October 28, 2013



HEY!  So, today we went up to Taichung to drop of Sister Cole at the mission office. Our RECENT CONVERT Chen Nai Qi totally accompanied us, and we had a blast.  Sister Cole and I were up really late last night trying to clean the apartment and pack her bags since she's going back home to Cali tomorrow.  I've loved our time together here in Yuanlin!  :)  

Then, I picked up my AWESOME junior companion Sister Anderson!!!  Sister Anderson just got finished being trained by Sister Ward (She's been out for two move calls.) - Anyway, she's the prettiest sister missionary in the mission!!!  She's from Bountiful, Utah, and apparently, she has the biggest girl crush on TORIA (AKA Vicky). Sister Anderson also has a twin brother who is also serving a mission right now in Ghana.  Also, she was ecstatic when she found out that I was the sister of THE Sister Chen MTC teacher.  She was telling me all about how she kept spying on Toria whenever she saw her in the hall. I was super excited to hear that Toria wears the cutest outfits ever. haha ;)  I can tell we are going to get along.  Plus, she's super optimistic and happy all the time.  I love her already.

The point is, I don't even know what I did to deserve such an amazing companion.  I'm so excited to continue serving with her here in Yuanlin.  I know that the ward and the members/investigators/etc. are going to love her!

Anyway, this past week went by so quickly.  We have another investigator, an 11-year old girl named Wu Qi Cun.  Her grandma is in the 1st ward here.  So, I first lesson yesterday while Sister Cole was busy faxing Chen Nai Qi's baptismal record/taking pictures for the last time with the ward.  Wu Qi Cun really wants to get baptized, and we have her baptismal date set for December 8th.  I'm pretty sure she's going to hit that date!

Since Sister Cole left today, a lot of members took us out to eat last week.  On Saturday, the day of Chen Nai Qi's baptism, we ate hot pot buffet "Ci dao bao!" (Eat until you're full) for lunch with Chen Nai Qi.  We ate SO MUCH hot pot and had like two cones of real ice cream to top it off.  Sister Cole and I both had the biggest food babies ever, and so we decided we'd probably not have any room to eat dinner.  That night, we had a lesson with Wu Qi Cun and her grandmother in Beidou (an hour away from Yuanlin).  Anyway, when we got there and were about to teach them, Sister Zheng (Wu Qi Cun's grandma) said that we were going to go out and eat first.  As you probably figured, Sister Cole and I weren't planning on eating dinner at all, so when we heard that Zheng Jiemei wanted to treat us out for dinner, we were really shocked.  However, we knew it would be a little impolite to refuse, so we just hopped in the car and decided to man-it-up.  When the car stopped, we were surprised/half-devastated to see ANOTHER hot pot buffet in front of us.  Sister Cole and I almost burst right then and there!! We were so full already, but we knew that we had to make most of the member's money, so we forced ourselves to eat more until Sister Cole's stomach hurt. haha

It was pretty much the funniest experience ever.  The whole time we were eating dinner, Zheng Jiemei kept asking us why we ate so little.  We had to explain to her like 100 times that we had already eaten hot pot buffet for lunch.  It was so "kua-zhang!" outrageous!!!

Anyway, that was a really cool day because Chen Nai Qi totally got baptized, and she got confirmed yesterday during sacrament meeting.  Since we sisters cover both the 1st and 2nd wards, Sister Cole and I had to run to and from all sorts of meetings up until like 4 pm.  It was pretty busy, but we totally did it! :)  

I could probably go on and on about how many times we got treated out for lunch and dinner last week, but they'd all end up sounding like the same stories.  The point is, the food here is irresistably delicious.  The people here in Yuanlin cook really well, and I'm always stuffed.  It's a good thing the area is as big as it is, or else I'd probably gain a frillion pounds.  

Here's a miracle: Last week, we had all of our appointments at night fall through, and after dinner, we were about to go home and just make phone calls when a less-active member called and asked us if we could go over to her house for a bit.  It was awesome, because we didn't have her planned in our schedule, but we were able to meet with her and have another lesson before going home to plan that night! :)  I know that the Lord really does bless us with full schedules when we plan well and do all that we can to organize and plan our best for the future.  GOD IS SO GOOD TO US CHILDREN!!!!

