June 13, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,
This week was so wonderful! I can't believe it's already P-Day.  Time goes by so quickly! Can you believe I've already been in Taiwan for 4 weeks?!
Alright, here are some of the highlights of this week:
Wednesday, I had mangoes, salad, and "Gala" for breakfast.  It was so healthy and delicious.  Seriously, I think one of my favorite things over here is how sweet and big the mangoes are!! I'll attach a picture so you can see what I mean!! - I LOVE shopping for food.  Everything is so cheap and healthy.  YUM. :)  That night, Sister Lai and I taught the little children at English class, but Sister Lai was gone most of the time, so I was teaching solo!!! There were actually a ton of people that showed up that night, and we were super excited because we saw a lot of new faces.  About 15 kids and their parents attended, and they all seemed like they enjoyed the class.  At the end, we taught them all how to pray.  I LOVE English class. It's one of the greatest tools to find over here in Taiwan. 
Thursday was Zone Conference! President and Sister Bishop are leaving this month, and President and Sister Blickenstaff are coming in on the 26th... ba... I'm not really sure.  Anyway, it was really great! I was able to see Sister Ting and Sister Tsoi.  They both are doing so well. :)  Something that I love that President Bishop shared is how through small and simple things are great things brought to pass.  (Alma 37:6,7) I've learned that everything is built off of the small and simple things: music, the way God answers our prayers, homes, families, paintings, art, etc.  Everything is built off of small and simple things!! Isn't it wonderful?!  Also, D&C 64:33 is an awesome scripture.
I feel like I've changed in so many ways, yet I'm still the same person.  One of the principles that I'm trying to grasp is just relying completely and entirely on the Lord.  Alma 36:27: "I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in Him, and He will still deliver me." I love that scripture because it really can be applied to everyone in this life.  No matter the trial or affliction, we may always be guaranteed success either in this life or the life to come IF we rely on the Lord.  So, I've made a goal this week to be worthy, diligent, and obedient to the Lord's commandments.  WE MUST BE LIKE NEPHI!!! YEAH!  What a man!
On Friday, I had salad, eggs, mangoes, and kiwi for breakfast.  It was soooo delicious.  Plus, Sister Lai and I go running every morning.  She's getting thinner and thinner!!! :) YEAH! She said that out of all her companions, I'm the fastest/healthiest one because I overlap her every morning.  - Yeah, I'm really humble. 
Anyway, we gave a lot of paper cranes out that day (along with the other pass-along materials).  We've also been updating the area book and using the new map to find all the Less-actives in our ward.  It's pretty busy work because we have to bike to each of the less-actives homes and verify if they still live there or have moved.  As for the area book, there are a lot of former investigators, but previous missionaries haven't explained why the missionaries stopped meeting with them.  We've been praying and praying to be able to find new, prepared investigators who will accept the gospel.  Our zone leaders promised that if we are obedient and work hard, we will be capable of having a baptism every month.  So far, none of our new investigators seem to have a desire to be baptized, so we've been praying and praying for opportunities to find new people.  We've also been working hard to talk with everyone, even if it is just a quick hello or compliment.  I know that the Lord will help us find a prepared investigator for us at the right time.
On Saturday, I had toast, gala, oatmeal cereal, and water for breakfast.  It started raining in the morning, so I was really happy, but the rest of the day was SO HOT.  Everyone thinks we are crazy for being outside during the day.  Every night, I update the area book.  It's probably one of my favorite things to do.  Sister Lai and I are also taking pictures of all the investigators, Recent converts, and less-actives so we can print them out and staple them to each individual's teaching record for future missionaries.  It's been great because we both are super organized.  We aren't letting anyone slip through the crackes over here in Zuoying!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! MWAHAHAHA!!
Sunday was incredible.  There was a less-active that showed up at church out of the blue, and no one in the ward recognized her because she hasn't been to church for THAT LONG.  Anyway, I sat by here during second and third hour.  In relief society, we learned about how our wills should be in subjection to the will of the Father.  "We should bring our wills into subjection to the will of the Father, and feel to say, what is the will of our father, whom we are here in the world to serve? Then every act that we perform will be a success." Christ said, "I seek not my own will but the will of the Father." I love that the Lord promises us success if we submit to His will.  "We may not see its success today or tomorrow; nevertheless, it will result in success."
Coming on a mission has brought out a lot of my weakness and strengths.  Sometimes I feel inadequate to serve the people here, whether it be because of the language, appearance, or other factors.  In exodus 4:10, we learn that Moses felt inadequate: "Moses said unto the Lord. O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore nor since thou has spoken unto they servant, but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue." <-- That is exactly how I was feeling for a little while last week. I felt like Moses when he said, "Who am I that I should be sent forth to accomplish this great work - for it is impossible that it can be accomplished by any such ability that I possess." - BUT The Lord replies very simply by saying, "I knew you before I formed you in the belly." 
I know that the Lord really "does very different from the doings of men. He works differently."  1 Corinthians 1:25-27 says, "You are called.  It is not the wise that are called, but God has called the foolish to confound those which are wise."  I LOVE that.  "YOU ARE CALLED." We are called for reasons only God knows, and we need not fear.  All He asks of us is to TRUST Him.  I've learned and am still learning to accept the fact that I in myself am powerless, but with the help of God, I can do many great works. 
Like Christ, I have that desire to act in and through the name of the Lord, by HIS wisdom, HIS intelligence, and HIS mercy.  I know that as I come to grasp this, He will make my weaknesses strengths. 
Everyday, there are millions of people who go through trials that cause heartache, suffering, etc.  I know that the Lord IS merciful.  He LIVES and LOVES us so much, and I am so determined to be an instrument in His hands to bring one sould to repentance. 
I love the gospel so much, and I know it's true.  Sorry I didn't make any shoutouts this week.  I just had so much to share and am so excited to learn more and more every day.  :)
Love you all so much!
Hope you enjoy the pictures!!!
Sister Verina Chen


