Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Cho Dixiong's baptism!!!
Another picture with Cho Dixiong. 
We visited with the Young Women in our ward this week :) They're adorable and so strong and I just love them soooo much :) 
This week was filled with so much learning:

1- Cho Dixiong's baptism. Wow. It was amazing. Let me just express for a moment my love for Wu Jiemei. This young woman has taught me so much about what it means to truly be passionate about this work. She has been here in Zhubei for a while now and has really been giving her might, mind, and strength to build them up and strengthen them. I believe this baptism was a little message from our Heavenly Father to tell her that he has accepted her service. 

We worked really hard on inviting people to come to the baptismal service. Cho Dixiong is pretty nervous in front of people and he wasn't really expecting very many people to come. But the Lord had a plan. IT WAS PACKED! We had to bring in more chairs from the other rooms. We had 3 investigators there, a handful of potentials, and probably 30 ward members all there. We even got to meet Cho Dixiong's sister! It was such a blessing.

When we saw Cho Dixiong on Friday we could tell he was pretty nervous, but we didn't really have a chance to talk to him. Then after he was baptized we talked with him for a moment about how he was feeling. He told us that leading up to his baptism he was more nervous than he had ever been in his life. Then as soon as he came up out of the water he said it was gone. THE SPIRIT OF GOD LIKE A FIRE IS BURNING! I testify that God lives. That He is our King and our Father. He loves us and trusts us. Cho Dixiong then bore a very simple testimony in front of everyone there. This is a miracle :) I think my favorite part of the whole service was a little video we put together for Cho Dixiong. We filmed a bunch of ward members congratulating him and bearing their testimonies. The best part was that the video started and ended with little video clips of his own testimony that Wu Jiemei and our Ward Mission Leader had taken at spontaneous moments throughout his conversion. He was so touched. 

ALSO! Guess who was in our ward on Sunday when Cho Dixiong got confirmed? Two members of the 70, one member of the area 70, and President Day. We're pretty convinced that this is a sign that he will always be active. 

We had our first RC lesson with him this week. Wow. It's like he's been a member his whole life. I think he's in for some trials, all RCs are, but I know that he will rely on the Spirit. I trust this ward to help us as well. Yesterday we talked to him about how far he's come. We talked about his first prayer and he said it was really weird and he had no idea what he was doing. We asked him what he thought about prayer now. He said that "Qidao hen bang. Keyi gen Tianfu goutong. Dui." Prayer is really awesome. It's an opportunity to communicate with our Heavenly Father. And I felt the spirit bear witness to me that he really meant what he said. WOOO HOOOO!!! :)

Attending the Taiwan Taipei Temple:)
2-The temple was amazing. They split up the natives and foreigners and the natives went to a Chinese session while the Americans went to an English session. This was super special because we got to do some family names for Lin Jiemei! (Our roommate) She was so touched. It was my first time doing any Chinese names and it was such a sweet experience. Sister Hughes was able to do the work for someone who's record was from 600 BC. 600 BC!!!! WHAT?! Thank goodness for the Chinese and their impeccable records. 

I've been thinking a lot about how I can be a more consecrated missionary lately. So as I was in the temple waiting in the chapel I prayed to Heavenly Father and told him my desire and asked him what I should do. The prompting came that I needed to have a specific plan. So I pondered for a while and presented Heavenly Father with my plan. I felt that he was pleased with me and I cannot wait to implement my plan! This little experience taught me a lot. Heavenly Father expects us to listen to him for sure, but he also expects us to use the brain that he gave us. He expects us to use the tools we have. We have scriptures and our own personal lives and examples all around us. What a blessing :) 

May I bear my testimony that God loves us and that we are here to learn and grow. We are not allowed to stop :) Never. How blessed we are. We are not going to become perfect in this life. And sometimes that may seem discouraging, but nothing will ever be able to take the Atonement away from us. It is freely given if we will embrace Jesus Christ. I love this gospel. I've never done any more important work in my life. I'm so thankful to be in Taiwan and be serving in Zhubei. I am confident that The Lord will continue to open the windows of Heaven to all of his children who obey His holy commandments. We're so blessed to know about this! LET'S NOT KEEP IT SECRET!!

