Sunday, January 26, 2014

New companion!

Here is the message we got from Sister Fernley last week (and yes, she did say "toilet restaurant" in that last message--we are laughing pretty hard at the images she sent us from that restaurant--I don't think I could eat anything there):

Dear Family,

I'm writing a little late today because it was move call! I am still in Nantou, but with a new companion. To say I'm a little nervous is an understatement. My  new companion is Sister Hill and she is from northern California (I forgot where exactly). She also went to BYUI and Chinese was actually her minor. She seems really nice. I think its going to be a lot harder this move call language wise. But thankfully I know enough to get my way around and was able to get us back to Nantou from Taichung this afternoon alright. This is Sister Hill's first time going senior companion, so I think I might be picking up a lot more slack now, especially since I am now leading the area. 

I was so nervous this morning because I don't know this area as well as Sister Anderson, I can't speak Chinese very well, and I don't know if I can hold up our investigators as well as Sister Anderson did, but the Lord will help us and it will be an incredible opportunity to grow. 

Sister Anderson actually only moved to Zhanghua. She is the new Sister Training Leader for our zone (like a Zone leader) so we will be able to go on exchanges together! That made her moving not as sad. I am so grateful that I was able to have her as my trainer! 

I told you we were going to the Modern Toilet resturant last week and it was so funny. I figured you two would get a kick out of it. I don't have any pictures of my own because I still haven't gotten a small camera yet (I don't know if there is a place to in Nantou). Sister Anderson has a ton of pictures that we have taken the last couple of weeks that I will eventually get and put in my dropbox account (which I haven't put any pictures in yet). Hopefully I'll get at least on picture in it today if I can figure it out.

Every week I have to look through my planner to remember what happened. I love how Jemma is so excited about agendas. You can tell her that we do that everyday. We plan out what we are going to do all day and also make a back up plan. It really is so useful and helps us accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves. 

Actually most of our investigators haven't seen many changes the last week. We got to visit with so many people because Sister Anderson told them she was moving (which we didn't know for sure until Saturday night). So we got to visit with a lot of them, but haven't seen much progress. But at least we aren't losing them so there is still hope. 

We did make a new baptismal goal this week. We have a member, Huang Xin Hui, who lives in a mental home in Caotun and she loves to introduce us to her friends and wants us to teach them. The only problem is they live in a mental institute, so we have to be really careful. One friend we have recently met with seems pretty stable though and has listened really intently to our lessons so far. We set a goal with her for the 22nd, but I don't know if that will end up rolling over or not. 

Our english party was also this week! We had a yellow duck, carnival style party. (At the end of every move call we have an english party for our students.) The Taiwanese are obsessed with yellow ducks. I bet you could look it up, but they had a giant blow up yellow duck sitting in a river that started the fad. So we monopolized that and used it for our party. It turned out being a pretty decent party! (Again Sister Anderson has all the pictures, I'll get them to you some day.)

Nothing much else has happened this week. We had a ton of meetings set up, but it was mostly Sister Anderson saying goodbye to everyone. We did go tracting a few days ago because we couldn't find the former we were looking for and actually set up with a lady. We are going to met with her this week, so lets hope our terrible Chinese doesn't scare her off, and that I can find her home again. 

We did find someone who I hope will be an incredible investigator this week. We were trying to find former investigators (we have a giant binder full of teaching records for formers) and ended up in the middle of nowhere. We kept searching and found the address at this old broken down looking house. From the street it looked like it was abandoned, but when we looked through the door we could see some stuff in the front room. We knocked, but no one answered. There was this old amah (grandma) off to the side in a garden so we tried to ask her if she knew who lived there, but she only spoke Taiwanese so we couldn't communicate. We then went back to our bikes and were looking at the address for the next former we wanted to find when this old man walked up and went into the house. We tried to talk to him to, but he didn't pay any attention to us so he probably doesn't speak Chinese either. Then while Sister Anderson was looking over at where he had gone she saw a face poke around a screen door. We called to her and she came out to talk to us. It ended up being the former we were looking for! She is actually from China and works in Shanghai. She goes back and forth to take care of her father-in-law here in Nantou. So she met with the missionaries a couple of times then moved back to China. And now she is here for a few months and really willing to meet with us. She actually came to church yesterday for the full three hours and I think she really liked it. I missed Sister Anderson's "farewell" testimony because that investigator was asking me if she could get a hymnbook of her own and one of the three column Book of Mormons we have to help us learn Chinese. I picked up a hymnbook for her in Taichung today at the mission home, but they don't have the Book of Mormon she wants. Luckily my coworker back home gave me that one and I got an extra at the MTC, so I'm just going to give her mine that's still in good shape.

Anyway that's about it. I loved hearing about what's going on back home! I loved Jemma's letter! She told me a lot and it sounds like she is getting so big. I'm so happy she is having fun in preschool and kindermusic. Her tea set sounds so cool and I'm glad she will share with me when I get home. It also sounds like she had a good Christmas! And I'm so happy she is taking such good care of Tigger. She is the best!

I also loved the pictures that you sent of the wedding! They looked so incredible! I'm sad I wasn't there, but am so glad everything went well (except for loosing the garage door opener, haha). 

Keep me posted on the ward! And I will try to think if I have anything special to send you for the missionary moment and will send it to you next week. It sounds like work is crazy for both of you, but keep pressing forward and remember what is really important. I think that is one of the biggest things I have learned on my mission so far. My perspective has changed and I feel like I value the right things. I always knew what was the most important, but now its more of a priority for me. Trust in the Lord, and everything will turn out alright. 

I'm sorry if I forgot anything. I read all of your emails before I wrote this. I love you all so much and can't wait to hear from you next week! I hope I have more miracles to write you about and that Sister Hill and I will have many success stories. 

With all my love,

Sister Fernley

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