Monday, December 29, 2014

So Many Sweet Blessings at Christmastime!!!

 We were so blessed this week. Here are a few of the amazing blessings we received:)
1-  We got fed at an all you can eat buffet by one of the members in the Zhubei 1 ward. It was such a blessing. I felt so loved. :)
2-  Our Ward Mission leader is amazing and got us all presents! He is displaying all of them in this picture.  The Lord is blessing us so much here. He is aware of us and our needs. Of course my gift was the lion slippers:) Perfect!!!
3-  This was one of the most awesome things of the week. We went to visit Zhen baba (he's one of my all time favorite people. I can't understand him. But I love him. hahaa :) ) Last time we visited them, I had mentioned to Zhen mama about how I wanted to learn Taiyu (Taiwanese) and she thought that was so great! So for Christmas she gave me a book of Taiyu words!!! Wha?! They are such a special family :)
4-  I bought my first poncho from Family mart! And... it ripped... right in the bum. haha :) It's a rite of passage in our mission to purchase a rain poncho:)

5- I received packages from my family, Grandpa & Grandma Giles & from the Grobergs!  I felt so loved:)

6- We had our Christmas Zone Conference:)
7-  This week we also had some really powerful lessons.

Chen JM. We had this lesson on Christmas and it was awesome!  We were able to give her a Book of Mormon with our family picture in it. Wu JM was a little worried that she would be weirded out... but we went for it anyway! haha. When she opened the Book of Mormon, she gasped and got the biggest smile on her face. I testified to her that families are eternal and that this was my eternal family. She loved it! She is really awesome and we're super excited to keep on working with her :)

Pong JM. She came to church again! Man. We love her! She has 2 little kids who are 2 and 4 years old. When she came into the chapel, she couldn't see us but I made eye contact with her little girl and she smiled and ran up to me and said Gu Jiemei! It was such a sweet tender mercy from the Lord to be recognized by this little girl. Sometimes you feel very lonely in another country where you can't understand or speak very well, but it was so sweet to sit with this little girl in sacrament meeting and feel of her love and feel of Christ's love for her. 

This is a card we made for Pong JM. The blue writing is mine:) Yay. Chinese characters.  I'm learning.  
Ke DX. Ke DX is a recent convert and he's been struggling a little bit. We decided we would watch 17 miracles with him. It was such a great experience for me. The movie was in English! haha with Chinese subtitles of course. It really helped me put into perspective why I love this gospel and what it really means to me! After the movie, I felt impressed that I needed to testify to everyone there of their importance. They literally are pioneers. The gospel has not been in Taiwan very long, but these Saints that I was with knew about Jesus Christ and His plan for them. What a blessing! And what a responsibility. It was a very cool moment. 

Cho Dx. Cho DX came to church! He loves the church's activities. He's really come out of his shell this week! It was so fun to watch him play games with the rest of the members there in FHE. He's progressing! It's been so cool to watch and I can't wait to see what the future holds for him.

This church is true. There really is no better place to be than on a mission. Christmas time was a little hard this year because I wasn't with my family or friends, but I know that I'm where the Lord needs me to be. That was a big blessing. I love this gospel. 

Thank you for everything. It's been an amazing journey so far and I can't wait to see what else is in store :) 


Gu Jiemei


Monday, December 22, 2014

Happiest Week of My Mission in Pictures:)

FHE and caroling!!!
This was probably the happiest week of my mission. 

So our Christmas party was this week and oh my it was awesome! WE HAD 4 INVESTIGATORS THERE! I could hardly believe it. It was also super fun because we were so involved in the program. We were part of 2 musical numbers and then, as a district, we put on a little puppet show of the nativity. Wu JM was my grandma and she was "telling me a story". Our ward is also pretty unique because we have a lot of foreigners. So Wu JM would read in Chinese, and then I would read in English. We had a blast! 
Ward Christmas Party
The nativity
 I LOVE being on a bike, even though I did have my first skirt casualties this week. When I was on exchanges with Sister Pieper my skirt got caught in my bike 6 times. No joke! haha It got caught so bad that I couldn't even move haha, but by some miracle, the skirt didn't rip! Then on Sunday my bike got caught, but I was still able to ride. However the stain was... irreparable. Such is the life of a missionary :) It's so cool to have battle scars. 

