It's move call, so Sister Shih and I have only an hour to email. My new companion is Sister Packard. She came on island with me and is super cute. Her name is Ashley Packard. Anyway, we are going to be serving together here in Dakeng as sister training leaders.
Also, change in facebook missionaries!! - None of the leaders of our mission are using facebook anymore. So, Sister Shih will maintain my facebook. Right now, our mission is doing a bunch of experimentation because they want to find the most efficient/effective use of facebook. SO, it's not a punishment that we don't get to use facebook anymore. It's a test, and they might change in the future.
I've only got 3 months anyway, though, so I'll get to use it to do mission work when I get back for sure!!
Sister Packard is hilarious and the cutest sister in the world. Guess what?! - I finally have a companion that is actually shorter than me now!!
We just barely got back from eating lunch at Zongyoubaihuo, the mall right across from the mission office. I had a coldstone ice cream for the first time here in Taiwan, and although it was expensive, it was a great experience! haha So delicious. Here's an interesting fact/funny thing about Sister Packard - her tooth broke while eating a french fry last move call... Pretty hilarious, if you ask me!
Anyway, while we were having lunch, we had time to chat and just talk about our new area, etc. Sister Packard is on FIRE, and I am too!! It's going to be awesome just being able to serve together and get our whole zone to get fired up for missionary work! YES.
It's Sister Packard's first time moving up north, but she's super humble and super ready! She's already figured out pretty much everything about being a sister training leader, and she's ready to take on anything!
Alright, so about the miracles that I need to tell you all about:
Last week, Sister Shih and I were eating at the mall with one of Sister Shih's recent converts. We decided to sit next to this family of five kids. As we finished our meal and were just chatting, I felt prompted to talk to this family, but I had no idea what I was actually going to say (how I was going to start a conversation with them). Anyway, the scripture in D&C about just opening our mouths and our mouths being filled popped into my head, and so that's what I did - I opened my mouth and started talking to this family about their kids. I asked them if all five of the kids were their children. The parents actually were very friendly and started asking me questions about my family. I brought my picture out to show them and told them that their family reminded me of mine! (When I saw the five kids, I thought about our family, also five kids.)
As we continued to chat, I decided to give the kids a little gift, so I made paper cranes for each one of them! Here's another small little miracle: when I gave the first child a paper crane, the Mom commented on how it was coincidentally that child's birthday! (God's tender mercies!) I finished making four more paper cranes and told them about how I had learned how to make them: I told them that when I was little, Dad would always be so patient with me. Whenever I forgot how to make the cranes, I would ask him to teach me, and he WOULD. When the parents heard that story, they loved it! I heard the wife say to the husband, "See?! That's what you need to learn to be! - PATIENT!" haha
Our mission has also come out with these cool, green, free pens with a family quote on it. So, I gave all the kids one of the pens. They were ecstatic and LOVED them! The family continued to ask us more questions about our service as missionaries and said that we were welcome to their home in Lugang. They don't like in our area, but they were willing to give us their phone number and address. Since Sister Shih is going home this week, she will be able to keep in touch with this family and maybe pay them a visit! :) Isn't that a sweet little miracle?!
Before we left the family, I decided to buy some frozen yogurt for the kids. They had been looking at the yogurt stand longingly and had asked their Dad if they could get some yogurt, but he said it was too expensive. I knew how much the kids would love it if I got them a little yogurt, so while the parents were busy talking to Sister Shih/taking their kids to the bathroom, I took the rest of the kids to the stand to get some yogurt for their whole family!
When the parents noticed, it was already too late! I had bought the yogurt, and all the kids were laughing and smiling! :) It was really the highlight/miracle of my week! We were able to give this family more information about our church and invite them to our free English class.
When I was with those kids, I felt a special love towards them - I felt like I understood a little about how Christ loves and feels towards each one of us! We ARE little children, and God wants to give us EVERYTHING. Just like parents want to give their children everything, and I wanted to give those children everything, I know that our Heavenly Father also wants to bless us with innumerable blessings and gifts! When we have that love for one another, we truly become Christ's disciples, and we show our love for Him. When I was buying yogurt for those kids, it made me happy when they shared with one another. Some of the kids would fight and pout, and that would make me sad; but, when they saw that not sharing made me sad, they all started sharing and treating one another with respect!
I know that this may seem like a silly, small story, but I really feel like it's one of my favorite stories/events/experiences on my mission! :) I love how God always lets me learn the best lesson from the small and simple experiences!
Last week, we were also able to go on exchanges with the Daya sisters. Sister Ting came to Dakeng with Sister Shih, and I went over to Daya to serve with Sister Grigg. While we were in Daya, Sister Grigg and I decided to go contacting with the baptismal tracts. Before we began, we decided to set a goal and say a prayer. We only had about half-an-hour before we had to get ready to go home for planning, so we decided to get at least 2 adds. Right before saying the prayer, a family walked out of the nearby family mart, and I decided to contact them. Guess what happened?! - They turned us down...
So, then, we decided to pray, and after the prayer we saw this guy smoking and getting off his scooter. We decided to talk to him, and guess what happened?! - He wrote down his information and said it was okay if the missionaries called him! :)
Moral of the story: Prayer works.
As we continued street contacting, we found not only one more, but three more potential investigators who were willing to meet with us! As we finished up our contacting, we rode back to the family mart to make some phone calls. Earlier that day, we had done some English proselyting and had run into some really nice people. On our way to the family mart, we ran into one of those really nice people who started talking to us. This person was a 50 year old retired woman who had reacted very positively to us earlier that day.
She was also headed to family mart and treated Sister Grigg and me out to anything we wanted to buy! Sister Grigg and I decided to get two drinks because we were full from dinner, but afterwards, we were able to sit down with the woman and get to know here. Apparently, she has always been interested in our church, but she has always been afraid to talk to the missionaries because they were all elders. Whenever she was on the roads, she would see the missionaries contacting people, and she was intrigued at how such young people can do the things we do now!
She then started telling us about how she's always wanted to know if God really exists and what our purpose of life is/where we go after we die. She's a really intelligent lady who NEEDS the gospel!
After chatting with her about our church, she wrote down her number and told us to call her later! :)
So, what do we learn from these miracles?! - If we have faith and pray, and then work diligently, God will allow us to do His work and His will in His way. Sister Grigg and I had no idea that we would meet such a prepared soul that day, but when we least expected it (When we were just finishing up with our contacting), the golden investigator arrived!
Well, next week, our zone is holding a geneaology/family history activity in Daya, so we were asked to perform musical numbers for the intermission. It's been a great tool for us to use on the streets as we are contacting. When we invite people to learn more about their ancestors and to start doing their own geneaology, I definitely think it sparks in them a desire to learn more about our church!!!
I love missionary work!! I love Sister Packard, and I'm so excited to get this work moving even more this move call!
I love you all!
Sister Verina Chen