Today was great! I got emails from Elder Aarif, Elder Johnson, Elder Bickel, and Elder Wilson! They are all doing well. Missionary work is just amazing. So is the atonement. And the Book of Mormon. Really the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ is Amazing!
Fire Alarm Incident:
We were getting ready for bed and the fire alarm went off- we just stood there like- really?!? I slipped on tennis shoes and grabbed my wallet and jacket as Sister Murri was yelling, "Grab you tag, key and swiper and go!" So we went but we didn't know where the other three sisters were. Imagine all these Sisters in various stages of preparation for bed. When we found the others they had been standing in our room wondering if they really had to leave when they looked at each other and shouted, "Wode tong ban!" (Our companion!) Sister Keung was getting out of the shower and just pulled on a robe and had her hair in towel. We laughed pretty hard at her. That was an interesting experience.
^ Sister Murri and I goofing off for the camera!
I hope I never forget the spiritual growth I got to experience here, the people I got to meet, and the joy I feel! Walking out of a lesson, knowing the Spirit was there and knowing they felt the Spirit and starting to understand ---that joy is so full. I love being here. It's hard but so great.
Today I feel like Heavenly Father really helped me understand a bunch of stuff in my listening practice and when the teachers were talking. Tender mercy! Miracle for today!
Temple work as a whole zone! Q.D. had his baptismal interview and he is totally ready! Interestingly, the ZL who conducted the interview had taught Q.D. a lesson before. He said there was a total difference between the Q.D. they taught and the man they say in that interview. He looked physically different, less tired, happier, more engaged in conversation. It made me realize the gospel can changed even our demeanor, and life, it's not just a change of lifestyle. Awesome.
\/ Pictured below: Zone at the Provo Temple.
^ Our District: final day at Provo Temple together.
We studied about being diligent. "Continue until you have done all you can, even when you are tired." Long day- I need to be more diligent.
Early morning. Packed some. Training meeting for a demonstration for new incoming missionaries. Laundry. E-mail. During the demonstration I was reminded, we cannot solve people's problems. We are just there to bring them to Christ who will heal them.
Said Goodbye to D.J. investigator and introduced her to new Sisters. It's in their hands now. We cried as we each bore our testimonies to her.
In-field orientation was great! 9 hours of learning.
-We are sent here to become like God not just return to Him.
-Do not lower your expectations.
-Believe everything will be worth it.
-Treat every person like they are THE person, because you never know your impact.
We got full Zhongwen de names. Mine is: Sima Kai Li meaning Responsible, Smith (not much you can do about that meaning) Joyful, Beautiful. Picked by our teacher according to our personalities. I love her she is amazing.
Last day at the MTC...you'll have to wait and see what happens! I love being a missionary! Can't wait to get to Taiwan!
Mikell's MTC District met other missionaries at the LAX airport, including an apparent Senior sister (and Mom, obviously) who took this photo and emailed it to parents after the plane landed safely in Taiwan and reported everyone's safe arrival! So thoughtful.
Last Letter before leaving mtc: "gifts"
I hope you all know how much I love each of you! Continue to love each other and study together. Growing together just brings us closer. I love the Gospel of Christ, particularly FAITH and REPENTANCE. Please don't see repentance as a bad thing, it is an incredible gift! And faith. Sometimes all we have is faith. Sometimes the only thing keeping us from falling is our faith that Christ is there, that He knows us, and as we follow the commandments and guidance of prophets, He is in control and will help us. I've learned about another great gift these past two months; TIME. Don't waste time. I hope to always use the time given me, wisely. Don't let computers consume all of your day. We can't be perfect, I know. I've quite noticed my flaws here [while at the MTC]. But I've realized how much Christ loves us even with our flaws.
Only 16 months left? Wow! ...See you all soon.
it happens to everyone here, exhaustion wins...
Wed. March 19, 2014
Last email from the MTC, now is when mom and dad will get worried right? their daughter isn't safe in Provo :) Well, I'll be safe with the Lord by my side so put those worries aside right now :) We fly out on Tuesday morning. Ok, keep telling me how life is and Matt I want to know all about the new mission calls!! I love it. I just have really ... I don't know how to explain it. Everything that happens here is amazing. I'm so, so glad I decided to serve. and Serve is the only word really that encompasses this work. Well, you could say, "Loving Service". I wish that I had a powerful experience to share, or some amazing feat I did, but this week had many spiritually great moments that I guess just overall add up to this: This gospel is true. This work is amazing, and the work IS hastening. So many prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes, and so many lives are changing. I hope you all know, this is the restored gospel of Christ. I wouldn't be going to a foreign country, where I don't know the language and can't call my family, but twice a year, and studying scriptures day and night to spread something I didn't truly believe in. I know that God lives. I know that Christ, while on the Earth, established His church, and after His apostles were killed, the keys to that priesthood authority were taken. God knew that would happen, so he prepared another record, another testament of the divinity and reality of Christ. God and Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, and through revelation he translated the Book of Mormon. I know it contains the gospel truths of where we are going after we die, that we will see our family again. It also tells us HOW to return home, faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, which, we don't know when the end is. We don't know, but we can trust that God knows, and have patience. Patience is "the capacity to endure dely, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious." I feel much less fear and frustration in my life when I rely on the Lord and follow what I know I am supposed to do, and follow the commandments. Those commandments, when we follow them, allow God to give us soooo many blessings! I've learned here the importance of love, and charity. Truly loving everybody, and I know I can't do it be myself, but Christ is helping me feel more love than I ever have. Also, what my teacher said our first week is so true, "English speaking missionaries become fluent in the gospel, Spanish speaking missionaries become fluent in the language, and Chinese speaking missionaries become fluent in humility." I've become acutely aware of my ability and that I can't do this on my own. There is no way I would be able to last, even just one week, or a DAY without the constant support I get from the Lord. It's amazing, just when we thing we can'y go on or do anything more, we just pray and somehow we finish the day.