Hey family and friends!! 
Anyway, this week was great! We saw a lot of miracles, and we met these amazing investigators: a  Dad and his daughter.  They came to the church to ask about the free English class and then started to ask questions about mission work and why we dedicate a year and a half to serve people we don't even know.  So, we invited them to learn more about our church, and they agreed.  We taught the first lesson right there, and they came to church yesterday.  They are amazing, and they learn so quickly.  I feel like my trust in God is growing.  It's so important to trust in His will and His own time. 
We contacted a lot this week on the street.  Sister Lai and I prepared little handouts with short testimonies stapled to paper cranes that I made for people on the street.  We hand them out to everyone we talk to.  It's a great icebreaker, especially if there are little kids.  They LOVE paper cranes, and I love making paper cranes, so it's a great match.
English class is awesome.  We teach the little kids, and although it's hard to get their attention, I have grown to love it.  The kids are so cute, and they love the missionaries! Yesterday, there was another woman who came to the church to find out more about the English class.  Her six year old daughter is coming this Wednesday.  Anyway, we had contacted them the day before on the street and given them little paper cranes.  They recognized us when they saw us at the church, but we didn't recognize them because we run into so many people on the street.  Anyway, long story made short, they are interested in English class, are potential investigators, and are coming on Wednesday night!!! :)
Today, we got a call from a recent convert around 7 a.m. She was hysterical and in tears, so we quickly got permission from the district leaders to go and visit her.  When we got to her house, we listened to her problems, comforted her, gave her a lot of hugs, made her breakfast, sang her hymns, did her hair and makeup, and brought her out to email with us.  She's sitting next to me right now!! I have learned that God will always provide opportunities for us to help other people.  Although I am not fluent in Chinese, and I have so much to learn, I know that He will always help me to love and serve the people in other ways, besides the language.  
That's why it's so important to ACT.  Actions really do speak louder than words.  I couldn't really comfort her through words, but I made her breakfast, did her hair and makeup, and gave her lots of hugs.  I know that God puts certain people in our paths because He knows that we are able to help them, and they are able to help us, too!! :)
Anyway, I'm so excited to continue serving the Lord.  I have learned so much... I have also eaten a lot - a lot of delicious food!!!  I also eat bing like every other day.  It's so good. 
I know that God gives us trials because He knows we can handle them.  Whenever we run into hardship or affliction, I know that if we put our trust in Him, He will reward us and help us when the time is right. 
Alright! Time for pictures!!! :)
These first two are from last week on P-day.  We went to Hai-bian.  We found a pink building and decided to take a fun picture in front of it.  Also, I bought a farmer's hat because it was soooo hot.  Everyone kept making fun of me because only farmers wear those hats over here... haha
Love you all so much! :)
-Sister Verina Chen


WAAAAAA!!!!! Holy cow!! I got like 20 emails this week from friends and fellow missionaries serving all around the world, so I'm super excited right now!! PLUS, this week has been so amazing. 

