October 20, 2013

10/14/13 Well, here's another one!!! WOO!!

I just have to start out by saying how much I LOVE SERVING THE MISSION!! I never ever ever want to go home. haha JK, but seirously.  That's how I feel here in Yuanlin.
The first day here was so crazy just because I wasn't sure how I would feel once I actually met all the people and started to get to know the area here with Sister Cole. However, my first week here has been a dream.  I feel so happy every day, and it's honestly the happiest I have ever been in such a long time. 
I know I've only been here for a week, but every single day, I felt closer and happier to the Lord, to the work, and to the people here that I am serving with.  Every day has helped me feel a little more comfortable, and I just love it because I really feel like I am meant to be here for such a wonderful reason that I don't know yet.  The feeling here in Yuanlin is just so beautiful.  It's a huge area that covers two wards, and Sister Cole and I have biked for two hours straight just to get from one appointment to another every day.  It's the best. haha Honestly, I feel like I've gained some pounds because I now have monster thighs.  haha Don't worry though, I'm not like an ogre now or anything like that.  Duh. haha Anyway, it's amazing because Sister Cole and I have so many similarities and so many things to talk about.  We both have a really retarded sense of dry humor that drives a lot of people crazy. haha
It's fun. Anyway, here are some of the entries from this past week:
I'm happy.  I'm really happy.
Today, Sister Cole and I did the following:
 - Ran at the school with the monks chanting in their corner, with the people dancing like gypsies (all the old people do that here in Taiwan), and watching the kung fu lady do her kung fu like an intense artist.
 - Coming back and talking with Sister Cole about her art and looking at her amazing illustrations
 - Visiting Lin Cuen Hua (The cutest old lady ever) who just lives a few blocks away from our home.
 -  Having my first district trainig meeting here in Yuanlin, and eating the hard cookies that my short-time missionary sent to me in the mail.  IT was hilarious because when we were munching on the hard chips, everyone started laughing because it was like a nacho libre moment where they're eating the toast and just say, "This is good toast" or something like that. 
 - Biking to Beidou and meeting a really talkative/hard to concentrate investigator who owns a drink shop.
 - Meeting with an eternal investigator Kiki and helping her to commit to get off coffee this week.
 - Calling the APR and being super awkward on the phone with all the people I haven't met yet.
 - Getting a member referral from Zhen JM (her granddaughter).
I think I'm in love with everything about my mission right now.  Sister Cole and I have had so much fun just exercising and talking this morning.  It was awesome, and I feel wonderful! :) I feel like today is going to be fantastic.  I'm excited to go serve and meet all these new people here in Yuanlin.  I just can't wait to keep learning to taking everything all in.  The good thing about Sister cole is that she's independent and is so nice, accepting, and patient with herself and others.  She is wonderful, and I can't wait for us to see Yuanlin  grow.  The members here are wonderful.  They just bring so much happiness and so much joy into my life! The places are beautiful, the people are beautiful, my companion is beautiful, and I love the pleasantly awkward moments of the mission.
I LOVE Sister Cole! Here are the events from today:
- Walking to and from the train station to pick up Lin Jiemei, eating breakfast, and then coming home for study.
- Meeting Daliao's recent convert Lin JM and biking with her to go visit all of our investigators/recent converts, etc. 
- Speaking Taiwanese with her while riding up ginormous hills.
- Having six lessons all over the place here in Yuanlin and loving the work-out from biking everywhere
-Playing violin for a kid's birthday party (our investigator's son)
- Smiling because the cute grandma and grandpa could only speak Taiwanese, and we had to have our member translate for us.
-Picking up a frog
- Feeling happy/confident about Chinese and the people/my companion.
- Making people stare as we spoke English at a red light.
- Making paper cranes for the kids
Today, my funnest companion and I did the following:
-Visited Lin Cuen Hua
-Had ward mission leader meeting
- Saw one of our members barf all over the bathroom floor... That was unfortunate...
- Eating so much
- Riding everywhere and not having time to write in my journal.
We watched general conference today.  It was amazing.  I have notes written in my journal about every single one of the talks.  They're all so inspired and so perfect for our times today.  One thing that stook out to me was how President Monson shared his love for his wife.  His love for his wife is unbearably, incomprehensibly so strong! I loved that Sister Monson never complained.  I, too have made it a goal to never complain.  I am happy that this gospel allows people like President Monson to be reunited with his beautiful wife, and I am so joyful for that plan of salvation. 
Another thing that stood out to me is the fact that only God knows the depth of our trials.  e alone can touch ur souls, comfort our hearts, give us rest, etc.  We must put our complete trust and faith in Him because He is perfect.  He loves us regardless of our trials, our weaknesses, etc.  GOD LIVES AND LOVES US.
Sunday was wonderful.  On our way to the morning session of general conference, we ran into a girl on the street riding her bike to church.  When I asked what church she was going to, she pointed to Sister Cole and said, "hers". haha It was surprising because I didn't know that she was one of our investigators.  Apparently, she was a member referral, and we haven't been able to set up a time to meet with her.  Anyway, the point is - it was awesome because when I saw her, I just got a really great feeling.  I feel like we're going to be great friends, and I can't wait to meet with her next week.  Her name is Chen Shi Yuen. She is 17/16 somewhere around there, and she's bright!! Isn't it cool that we ran into each other on Sunday?!
On Sunday night, we had FHE.  I cannot express how much fun and how happy I am when we played games with all the youth and the people who attended.  Everyone there started calling me "Nan gua Jiemei" (Sister Pumpkin) because I happened to be wearing my orange dress that day, and it's almost Halloween, so everyone thought I dressed/looked like a pumpkin.  It was really hilarious.  Anyway, we played capture the flag and then really got to get to know all the people that came.  Yuanlin is awesome.  It's beautiful!!!
Sister Cole and I went to Sun Moon Lake this afternoon with a member.  I took some pictures and will try to attach some right now.  It was really beautiful there, and I bought some gifts for the family.  
Well, I hope you all know and feel my love.  I am so overjoyed everytime I hear wonderful news about our family and friends.  It makes me happy to know that God is watching every one of us.  He really has set apart this time for me to serve him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.  I know that He is perfect and aware of when/what I need to accomplish while I am here.
Time is short!! :) Use it wisely!
Love you all,
-Sister Verina Chen

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