Our area is actually pretty big and we rode really far on this day to visit a less active that the Elders had contacted. We rode up hill for what felt like hours and it was absolutely pouring rain. It was awesome :) haha I seriously love the rain and it just manifested to me that God loves me A LOT. I've always believed that rain is such a gift for me personally and the blessings of heaven were really poured out on that day :) 
Let the bike adventures begin!!!
So on that same rainy day we did English boarding. Which means that for one hour we do nothing but advertise our English class. We went to a train station and sang carols and passed out a bunch of tracts. It was soooo much fun :) I love being a waiguoren here. (foreigner) I have no shame. It was really cool to see people as they were rushing about this train station trying to get things done, but as we would contact them, and wish them a Merry Christmas in our poor Chinese, they would smile and laugh and take a tract. Christmas magic!
English boarding at the train station.
So Wu JM had this great idea to do a car wash for the members. We asked her how she wanted to do it and she said "I don't know. I've never washed a car before!" haha I love my companion. She's so willing to try new things! So we decided that what we would do is wash our members cars on their temple day! So we got together as a district and spent several hours cleaning all of the cars at the church. It was really fun and we got a really positive reaction from the members! Also, one of our investigators (Cho DX) invited his friends to come to FHE last week and then one of his friends came to help us wash these cars! How cool is that?! :) 
Car washers:)
Sunday was amazing!!! Here is how it went:

Before church we met with Li DX. He's come to church every week since I've been here and he really loves serving and learning this gospel. We had an awesome lesson with him and watched the life of Thomas S Monson video. I cried when it told the story of the German family that they fixed up that apartment for. That's one my family reads every year and it was so touching :) 

Another one of our investigators came to church! In our lesson we really focused on receiving revelation at church. We encouraged her to write down any question she had and then we promised her that it would be answered at church. I haven't gotten a chance to talk with her since then, but I prayed so hard that she would receive an answer! haha :) But I could tell that she really felt the Spirit while we were in church. Also, Li DX was able to help her out during SundaySchool when she was feeling sad. She genuinely wants to change her life. She's got that broken heart and contrite Spirit. It was so awesome!! 

Then after church we met with Fan DX. He's a 10 year old kid who decided one day that he didn't want to be a Buddhist. So he bought a bible, started reading it, then came with his mom to our church last week! He's amazing! haha So we met with him right after church for like 15 minutes and talked about commandments. We told him that he's so awesome already because he follows God's commandments to read and pray. Then we encouraged him to read more from the BOM. He really seems to have real intent. He's awesome!

I realized some important things about speaking Chinese this week:
-Don't be afraid to ask questions when you don't understand. 
-Don't focus on your weaknesses.  haha
-Be patient. I'm not going to know everything yet. I should just relax.

Then this was where magic happened. We went over to a member's house for Christmas dinner and with my new-found determination to ask questions I sat down with a bunch of people from the ward, instead of with the other missionaries. I asked people what their names were, what their families were like, and other very simple questions. It was so much fun. I learned a lot! 
-Taiwanese people are amazing. They love so easily and so openly. As I sat there struggling to find words, they sat, smiled, and offered help. Sometimes I think I feel like everyone is judging me. NOT SO! haha
-Other people are just as scared as me. As I stopped focusing on myself, I was able to better see other people's needs and help them. It was so nice and relaxing to not think about me.
-I can start conversations! 
-I can speak Chinese! haha. Not super well... but I can communicate! All the missionaries got to share a little spiritual thought about Jesus Christ and after I said mine, they didn't have to re-translate what I had said! That was a big confidence booster for me :) haha

Christmas dinner
Then we had FHE at the church. This was sooo much fun. Just imagine about 50 Taiwanese church members; old, young, men, women, babies, Young single adults, everyone. Wearing Santa hats. Singing Loudly. Running through the streets of Zhubei. 

I love this Gospel. I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. GOD LOVES HIS CHILDREN! He knows us individually and all of our struggles. I love Him and I am so privileged to be able to serve Him. 

I love you all! Merry Christmas!!!
Gu Jiemei

Monday, December 15, 2014

Things That I Love About Taiwan Already!!!

Love my fellow sister missionaries!!! We are on our way to Temple Training. All the sisters in our mission get to help take people on tours of the Temple grounds. So fun!!!
Zhubei ward missionaries getting Christmas cards ready for the ward, with an invitation to share the "The Gift" with their friends and families:)
Starting the 12 days of Christmas!
I'm in Taiwan. That still is the coolest sentence I've ever said. 

