July 1, 2013


Dear Family and friends,
I LOVE ZUOYING!!! (This week was move calls, and guess what?! - No surprise.  I'm still here in Zuoying with Sister Lai to finish up my 12 week training!)
"I've talked to so many different misisonaries that've felt like they're not doing wel lor feel bad about hte work they do do. It's all in your attitude. success is based on your committment. If you're committed and owrking.... and the Lord is giving you trials rather than success you can remember something:

When trials are not an evidence of our own disobedience, it is a corollary as to his perception that we have prepared ourselves well enough to learn and grow. To become What god wants us to become takes stretching and somteimes a little bit of pain.... :) stick to it. He wants you to grow into something. You don't know what that is, but let Him change you :) don't fight it!!!!! :) Somtimes the refiners fire gets HOT. really hot. but remember one thing: Pure Gold will not fear the Refiners fire. :) Zhen jin bu pa huo lian.

basically :) hahaha just keep your head up. I'm a seed planter. that's what my mission has been. I've opened/whitewashed 6 areas during my mission which is a lot all things considered hahahaha :P it's not bad. I haven't baptized too much all things considered, but I've helped develop areas into baptizing areas. last week, three of the people I found and referred were baptized. they all wanted to find me so they asked around and go tmy number to call me. :) the fruits of your labor don't show up immediately :)" 
SARAH JENSEN!! AYAYAYAY!! I KNOW you're reading this because you're basically the best! Thank you for your emails/letters! You're beautiful, and I hope I can be like you someday!
Also, please let Sister Johnson know that I am praying for her.  I received a letter from our home ward saying that Curtis Johnson passed away.  I know that she will find peace through this gospel, and I know that our family and the whole ward are doing all they can to support and love her.
Alrighty, this week was spectacular!  As you all know, Sister Lai and I are super organized and detailed/diligent with the area book.  So, last night, we were making some calls to former investigators, and guess what?! - MIRACLE #10098231209381: We found a family!!!
It was pretty crazy because I called the first number, and the family didn't pick up.  Then, I saw that there was a second number, so I tried calling it, and guess what?! Sister Li picked up!! We don't know this family at all, but when I introduced myself as "Xin lai de chuanjiaoshi Chen Jiemei" (basically, "Hi!! I'm Sister Chen! I'm the new missionary to the area!") she was like, "Hao jiu bu jian!" ("It's been a long time since I've heard from you!").  Anyway, I was super shocked because she was so receptive and acted like she had already met me. (WHICH SHE HASN'T) Any way, short story long, I scheduled an appointment to go visit her family next week!  The teaching record said that this family has a desire for their 2 kids to be baptized!! I feel so blessed and grateful for the Lord giving us this miracle.  Diligence, faith, patience, and love really bring about miracles.
Another miracle: One night, we went tracting, and no one would let us in.  BUT, we knocked on a door, and a cute grandma came out to see what was up.  All this time, I could hear someone practicing piano from inside. Instead of saying, "We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter, etc..." I said, "Hi!! Can I play a piece on the piano for you! I heard someone practicing and was so happy because there aren't many people who have pianos here in Taiwan!! I'm from America and would love to meet whoever is playing the piano right now!!" - Ok, something like that.  Anyway, she let us in and gave us sweet cherry tomatoes and milk (which was another miracle because Sister Lai had been craving milk that night).  Anyway, I played Liszt's Rigoletto-Paraphrase for the two grandparents and their grandson who was about 8 years old.  They loved it.  Then, I got to help their grandson learn how to practice effectively.  Although we weren't able to share a message with them since they're Buddhist, (big surprise... not) they said that missionaries could come by anytime we are in the area.  Who knows?! Maybe one day they will open up their hearts!
Miracle: While contacting with a member near a 7-11, we ran into these foreigners from China.  They needed help with the telephone outside the 7-11, so we helped them, and they were actually really interested in the church.  Although they won't be in Taiwan for long, we told them about our church in Hong Kong and gave them our website and other church handouts.  They were super excited and took a picture with us.  Who knows?! - They might meet the Hong Kong missionaries, like JEFF!
This week we found a lot of potential and new investigators.  We also referred a ton of people that we met on the streets.  One of our new investigators is Kana.  She is going to Japan for college in October, but she is super interested in our church and is so beautiful inside and out.  She said that she wanted to meet with us because she wants to understand Jesus Christ and the scriptures.  What a golden desire!  I trust that the Lord has a plan for her to receive this gospel!
I have a testimony of God and His mercies!! I know that our efforts mean so much to Him.  Every day, we set daily goals and have been able to hit and even exceed most of our key indicators/weekly goals.  One day, we had a goal of 5 RCLA lessons.  During lunch, we ran into one of our RCLA's and had an unplanned lesson.  Then later that day, one of our scheduled RCLA's cancelled, but we were still able to hit our goal because of that unplanned lesson earlier that day.  I know that the Lord is aware of us and is in complete control! If we have faith, there is a way to fulfill all His commandments.  "You xinxin, you banfa!!"
Yesterday during church, there were two visitors from Utah, BYU!! They are both dance majors and were on tour in China but made a stop in Taiwan for a couple of weeks.  Anyway, I got to translate for both of them! It was amazing to see how much my language has progressed since I arrive here on island! I surprised myself!  I still have a lot to learn, but I'm slowly/surely progressing and learning how to read/write a few characters every day! JIAYOU!
Well, sorry this email is so long.  I hope you are all healthy, happy, and growing!!  I love the mission.  I love having this gospel bless my life and the lives around me.  Whenever I get discouraged or can't see immediate/desired results, I remember the analogy in the scriptures of the Lord and His vineyard.  (Read Jacob 5)
There is one moment when the Lord expressed His despair/charity for the vineyard: "But what could I have done more in my vineyard? Have I slackened mine hand, that I have not nourished it? Nay, I have nourished it, and I have digged about it, and I have pruned it, and I have dunged it; and I have stretched forth mine hand almost al the day long, and the end draweth nigh.  and it grieveth me that I should hew down all the trees of my vineyard, and cast them into the fire that they should be burned."
Sometimes on the mission, that's exactly how I feel.  We work so hard to fulfill our purpose as missionaries and bring souls to Christ, but when our investigators fall through or there are unexpected turns of events, we get discouraged and frustrated.  BUT, we must always remember that our efforts are important.  We are adequate, we are worthy enough to do His work.  All that the Lord wants us to do is to "Labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit." (verse 61)  When I read this verse, I am so determined to just go and labor with all my might!!!  If I do that, that's enough, and I become 10 times happier.  I see the good in life, and I am grateful.  
Life is all about perspective.  It's all about the attitude!  
Last night, on our way home, we rode past an exquisite view of the moon!! Yesterday, the moon was beautiful and so big!! Go look at it!  :)  
OK.  Sorry.  I know.  This email is burning your eyes because it's so long.  I think it's more for me than for everyone reading this anyway.  haha 
Love you all,
Sister Verina Chen
Sorry there aren't a lot of pictures.  We aren't allowed to take pictures except on P-day because we are missionaries and not tourists!!!  So, most of the pictures I send home are of me on P-day! 

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