Dear loved ones,
Sorry I'm a couple days late! Today is temple day (yay! we get to attend!) So it is also our P-day instead of the usual Monday. Sorry again, I don't have pictures! :( Next week, I promise. I'll charge my camera tonight!
I'm so blessed to have such great grandparents!! And aunts and uncles and cousins... really, I just have an awesome family! :) I'm super excited to hear about Grandma Gayle's mission call! That is awesome!! Sis. Murri (MTC companion) is from Texas.
Ok! If you haven't seen it already, look up "Apostle in Asia" on lds.org the Elder Holland in Asia video, and follow the other video link too. It's so cool! It's about his visit to the Asian area, and it'll give you all a little bit of insight to my life :)
I'm sending a letter answering a lot of questions from your letters. I get the mail about once a week or every 10 days... so yeah, I get a lot of mail. Thank you! :) Love it!
This week was awesome, the weather has been amazing! Not a ton of rain or a ton of heat, except that little moment of downpour a couple days ago. Well, this week was fun. We went on exchanges with the temple sisters, and they are amazing! Sister Jasperson and I saw some cool miracles this week; one of them was us finding a mom and daughter who were totally willing to listen to us! We were door knocking, and this lady and her daughter came to the door. After talking a bit with us, praying, and starting dicuss the Restoration, she let us in and we were able to have a great, quick, lesson about the Book of Mormon. They seemed interested in it, and she asked great questions. It was so cool to hear someone not ask like, doubting questions or inviting an argument questions, but just simply wanting to understand more! It was cool. I'm also always grateful for the miracle of our safety while riding our bikes! Sometimes (I hope this is ok because I can't help it) I feel like I'm in a Star Wars movie.
I'll have to take a picture so you all can truly understand. But all the scooters (mopeds) work their way to the front of the stoplights, and bikes too. And the red lights have a countdown so as soon as it gets to one, everyone is going, and there are scooters whizzing past you and you all surge forward, and sometimes intersections get weird with left turns and things... yes. Trust me, I've had some serious moments I just am like, wow, I'm a flighter pilot in Star Wars!
I've been getting better at organizing I think, and we are using our Area book more. It's really easy when we update it every night while the other is making calls, it keeps us both engaged in the work and makes our life a lot easier when it's updated! I really want to work on having a better, more motivated attitude while finding. We find a lot, throughout the whole mission we always will be finding, so I want to work this week to find ways to keep it fun and motivated. So, that has been a bit of a challenge.
I totally love Sister Jasperson! She is an awesome
companion, and from the beginning has really made me work, which was a little nerve-wracking at first, but by now we both take turns leading in DPS and WPS, getting to appointments, finding addresses, making phone calls, finding situations, and starting lessons. I'm definitely still getting used to these, but I imagine it'd be a lot harder if she hadn't just thrown me right into it. I love it! We've been working on our one minute message, our stoplight version of the Restoration. It's been really helpful in practicing saying 2-3 sentences each, and we've found our unity, clarity, concise-ness and simplicity have all improved. Also, it really helps figuring out different transition points to baptism. We've been focusing on 10:15 being reflective time, and it is amazing the effect I've seen in my life. I'm more peaceful at night, I'm able to say more focused and sincere prayers because I don't feel rushed to make the 10:30 mark, and we are actually in bed, falling asleep by 10:30, which of course affects our whole next day. It's really been cool, since Sister Jasperson suggested we do that. Well, that's been our week! Contacting, teaching, coordinating, finding, studying, and laughing.
We had a trainers/ trainees meeting this week. President Day talked about something that really comforted me. Everyone says by about the 3rd or 4th transfer you hit a wall, and I just didn't want to hit a wall, or impair the work. So that's been in the back of my mind, but in the meeting President was talking about trials and how we can turn them into stepping stones instead of stumbling blocks. And I thought, yeah, let's take that wall and make a ramp! It'll take a bit more effort to get up, and yeah, might hurt a little, but it won't be a hinderance, it'll be something to help me reach a higher potential. It is such a great work we are here to take a small part in! Whenever things get hard, stressful, or discouraging, I take a step back, and remember an analogy Sister Jasperson shared with me.
She said she thinks of us doing this work as: her with her little niece baking cookies. When her niece wants to help Sis. Jasperson welcomes her. She gives her an apron, and the tools she will need, and when her neice asks for the chocolate chips, she moves them towards her. But if her neice were to just break down and cry and say, "It's too hard, there are too many!" Sis. Japserson would try to comfort her and say look, it's all here in this cup. Just take it.
God is there, giving us this opportunity to help him, and we just have to calm down sometimes, and receive the chocolate chips he's giving us. I've also learned, that as long as we have all the ingredients (obedience, prayer, studies, companion unity, the Spirit) there are many different ways to put it all into the bowl to make cookies. I don't know if I explained it well, but it helps me when I get too focused one incident... this work is bigger than us! And I love that.
One more really cool thing, we are planning a baptism for Saturday!! Our sweet Ye JM is being baptized by her son on Saturday and so we are putting together the program, trying to get as many members involved as possible. It'll be awesome!
Well, lots of love, and sweat, and curly hair from Taiwan (I think it gets curlier everyday... ). The gospel is true!!!
Love, Sister Smith
I'm Sister Smith, missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm serving in the Taiwan, Taipei mission until July 2015.