August 26, 2013

What a week!!!! :)

Dearest family and friends!!!

So this week's events:

So, remember that less-active young woman that we biked into on the street a couple of weeks ago?! - This week, we were updating the ward list, and we ran into the name of that young woman!  However, her cellphone number in the ward list was WRONG.  Not to fear! - We had run into her on the street and had written down her current contact information!  What a miracle!  We were able to write down her current cell phone number, and although she hasn't answered our calls yet, we know that our ward will be able to get in contact with her in the future.  What a small and tender mercy of the Lord!  

Sister Liu and I were able to update SO MUCH information for the ward.  We found another less-active young woman named Ou Yi Ting.  She had been baptized with her mother in another area, but when she moved to Zuoying, she stopped to coming to church.  She hasn't been to church in YEARS, and the ward doesn't even know they exist.  We were able to meet with this 20-year-old sister this week, get to know her, and start re-teaching her all the lessons.  She doesn't remember too much about the church, but when we met her, she was wearing an old CTR ring that her mother's previous missionaries had given her.  It was wonderful to see her take interest in learning more about the church.  :)  We will keep working with her.

Yesterday after church, we gave 1/3 of the updated ward list changes to our relief society president and the ward mission leader.  Our relief society president was so happy and told us that she enjoys feeling the unity between the ward and its missionaries.  We know that things will become much easier and more efficient as we continue working with our ward leaders.  Every week, we ask for the names of those in our ward who need special attention or visits.  We love working with our ward, and they love working with us!  

Chen Hai Jin, one of our golden investigators, had an unfortunate event occur last week.  Her 20-year-old daughter Luo Ping Ping got into a car accident and is now in a coma in the hospital.  We got permission to go to the San Min hospital to visit her and pray with her mother.  Her doctor is giving her 10 days before they decide whether or not to take her off of life support.  Chen Hai Jin is really worried that her daughter may never wake up.  However, the Sanmin elders have already given luo Ping Ping a blessing.  This event was really shocking! What a hard trial for this mother. It just gave me perspective into how careful we have to be with our lives.  It also gave me insight into the way the Lord works.  This accident can either turn into a strength or a weakness for Sister Chen Hai Jin.  Sister Liu and I discussed how great it was that Sister Chen Hai Jin was able to trust us enough to ask us for our help and our prayers.  We are praying that she will continue to put her trust in the Lord no matter what the outcome is.

I know now more than ever how precious life is!  This week, when we visited Chen Mama, she told us that the doctor had previously told her that she only had 4 years left to live.  This year was her 4th year mark, and every time we visit, we just see her weakening and weakening.  She said it's hard for her to eat, sleep, and get around the house.  Although Chen Mama is in considerable pain and is lonely most of the time, she said that she is entirely at peace.  She knows where she's going after this life on earth.  I am so grateful for the plan of salvation! It gives us peace and strength to overcome physical and spiritual hardships here on Earth!

Last night we visited Qiu De Zhen's less-active daughter and her boyfriend.  We taught them the plan of salvation.  The whole time we were teaching, I felt like they didn't really understand the reason behind all of the lesson.  So, halfway through, I decided to stop and ask them a question.  I asked them why they thought we were here on Earth today.  I asked them if they knew the reason why we have bodies, why we are alive, and where we are going after we die.  They paused to think and couldn't think of an answer.  After letting them think for a while, we explained to them God's merciful plan of salvation, and they started to understand the importance of our visits.  

Sometimes I find myself getting frustrated and impatient with some of our less-actives/investigators because they just don't seem to THINK.  I always have to correct myself and remember how Christ would act.  He used love, patience, humility, and example to teach the people on earth.  I am always in awe when I think how amazing He was to never get frustrated with us for continually sinning, for being slow to hearken to His commandments, etc.  He really is the perfect example!! I'm working so hard to follow Him every day. 

