September 15, 2013

Another wonderful week in beautiful "FORMOSA" AY AY AY!!

Dear Family and Friends,
Time flies like a bird!  Sometimes it goes fast, sometimes it goes sloooowwwww.  Haha Bet you haven't heard that one before... Ok. That wasn't even a joke.  I just thought it was a great comparison - Time vs. Bird.
Birds sometimes can fly SUPER fast, especially if they're flying WITH the wind; BUT, they also have to stop sometimes to catch their breath and just you know, eat some worms or something.
Time is just like that.
So great.
Alright, anyway, this week was wonderful! It seriously was a blur.  I'm so glad that everyone got my letters I sent home in the mail.  :)  I am glad that you all laminated the postcards and framed them and put them on the ceilings above your beds... Just kidding.  You didn't, but I know you all loved them, right? :)
Wow.  I don't know why I'm cracking so many lame jokes this week... It must be the "donguacha" that I'm drinking right now.  It's especially sweet this week.  HA HA - HAHAHAHAHA
Ok... Seriously now:
So on Monday, we ate delicious hot pot with our investigator Jane and our member friend "Triangle" (His head's shape is a triangle... He likes when people call him that.)  They invited us over one day, and we just sat around, talking about life, and eating delicious food.  They love us, and we love them!!
My Chinese is improving as well!! I've even learned some Taiwanese phrases:
"Tao Ka Pua Ji Kan!"
"Nao (Like "Now") Dai Jin Shui"
"Nao Dai Puo Dong"
All of them have about the same meaning.  All of the people we teach think it's funny to teach me these phrases, and they are always joking around.  haha It's pretty outrageous. They've also been teaching me "be, pe, me, fe" (bo, po, mo, fo), so I bought one of those writing books so I can trace each character and practice. 
Jane makes sure I write down all that I eat because she is helping me learn how to write all the names of the food in Chinese.  It's the best.  I LOVE JANE!!! She's been an investigator for about a year and hasn't felt comfortable around other sister missionaries.  But guess what?! - She came to church on Sunday for the second time in months! I let her wear my skirt, and she looked great!  She's now actually considering baptism! YEAH!
Tuesday and Wednesday were great.  On Tuesday, Sister Liu and I bought a cake for Qiu Jiemei for her birthday.  She was delighted when she received it!!  It was really funny because when I ordered the cake, I was like, "I would like the French Chocolate Cake." - But I said "French Chocolate Cake" in English, and the guy at the register didn't understand at all.  He got really scared and just ran to the back.  I was really confused when a different guy came out and then rung me up.  The previous guy was just really scared when I started speaking English.  haha Taiwanese people are the best.  Sometimes I forget I'm in a different country.  We did the normal powerboarding on Tuesday and then English class on Wednesday.  I love teaching English on Wednesdays!  All of my students are really cute, and they all participate.  It was hilarious because we played a game of telephone, and the students thought it was hilarious.  We had one phrase like, "Sister Chen's fart really stinks" and it ended up being "My friend sister's name is Jane" or something like that... I promise I didn't pick the original phrase.  It was one of our students.  haha
We also visited Chen Mama, who gave us these really ripe bananas, sun cakes, and crackers.  She's the best.  :)  We love laughing and hanging out with her.  She's recently been getting better and better.  I gave her a picture of myself a couple of weeks ago, and everytime we go visit, she takes it out of her hymn book to show us.  She loves when we visit her, and we love visiting her!! What a sweet spirit she has!
The new Elder in Zuoying can play violin, so I'm letting him use Chen Mama's violin, so we can play a musical number in church this upcoming Sunday
PS This week is the last week of the move call, so next week I'm not sure if I'll be staying in Zuoying or going to a new area!! How fun!
Thursday was wonderful.  A young woman's dad- Brother Tsai- got baptized!  We were so happy because his daughter came all the way back from BYU Hawaii to attend his baptism.  Now her mother is investigating the church all because one of our members in our ward invited them to church years ago.  On Sunday, both the mother and the father attended three hours of church.  - That's the power of member missionary work!! :)  I loved seeing this family take one step closer to having an eternal family!!
Firday <--- Woops, I mean Friday, ha - Saturday and Sunday were great as well!
I've noticed recently how wonderful the Zuoying ward is! There are SO MANY YOUTH - and much of the active youth are our recent converts!  It's really amazing to see all these convert members stay so strong and steady in the church even though their friends, families, and even teachers mock/laugh at them. 
This week, I shared this scripture from 3 Nephi with a couple of those young converts:
"And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;"
"For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you."
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid."
"Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;"
"Therefore, let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil;"
- 3 Nephi 12: 10-12, 14-17
Don't you just love those scriptures?! They just give me strength and comfort to press on, to strive worthily to be a light on a hill, to give others a hope of a better world. 
Sometimes we are all influenced/get hurt by the actions that other people decide to make.  It's definitly hard to ignore/not be influenced by those people who choose to disobey, to mock, to scorn.  Every week, I tell myself over and over again that in order to change others, I must change myself. 
If someone hurts you, it doesn't mean you should hurt them back.  Sometimes the only thing you can do is love them.  Don't teach them.  Don't force them to change.  Just love them.  Pray for them.  Pray WITH them, and then let the Lord shape you into the most beautiful thing you could imagine.
I want so badly to be what the Lord wants me to be.  Sometimes the Lord gives you more than you can think you can take, but He KNOWS what we can take.  He knows how strong we can be, and He will never forsake us, no matter how many mistakes we make.
I love that Atonement.  I am so grateful for its forgiving power.  I love that it comes from God's pure and incromprehensible love for all of us. 
I hope you all have a wonderful week!!!
Love you all,
Sister Verina Chen


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