My mom asked me this week what are some of my favorite things about Taiwan so far:

-I absolutely love riding a bike. I still have to figure out how to work the skirt-bike thing
  sometimes... but it's great! And it's awesome to get some exercise every day in that way.
  My legs are getting real strong :)
-The food is actually super good! 
-We live right by a train station and I love hearing the cars coming and going.
-We have 2 other sisters in our apartment and it's so fun to all be together!!
-I used to really hate riding our bikes at night, but there's actually something kind of
  endearing about that now. We live in a place that has a pretty bright city life and so there's 
  lots of neon signs and cool stores.
-Relief Society. Oh my goodness. There is nothing more fun than a room full of fast-talking,
 fired up, gospel-oriented, Chinese women. Seriously.
-The language barriers. There are so many instances where you just have to sit and laugh.
  Wu JM and our other roommate Lin JM are both learning English and so we have really
  funny conversations. My favorite translations have been; "I don't want to stand behind you.
  You're too high." (I actually have a lot more too, but I lost my little book that I wrote them all
  down in :( SHANGXIN) The word for dumpling and the word for sleep are super similar...
  so I sometimes say that I really like to dumpling. But in Chinese it actually works no matter
  what. Plus I actually like dumplings. So all is well! haha :)

At the Bishop's house with family and friends:) This is what they did when I told them I wanted to take a picture:)
I really love the food here :) We eat lots of noodles, vegetables, fruit, and pork. The strangest thing I've eaten was rice with pigs blood. Then they harden it into some kind of bar. It's actually pretty tasty! I also had duck for the first time this week. That also was pretty good!
Reeses mix !  Maddie loves Reeses:)
Here is what is going on with some of our investigators:

Cho Dixiong--So Cho Dixiong was a miracle from last week. We had some time for finding and Wu JM asked me what goals I wanted to set for our finding. I told her that I wanted to find 2 new investigators. She seemed surprise but just asked me to pray. So I prayed that we would be able to find 2 new investigators and off we went. No one would listen. No one was interested. No one answered the door. Our finding time was coming to a close and there was one man on a scooter who I felt like I should talk to. Wu JM had already parked her bike and run over to him :) haha. We ended up having a lesson with him and he prayed with us right there on the side of the road amidst a bunch of people. He said it was a special feeling. But I"ve learned that the word special can have good and bad connotations here in Taiwan :) haha But he was willing to meet with us again! Then he came to FHE last night and brought 2 of his friends! Then he just texted us today and said that his friend is interested in learning more about the gospel and wanted to come to the lessons! Woo hoo! We're pretty pumped.

Pong Jiemei--
So we met Pong Jiemei right after we met Cho DX. We were talking to Cho and ran back to our bikes to grab a Book of Mormon for him. As we walked back there, we saw this woman standing there with her two kids. She said she wanted to talk to us and would wait. When we went back to her, she said that she had met missionaries before, but hadn't met with them seriously. She said she wanted to change her life and promised herself that if she saw missionaries again she wouldn't let them pass by. WOW! She is very special.

Well I don't have much time but I want you all to know how much I love you. This time of year has always been one of my favorites, and it's such a big blessing to be serving the Lord right now. If you have not already seen the "He is the Gift" video please go to that link right now.

If you have not shared this link with anyone, please please PLEASE share it. It doesn't matter if everyone else on facebook has already shared it, add your testimony to theirs and share it again. You never know who you will reach. I testify that God lives. He gave us His Son. He knew none of us would be perfect, but that's why he prepared this glorious plan. We are so blessed to know about it! We've got to share these blessings with everyone.
Thank you for all of the love and support and prayers. I love you so much!

Gu Jiemei

Monday, December 8, 2014


My cute companion Wu Jiemei ( Sister Wu)! She is amazing! We helped with a charity Christmas event where she handed me the microphone and told me to sing:) haha. So I ended up singing a solo of Silent Night:)
This is the Grand Hotel where Taiwan was dedicated for missionary work.
Dear Family & Friends,

So we had a little mission orientation when I first arrived in Taipei. It was amazing! I'll have to show some pictures. Honestly it's all a big blur, but we went on a run to a huge Chinese memorial building and park in the pouring rain, toured the chapel next to the temple, went to the place where Taiwan was dedicated for missionary work and took some time to dedicate ourselves to this work. It was really cool :) 