Chen Jing Feng, one of our LA's let us go to her house and visit her for the first time.  She washes dishes for her job and sometimes gets really sad about her life washing dishes instead of teaching piano (her preferred occupation).  After playing some Chopin nocturnes with her, we sat down, listened to her concerns about life, and left her with a prayer.  We had asked her to continue praying to God for help not only in life, but specifically for her to find a new job and be able to one day attend church regularly.  Right after we ended the prayer and right before we entered the elevator to leave, she got a call! It was the boss of the job that she really wanted to work for.  She was really excited and expressed her joy in her prayers being answered!! What a crazy story, right?!

Yesterday in church, the primary president asked me to accompany for the primary children.  Then, she asked me to share a story about prayer with the primary children.  All the kids were so cute when they saw me walk in!! They all started whispering to each other, "It's Sister Chen!!"  haha They're the cutest.  A lot of them have gotten to know me really well, one of which was Wang Hao Ping, the little boy that we found and brought back to his mother.  I love how innocent and pure little children are! I hope that I can become more and more like them each day!

This week's relief society activity was making moon cakes!! Our investigator Huang Jing Fang wanted to attend, so we went with her to make these moon cakes!! It was so much fun, and the moon cakes tasted so good! The sister that was teaching us how to make these cakes was so cute.  Some of the sisters' children also attended, so they were in charge of putting the sesame seeds on top of the dough when we were finished making them.  Putting sesame seeds on top of dough is actually a really tedious job.  It's a job that needs small, quick hands, perfect for children.  OKAY, let me take a moment to explain how difficult putting sesame seeds on top of dough can be.  - There were two kinds of sesame seeds: white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds.  - There were also many different kinds of moon cakes - red bean mooncakes and yellow bean moon cakes.  Both cakes needed sesame seeds on top, but we needed a way to distinguish between the yellow and the red bean cakes.  So, Sister Huang came up with a wonderful idea to put ONE black sesame seed on all the red bean moon cakes.  So, the little children had to very carefully pick out ONE black sesame seed to put on top of all the red bean moon cakes. 

WHEW.  Anyway, isn't that a funny story?! Everytime the kids finished doing a tedious job, they went running and yelling, "Laoban! (BOSS!! BOSS!!)" looking for Sister Huang to tell them what to do next.  hahaha 

ok. That took me way longer to explain than I intended, and it probably wasn't as funny as I thought it was.  Oh well. You get the point... ba.

Alright!! I'm a little short on time and I want to include pictures, but I hope you all enjoyed reading about some of my adventures!

Also, remember that the love of God is the reason behind everything!! 1 Nephi 11: 22  

Alma 57:20-21

"And as the remainder were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those 2000 and 60 were FIRM and UNDAUNTED."
"Yea, and they did observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them."

What outstanding examples of faith and trust in the Lord!!

Alma 60:23 talks about how the Lord wants us to clean the inner vessel before the outer vessel.  Everyday, we must continue to watch ourselves.  When you find yourself judging another person negatively, getting frustrated because of another person's actions, just remember that we are all imperfect.  In order to help others, we must first be strong enough to change ourselves.  Be humble.  Be prayerful.  Ask God to help you when you feel inadequate, scared, or angry.  He knows you, He loves you, and He has power enough to protect and support you.  

I know that God protected those two thousand young stripling warriors back in the time of Helaman, and I know that He will protect us when we have firm and undaunted faith!!!

Alright, I hope you all are keeping the faith and working hard!!  Today Sister Liu and I are going to see the sea with our investigator Jane and our dearest AMY.  I'll include pictures of our attire! :) :)

I love you all! Thank you for the support and blessings you bring in my life!  

Sister Verina Chen

- The paper cranes that I made for Chen Hai Jin's daughter
- Our cute moon cakes
- Poncho picture (Typhoon season!! It was so much fun!)
- Me and Amy

PS The blue and white striped dress are from our cute LA old lady Mian Mian Jiemei.  She is wonderful!

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