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

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