I love you :)

Gu Jiemei

PS. Here is a small list of firsts for the week:

-First time eating snail
-First time eating squid whole
-First time getting bitten by a dog (It was really tiny and not even a big deal)
-First time being completely in charge of the cell phone
-First time teaching someone from Mainland China
Eating snail!!!!
Language testing:)
We visited the smallest zoo in Taiwan on our p-day:)
Monkeys at the zoo:) We love them!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Sometimes in Taiwan I see things that I never thought I would see:) For example, this member has a pet camel. haha
Andrea Busath came to visit Sister Wu this last week. She knew her when she was first baptized. She sent this picture to me(Mom Giles) and said that Maddie's Chinese is incredible for only being there one transfer:) GO MADDIE!!!
Doing some service:)
Dear friends, family, loved ones, and anyone else who reads this blog :) 

Some big news,

-WE ARE GETTING FACEBOOK. It's official, I will be a Facebook missionary. So what this means is that my old account will have to be de-activated and I will have a new account that will only have mission purposes. I can only have friends in my area of missionary work. It will be a public account and people will be able to see what I'm doing. We can post pictures on there and inspirational messages (in Chinese) and communicate with our investigators and members. We are supposed to use Facebook every day. We are absolutely NOT allowed to be friends with, or communicate with anyone from home or not in our area. So ya there's that! :) Exciting and terrifying right? We should be starting this next week. 

Cho Dx: CHO DIXIONG WILL BE BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! I can hardly contain my excitement. Here's a brief overview of Cho Dixiong's story...

On my very first Sunday in Taiwan I was earnestly following my companion (and trying to figure out what on earth was going on) when I saw Cho Dixiong on the side of the road and felt like we should stop and talk to him. But I had no way to tell my companion and she was already pulling over to the side of the road for something. Luckily, the Spirit touched us both and she also had the feeling to  pull over and talk to Cho Dixiong! :) So we went over to him and taught him right there on the side of the busy Zhubei street. He said his very first prayer and said that it had a very special feeling. He agreed to meet with us again. 

Our first lesson was so... awkward. haha I think he felt really uncomfortable and just didn't know what was going on and he had a really hard time answering our questions. Our second lesson was pretty much the same. I honestly didn't think much would come of this... but little did I know. Slowly, our lessons began to change. He brought his Book of Mormon to our lessons. He started to pray every day on his own. He read the Book of Mormon daily and likened the scriptures to himself. He started to understand the Atonement. He came to church. Little by little, I started to see changes in him. He started to smile more. He would answer our questions in his own words. He started inviting his friends to come to activities and learn about the gospel. He started making friends in the ward. He really looked for ways to serve others at church. 

He had his baptismal interview on Sunday morning and he passed! He will be getting baptized this Saturday and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and take the first step to returning to the presence of his Heavenly Father. 

WOW!! I have been so blessed to see him through this whole process. Cho Dixiong has strengthened my testimony so much of the ability that this gospel has to change lives! The Atonement is so real and so precious. Let us all remember that in our day to day lives. Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to become like Him. The church is so true. 

I love you all :) Thank you for all of the support, prayers, love, emails, and letters. I've been so incredibly blessed and strengthened by all of you. 

All my love,
Gu Jiemei

Getting ready for our next service car wash. We love our sign!!!
This is Mary one of our ward missionaries. I told her that Mary is my Grandma's name and so now I just call her Grandma:) haha
This is a picture of me and Lin JM. She is one of my favorite people and one of my roommates:) We have lots of fun together!

I finally got my Christmas PJ's!!! Yay!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Love is Always the Answer

The beautiful beach near Zhubei
A typical taiwanese house 
My Dear Beloved Family & Friends

This week was FULL of some pretty huge events.

Monday: It was P-day. I was pretty stressed and I just didn't know how to get out of my funk. The day before P-day when we were planning, Wu Jm suddenly slammed her fist on the table and said "oooh! Let's go to the beach tomorrow. I have so much energy. Let's go!" So we got it all worked out with our District. By the time it was time to go to the beach, I was pretty exhausted and I just wanted to sit at home. The beach is in our area, but it's about a 45 minute ride on our bikes. That didn't sound too appealing to me... but we went anyway. We were riding lots of hills and it was a really tiring ride for me. I'm still not good at using the gears on my bike so I'm always at the back of the pack, but it gave me a really neat opportunity to look around me. Taiwan is so beautiful. And honestly that ride was one of the most beautiful I've been on.... there were just so many hills! haha And then we got lost and... there was just some frustration. Then we crested the final hill... I almost cried. I love the beach anyway, but this was not just any beach. This was a beach (which is my favorite place) in Taiwan (which is my new favorite country) while I'm on my mission (which is my favorite job) during a time which was very stressful (which you already know). It was like getting a giant hug from my Heavenly Father. I knew that he was aware of me and that he was watching out for me. We spent about an hour there and it was just the best :)

