accident. The Lord prepares a time for everyone to accept the gospel and we are praying so hard that she will be open this time. This next week we are going to teach her about the restoration and I hope with all my heart the spirit will touch her and she will know this is true.
After the wedding we ate and then moved on to the baptismal service. They changed out of their wedding clothes and into the simple white jumpers for the baptism, but still looked so great. It was so weird to finally have their baptism, but it was such a great atmosphere. It was so happy and full of the spirit. As Sister Anderson was relating her experience of seeing their conversion and trying to find them her first week in Nantou they both had tears running down their faces. The missionaries also went up and sang a song and I couldn't help but get choked up as I looked at them dressed in white, newly married and prepared to get baptised. Those two are so incredible and I will remember their examples for the rest of my life. I feel so priviledged to have met them, especially at the start of my mission. I have no doubts that they will remain strong members for the rest of their lives. They have changed every aspect of their lives for this gospel and are planning on going to the temple in a year.
That's about it for the week...we had four investigators at church yesterday! The Chen family I talked about last week (where the dad has been searching for truth) met with us after church again. We taught the plan of salvation and they were so accepting. They didn't question anything and just took it all in. It was incredible! It felt almost like the practice teaching we did in the MTC because they were so willing to hear and accepting of everything. The dad and one of his daughters were two of the investigators we had at church this week.
We have been blessed with so many miracles lately. And the funny thing is they don't even suprise me anymore. I had a teacher in the MTC say that the Lord pushes you until you hit your limit then showers you with blessings. That goes through my head everyday and is what keeps me moving on. I keep thinking that there is another miracle just around the corner. I may not know where that corner is, but it will come and I just need to keep pressing forward until I find it. We decided this morning to make that our catch phrase..."There is another miracle just around the corner." It is so true and I have already seen it so many times.
I don't have a ton of time left, but there are so many random things I wanted to tell you about. First I never thought I would be grateful for our trash system in the US. Here you have to take it out and meet the trash truck at certain times to take it. It is really inconvenient. Also I'm grateful for shower curtains, they don't use them here. I have so much more to tell you, but I'll have to do it next week. I love you all so much! And I love the tree in Jemma's room!
Come what may and love it!