So I'm serving in a city called Zhubei. We are in the Zhubei 2 ward. Our ward has about 300 members and about 120 active members. It is beautiful. The only thing that is a pretty big problem is the wind. haha It's the coldest area in the mission and the wind makes it quite a bit worse. My least favorite part about the wind I didn't discover until today however... STORY TIME!  So today I put on a skirt that I haven't worn in Taiwan yet and I was pretty sure it would be good for bikes when I bought it, and it is! But... it's not so good for bikes and wind. I now understand what Jane Crofts was saying about Crash or Flash... haha. So today I was riding my bike and trying to not flash all of the passersby when my hat fell out of my basket... in the middle of the street! My companion was ahead of me so I couldn't tell her to wait, but I couldn't leave my hat! (It's the one from mom's Georgia friend ;) Sister Campbell) So I pulled over to the side and watched as it almost got run over by 2 bikes 1 scooter and then a small bus started approaching, so I ran out into the road and grabbed my hat, hopped on my bike, tryed to fold my skirt in a way that everyone wouldn't see my garments, and started riding as fast as I could. (People generally don't get too upset with us foreigners even when we run out into the street like crazy people. They kind of expect us to do crazy/weird things. haha) The only problem was that my companion had no idea any of this had happened and she had ridden on ahead! So I just had to go by faith. There are a lot of side alleys in Taiwan so I was pretty nervous, but I felt prompted to just keep going forward, eventually I saw her pink jacket and was able to catch up with her.

So what do we learn from this experience?
It was a little miracle :) I know that God is protecting me, even in the little things. ESPECIALLY in the little things. But we must have faith in him to see the miracles :) Even though I wasn't sure where I needed to go to find my companion, the Lord knew where I was and where she was. I had to take action on my faith and ride my bike towards where I thought was the right place in order to find my companion. I testify that faith is a principle of action and we must MOVE to find the Kingdom of God and all of the blessings that await us.

Sister Wu and I eating dinner with the Bishop's family. I love the food here!!!
My companion's name is Wu Jiemei. Guess where she's from? Taiwan! Yep :) My trainer is a native. I'm the only foreigner trainee from my group with a native trainer. Let me share with you some things about my awesome comp:

-So if you picture a Chinese version of Carmen Shelton... that's basically Wu JM :) haha (Mom Note: Carmen Shelton is one of our awesome, amazing neighbors who is from the Dominican Republic. She is spunky and amazing! We love her:)
-She really pushes me to speak a lot. Which is awesome!!
-She even made me write in Chinese characters for one of our investigators! I've never written characters before! haha She basically just showed it to me, told me to write it, then kept on talking to someone as if this wasn't a monumental task she had just asked me to do. But guess what? I did it! It probably looked really bad... but hey I tried it :) haha
-She made me talk on the phone to bishop on my second day. She basically gave me the phone, told me what to say and then ran to the bathroom. I was totally fine with that until I realized I would have to do it in Chinese! haha I think I got the meaning accross...  but I'm not completely sure. Taiwanese people are very patient with me and that's nice :) haha
-She's learning English. Her English is really really good! She has a couple of phrases that she always says: "She is quite special" She says this about everyone :) haha. She also switches he and she a lot in English. 
-Basically she is amazing. She's so willing to try new things and everyone loves her! Seriously, she gets up in front of a crowd and just works it like a summer job! She's incredible! 
So glad to be here with these amazing people!

Our district having lunch
The Taiwanese people are soooo nice. They're very patient with me as I learn Chinese. It's actually been pretty hard for me to not be able to speak much, but I find ways to communicate. For example, I've learned that all children speak the language of mischief. :) haha So I can mess around with kids even though they don't know what I'm saying and I don't know what they're saying :) It's the best! 

This church is true. SOOOO true! I love being here in Taiwan and being able to do so many new things. But no matter where we go, the gospel is the same. We all are children of our Heavenly Father no matter our color, language, background, status, or any other thing that world decides to distinguish us by. God loves us all and wants all of us to be happy and to return to his presence. I testify that this is God's church on the earth today. He is the head of this work. He will never lead us astray :) 

I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for all of the prayers, support and love.
Gu Jiemei

Monday, December 1, 2014

Peace Out, ATL, on to Taiwan!

How lucky am I to get to share the gospel with such amazing people?!!!
One of our favorite investigators!!!
Holy frijoles what a week!

So we finally actually got my travel plans. Yay! haha. It's crazy. It looks like the district from the MTC (The one right after us) will be meeting us there :) Crazy!! So we will be flying out tomorrow morning and we will be stopping in Tokyo before going to Taipei. We will arrive in Taipei on Wednesday night.  I honestly can't believe it's happening. I knew it would... but this is just crazy.

