January 2, 2014


Hi everyone!

Well, this week was amazing.  My favorite part of Christmas was definitely skyping the family.  Oh man!! It was SO good to see you all, and see a new face as well!! When Sorren floated onto the screen, I just about had a heart attack.  He's the cutest nephew ever!!! haha Perfect addition to the family.  My heart swells to hear of all the time and the fun that our family had together this Christmas season.  I'm especially grateful that Kara and Sorren feel welcome and loved because they are just as important to our family as everyone else!!!! :)  

Also, I'm really grateful that you all were so fun and kind to the people that wanted to see what my family looks like (AKA Trevor and Sis. Anderson)  I hadn't really ever realized how funny our family is and how sassy we all can be.  I love that our family all has the same sense of humor, but we're all super different at the same time.  

Alright, here's what happened this week (well, mostly the highlights)


During DTM, Our district leader Elder Taylor who went home on Christmas shared some last words/advice with our district.  I thought it was great and just wanted to share it with everyone.

So here it is:

How to be a happy missionary:

1. Success (No one likes to see failure)
2. Companionship Unity
3. Keeping your stress under control
4. Obedience
5. Feeling the Spirit
6. Strengthen your testimony
7.  Member relations

1. A lot of missionaries don't know what it is to be a successful missionary.  Some missionaries have this idea that success is only seen in the number of key indicators you hit every week.  Elder Taylor explained that success to the Lord is our willingness to work hard and do OUR best and give OUR all to Him.  Sometimes, we may be working our butts off and it may not show in any degree in our numbered reports.  Remember that.  Success is NOT defined by the numbers, the position of leadership you hold, and not even the number of baptisms you have.

2.  Companionship unity is important!! If everything else on your mission is going wrong, but your relationship with your companion is awesome, then the things going on are 10 times easier to overcome.  

3.  Stress management in every day mission life and life in general is vital to being a successful, and thus, a happy missionary!! The mission IS stressful.  That's just the plain truth!! There's no way to get around the stress on a mission.  It comes with the mission, but the mission is great because you learn how to DEAL with that stress.  Once you know how to handle it, then you're able to deal with everything.

4. Obedience. YES. A lot of people hate that word.  They hate every aspect of that word, but on the mission, if you're not obedient, you end up hurting yourself more than you hurt or help others.  The key to obedience is knowing the reason behind all the rules on the mission/life.  If we are obedient, we are qualified for the blessings that God WANTS to give us.  All we have to do is be obedient to His commandments and be sincere about His commandments and rules He gives to us.  

5. This is pretty self-explanatory.  THE SPIRIT IS MY BEST FRIEND.

6. When you do things on the mission to help strengthen your testimony, then you are a successful missionary.  Don't do those things that aren't adding or building your testimony.  If you are doing something that is hurting or breaking your testimony down, then find a different way to help build your testimony instead of allowing it to wither away.

7. I love member relations!!  Sometimes, we are sent to an area not necessarily just to help investigators and RCLA's, but maybe/also to help a member in the ward.  I believe that my mission was definitely shaped for me to help members and for members to help me.  I can honestly and happily say that some of my life-long friends are members who I have met here in Taiwan. I remember that when I was back in Zuoying, the members are the ones who kept me going.  When your relationship with the members is great, then mission work is that much easier!!!  I LOVE THE MEMBERS SO MUCH.  

I just can't stress how important it is for us to work and love the people we serve and serve with.  Sometimes, when you don't have an awesome companion like I do (cough cough - Sister Anderson), good relationships with members is VITAL.  If you don't have good relationships with anyone, then oh man!! ... That's something I don't ever want to go through, I guess.

Anyway, here's the invite that Elder Taylor gave us:


Do it.

Wednesday was Christmas, and it was wonderful!! :) After skyping the family, Sister Anderson and I went to this pizza place that we've been eyeing for a long time.  It's called 1985 Pizza, and we were super excited to try it out since we haven't had pizza in forever.  Anyway, we got the pizza, and yeah it was delicious and all, but the crust was basically as thin as a saltine cracker...

The good thing was they had tobasco sauce, and yes, I was the first customer to open the bottle.  I was outraged!! I basically drenched my pizza with that stuff.  I love spicy! haha The bad thing was the pizza didn't even fill us up, so we decided to go get 2nd Christmas lunch at a 7-11 where there is cheap food that will definitely fill you up.  Sister Anderson also used the phone there to call her twin brother who is serving in Africa, so while she was talking to her brother, I was stuffing my face full of rice and tofu.  Yes, I LOVE rice and tofu.  I've never realized this, but I think rice is my favorite food.  Surprised?! - Probably not.

After that, Sister Anderson and I went on over to a mental hospital to help this lady translate for her ABC niece who can't speak Chinese very well.  Anyway, this ABC is actually half-black, half-Asian, and I loved translating for her, even though I had to look up some terms that I have never used before.  (I was translating all this stuff about visa/passport work that they needed help with.)  Long story short, I was able to put two and two together, and everyone was happy in the end.  We are now going to be meeting regularly with the ABC girl! :)  She's awesome!  Remind me to tell you her story when I get back to America.  It's really interesting and kind of fun!

At night, we had English class, and the kids were OFF THE WALLS.  Oh my goodness.  I feel like English class gets crazier and crazier every week.  The kids just run around and scream and play tag all the time, and sometimes it drives me crazy!! I guess the mission really is preparation for a future family... haha

The rest of the week:

Yeah, this week was all really eventful.  I'm just kind of lazy, and it takes me a long time to type up every single thing that happens every day, so I'll just sum it up for your sakes as well.

I found myself really "bored hungry" all the time this week.  Yeah, so "bored hungry" means that you're not really hungry, but you just want to eat something, so you do because you want to have something delicious in your mouth.  Anyway, the point is, I just kept on eating a lot of candy and stuff that we got in our Christmas packages this week.  I've been pretty good at giving away some of the candy to kids in the ward and people who take us out to eat, but I mean, I still ate loads of stuff this week.  haha It's okay though because guess what we did this morning??!?

We went on a really long hike up this beautiful mountain with a member.  She drove us up to this beautiful mountain, and we hiked for about 3 hours up and down the mountain.  At the very top of the mountain, we walked a ways down the road to get free pineapple cakes.  It's at this place called "sunny hills".  It was delicious, and apparently the pineapple cakes are famous there.  We took a lot of fun pictures with the pineapples and top of some roofs and stuff.  (Don't worry, it was totally safe.)  Anyway, it was really fun, and I think I burned off some of those calories gained from being bored hungry this past week.

:) This morning, we also biked to the morning market and just walked around taking pictures of random stuff like Buddhist temples and then a pile of nice rocks.  It was fun.  Sister Anderson and I love to explore.

Oh, yesterday we had the baptism of Wu Qi Cun.  She is getting confirmed next week during church.  YEAH! Her non-member grandpa also came to attend her baptism.  Isn't that great?!

Well, I'll drop more pictures in dropbox today, but most of the better-looking pictures will be in Sister Anderson's dropbox because I accidentally dropped my camera on the hike today.  Don't worry.  Minor damaged, and I'm going to get it fixed.  If I need to buy another cheap one, I'll let you know next week!! :)

Love you all,
Oh, and Happy New Year's!! Next year is the year of the horse.  Yeah Dad and Vicky!!! Naaaayyy naaaaayyy (That's the noise a horse makes, btw.)

-Sister Verina Chen

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