Monday, October 20, 2014

T-11 til Georgia!!

Practicing with my chopsticks!!!
Dear Family & Friends,
Well today makes 2 months exactly since August 20. That means 2 months of Missionary service. That is insane to me. The time has absolutely flown by and I hope that my mission will slow down at some point because this is not fair!!

This week has been a crazy one. Preparing to leave has been so exciting and terrifying and just all the emotions. We said goodbye to our Hong Kong Missionaries from our district today and it was pretty sad. It was crazy to think that in less than 24 hours I would be doing the exact same thing. So we've been doing a lot of packing and preparing today. I'm SOOO happy that today is P-day!

All the best things of this week:

Let me just bear my testimony that I know that God loves us. He knows us INDIVIDUALLY. He knows me. He knows you. He knows that I don't like to walk around in bear feet, that I love sports, that I  sometimes get really terrified to speak in front of people, he knows my favorite color is blue, that I'm afraid of the dark, that I love Reese's... everything! How do I know this? Because He has told me. He shows me His love all the time. There were so many manifestations of his love this week that I almost can't handle it. But let me write a few:

School friends:  Marina Johnson & Julia Bunting
-I saw Sister Johnson (Marina) almost every day this week multiple times. She is amazing. I love her so much
  and I really needed to have her strengthening me with her smile and laugh and just our jokes!

- So I was doing laundry this week and lost one of my favorite skirts and my favorite dress. It was the worst. But guess what? My mom sent me a new skirt (which coincidentally was the exact same skirt I had lost in a different color) and a dress that I love even more! I hadn't mentioned the fact that I had lost these things and she couldn't have known. But my Heavenly Father knew. And he cared about my skirt and dress.

-I received an awesome package from the Feveryears who I have babysat for years. Their notes of encouragement really boosted my confidence and helped me to feel so so loved.

- We said goodbye to both of our teachers this week and that was so hard. I have no doubt that my teachers were hand-picked for me. They changed my life! (When I get out to Georgia I'll be able to send pictures easier) As they both bore their testimonies for the last time, I was overcome with the Spirit and their love for us. God knew that I would need them. He Laoshi was asked to pray during our last class with her and she prayed for each of us individually and used our names. It was amazing and reminded me so much of what Jesus did. He blessed the children individually. Each of our teachers also expressed that they felt that they NEEDED this job. They testified that our purpose, which is to bring others to Christ, included them. They were part of the "others" we were called to serve. 

-More teacher experiences:
We found out who our "investigators" were. We had Cui JM, Su DX, and Zhang JM. Cui JM was actually He Laoshi. We knew that it was He Laoshi acting as an investigator, but what she told us was that she was being herself. She was being He Jingwen before she found the gospel. That was amazing that she would trust us so much to teach her. Then she told us who Zhang JM was. It's her mother. She trusted us with her mother. I felt so honored. We also found out who Su DX was (Wong Laoshi was acting as Su DX). Turns out, we actually taught him in TRC (the real one)! He's a funny guy and pretty full of energy. WE loved teaching him at TRC. When we found out that he was the real Su DX we lost our minds!!

Ok now I just need to talk about yesterday for a bit. 
Yesterday was our last Sunday and so that already made things pretty emotional. My heart was very tender all day and I felt like the Spirit had poured out to me in abundance. (You should see my notepad!) I also learned a pretty cool thing about my spiritual identity. I feel the spirit through writing. The more I write, the more I feel. Then the more I feel, the more I write. But I learned that I need to start writing something, to receive revelation. It shows the Spirit that I'm taking this seriously and paying attention. But I digress,

Our district broke the grammar challenge record. 1min. 1 sec per person:)
So as I mentioned before, we have a Hunger Games like selection process at the beginning of each Sacrament meeting to find out who is speaking. I was almost 100% sure that it wouldn't be me because no one from my District had been chosen yet, and two sisters had spoken last week, so I assumed that 2 elders would speak and probably both would be from my District. I told everyone this. Also, Tan JM and I were singing a duet in sacrament meeting so I really thought I would be off the hook. But turns out chance and probability have nothing to do with the Spirit. So I was selected to speak in Sacrament meeting. The topic was repentance. I shared 1 Nephi 10:18 and emphasized that God will prepare a way for us if we repent. I shared the story of my Uncle who died of cancer. We didn't know at the time, but his experience was helping to prepare a way for some of my family members to repent. This repentance has completely changed my family and blessed us so immensely. It was amazing that I was able to share that in Chinese! haha It really built my confidence as I realized how far I had come in these 9 weeks.

So then Tan JM and I sang our duet. We had been practicing for weeks. It's a medley of Savior Redeemer and Called to Serve. It's absolutely beautiful. As we got up there and began singing I became very emotional. The tears were flowing and then I just got so happy and I was laughing and Tan JM was laughing and crying and there were some points were only one of us was singing and... ya. I'm sure it didn't sound too good! haha But it was about us expressing our love and I think we accomplished that. 

Our reassignment papers
So then Brother Williams got up and spoke. Let me also tell you right now that my Branch Presidency is just for me. They are AMAZING. But he got up and expressed his thanks to me for doing "double duty" in sacrament meeting and then he paused and tears came to his eyes. He then told the younger district that they would be able to do this. They would be able to speak in sacrament meeting and understand. The Lord would bless them. Then he talked about what good examples Tan JM and I were of harmony in a companionship. Then Tan JM and I were crying again... but it was great :) 

So then the icing on the cake was devotional last night.. guess who spoke?! CHAD LEWIS. I've read his book and I know who he is, but I had completely forgotten that he served in Taiwan until yesterday. THAT'S MY COUNTRY! MY PEOPLE! He shared a ton of pictures from his mission and I became so excited. Not going to lie, there's a little mission-appropriate spiritual crush happening. He was so humble and respectful and just... yes. He and his wife both spoke and something that stood out to me was how much they said the word fun in their talks when they mentioned sharing the gospel. That's what I want! To have fun! It was just what I needed. It was the most appropriate time to say "LET'S GO WIN A FOOTBALL GAME!" :) 

So all of these things combined have 1 purpose. To get me ready to go out into the field. Being on a mission shows you all of your weaknesses and I began to worry a little bit. I wondered how I would do out in the field. But Heavenly Father knows me. He knows my doubts, fears, and worries and he gave me yesterday as a gift to tell me that I can do this. I can teach in Chinese. I can go to America. I will become better every single day. And you know what? I'm not going to be perfect. That is such a hard thing for me to understand sometimes... but it's a fact. I am human. I will make mistakes. But the key is not to let them hold you down. I'm working on that and getting better every day :) 
I love you all. Thank you so much for all the love and support. I don't think I'm going to be able to get any physical letters sent out this week and I apologize :( But I will repent and do better next week! Thank you for everything. This church is true and God loves us personally. 

Wo ai nimen.

Gu Jiemei
Practicing in the TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning Lab)


  1. Wow! What a missionary! Chad Lewis is a great friend of Brandon's! We love him and his wife Michelle. Chad spoke at Brandon's funeral. He is truly a gem!
    Your Madison is allowed to have a spiritual crush on this gentle giant of a man. I love reading her emails. I'm so excited for her to get out in the mission field! Hugs to all!

    1. Thanks Janie. Chad was the perfect person to pump up the missionaries. Thanks for your sweet comment:)