Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Georgia is absolutely beautiful at this time of year!!!
Dear Family & Friends,

BEING A MISSIONARY IS THE BEST. I pretty much feel that I could end my email there and have expressed everything I need to... but naturally I must share more. 

This week was full of a lot of Georgia firsts:

-So the procedure for tracting here is to tell people that we represent Jesus Christ and then ask them if they will pray with us. (This would never work in Taiwan... haha) Most people are very open to it. They just love Jesus Christ down here! It's awesome. So we've done this a few times, but this week was the first time that I experienced my first Southern Baptist hand-holding prayer. I had heard tell of the legends... but this was the first time I had actually experienced it. We knocked on this one woman's door and she came out in her fluffy blue robe. We told her we would like to pray with her and she said yes and then held out her hands. Sister Echols immediately grabbed her hand, but I had a Book of Mormon, Planner, and a pencil in my hand... so I put my stuff in my bag as fast as I could but I forgot my pencil. So I ended up holding the pencil in my mouth, holding hands in this small circle, and listening to Sister Echols pray. It was fantastic.

-I saw my first Dead possum on the side of the road! I'm told this is kind of a rite of passage.

-I met my first Georgia hoarder. She was just the nicest woman :) But it took everything in me not to channel my inner mom and clean her whole house.

-I canned chicken for the first time! And I used my first pressure cooker! We did this with a classic southern belle from our ward and she's the best. We love her so much and she takes good care of us. She's going through a divorce right now, so we make sure we share a lot of love with her whenever we get the chance.

-I talked to my first Taiwanese person! When we go to the farmer's market (Which we've done a couple times now) I usually talk to people from the mainland. But I found out last week that a woman in one of our neighboring wards is from Taiwan! So I got her number, called her, and we set up a time to meet at the church on Sunday. She talked to me a lot about how important it will be to focus on the accent once I get to Taiwan. Next week we're going to meet again and I'm going to try and share a short gospel message with her. I love Taiwanese people!

I had to let everyone know that I got to speak Chinese today for the first time in Georgia!!
We've got some pretty fantastic investigators.

Dale- Well we met Dale on the day where no one was opening their doors. He was riding his bike when he saw us and he yelled out "Hey are y'all Jehovah's Witnesses?" Sister Echols and I ran over there and explained who we were and what church we were from. He told us how impressed he was with our church and our values. We're required to carry Books of Mormon everywhere we go in this mission and so when he saw the one I had in my hands he said "Yes I think I have that book!" He told us that he was thinking about moving to Utah because he is just so confused by the world around him. He doesn't like that all of the morals he loves are being thrown out the window. We gave him our card and set up an appointment for Tuesday of this coming week. He seems pretty well prepared and I'm really excited to see him again :)

Robert- We met Robert right after I had my first hand-holding prayer. He was my second hand-holding prayer. What a special bond we now share. haha. But Robert is a very tall, very skinny, African American man. He's missing some teeth and he's very hard to understand sometimes. But we love him. He told us that he feels like he needs to find himself spiritually at this time. We set up an appointment to come over the next day. But we realized that we didn't have a team-up (Member present) ready. When we teach single men we have to have another responsible woman there. So we were calling and calling and no one was answering their phones and we were getting a little worried that we would have to reschedule our appointment with him. Then I thought back to Sunday. I had seen a very cute young couple come into the chapel and I felt prompted that we needed to team up with the wife. I asked Sister Echols if she had every come out with us before and she said that her name was Sister Moore and that she had come out with us a lot. So I thought back to that prompting and we called her. She normally has work, but we called her anyway and she answered and could come! It was a miracle! So she came with us to go visit Robert. We taught him the Restoration and he seemed pretty receptive! He doesn't understand it all yet, but we're seeing him again this week. He's the best.

So this week we had a whole day where not one person answered the door. We knocked on dozens of doors but no one came. But that does not stop this work from progressing. In our misison we're required to make 40 phone calls a day. We have an old phone and there are just lots of random contacts in there. So we've been using this to our advantage. We've been calling literally every name in the list and we've actually gotten a lot of appointments from it! :) haha A lot of them are former investigators and we literally don't know anything about them. But hey! We're called to find lost sheep however we can. 

Our ward is super diverse. We've got a lot of older single adults and a lot of young families and a lot of older families... so basically everyone is here :) Our ward is made up of a ton of converts and that really helps strengthen my faith. Sometimes you wonder if people are really going to drop everything they know and join this church, but as I see the faith of these members, I have little doubt. A lot of them also said that it took them a long time to join the church. That's something that is hard for me. haha. 

Ancient Chinese Honey Bee Potion from Sister Woodruff:)
This week we had our mission-wide call which is basically a gigantic conference call where the mission president speaks to us. (Isn't technology amazing?!) I honestly don't remember many of the words that were said, but I will tell you this it filled me with an urgency I haven't experienced since High School soccer ended. haha I realized that I only have 1 transfer here. 1 TRANSFER!! That's 6 weeks. That's the blink of an eye!! I realized how much work I have to do and it lit a fired in me. I'm so excited. One of the things President said is that our mission has a goal to have 250 baptisms by New Years. That means that every companionship has to have 1 baptism, and some have to have 2 before then. I am very determined to see someone enter the waters of baptism while I am still here in Georgia. I have faith that the Lord can make it happen. 

Fun things:
There's a woman in our ward who looks just like a character from the Help. I love her. We had an instant connection and I just want to carry her around with me every day :) haha

Tell Leasa that I got to use my work skills out here! We have to take very careful records of our car miles and gas and etc. and there was a mistake on the sheet somewhere. My companion couldn't figure it out so she gave it to me. Thank goodness I had been practicing this for 6 months before my mission ;) I was able to find the mistake and make it work! (No whiteboard required ;)) Also tell Leasa that I miss her and love her so much. 

We had to say goodbye to Sister Hawkins this week. It was very sad :( She's amazing. A cool experience we got to have with her was singing! She's very talented and one night she taught us her arrangement of Sweet Hour of Prayer. It was awesome! We did 3 part harmony and ended up singing it for one of our member's baptist neighbors. They just loved it! She's in Brazil now and we love her.

Awesome companions!!!
Alright well I'd better get going. I want to testify that I know this church is true. Being out on a mission has tested that knowledge a lot, but there is nothing sweeter than the peace this gospel brings. That will never change :)  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Only through Him can we receive Eternal Life. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. He truly saw Jesus Christ and God our Father. I love Joseph Smith because he asked questions and received answers. That is how this church was restored and because of that we can each ask questions and receive answers. Heavenly Father hears our prayers. He loves us infinitely.
Thank you for all of the prayers and support.
Gu Jiemei

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