Tuesday: We had Zone conference! Which was pretty exciting since it was my first one. Fun fact, I've been called on to say the opening prayer at every meeting we go to. Wu JM says it's kind of a new missionary rite of passage :) haha. The best part of this conference however was that President Day was there. During a break time he asked if we could talk after the meeting.I just assumed that he was interviewing all the new missionaries so I didn't think much of it. Then I realized that I was the only one and I got a little nervous. We sat down and all President Day said was "Sister Giles, I just wanted to meet with you for a minute to follow up and see how you're doing." It had nothing to do with giving me a responsibility or calling me to repentance it was simply him checking up on me. It was just what I needed. It's just what our Savior would have done and I am so grateful.

Wednesday: My first exchange with the Temple Sisters! Once again, I was with a Native, but of course ;) Her name is Sister Su and her family are all members. She became a Temple Sister the day I came to the mission. She's so awesome. I don't know what I would've done without her. I don't know why, but every time we do exchanges, things go wrong. Wednesday was no exception :) haha our lesson cancelled and we got lost, but she handled everything so well. I really hope that one day I will be like these older Sister missionaries. They're wonderful and just so capable!

My exchange with Sister Su
Thursday: We had a really awesome with Cho DX. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and guess what? He hasn't had coffee since!! He's so humble and willing to follow the commandments of the Lord!!

Friday: New Missionary Training! :) I got mail:) We only get mail at conferences:) I was so happy to hear from some dear friends and family!!! At New Missionary Training we talked about the gift of tongues. It was so wonderful. I really learned that it's a process. It's not just a one-time event, it's a struggle and a journey. The point though, was that it is all about loving the people. I couldn't agree more. The more I listen, the more I truly try to understand people's feelings, the easier it is to speak this language. LOVE IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER :)

Also I need to write down what we had for dinner on Friday. We went to a little night market;
Duck tongue
Fried crab (... the whole crab)
Broccoli with Lotus
Fried Turnip
Fish/Flour patty thing 
Octopus meatball
Rice with Pig's blood
Chicken skin 

Love the food here!!!

This is my favorite Taiwanese food :) It's called Zhuangzi (I'm pretty sure... but I always say it wrong) They eat it for the Dragon Boat Festival. It's soooo good. 
Saturday: We had another district Tsunami and wow wow wow. Miracles! We invited a member to come with us and guess how many lessons we had? 5! We were only out there for an hour and half. That means that we had 6 peike's (member present lessons) for the day! It was amazing. God has really been blessing us for our obedience and hard work. I also passed off lesson 2 of Phase 1! It's the language learning book we use and I've been teaching one of our Less active members all of the lessons. He has really been changing!! After this last lesson he gave us a referral!! Then he told us that he wants to peike! God loves his children!

Sunday: Guess who gave her first talk in sacrament meeting? This girl :) Did it go well? No I don't really think so :) haha. I forgot what I wanted to say and I talked too fast, but it was really fun :) haha I learned a lot and I'm excited to try again. The coolest part? Wu JM gave her talk in English (because our ward is partially foreigners) and guess who was her translator? Yours truly. It was really fun. :) I can do hard things!
Our awesome Relief Society. Aren't they beautiful?
Well that was my week :) It was everything and more. I love my Savior. I've been reading the New Testament lately and I finished Luke today. Every time I read about them going to get the colt for the Savior to ride on I get a little sad :( I know that this means it's close to the end of His ministry and that is so sad. What a blessing to know that He lives today. He was resurrected. He loves us. He knows our pains and our sorrows. Wow. We are so blessed to know about Him.

Thank you for all of the love and support. Your girl is doing well here :) 

With all my love,

Gu Jiemei

Monday, January 5, 2015

Taiwanese Food, Chapel Tours & Karaoke

Dear Family & Friends,

What a week. I have officially been in Taiwan one month. ONE MONTH! I can't believe it.

