Another week has gone by and it is almost October! I landed in Taiwan almost a year ago! Time flies right? Today is also the official start of another move-call, or in other words a transfer if you aren't a Taiwan missionary, and that means that Sister Murdock is half-way through training! I'm so glad that I was given this incredible opportunity to serve with her. I have learned so much from her and from administering to her. Starting a mission is hard, especially with a second language and a new culture. I'm so grateful that I can be here for her, and in helping her I've learned from myself. It's funny how sometimes I will say things, then think about what I just said and realize that yea...that was a really good point. Sometimes you don't even know what you know, until you voice it out loud. I guess that's why they say bearing our testimony is so important. It helps us realize what we really do know, and learn from ourselves.
Sorry about not answering question last week! I felt like my mind was all over the place and my thoughts were just splattered onto a page into a semi-understandable mesh of words. Sorry about that...
Anyway, dad asked what would happen if Lerma's employer found out she got baptized. Actually I don't know. She might get put on more strict lock-down, but technically she can't do anything. Lerma has the rights of a Taiwanese citizen and they have the right of religious freedom here. So how Lerma has been treated isn't all that legal, but everyone does it so everyone looks at it with a blind eye. I'm not sure when she will end her contract. She still has a year and knowing Lerma she wouldn't end it before the time is up. She is going home to the Philippines for a week in December for Christmas though. We got to meet with her this week and most just sat and listened. She just needs someone to talk to sometimes. She is incredible and is already sharing the gospel with her family.
I think that's all the questions...
I got your package this week! Thank you so much! Haven't opened it yet, I'm waiting until Saturday, but you shouldn't have spent so much to get that here! I didn't notice until a few days ago and felt guilty for about ten minutes, then we left the door so I got distracted. :) Speaking of distractions. The Beatles just came on at the internet cafe! I'm not listening. It cracks me up what songs they put on sometimes here. They don't even understand them, but see them on the top hits in America so they play them. I heard White Christmas in a restaurant in June once.
This week was crazy as normal, and by the timerolled along I wasn't really sure what we accomplished. We didn't have correlation meeting before church because we did it earlier in the week (one of the bishopric counselors is stepping in as mission leader until they can get someone else called). So because we had that time Sister Murdock did a Phase 1 pass off (remember those), and I called some phones and talked to the other sisters while I waited in the hallway. While I was sitting there Yi Jun texted me and said she wouldn't be able to make it to church that week. She is our one solid investigator that comes to church every week so I had no idea if we were going to have any investigators at church. Sacrament meeting started and we found some members to get to know and sit with and according to His pattern Heavenly Father performed some miracles.
About five minutes into sacrament meeting Shi Yue walked in. She usually only comes if her husband doesn't have work and they can come together. She said she was afraid of bringing her baby on her own, but I guess she got over that because she came! We knew her husband had work that day so we weren't expecting her to come.
Earlier on that week we attended ward council and I asked if we could find anyone to help her come to church when her husband had work because they don't have a car (most people don't here.) The Bishop kind of rebuffed my request and told me that she couldn't always rely on members to get her to church so she would have to use her faith to get to church. I was a little miffed. I understood where the bishop was coming from, but I don't think some member help would be too earth shattering now and then. So in correlation meeting with one of the counselors this week I mentioned it again, and guess what happened?! Our counselor called her Saturday night and asked if she needed a ride, she didn't want to bother anyone so she said she was okay. But then she walked to church with her 6 month old baby and came to all three hours plus an hour long baptismal service after church. I think she came partly because of our member who didn't even give her a ride, just reminded her and was willing to serve if she needed it.
While she was at church she was super outgoing and just went and made friends on her own. The ward members were great and were super welcoming. We weren't really even with her for most of church. She loved it and Sister Murdock and I were sky-high for the rest of the day.
Aside from Shi Yue we also had Kelly come into church unexpectedly. I'm not sure if I've talked about her at all, but she is a young single mom who we have met with a few times. She has never really kept her commitments, so we had pretty much dropped her when she came to english and church this week. She tagged along with Shi Yue and stayed for all of church and the baptismal service as well. It was really cool!
Then...we also got a member referral! One of our families who was just in America for a while brought one of their daughters friends to church and set up for us to contact this friend and offered to have the missionary lessons in their home. How much more perfect can you get?
So to say the leastwas incredible. I felt like I was constantly running around herding investigators and their babies, making sure members knew who they were, making note of what the members were asking us to do, taking member referrals, translating sometimes for Sister Murdock, and trying to get something out of the lessons and talks given. It was crazy, but I'd rather have a busy like that over a less active any day.
Another huge miracle! Nothing pertaining to our investigators, but something that testified to me once again that Heavenly Father is looking out for us, even when it comes to the little things. Usually in our mission when you are about half-way done with training you have a follow-up meeting with President and Sister Blickenstaff. I knew we were going to have the meeting soon, but hadn't heard anything about it so figured it would be next week. Then on Tuesday Sister Murdock and I left early to go meet with a former investigator I had called the night before. We couldn't find the street she lived on so called her and set up to just meet at the church. We traveled back to the church and as soon as we parked out bikes the sisters from Nantou (I love that place, oh and the Hong family had their baby about a month ago!) waved from the door. I was super confused as to why they were there. We walked into the building and saw all the other trainers and trainees waiting in the chapel. Apparently the meeting was that morning and started in about twenty minutes. Someone forgot to inform us. So we called our investigator and canceled the lesson and went over to the office to borrow some Preach My Gospels for the meeting. Heavenly Father cares enough about us to let us get lost and have to rearrange for our lesson to be at the church so we could show up and find out about our meeting. Several other companionships weren't as lucky and were called and told to get there as soon as they could.
Now I'm sure you have all been wondering why my email is titled what it is. Well, we had our english party this week (which was awesome! we planned a game and made it Mario themed for our overall Nintendo theme) and this lady came just because she wanted to learn about Christianity. We met with her on Friday and it felt like teaching someone from the states. She had all the questions and concerns we hear all the time back home. Like how God can only have one bible and why our early church members practiced polygamy etc. She had gone to the internet and learned some things, enough said. Anyway we were talking to the elders about it after because they were teaching her brother at the same time. One of the elders simply said, "God can have two books if He wants." I don't know why, but I've been thinking about that ever since then. God can have two books.
It kind of became our new catch phrase. Now when we don't think something will happen or something seems hard we simple say, "well, if God can have two books..." It's also become a really good pick-me-up for Sister Murdock. As we all do when we first start off she has times where she needs a pep-talk (I'm getting really good at those). So I just tell her, "well, if God can have two books He can call you here to preach the gospel in chinese, and because of that He knows you can do it." Really, it works. So next time you don't feel like you can do something or it seems hard, just remember...God can have two books so He can make it possible for us to do anything.
Well that's about all I have time for. I could keep writing, but we never have time to do all we want. I love you all and loved your emails this week. I, as well, was really proud of Jemma for being so brave! Her picture was great! I love you all! Thanks for you support and always being there for me! Couldn't do it without you. I say that every week, but it is so true. Love you all to Taiwan and back!
There's always another miracle just around the corner, and if God can have two books He can do anything. And because we are His children we can do anything with His help.
With all my love,