Sister Sagisi and me:
I would love to hear any ideas from Halloween activites we've done in the past. I'm the english unit leader and our party in 4 weeks is a halloween "trunk or treating" ish thing and we're trying to think of american halloween games or crafts. Any favorites? Our ward is doing a thanksgiving activity in Nov and wants the missionaries to teach about making turkey and an american thanksgiving dinner... I wish I had pictures of past thanksgivings with the dessert table! Now, THAT is a great masterpiece to be grateful for :) So yeah, if you could find a recipe or something and help me with THAT one... thanks!
PONDERINGS: (click highlighted words to link to items Mikell describes)
I read this week the talk about don't sell your soul for a nickel, and I found that example in the Book of Mormon too! Alma 11: 22 ish. Amulek didn't sell his souls for six onties. What things may be selling your souls?
Well, I'm still here in DaTong District (it'll be a weird day when I move). The new missionaries have not come yet, so I'm with a super cute sister Sagisi. This is her 3rd transfer so i'm "breaking" her technically. It's always weird because I feel older in ways, but she's actually 21. She has a love and desire to spread the gospel so strongly! It's amazing, really, she loves talking to people and people love talking to her, it is a gift, honestly. She also (mom you'll love this) LOVES things being clean, so she didn't think it was okay to see the cockroachs in our sink (normal Taiwan housing) SO today after emailing we are deep cleaning our apartment, yep, maybe she'll help me finally have habits of more organization. The rest of the house isn't that bad, it's just the kitchen mostly. Yep, she also went to BYU, she's from Hawaii but her parents are Philippino. We have seen so many miracles this week, from safety to finding new investigators.
Yesterday a typhoon came, it started in the south of Taiwan and last night it got to Taibei, it rained all night and stormed and wind blew during studies this morning but it was fine when we left the house. A typhoon is a hurricane, just in the Pacific ocean instead of the atlantic (as far as I understand) so it was super nice the typhoon came and went NOT in proselyting time :) I'm loving it here. It's actually been quite dry, like just sprinkling sometimes, and we've been fortunate to be inside for things when it rains hard. So, it's just really humid and hot. hot hot hot, like walk outside and sweat, just talking to people and sweat rolling down your back, but, everyone sweats so it's all okay.
I've been trying new foods this week, because Sister Sagisi loves food and she actually knows a lot, I've eaten mostly packaged food the last while here, so the street vender stands are cool. If I'm being honest, I don't know what I'm eating half the time (because we both can't read or write characters) so it's a lot of fun :) The members are teaching me a little of Taiwanese and Sister Sun taught me some indonesian and aboriginese, and hopefully Sister Sagisi will teach me some tagalog. I'm xcited everytime I can use that Japanese too, thanks dad :) Just saying, you have to know basics of so many languages to get a long here, but most people speak english or chinese so it's okay.
Wow, I love our life! This week has been amazing, and I an getting used to changing companions... I feel like change is sometimes hard for me and Heavenly Father has slowly been helping me get used to moves. :) This week I've been with Sister Sagisi and she is a fireball. From Hawaii so laid back but a hard worker. You know how PMG (Preach My Gospel) says talk to everyone? I'm pretty sure she does that, so, we've been talking to a TON of people, and she has this gift to get people to just talk with her and love her, because she loves them. I've learned more about that this week, when they feel your love for them, they'll talk and be more open. We have had so many lessons this week but more importantly we've been having better quality of lessons too. Also, we've been asking everyone for referrals, and guess what? 2 people this week have given us numbers or FB name of their friend who may have interest.
Amazing! I know we need to not have unrealistic expectation, but I feel like sometimes in avoiding unrealiztic expectations to avoid discouragement, we underestimate the power of faith and the potential of every person we meet. Yes, maybe they'll reject us, maybe the won't have a friend to share with us, and maybe they'll set up and then fang us, BUT there are ALWAYS those people who will have a referral, and WILL actually come to the meeting. It has been a great example to me of how when we act in faith on our leaders' counsel (ask for baptism dates, use the Book of Mormon, ask everyone for referrals, etc.) we can see and experience for ourselves the miracles Heavenly Father is waiting to give!
I just have loved this week and learning so much from Sister Sagisi! She takes every word of Chinese she knows and uses it. She is seriously fearless, and just will try to testify and I believe that is why her Chinese is really good. Like the parable of the talents, when we use what we've been given, we can develop more, but if we hide in fear of making mistakes or saying something wrong that may have bad grammar or have to be re-said 3 times, we won't grow. It's just been awesome working in DaTong together. The ward already loves her too :)
I'm realizing that with more responsibility comes a greater need for the Spirit and reliance on Christ. It is so easy to see others' strengths and realize you may not have that strength or feel even slightly inadequate, but I'm just trying to rely on the knowledge that Heavenly Father wants me still in this area for the benefit of the world, and that i'm here to learn and continue to serve these people. I'm going to have companions with different strengths and different weaknesses, but Christ is the steady rock that will support and help us. He is helping me, and I'm so glad we get training each week from leaders, and revelation from the Spirit everyday on how to proceed and do today.
I love it here, I love my companion, I love DaTong and WanDa ward, and I love being a missionary. Studying, being rejected, helping people start meeting Heavenly Father, and seeing the miracles Heavenly Father gives to me every day, every hour! I really love ya'll, do you know I show pictures of you guys to a lot of people on the street and in lessons?) I'd love more pictures if you want to print and send some :) So useful in testifying of family blessings! I love you all so so so much! Thank you for the support, it really changes things. :)
Love, Sister Smith