So this has been a big subject of prayer for me. When we were eating one of our Thanksgiving dinners at the bishop's house, we told them I was leaving on Tuesday and then he said, "So this time next week you'll be sitting at a table and eating with chopsticks?" I'm not sure why, but that just flipped a switch in me and I became so nervous. It was such a crazy thought...  speaking Chinese all day every day, eating Chinese food, being a missionary in Taiwan... man! My heart just became very anxious. But I've been praying about it every single day since then and today a miracle has happened. I was really nervous for today because it's literally my last day in Dunwoody, but let me tell you that the power of prayer is real. I have had a very real spiritual shield surrounding me all day today. My heart doesn't race when I think about the flight, or the food, or anything. God is protecting me because of my prayers and I cannot begin to tell you how badly I needed that. I've been able to focus on the tasks at hand and get things done. It is only because of God's love that I am able to sit at this computer in this library today and feel calm and collected and... dare I say it... prepared for what Tawian has in store. Even though my Chinese has suffered greatly, I've still got lots of packing to do, and I'm going to a place I've only  ever heard about, I feel spiritually prepared to go. I feel like I have been in the refiner's fire and I am better now than when I started this journey in Dunwoody.

Thanksgiving was the best :) haha

2:00 Asper's dinner

-Brother and Sister Asper are converts of about 3 years. They are just hilarious. We go over to their house every P-day for lessons on Isaiah. They invited a lot of family and non-member friends and so it was awesome to be able to share our light with them. We had some of the most delicious food I've ever eaten. The star of the meal was probably the squash casserole. Then, before we left, we sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing for the whole group. We were pretty nervous, but the Spirit was so strong there! God loves His children. After we were done they were all saying that we needed to go into careers in singing (Which is probably mostly accredited to the fact that they were intoxicated... haha). It was a powerful and simple way to share our testimonies.

4:00 Abamonte's dinner

-Bishop Abamonte is from Australia and his wife is from New Zealand so they're accents are just the best. There were a TON of people at the Abamonte's and once again we had a stupendous meal. There were quite a few ward members and it was fun to be together. Sister Burckle and I had planned to sing and share a message, but we were both pretty nervous. It was a pretty big crowd! haha But it was absolutely incredible. As we began to sing, the room went completely silent. All the kids stopped babbling and, aside from our singing, you could've heard a pin drop. Music is powerful and it truly is a prayer unto Heaven. How lucky we are to be able to share that gift wherever we are, whatever we are doing.

Then we went and sang to a couple of older members of the ward. One of them's name is Brother Messinah. He's a ward missionary and he lives alone. He couldn't let us in, so we just sang to him on his porch. Once again, the Spirit was there and testified of God's love. We were all pretty emotional.

After that we went to the Like's home :) That's where you got the video of us singing :) haha. That was our worst time ever... we were so mad. haha But the Spirit is the most important thing right? Not the individual notes :)
The Abamonte's served merengue at Thanksgiving Dinner. One of my favorites!!!
My mom asked me what I will miss about Georgia...

Oh my gosh... what will I miss about Georgia? EVERYTHING!
-Southern hospitality
-Sister Burckle
-The name Dunwoody
-All the roads named Peachtree
-My district
-Southern cooking
-THE DUNWOODY WARD... every single person in there
-Our car
-Our phone
-All the missionaries here
-President Harding
-Talking to every Asian person we see and finding out that they're Korean
-The Buford Highway international Farmer's market
-The Savoy (Our apartment complex)
-Our investigators.

This last one is probably the hardest. You get so invested in people and their Salvation and choices and progression and just... everything! I'm going to miss our investigators and their stories. I've met such a diversity of people here in Georgia. Hispanics, African Americans, Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Iraqi, Afghani, Indian, and more. It's been such a blessing to me to see all of them as children of our Heavenly Father. We are so blessed to have the knowledge we do and to live in the country we live in!

My amazing district!  I love them all so much and will miss them:)

One of my favorite people, Sister Augusto. She is an inspiration. I want to be her when I grow up!

My goal was to give out my last Chinese B of M before leaving Georgia. Everyone I talked to at the market that day was from Korea:) haha. But just as I was about to give up I met a man and his daughter who were from China!!! Yep, I gave them the last one I had:)

Peace out, ATL. I will miss you!!! 

 This week was very powerful. I love you all so much!!!! Thanks for all the love and support:) I'm off to Taiwan:)

Gu Jiemei