Monday, March 9, 2015

"Missionary Work Is A Lot Like Baking Cookies With Your Mom"

So the church is supposed to be closed on Monday nights, but as we were riding by I saw that there was a truck out front and the lights were on. So we went in to investigate. We met this really nice man who was there on business for the church fixing our lights. As we were talking to him he told us that we had seen him before. I told him I'd been here the longest and I'd never seen him. Then he told us that he was the model they used for the Asian Plan of Salvation pamphlets! haha so we naturally had to snap a picture with him. He said it was his first time being asked to have his picture taken :) haha
After a long, exhausting day:)
Dearest Family & Friends,

So this week was ridiculously busy for many reasons... but the biggest reason is that we moved apartments this week! We're going to a place that's still in Zhubei but on the other side of the train station. We can see our old house from our window :) haha. Our new apartment is much nicer and we all decided it has a very homey feel. 

Moving to a new apartment!
That pretty much took up the last half of our week, but do you want to know what? We were still only 1 lesson short from our mission's standard of excellence this week. WHAT?! God loves us. 

One language victory of the week:
FHE. I love our ward FHE. We do it every Sunday and this week, we sisters were in charge of the game. But because of some pretty crazy moving circumstances, we had to do our Weekly planning yesterday and didn't really have any time to prepare the game. But luckily for me, I'm of the Giles/Clements clan and spur of the moment games are what we do best! So we split everyone into three teams. They then had to come up with a team name and a team cheer. After that, they performed their cheer and we began our relay race! Everyone had to spin around three times, then dribble a basketball down the court and shoot a basket. It was sooo much fun. The winning team got a special prize! Our special prize was some food that we had to take out of our fridge when we moved (We think it's noodles? haha). It was very very fun and by some miracle I was able to explain that in Chinese! haha :) 

Also just a funny fact, I always read 3 pages from the pinyin BOM for language study every day and I've been in 2 Nephi reading Isaiah lately. I can't believe that I'm studying Isaiah in Mandarin Chinese... the church has to be true. 

The Zhubei trio
We've also decided as a companionship that we are going to master the art of referrals. This is how our conversations have gone as of late:

"Do you know anyone else who would be interested in Jesus Christ or this gospel message?"

"Um... I don't know. They're Daoist."

 But then I had this thought... these people don't know what the gospel is. How can they possibly know if their friends will have interest in it? That's like asking someone, 

"Do you know anyone who would be interested in astrophysics?"

"Um... I don't know. He's a plumber."

So we concocted some new questions that we will be asking the fair citizens of Zhubei which we hope will yield a fantastic crop of new investigators for us to bring into the gates of baptism.

Today during personal study I read some letters I'd received from my companions in Georgia. I just became very overwhelmed as I thought about my mission. I've dreamed of this experience and what it would be like for a long time. But what I realized today is that it's even better than I imagined. It's more than I ever thought it could be. I'm changing and growing and becoming a better person. I'm fighting my natural man and trying to help others do that as well. There's nothing more satisfying than knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be doing exactly what the Lord wants me to be doing. This work is not easy and I am no where near perfect, but I feel like I'm getting better every day. And that is fun :) 

In one of our companionship studies this wee we were discussing how missionary work is a lot like baking cookies with your mom. She's got the recipe and she knows what she's doing. Us little kids just are so eager to help! But we mess it up a lot. We get eggshells in the dough, or we sneak some of the cookie dough into our mouths, or we forget to add a certain ingredient. However, regardless of our folly, mom could always make that cookie dough turn out right. She could always fix whatever mistake we little kids made. I really have a big testimony that this is how our lives are. haha We all make mistakes. We all do silly things that we wish we hadn't done, but at the end of the day Mom (or in this case our Heavenly Father) can fix any problem. He's got the recipe (or plan) and he loves us. He wants us to have those cookies even more than we want to have those cookies.

I really am so eternally grateful for this opportunity. It has changed my life and I can't wait to see what else is in store for me here. The future is bright!


Gu Jiemei
In the elevator!
Here is what Zhubei looks like from our rooftop:)
Another shot from the Rooftop

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