“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
January 5, 2014
Happy New Year's!!! I hope that you all had fun during the break and all the festivities going on!!! :)
I know I did!!
Well, I guess it's the new year already!! Time has really gone by, and it seems like everyone is going on missions, or coming back from missions, and the world just keeps turning and turning!!!
Can I just start out by saying thank you to all the friends and ward members who sent me Christmas cards, New Year's cards, and Birthday cards?! Oh my goodness. I have like drawers and drawers filled with all these cute cards from all my friends and family. SO GOOD.
Alright, so I'm going to do something really cliche and share with you all my goals for this new year, and mainly for my mission. I have five main resolutions:
1. Be consecrated entirely to the Lord - This includes seeing through the eyes of God, keeping His commandments, doing His will, and being worthy of His blessings.
2. Be refined - This includes being virtuous, lovely, honest, pure, charitable, kind, humble, grateful, patient, and classy!!
3. Work hard and NOT be lazy - This includes being diligent and willing in all that I do.
4. Be healthy - This includes physical and spiritual health.
5. Get out and be spontaneous at least one time a week (AKA P-days on a mission) - I want to be able to do some fun and worthwhile, wholesome activities, especially while I am on my mission. Time is limited, and I don't want to be inside all day writing letters home when I could be outside hiking and exploring and creating memories with my companions in TAIWAN.
I am so excited to be starting this new year and allowing the Lord to continually change me. I know that preparing ourselves and being worthy to do His work is vital for our growth and happiness. After writing down all my goals for this year in my journal, I wrote, "Remember: Faith without works is dead. Through small and simple things are great things brought to pass." I know that in order for me to accomplish all that I want to accomplish this year, I must have faith and work through small and simple things. I know that life can get overwhelming sometimes - okay - it can get overwhelming a LOT of the time; however, if we take things one at a time and remember to do the little, kind, and simple things in life, we are blessed with greater blessings, and our eyes truly are opened to what the Lord wants us to see.
Alright, so since it took me a while to read all the birthday emails, I'll just share with you a journal entry/event that was definitely the highlight of my week.
Here's the context: This last Friday, Sister Anderson and I went on exchanges with the Zhangua sisters. (Sister Training leaders) Sister Anderson stayed in Yuanlin this time with Sister Chord, and I went up to Zhanghua to serve with Sister Lin.
Here's my entry from January 4th (Saturday):
I woke up this morning and totally forgot it was my birthday!! haha
Well, yesterday at 2:30, we met up with the sister training leaders at the Yuanlin train station. We all said a prayer together, and then Sis. Lin and I took off to Zhanghua. Arriving, we realized we had forgot to get Sis. Chord's bike key from her and had to make some changes to our plan. Sister Chord told us that she had a spare key at their apartment in Zhanghua, so after saying a prayer, Sister Lin and I walked from the train station to theri apartment (abt. 20 min) to find the spare key. The first place that Sis. Chord told us to look didn't have the key anywhere!!! We finally said another prayer, called Sister hord again, and she told us to look in the box again. We looked again, and guess what happened?! - nothing. So, we said a prayer again for the third time, called Sister Chord, and she told us to look in a desk drawer. We looked, and Finally!! We found the key.
With the key now in hand, Sister Lin and I headed back to the Zhangua train station where they had parked their bikes. We had to cancel a lesson because of time, but we got Sister Chord's bike lock unlocked and were on our way. Just like that!!! God does answer our prayers, but not after we do our part, and not always in the time we want Him to.
Also, the time we were walking back and forth from the train station to the apartment, Sis. Lin and I had time to talk about our goals and our missions. She kept asking me what I thought it meant o be a good leader. I told her that leaders are those who serve by example, listen, ask inspired questions, LISTEN TO THE SPIRIT, and most importantly, those who trust in the Lord.
She invited me to start preparing now to be a great leader. She then told me that the most successful missionaries are those who trust in the Lord. I loved that advice and invitation that she gave me. It reminded me to trust more in the Lord and not be afraid of what happens in the future.
Anyway, we had great lessons that day, and I loved biking around Zhanghua and teaching with Sister Lin. She is a wonderful example to me!
My determinations to be better and love more has increased ten fold recently!! I now know my potential nd the blessings that I may receive if I just rust in the Lord and allow Him to change me. I know this because He allowed me to come and meet the people that I have met here on my mission. I absolutely believe that God answers our prayers. The God of all DOES love us. He refines us. He consecrates us. He loves and weeps with us, and all we need to do is love Him back, serve Him, and endure to the end. We must be patient, be honest, be sincere, and trust in Him. We ARE His, and He will never leave us alone.
I feel a difference now when I saw my prayers. Being on this mission has helped me feel a change in heart, and all I want to do is REJOICE IN THE MOST HIGH GOD. All I want to do is proclaim His word and be HIS tool. I believe that the greatest honor is to be a tool in the hands of God. Sometimes I feel like a small - the tiniest, puniest, most insignificant, weak missionary. I feel like a child going against a giant to battle. I guess, a little like David and Goliath. However, I know and believe that God does use the small/simple poepl/things to bring about His great purposes. I know now with my entire heart, and all I want to do is love and love and LOVE God with all my life.
Oh man. There are so many wonderful things that happen over here in Taiwan. I am grateful and touched by all the tender mercies and blessings God allows me to be a part of every day.
For example, the morning of my birthday, Sister Lin made me breakfast, and then we went running at the college next to the apartment. The sky was so so clear, and I felt so refreshed as we ran around the track. Later that day, we passed fields and fields of wild flowers. Sometimes, I wish I could just document everything that I feel and see over here. There are times when the scenery we pass on our bikes is so beautiful and breathtaking - I feel like crying every time!!! God really is too good to me. Sister Anderson and I both agree that we love this mission so much. We don't ever want to leave!!!!!!!
Ah. This email is so scatter-brained. haha Sorry. I just have so much to share, and I'm really super happy all the time now. Sister Anderson took New Year's and birthday pictures on her camera, so all of the pictures from this week are in her dropbox.
This afternoon, we had a lunch with our investigator liu Wei Han and our member friend Zhang Hui Jun. We went to this awesome cat Italian restaurant. They literally had like 6 cats running around. We took some pictures and stuff. Liu Wei Han is really progressing. We all fasted for her this last fast sunday, and today when we met with her, she really had that desire to know more and see how she can progress with the church. our member is amazing!!! OH MAN!!! TOO AMAZING!!!
Everyone I meet here is lovely. I always wonder how it is possible for so many people to have so much love?!
I know God is loving. He is merciful. He is perfect. He created us because He loves us just the way we are.