Dear Family, I don't know what to say, just I love you a lot, and I'm very very happy here. Lately we've really been working on raising our vision of what the Lord can accomplish in this area, and it is amazing, many of our key indicators for converson have doubled, and as a mission as a whole they've gone up a little too. We still have a ways to go, but we can do it with the Lord on our side.
I've had this goal to finish the New Testament before the middle of June and I realized this past week I'm very behind (I've been reading from Matthew to middle of John the last.... 6 months or more.) SO I recommited and I've been doing my best... Last Tuesday I was in John and today I got to 1 Corinthians 10. I'll let you all look at your Bibles and see how far that is.... but I read Acts in two days and Romans to half of corinthians in about two days too... it's really great! I like the NT. I'm actually really loving reading quicker because it's helping me get a feel for the big picture of the New Testament so when I study it deeper I'll have that background, and Sister Howell loves it to I think because I share the highlights from my study and its like New Testament at a glance for her :)
I was not moved so I'll be "dying" here in Tao 3 Ward... which I love so so much! It's fantastic. Actually last night we saw a cool miracle you see, what had happened was....
Saturday Sister howell's back tire ran out of air so we got it fixed, but while biking to church Sunday it went COMPLETELy flat. ... like we had to walk it to church (only about a 7 minute walk at that point). So then that night after going to a dinner with a member who lived down the road, we got our bikes at the church and I just didn't feel qquite right about walking all the way home. (20 min bike ride... like 40 minute walk or so) so we prayed that we'd know what to do and during the prayer our bishop and his wife and mom came out and got in their car, after we prayed we turned around and they said good night, then we told them about the bike problem, and they offered to take us home that night AND to pick us up again the next morning, take us to the church so we could get hour bikes and walk them to the bike shop near by. Note, the chapel is not in our area. They live about 5 minutes from the chapel, so they totally went out of their way to take us and pick us up! It was a miracle too because we got home safely and were able to have time to count the key indicators, report, and comfirm today's appointments. It was awesome! They are angels! Really.
Above: Bishop Chen and family take missionaries to a buffet!
You know, I told dad when I came out that I'd decided I wouldn't have any bad days. I said, I'd have hard days, and maybe harder days, but mostly good days, and miracle days!! It's so cool to really see how the Lord is there in the harder days and the miracle days, it really is HIS work! But, it has been raining for a week. a WEEK straight, you just kind of get used to wearing a poncho all day, and we're getting pretty good at not even being that wet at the end of the day. the rain has brought a ton of miracles though. We've found new investigators and our sweet Yang JM came to church! I really am hoping she can get baptized in June!
Can I share another quick miracle? Exchanges always bring miracles and I was just praying we could see something to help her build her faith even more in the vision and in inviting to baptism. We went knocking, and knocked... no one, and no one, and then, at 8:30 we prayed again and just said we wanted to find a new investigator. She said she felt to go down a small xiangzi, then the first house this lady came to the door and said she was fojiao (Buddhist), but started talking to us.... we said a prayer... then testifyed of God and His love... then baptism, then talked specifically about the process to baptism and our purpose... then Sister Haupt invited first to baptism... then I did the follow-up, and this lady Ding JM ended up setting a date, taking a BoM, and setting up for later that week. How cool?!? Sister Haupt thought it was awesome too, and I'm just really glad she was able to see you really can set baptsim dates on the street!
I'm so glad Sister Howell is my companion, she's really sweet and is what I'd describe as one who fears God more than man which is awesome to proselyte with. I'm so happy to finish strong here in Tao 3. I'm so so happy! I'm trying to just keep following the Spirit and support the sisters here, but they are amazing and the Lord is taking care of this area, so really, I'm just on cloud nine. It's hard, yes, but it is so so good! I love my life!
Well, thats pretty much it, I'll send some pictures in a sec too. I'm going to try and take multiple pictures every day this week! Love you all, thank you for your testimony and prayers. Riding int he rain, I really feel the protection. Love you!!1
Love, Sister Smith
Above: only 3 0f 7 course meal some investigators made us!
Love you tons! It was fun to see you on Mother's Day, hope the boys did something special! I was wondering | (mom dad, ) could you tell me an experience you have of receiving blessings from tithing? or like any paying tithing experience, and the same for following the prophet. ? Thanks! Matt, I want to clarify something, yes it gets easier to wake up at 6:30, I don't think my body could sleep past 6:30 at this point, but it still is tiring to start the day and end the day, but man, during the day there is a fire and energy that I can promise doesn't come from only me! It's amazing!
This week was fantastic! I love being a missionary. So, in the last 10 days we went on 3 exchagnes! First with Sister Lin in tao 2. Then I was with Sister Ioane in NanKan and it was so cool. It was really cool to hear her bear her testimony of the Book of Mormon to an LA sister... like minutes long. It was so cool to see, and the spirit was totally there! Then yesterday I was in Bade with Sister Bowman, its so so so much fun to be able to work with so many sisters and see their faith and see miracles with them! we have some stellar sisters here in Taoyuan who are working so hard and really are seeing miracles. We are working on helping us all keep raising our vision and increasing our faith and trust on the Lord to raise the areas to where HE wants them. We are the most blessed and lucky area ever because exchanges always bring miracles, and we get to go on exchagnes weekly! It's amazing. WE've been finding more investigators lately, and we are really trying to focus in on progressing investigators to baptism and conversion!
Wow, the Lord really really loves me. Do you want to hear a silly tender mercy? We went to the temple today (SUCH a blessing) but in the endowment room we were one of the first ones in and they had us sit in the back, but I felt kind of claustrophobic and I really wanted to sit on the front row (I don't know why, but in the past I usually always ended up on the front row) so I just wasn't feeling very peaceful as others came in so I prayed and just asked heavenly Father to help me be a peace with the seat and having people all around me. Afterward, I did, I felt much more at peace like I could be alert and enjoy the session, THEN get this- there were a lot of people, and it was almost full except for two seats on the sister side in the front and two more elders came in so to even thing out they asked for two sisters in the back row (us ...) to come forward so the elders could sit on the men side.... so I was still able to sit on the front row and not even have to worry about feeling boxed in. I know, i know, It's a tiny thing and really silly and afterward I just thought, wow, of all the things going on in the universe He needs to worry about, he knew in my heart I wanted a different seat. Yes silly, but what is important to us is important to Him. Remember that, what you find and work toward or desire, is also important to Him so as long as it is righteous He will definitely help you achieve it, or simply provide the way to accomplish it.
I love sister Howell, she is so amazing, and just keeps me on track. She helps us remember what we need to do, remember personal goals, and has an ingrained habit and desire of working with and serving members so it's so cool to hear her ideas, put them into place, and see our relationship with members grow. I love it and love her!
I'm trying to work harder at following and listening to the Spirit. I know that we can achieve the goals and the vision for the month, and I'm so grateful for the miracles we've already seen from the changes. Thank you for all the prayers and love and letters and emails from everyone the last year plus of my life! I'm so so excited and proud of my little brother for deciding to serve a mission! |It's really the BEST experience ever, if you are under 27 years old, start thinking about a mission and praying for HEavenly Father to help you know when to go or what to do. It's awesome!
Love you all so much! 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.