Okay, I know this email is super disorganized, but let's just go with it. haha  So last night, I was super happy because it was the first time I really had time to deep clean the apartment!! I really didn't know this about myself before the mission, but I've noticed now that I'm a little CLEAN-FREAK.  I really got down on those bathroom floors and everything.  The past sisters here in Yuanlin didn't mop like EVER, so I went to town on those tile floors.  I'm happy to say that the bathrooms are SUPER sanitary (even though they might not look it.)  Plus, our apartment is huge and has a lot of progress to make, but over the next few weeks, it'll be as good as new!! haha Today Sister Anderson told me that she's super clean as well, so I'm really relieved about that.  :)  HALLELUJAH! My life is perfect right now!

Something I've learned recently is that the mission is about everything BUT ourselves.  This mission work is all about the Lord and His will.  It isn't about us and our desires/wants.  The work is all about God and HIS glory, and it makes me happy to even be a part of it.  I know that He will use me for what He needs, and I take joy in that.

What a wonderful work this is! I pray every night that I can be humble enough to just let God influence me, that I may be worthy enough to hear the promptings of the Spirit and do what HE wants me to do.  The mission is ALL about doing His will, and it's sometimes hard to completely submit to what He wants.  We just have to realize that what He wants for us is the best thing for us individually.  Whenever we think too much about ourselves and our name, our dreams instead of thinking about God and His name, His goals and plan, we become unsatisfied with our lives, and consequently, we become unhappy.

Okay, now about the awesome English party we had last week:  Last week for the English party, we had a Halloween social!! We went crazy with the decorations.  The church was super beautiful because we put up the cutest Halloween-themed paper all over the church.  It was actually really hilarious because that day, the manager for all the churches in Taiwan happened to be there to check out our broken elevator.  Anyway, when he walked in, he was a little horrified at all the tape and all the streamers and "ghosts" that we had hanging from the ceiling.  When Sister Cole and I walked in, we didn't know who he was.  We just thought was a random guy.  Anyway, he was like staring at all the decorations with his mouth gaped open like he was either in awe or really horrified.  Unfortunately, he ended up being the second option: horrified at all the tape that was on the walls.  hhaha It was super funny, because Sister Cole and I totally thought he was in awe and super excited about all the Halloween decorations.

It ended up being totally fine because the tape didn't even affect the paint on the walls.  We cleaned every single decoration up after the party, and the church looks as good as new! :)  

Well, that's about all of the main events from last week.  I forgot to say this last week, and it's a little late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Dad and Toria!!!!  I was super happy when I read how you both had wonderful birthdays.  It makes me glad when I hear about how you two went on bike rides and just had fun, quality time with your friends and family.  I'm sure you two had a wonderful, happy day, and I am excited to give you your birthday presents next year! :) Now you just have to wait!

Oh, I also forgot to mention the cute, recent convert, old couple in one of our wards.  Their last name is Chu.  We call them "Chu A-gon" and "Chu A-ma" (Grandpa and grandma Chu)  Anyway, they live on a farm, and they have these deer that they raise for their antlers.  When we went and visited them last week, they were super cute and just couldn't stop laughing.  They can't speak Mandarin at all, so they communicate with us through a translator that we bring with us.  Anyway, when they said the closing prayer, it was really funny because Chu A-ma kept interrupting Chu A-gon while he was offering the prayer.  Since the prayer was said in Taiwanese, it was super funny because they couldn't stop laughing at each other.  Chu A-ma would just keep saying things about Sister Cole going home, like, "Yeah, and bless Sister Cole to remember to write us when she gets to America." - or - "When Sister Cole gets to America, she can talk to her grandma"... stuff like that.  It was just super cute because Chu A-gon would just laugh and laugh at his wife's remarks.  haha

Totally made my day. 

Well, I think this email is probably the longest one I've written in weeks.  :) I really don't feel like senior companion at all.  Today when we took the train back to Yuanlin from Taichung, Sister Anderson and I had to walk home from the train station because Sister Anderson doesn't have her bike yet, and our member couldn't take us back home.  Anyway, it was hilarious because Sister Anderson's bag was super big, and its strap was broken, so we were walking with all her belongings, and her shoulders were super red from carrying her bulky baggage.  It was super "xinku" but we totally made it home really fast.  Sister Anderson is such a trooper.  We've already started laughing about pretty much everything.  I love her already!!

Alright, I'll attach some pictures from the baptism and stuff.  :)

The picture with Sister Anderson is one we just barely took before I started emailing.  Enjoy!!

Love you all,
Sister Verina Chen

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