We taught Daijiemei about Christ's mature through scripture and I think she understood, but I honestly have no idea what to do next. Iv'e never taught past HOW TO PRAY, GOD IS OUR HEAVENLY FAHTER, and JESUS CHRIST SHOWED US HOW TO LIVE. I just don't know... What I DO know is that I am so happy God is on my side, (I'm on His) and He will guide me through.
Tianfu ai wo! (Heavenly Father loves me) Today I got so many sweet letters! I loved it and felt so loved! It is weird celebrating the day of love and romance in the MTC but I love it here!
1) Church building tours are amazing! When I first heard that some missionaries would be assigned at times to give tours of churches, I thought "Oh they must have more missionaries than they know what to do with." BOY, WAS I WRONG! Trust the Lord, He knows what he's doing! We did a role play today of taking an investigator through a tour and when we got to chapel and talked about what we do in that room, I FELT the difference from a classroom to the chapel. Ah! so cool.
2) Read Helaman 12:9-15. I realized God is THAT powerful. He can move mountains, and if He can do that, He can help me speak Chinese! Also, the Lord is preparing people across the globe to hear and accept Jesus Christ's gospel.
3) God will not force anyone to do anything. The agency we have is critical to the whole plan. It made me think, God won't make anyone believe in Him. Showing HImself would ruin that because then we would KNOW and not need faith. We need to have that bit of faith and ACT on it to show our trust in the Lord.
Tianfu ai wo! We had a district meeting with a lesson about the atonement. I've been wondering lately if I actually knew the atonement. It made me realize more about what it really is. We need to know it for ourselves before we can help others understand it. I've thought of the atonement for me, my fears, my weaknesses, my sins...but for the next 17 months it's about THEIR atonement and what it can do for those we teach. I LOVE it!
I guess we were more spiritually in tune when teaching today. We had a plan going in to the lesson, with scriptures we'd use to help him understand scriptures because he has been struggling with this. As it got to the point where we were going to open to a scripture, I thought, "Liken him to Nephi" and I suggested another scripture. (My awesome companion thought where is she going with the? This is NOT what we discussed at all! But she went along with it. He read 1 Nephi 1 and I asked him questions as he went through it to check for his understanding. Bit by bit he began to pick up on the language of the scriptures and then get the message of Lehi was a prophet, and the book he had was THIS book, or became this record, the Book of Mormon. It was awesome.
We had a devotional where we watched "Legacy". (Click button below for more about Legacy, the film about Joseph Smith).
Then Elder Holland's son, Matthew Holland, spoke at the devotional. It was awesome! About Joseph Smith's life and the BOM. Elder Holland came with his family so we all stood as he walked in and it was so cool to be that close to him! Today was just awesome! We love Sundays! No class! Just spiritual upliftment! I love the gospel! I love Joseph Smith! I love Jesus Christ!
Investigator Set backs
It was interesting teaching a lesson today. We went in totally excited to testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the gospel has been restored and when we asked him about his reading, he said he hadn't read it. We asked why and he said he had "googled" our church and had read anti-Mormon stuff and was now confused. GAME CHANGER! So we (heavily relying on the Spirit) asked how he felt she he read that (confused), and how he felt when he read the Book of Mormon and met with us (good). My companion had him read Moroni 7 (...Good things are from God,") Then she talked about the first vision, Joseph Smith's account and then about the apostasy. Then we asked him how he felt and if he had any questions. He said he still didn't know. So then we testified (what else do you do!?!?) Sister Murri invited him to attend church but he said he didn't know. So I said (And this was the hardest sentence I've tried to put together!) You've tried that, why don't you try this, then you can decide. So he said he'd be willing to have us give him a church tour on Thursday! We've learned that when thoughts come, just trust in the Lord...because we hadve NO CLUE what to do!
Today was great! Tianfu ai wo! Today I had a cool moment. Everyone took naps after we went to the temple and I was going to but I started reading the Book of Mormon and couldn't put it down the whole hour! I studied a lot from Alma 17. I thought, Why did Mormon put this in his abridgment? What can it teach me? I looked beyond the obvious....Ammon served King Lamoni and had a great teaching moment. I wondered if it could mean more. Here's what the spirit taught me: Ammon = faithful, prepared missionary. Servants=Good missionaries who get thrown off by this experience. Flock= children of God we are teaching. Water=Christ, His gospel. Bad Guys= Satan and temptation, of course. Now read the story:
Investigator set backs...the rest of the story
We met with Brother Qiao and took him to the chapel for a tour. We walked down one hallway and explained the pictures on the walls; Christ in Gethsemane, Christ teaching His apostles, and Joseph Smith. We discussed each one. Then we got to a picture of Christ's baptism. We talked about baptism and following Christ's example, and something amazing happened, he opened up to us. He said his grandma believed in Christ (unusual for Asian culture), and when she died, he remembers being so mad and going on a long run. Sister Murri (love her!) looked him in the eyes and said, " I KNOW you will see your grandma again. He said he felt good. He agreed to come to church and to prepare to get baptized. It was jsut amazing to see the change in him and watch the change in his heart.
Good talks to read:
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.