I have to tell you all.  The first week here was hard, but now I feel like the time is going faster and faster every second.  My mission life is filled with so much JOY right now, and I am living every second to its fullest.
Alright.  So, This week was full of miracles.  TOO MANY MIRACLES. I don't think I have enough time to explain all of them, but I guess I'll try.

First miracle:  This week, my bike lock was super rusty, and after a lesson with an investigator, I tried to open it up, but the key hand broke off, and I was like, "Zou Gou Le"!  (OH MAN!) WAIT, but first, that morning, I had been reading in 1 Nephi and read about all the visions that Lehi and Nephi got to see, so I said a prayer asking the Lord to let me know sometime that day if my faith was sufficient to work miracles.  So, when the bike lock wouldn't open, I was like, "Great!! I'm going to say a prayer, and it's going to open like butter!" - So, Sister Lai and I said a prayer right then and there, on the road next to our bikes, and after the prayer, guess what?! - IT WOULDN'T OPEN.  So, I thought to myself, "Why isn't God helping me open my bike lock?! Is my faith not strong enough!?" - So then, Sis. Lai walked around the corner, and guess what we found... A key smith!! - A lock smith! * I don't even know what they're called because I can't read Chinese characters, and even if I did, I wouldn't know how to translate it to English... Anyway, I lugged my bike right around the corner, and the man helped me crank my bike lock open with some pliers.  Anyway, he didn't even charge us a dime, and it took me some time later to realize the full meaning of this small but meaningful miracle.

The bike lock is like our investigators, recent converts, and less actives.  We as missionaries hold the keys and have the authority to preach God's gospel and soften their hearts... Likewise, sometimes the hearts/locks of these people are hardened and too hard for us to unlock/soften by ourselves alone.  Here comes the role of the lock smith.  The lock smith is like Christ.  He's the one who actually softens the hearts of the people, who helps them listen to and receive the gospel.  Without Him, we are nothing! BUT, before He opens their hearts, we must try our best, work our hardest to help these people, and it's not easy.  We must pray and we must search, and we must put all of our heart, might, mind, and strength within the work.  Only then will He soften the hearts of the people in HIS OWN WAY and in HIS OWN TIME, and how much does this all cost?! - NOTHING.  Through the Atonement of Christ, we can all be partakers of divine exaltation and eternal life for FREE.  All He asks is for us to be open, to humbly and sincerely desire to open our hearts and do according to HIS WILL and not our own.

Anyway, that little event answered my prayers this week.  I know that God loves us and knows us.  He knows me so well to know that such a small event would help me realize something even greater.  He knows me well enough to know that I pay attention to little things, little details, and He knows me well enough to answer my prayers in His own way.

So, this week, my faith has grown.  It's bigger than a mountain, and I am happier than ever.  I know that the gospel brings people together.  It's power is unfathomable and unconquerable.  If we have the faith to follow Christ and His example, study the scriptures, pray, and be diligent in service, love, and compassion, He will bless us with uncountable blessings. 

I don't have too much time left because I still have to email Pres. Bishop, but I know that my testimony is enough!! I hope you feel my love for you all! The church is true, it's growing, and we all are so important to the work. 



Also, on a lighter note, I curled Sis. Lai's hair today and made breakfast.  We are going to see the sea later with some recent converts today and are taking the MRT.  I can't wait!!

PS I'm so much better at contacting now! I went on an exchange with the sister leader trainer in Nanzi, and we contacted a lot.  I feel completely comfortable now and talk to everyone.  I love you all and think/pray for you everyday.

If there is anything I can do to help, let me know!! I'll write you a letter! :)

Love you all so much,
Sister Verina Chen

Sorry no pictures this week, my camera is out of batteries... I forgot to charge it!!

It's ok.  That means more pictures next week: There's a picture of me eating the yam honey stuff ("Mai ya Tang") that Mom and Dad used to feed us when we were little kids.  It's so good.

Then, there's a picture of me in my yellow poncho.  It rained a lot this week.  It's so much fun.  Sister Lai and I love singing hymns while riding our bikes every night on our way home/to places.  We love it.  :)

We also met an amazing prepared man on the street that self-contacted.  He asked us about repentance and forgiveness.  We give a lot of referrals like this to the Zuoying Elders.  We're still working on finding new investigators!!

Shalin is a new investigator.  She's 10 and comes to English class and church every week by herself.  She's amazing. 

We laminate dried flowers we pick over here and give them to investigators.  Sister Lai and I are experts at making little cards/gifts for the members/investigators.

Sorry for all these little notes!! If I had more time, I'd elaborate, but you know I don't!! :) LOVE YOU ALL!!