Taiwanese vendor
So Sister Wu and I were riding one day when we heard this music being played and saw this man with his kart. Wu Jm said that it was very Taiwanese, so naturally I had to try it! Everything in Taiwan is fried... so it was pretty delicious :) haha
Here's a picture of the outside of our church. ISN'T IT GORGEOUS?! I'm so so thankful that it's in our area. Sister Wu and I have had the marvelous revelation come to us this week to start chapel tours! We're really excited about it because our chapel is kind of a community landmark and so lot's of people are curious about it. We're getting all the details straightened out, but we're very excited :) 
Here's my lovely companion. and my lovely bike! I've decided to name my bike Renzhen. This is the pinyin for earnest. It's something I have to repeat to myself when we ride up really big hills. "I'm really renzhen. I'm really renzhen!" so it seemed appropriate to name my bike this :) haha
Our first District Tsunami! 
A weird walnut-tasting/mustache looking food
So we did our very first District Tsunami this week! This means that all of us go to one companionship's area and we just find for a few hours. We try and get them as many new investigators as possible. When we were in the area Wu JM and I saw a stand and she said that it was her mom's favorite food. So we stopped and got these weird walnut-tasting/mustache-looking things. haha Also, here's a picture of our whole district. I'm standing in front of our District Leader... he thought this would be funny to just see the top of his head. haha

Taiwanese Karaoke
So apparently, Karaoke is a very popular hobby here in Taiwan. Wu JM and I went to visit a member's home the other day when we heard this loud music and singing... we were a bit confused, but then we went in and saw that our member was having a party with some of her college friends :) haha so we ate our lunch in the other room and as we were eating I heard a very familiar tune... you'll never guess what they were singing. MY HEART WILL GO ON. CELINE DIONE. haha :) It was simply the best. Wu JM and I got up to get our stuff and I kind of started singing a little bit under my breath. Our member's husband (who is a non-member) then invited me to sing karaoke with them. I decided it would be a good idea! So I introduced myself to them and then told them I would be singing Acapella. I sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (and ended up forgetting the words to the 3rd verse. How embarassing!), and the Spirit really was there. Then they insisted that Wu JM and I sing together! Wu JM was super nervous, but we sang I am a Child of God. It was the best we have ever sang! WOO HOO! :) It was a sweet way to share God's love with these people.

Cool miracle of the week: (it's got a lot of parts)

-So we had a really awesome miracle this week. Our ward is pretty unique in that we have a lot of Filipino members. We had planned to visit one of our members named Myr and she said she was going to bring one of her friends! We were really excited and so we packed a Tagalog Book of -Mormon with our stuff. 

-Last week we were finding around one of our member's homes and the garbage truck was making it's rounds (the garbage trucks here play music like ice cream trucks and then everyone comes outside and throws the garbage in the back. It's a very unique thing that I'll miss about Taiwan :) ) so everyone was outside. I make a habit to smile at everyone I see here in Taiwan because I can't say much... but maybe I can make them feel some happiness haha :) So I smiled at this one woman and she gave me the biggest smile in return. We were in a hurry and so we couldn't stop, but I made a mental note to come back. Later that week we went back to that house and no one answered. But I knew we still had to talk to that woman.

-So we were trying to find and not having much success, I asked Wu JM if we could go and try that house again. So we went back and knocked. Nothing. We tried again. Nothing. Then we rang the doorbell and a little dog ran out. Then that same woman opened the door! We started telling her who we were and she got this real upset, confused look on her face (Oh no, I thought). Then she told us "I'm sorry... I can't... No zhongwen." I became very excited! "Wait, you speak English?" She then proceeded to tell us that she was from the Philipines! Her English wasn't super great, but we were able to share a little bit about who we were and what we believed. She told us she was catholic and asked us what the name of our church was. We told her The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and she said "Oh! My brother is a member of your church." We told her that we had something we wanted to give her. Wu JM ran back to her bike and grabbed the Tagalog Book of Mormon. She didn't want to accept it at first then she looked at the cover, "Oh! That's Tagalog!". She was actually at work, but we got her number gave her the Book of Mormon then left. 

MIRACLE! Wu JM and I were talking about it afterwards and thinking how cool it was that we were able to find her and giver her a TAGALOG Book of Mormon! We decided that her brother is probably a returned missionary and has been praying for her to find this gospel :) 

I am so blessed to have wonderful examples of missionary work all around me. I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. I can feel your prayers pushing me forward and helping me so much. 


Gu Jiemei