April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014 Dakeng

Dearest Family and Friends,

My first week in Dakeng was so crazy!! Man, it went by faster than I had expected.  Sister Shih is my new companion, and she is AMAZING.  Seriously, from the very first moment to now and forever, she has been so patient, so understanding, and has been an example and support to me.  

Adjusting to the new environment/calling has been a bit difficult for me; however, I know that it's probably normal for that to happen.  After all, this is only my second time really moving to a new area (Zuoying to Yuanlin, and from Yuanlin to Dakeng).  

So, how would I describe living and serving here in Dakeng?! - There really AREN'T words to express what I feel... Dakeng is really special.  I mean, every area is, but Dakeng is a kind of different unique. "A different unique" sounds really incorrect, but in this case, it actually is kind of the only way I can describe it.

As most of you know, I now have a facebook account.  I couldn't log on into my old one for some reason, so I just ended up creating a new account, which is really a blessing.  I have been able to concentrate my efforts more on the people here in Taiwan, being able to consecrate my work more fully to the people of this area.  

By the way, we missionaries have been encouraged not to message family/friends via facebook, so if you would like to stay in contact with me, it'd best be kept through email still!! haha... But, I only email family now anyway, so just letting you guys know!! Don't post/message anything via facebook from now until the end of my mission.

Facebook is a wonderful way to stay in contact with investigators, recent converts, and less-actives on a daily basis.  Sister Shih and I are allowed one hour to facebook every day; however, this last week, we were busy getting familiar with the area/people, so we ended up using facebook for an hour and a half total.  This week will be busy because we are going on two exchanges.  One on Tuesday with the Donghai Sisters and one on Friday with the Fengyuan sisters.

Every exchange lasts for 24 hours.  This Tuesday, I will be staying in Dakeng with Sister Berrey (she's being trained this transfer and is new to the mission).  I am excited to go on this exchange, but I am also a little nervous to be leading the area on only one week of getting acquainted with it.  I keep having to tell myself that I will be able to do it.  If I could take over Yuanlin after 3 weeks, then I can lead Dakeng in one, right?!

I am so grateful for Sister Shih.  This week, we kept running to and from appointments.  We barely have time to get all of our studies in for the day because we are so busy... I didn't realize how much sister training leaders needed to do until I became one.  I think my planner has become my journal because I have no time at all to write in my real journal!

This week, I was feeling really inadequate and a little sick.  However, last night as I talked with Sister Shih and asked her for her experience/input, she encouraged me to read the stress manual.  After I read a paragraph, I immediately felt better.  I had been feeling really weak and small, and I couldn't help but think "why me?"  "All the other sisters in our zone are much more qualified than I am!"...  I realized that this is God's work.  It's not my work.  God said Himself that He has called the weak and simple to do His work in the latter-days!  I AM the weak and simple.  Sometimes I get lost, and I am FAR from perfect, but because God knows this, He has called me to this work.

I immediately felt peace in realizing these truths.  I know that God trusts me with this work. I know that I can also put my trust in Him.  :)  So, moral of the story?! - This week's trial helped me learn something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.  

Oh, and did I tell you all how amazing Sister Shih is?! She's going home this next transfer, so she has been out for quite some time!! She's been so patient with me as I adjust to everything, and we work HARD!  What a hard worker she is!

Today, Sister Blickenstaff is letting us go over to the mission home for me to practice on her piano.  Isn't that such a wonderful blessing?! Sister Shih and I will then be going shopping for her summer wardrobe! I already have a lot of clothes, so I won't be buying anything but food.  haha :)

I'm praying for you all!! So, keep praying for me too!! Prayers work!

PS We have a golden investigator Sister Shu who is getting baptized on 5/4/14.  Our recent convert is her son who was baptized about 2 months ago.  After Sister Shu gets baptized, their whole family will all be members of this church!!! Isn't that wonderful?!?!

Love you so much,
Sister Verina Chen

PPS Just wanted to include this quote again because I love it so much:

"Women of God can never be like women of the world.  The world has enough women who are tough.  We need women who are tender.  There are enough women who are course; we need women who are kind.  There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined.  We have enough women of fame and fortune, we need more women of faith.  We have enough greed, we need more goodness.  We have enough vanity, we need more virtue.  We have enough popularity, we need more purity." - President Thomas S. Monson

God is helping me become THAT kind of woman!!!  

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