Monday, November 10, 2014

Craziest Week of My Entire Life and My Entire Mission

This is what I do during language study time. I'm teaching my investigator "Bite" (pronounced Beetah or Peter in English:) He's a good listener!
Missionaries serving in the Dunwoody ward.
Oh my Heavens,
This may have been the craziest week of my entire life and my entire mission. So much was learned and testified and taught and... just yes!

Ok so... where to begin?! haha I might just have to make a gigantic stream of consciousness in list form.

Tuesday was Zone training! WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! Just let me tell you that it was amazing. Going to the temple was the best! The only sad part was that seeing all the other Sisters in their own temple clothes made me really miss my temple dress. But guess what?! Sister Burckle has the same temple dress as me! #tendermercy

Zone training is basically a big pep rally. It was sooo much fun to be with other missionaries and president and get interviewed by him. He's a fantastic man. He's very straightforward but probably the most loving guy you'll ever meet. It was awesome to talk with him one on one. I really feel like one of his missionaries, not a Visa waiter. 

Wednesday we went on exchanges. I got to go with Sister Alofipo. She's just the nicest person. She took such good care of me. Seriously. God gave me this opportunity to come to Georgia for many reasons, but she and the other companions I have had, are big ones. She teaches with power and clarity. Sometimes I feel like I say too much, but she really showed me how to be concise and powerful. It was a huge blessing.
Exchanges with Sister Alofipo
-Sister Echols was emergency transferred. She was sooo excited when she found out where she was going. There was much screaming and rejoicing. We found out that she was leaving on Thursday night and then she was transferred on Saturday. It was a really emotional/weird/unexpected/crazy thing for many reasons:

1. I found out that I would be staying in Dunwoody. (Isn't Dunwoody just the most fun name you've ever heard?) This is significant for a couple other reasons. *I've only been in the mission field for 2 1/2 weeks. *This meant that I would be taking over this area and getting a new companion. 

2. I found out that my new companion is a Traveling Sister Training Leader. This basically means that she's the equivalent to an AP here. Her name is Sister Burckle and she's awesome.

3. When I said goodbye to Sister Echols it meant that I wouldn't be seeing her until I came back from Taiwan.

I honestly can't describe how inadequate I felt when I found out that I would be taking over Dunwoody. Sister Echols did a lot of things to help prepare the area for when she left, but it's still a crazy thing. On Saturday night I was feeling especially discouraged and I was really questioning my abilities. I had just gotten my new companion and she was so full of faith and she's just a simply incredible person. I couldn't understand why I was in charge of this area. I was comparing myself to other missionaries and I just... wasn't feeling too good. So I was praying a lot to just find some peace. To know why this was happening. To know if I could do this. Then Sunday came...


-K came to church. We met her at her apartment complex because we accidentally parked in her parking space. I got out of the car to back up Sister Echols and we ended up talking to her for like 30 minutes. She's had some bad experiences with churches, but she was willing to try again. She's just a bright light. She's a very tall very big very strong black woman and she's just so beautiful. :) haha But she came to church!! She even called us Sunday morning to tell us that she was coming! It was amazing. We sat next to her and Sister Burckle did an awesome job of explaining what was happening and all of that good stuff. The only bad thing was that we were sitting in front of a very loud younger family. The Spirit was still strong... but that was a little rough :) haha. Sweet K pulled out her phone halfway through the meeting and I was a little disappointed, but then I looked over and I realized that she was recording the talks! How cool is that? And what's even cooler is that the speakers were talking about things that we had talked to K about when we very first met her! (Mainly a personal relationship with God) It was such a tender mercy!

-A.  This is definitely going to be one of my favorite mission stories. So Sister Burckle and I were in the chapel mingling with the ward when someone ran in and said "Sisters!!! Sister Wood needs you RIGHT NOW!" So we ran out into the hall. Sister Wood pointed down the hall and was speaking to us. I honestly only picked up the words Catholic, Here, Meeting, Go. So we ran in the direction she pointed and found this woman named A. She looks very similar to Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter except with blonde hair. She was asking someone where to go when we walked up and the woman she was with said that we could help her. So we got to talking and found out that her husband is catholic and she grew up catholic. She's seen some commercials about the church and has some cousins that are LDS. She said that she thinks the church just looks so lovely (She literally said the word lovely 50 times when we were with her. It was the best) so she thought she would attend. Apparently she had heard that sacrament meeting was over and was about to leave when we found her. We went to Gospel Essentials class and we introduced her and Sister Burckle to everyone. We were talking about a story from the bible and A just began to raise her hand and comment. WHAT?! It was the best! Then we were walking to relief society and she was talking to EVERYONE. Introducing herself and her story and just yes! Then we were in relief society and she thanked everyone who spoke for sharing their testimonies. She wrote down all of the activities on this little piece of paper and she's looking forward to coming! Then I looked at her piece of paper and saw this written there "READ THE BOOK OF MORMON". SHE WROTE READ THE BOOK OF MORMON ON HER TO DO LIST!! What?! Can you say golden?! Sister Burckle and I just kept looking at each other in awe. The only problem is that A doesn't seem to understand why we would need to come in and teach her. I'm not too worried about her though :) She's planning on being an active member already, so I think with time everything else will come. haha
My new companion, Sister Burckle
-Tawianese RM. So we were in the hall after church and this man walked by from the YSA he looked at my nametag and took a step back. He asked me if I spoke Chinese and then how the ball rolled! haha We were sitting there chatting about where he served his mission when he got back and yadda yadda yadda. It was aewsome! He asked me how long I'd been out and I told him about 3 weeks. He said my Chinese was really good for basically just coming from the MTC. He was very nice :) haha

-I got to talk to Sister Beaver (Taiwanese member) on the phone! She's such an awesome woman. I told her I was sorry that we couldn't meet up on Sunday but we spoke almost entirely in Chinese on the phone and I could understand! My grammar is suffering a lot here on the mission so it was good to get to practice with her :)

-We met the Ward clerk for the first time. HE IS LIKE A NINJA! OH my heavens! We went through the ward directory with him and he basically just gave us all of this super valuable information about people who we need to visit. It was so nice to have that info. since Sister Burckle and I are new here.

So I think that's just about everything :) haha. I want you all to know how much I love you. Being out here has blessed my life so much and I know that I'm becoming a better person every passing hour. I miss you all and I can't wait to see you soon ;) This church is true. Jesus Christ is our Savior. He lives and loves us.
Gu Jiemei
Sister Giles
The cute Kashima Family

The Aspers, some of my favorites!

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