“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
December 23, 2013
This past week went really well!! My love for the mission and the Savior has really grown recently, especially with Christmas just around the corner! :) Sister Anderson and I were really busy this past week performing and helping our wards throw parties and activities for Christmas.
It was raining and super windy like crazy all of Monday night and all day Tuesday. So, on Monday night, our bike ride home from family home evening at a member's house was definitely an adventure. It was like a giant was busy blowing his nose because the rain would come down in waves, and the wind would blow us and spontaneously change directions all the time. Sister Anderson and I almost got blown off our bikes, and the bottom of our skirts got soaking wet because our ponchos can't be too long. haha I had to put paper in my shoes when I got home so they wouldn't get ruined from the rain. haha It was super fun, though.
When we got home to plan, we changed into dry clothes, and Sister Anderson made us a cup of hot chocolate for planning. :) It was SO GOOD!
2 Nephi 9:50 "Come my brethren, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price."
D&C 58:27 "Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness."
28 "For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward."
I really liked these two scriptures. They really helped me realize how important it is for us to ACT. We don't have to wait for God to tell us to do something. We just need to be diligent and do good without needing to be compelled or reminded all the time. We are free agents. All we need to do is get up and act. Don't be slothful, and don't sulk in our own misery waiting for someone to come brighten up our day. GET UP! ACT! BE DILIGENT!
Tuesday night, we had dinner with a member family. They took us out to a dumpling restaurant. It was SO GOOD!!! OH my goodness. I ate like 10 dumplings, a huge bowl of corn soup, and a bunch of "pao cai". It was so good. Everyone was really surprised at how much I CAN eat. haha It was just too good!!!! Plus, the food at the place wasn't greasy or oily at all, so I didn't feel bad about eating so much. :)
PS: I was just thinking - life is all about balance!! Sometimes all we want is for time to go faster - Sometimes we want it to go slower. All in all, however, we all at one point realize that we are never satisfied with the amount we get when we are happy. Does that make sense?! - Life is all about balance and attitude. God allows us happiness by allowing us to feel pain, sorrow, and loneliness. He allows these feelings to exist because He wants us to experience feelings of happiness and joy.
Wednesday, we had four lessons: Ye Yi Rou, Liu Wei Han, Chu A-gon/A-ma, and English class. English class, as usual, was so crazy with all the little children running around. haha I still love them, though!!!
Oh, and I think I figured out why I love little children so much. It's because they are honest, they have nothing to hide, and they are comfortable just being themselves!!! :) I want to be like that!!!
Thursday was the Christmas activity for the whole mission. We woke up at 6 to catch the train at 7, and then we rode buses up as zones to Sun Moon Lake to take a mission picture. It should be on the mission blog. I'm in the bottom right of the picture next to a senior couple. :) haha It's a little ironic that the mission always takes a picture right in front of a Buddhist temple every year. It took forever to get a good picture. I feel like all the missionaries were standing there for at least half-an-hour because people kept NOT looking at the camera, and Sister Blickenstaff is a perfectionist, so we had to keep taking pictures over and over again. It was a good memory, though.
Being at Sun Moon Lake brought back memories of when our family took a trip there a couple of years ago when we came back to Taiwan to visit. :) I took a bunch of pictures in the places that I took pictures years ago!! :) I hope the dropbox account works so that you can all see how fun it was! :) Sister Anderson and I were taking pictures with all the fun things, and I saw Sister Burr, so I HAD to get pictures with her as well. :)
After walking around Sun Moon Lake and taking pictures, the mission headed to a all you can eat buffet for lunch/dinner around 2:30 p.m. We ate so much!! :) I ATE SO MUCH SUSHI!! They had everything at the buffet, and it was so good!! I felt sick afterwards because I ate so much. haha We didn't need to eat dinner that night because of how full we were!!
We all headed back to the Taiping stake center right next to the mission office after the huge meal for the Christmas devotional where I performed the musical number "O Holy Night". It went really well!! Apparently, everyone thought I performed great!! :) I really only had about 2 hours total to practice this past week, but it was enough, and I felt happy about my performance.
We all got a bag of candy and new cell phones after the social was over, and then we bused back home for the night.
Saturday was our ward Christmas party. Earlier in the afternoon, we went out to perform carols at the Train station and the shopping area. The piano that I was playing on was a dinky electric piano that doesn't have pedal, so it wasn't the best sounding, but Sister Anderson's voice made up for it, and the youth of the ward were really enthusiastic about inviting everyone to the party that night. We were outside caroling/performing for two hours total. I sent some pictures of our district performing at the shopping area of Yuanlin. There were a bunch of people that passed. It was hilarious because we didn't practice very much, and the elders didn't really like to sing in public, so we definitely didn't sound the best. However, we had a really great time, and we all laughed about it afterwards.
The Christmas activity at night went off really well!! There weren't that many people there due to a different performance that was going on in Yuanlin the same night, but the people that came were really happy. I spent all Friday preparing for the performances on Saturday night. I had to put together the nativity play and accompany the performance, think of outfits, and then accompany the bishop's daughter for her french horn cantata. It was great, though!! I got to perform my Liszt Rigoletto and then the musical number I performed for the Christmas activity. :)
Yesterday at church, Wu Qi Cun had her baptismal interview with our district leader!! She passed, and she is getting baptized next Sunday after church. :) She's golden, and we are so excited for her baptism. Yuanlin is doing really great. :) I'm continuing to change and grow every day, and my love for God is growing as well.
I love this work, and I am committed to continue serving the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength for the rest of my life. This time I have now is precious. I know that I am a weak and simple thing, but I know that God really does call weak and simple people to do His work. I am humbled to know that God HAS chosen me to do His work, and I am indebted to Him for the rest of my life.
I love and serve the Lord!!! :)
Oh, and of course, I love you all as well.
Sister Verina Chen
PS Here's a shoutout to Sister Anderson's Mom who has a really great saying that Sister Anderson shared with me the other day.
"DECISIONS DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY."
It's so true!! Remember that every decision that we make in this life determines our happiness and the consequences that follow in the after-life. I know that it is up to us to determine our own standards, attitudes, and outlook on life. If you want to be happy, then be happy!!! You are the one who can change your own life.