May 14, 2014

5/14/2014 Surprise!! I have one more hour today to email!

Hey everyone!!

Surprise!!!  You didn't think I would be emailing again this week did you?! - Well, I am.  Why?! - Because today is our P-DAY, and we got back from the temple early, so we get to make up an hour of email.
Today, we went to the Taipei temple, and guess who I ran into?! - Sister Valerie Chao! - She's currently serving as the Taipei temple sister, just like Vicky did when she was serving her mission.  Anyway, we had just got out from doing endowments when we ran into them crossing the street.  They were carrying a box of heavy books, probably copies of the Book of Mormon.  

Anyway, it was really weird/cool to run into her.  She looked really great and apparently is going to be home in early August, so we'll see one another on campus all the time.

This morning, we woke up at 4:30 a.m. to get to the Daya church in time for the bus.  Our zone all rode up to the temple to do some endowments, but guess what?! - Sister Blickenstaff came with us, and several of us sisters were able to do all of the following: baptisms for the dead, initiatories, and endowments.  It was really really cool because missionaries don't typically get to do baptisms for the dead.  Anyway, we were running from station to station because we had to make it on time to all the sessions.  All in all, it was a wonderful experience.

I also ran into the temple matron and President!  They both asked about how Mom was doing!  I'm surprised they recognized me.  Funny story: We were walking to our endowment room when our dear temple matron stopped me, asked me if I was "Verina", and then asked me to stay back for a second.  After everyone else left, she came back and said, "Your dress is on backwards.  The zipper is supposed to be on the back." hahahaha

I thought it was absolutely hilarious, especially because that is definitely not the first time that has happened to me in the temple.  I quickly went back and changed so that I could catch up to our group.  

Right before I left the temple, I ran into the temple President, and he recognized me as well/asked how I was doing/where I have served/when I am going home.  I was just really touched that out of all the thousands of missionaries that go to the temple every time, he and his wife are still able to know and recognize the individual!

Also, President Blickenstaff approved my request to go home in August to make it in time for fall semester, so I guess that we will be working together to get my ecclesiastical endorsement so that I will be able to enroll for fall semester classes...  He said he'll keep working with me on that, so I guess I'll just wait for the call.  :) I also reminded him about it in my email to himon Monday, so we've got that covered.  

Recently in our mission, we have been keeping track of all he miracles we see every day.  At the end of the day, along with our other key indicators, we total the number of miracles we saw that day.  Here's a little miracle that I told my district about yesterday (Tuesday):  It was super scorching hot in the morning, so when Sister Shih and I were out biking, we were seriously sweating cats and dogs from the heat.  It was so hot, that when I said a prayer before going into a lesson, I prayed that it wouldn't be so hot... Immediately after we said that prayer, it started RAINING.  So, instead of scorching heat, we had LOTS OF RAIN, and lo and behold, it WAS cooler.  Anyway, DTM was later that day, so when we showed up, everyone was soaking wet from the rain.  After I told them my miracle story that had happened just a few hours previous to the meeting, all of our district was like, "OOHHHH, so YOU were the one..."

It was pretty funny, but I still count it as an awesome miracle.  I actually LOVE the rain, even though it can be a little inconvenient for contacting sometimes.  

Today's miracle: This morning, Sister Shih and I had followed the Beitun sisters to the Daya church because we have never ridden there ourselves.  We've always taken the bus since Sister Shih doesn't really like to bike more than 20 minutes.  Anyway, for the trip back, the Beitun sisters had to stay in Daya, so here's the miracle: Sister Shih and I were able to make it back to Dakeng/Beitun without getting lost, but that's not the end of the story.  At two stop lights, I was able to get the numbers of two awesome street contacts, neither of whom live in our area, but missionary work is missionary work, and they were some awesome referrals for the sisters in Wufeng and Beitun!


Well, I think time's about up, so that'll be about it.  Overall, I'm really am just so grateful to be here and to be blessed with so many opportunities to serve.  I'm working hard to be HAPPY AND EXCITED and also to have sincere prayers.  That's something that I've really been trying to work on recently - saying sincere prayers.

I know that God is there for us, and He DOES listen to our prayers, even if we don't think He is there, HE IS, and all of our efforts right now really will be worth it in the end.  All we must do is ENDURE!!!!

Love you all so much,
Sister Verina Chen

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