Monday, March 16, 2015

My Little Soccer Team & So Much Rain!!

My little soccer team:) It came with a little soccer miracle! 

Dear Family and friends,

The things I have learned this week are astounding to me. haha

God keeps his promises. All of them. He hears our prayers. All of them. 

I had a soccer break-down this week. We often see kids playing on the street or at parks and such and for the most part I can handle myself without forgetting everything we're doing and running in and joining. But this week we were contacting at this lovely park and I couldn't resist. I saw all these little boys and I asked if I could come play with them, I assumed they would say no but they were very enthusiastic about it! So I went into their little arena and started messing with the ball a bit. If any of you have ever seen me play you know I'm not very tricky or impressive with my foot skills... haha but they thought I was just super cool! So then we played a little game for a few minutes. Afterwards I gave them all English class invitations. 

After we played I felt a little guilty. We didn't get any new investigators and I was thinking these kids would probably forget to give those little flyers to their mom's anyways. But about a half hour later I was swarmed by mothers. We were talking to a potential on the side when I felt someone tap my shoulder I heard them saying "Ya! She's the one in the orange shirt." One of these especially Taiwanese mamas said "Hey, were you just playing soccer with my son? He said there was a foreigner playing with them wearing an orange shirt." Then I got really nervous... haha They were talking fast and it took a lot of concentration, but they started asking me all these questions about who I was, what our church was, where it was, and when english class was. It was amazing! I realized that I had done right. I had helped some people have an introduction to the church!

I know that all of our gifts and talents are from God. He loves us infinitely and knows each of our individual struggles, pains, interests, hobbies, etc. He is in the details of our lives. 

Isn't Taiwan amazing and beautiful?

This is what my Book of Mormon looks like (the one I mentioned in my email last week). It's got characters on the far left, then the pinyin, which is a romanized way for us to learn Chinese, then there's the English translation. 

I am gaining a funny testimony of that principle :) haha. So when we got put into this threesome I was really pretty worried. I knew that I would have to be really humble as I continued to press forward with this work. So whenever anyone asked me what they could do to help me I told them to pray for me to be humble. The next week I got my ear infection. haha Then our District Leader asked us to pray for him and his companion to have more baptismal date investigators. The next week they had 5. These are big things. I know that God is aware of us! He knows the desires of our hearts and he will give us all the things we need. Maybe not the things we want.... but the things we need. 

Love my companions and McDonalds ice cream!
My district getting ready to sing at an old folks home
Another cool miracle of the week is Xu Dixiong. Wu JM and I met him on the street on our second to last week together. However, he has some problems with his teeth and is SUPER hard to understand. I really relied on her to tell me what was going on when we would have lessons with him. haha But lately I've been calling him and trying to set up with him. (I never thought I would be able to talk to a toothless Chinese man on the phone, but allow me to testify for a moment of the gift of tongues... :) It's real.) Honestly I don't understand every word he says, but I understood that he doesn't want to set up with us. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why. He always was super nice to us and really likes prayer and when we talked on the phone he would tell me that he continues to pray. So then this week our stake had a gigantic relief society activity at our chapel. We didn't attend for very long, but while we were there we had a blast! 

The party was wrapping up and I took the giant group photo for everyone. As I got down from standing on this chair, I turned to see Xu Dixiong standing in the doorway! I ran over there and talked to him for about 15 minutes. I could smell smoke on him and I felt very prompted to give him a Word of Wisdom pamphlet (I very randomly had one with me that day). He still didn't want to set up with us. He kept telling me that all religions are good and that's enough for him. But then he told me how he felt a very different spirit in the church and when he would talk to us missionaries. I was very confused and frustrated. But luckily, Wu Jiemei taught me sassy Chinese when we were together haha. So basically I found some of the members of the clean-up crew and asked them to give Xu Dixiong a mop so that he could help. After that I started talking to other members and just watched as Xu Dixiong talked with some of our YSA. It was awesome :) But he still wouldn't set up with us! I was super frustrated. 

Then yesterday we were contacting a man outside his house when I heard a familiar voice from inside... Who should come out but Xu Dixiong! I couldn't believe it. We know knew where he lived! It was perfect! We were able to have a lesson with him right then and there. He said that when the time is right, he would be baptized! But then he proceeded to tell us that he thought it would be a long time. I was so frustrated and full of love. haha During this lesson I had a really cool moment with the Spirit. I just felt it come over me and I heard these words in my mind, "I need you to keep working with him. Do not give up." I know it was a prompting of the Lord, but I'm not entirely sure what it means for Xu Dixiong's future. I know it will include us though :)

Soaked after a really big rain storm!
So there's a really cool story for the week :) I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate all of the prayers said on my behalf. This week there was another really funny tender mercy that I'm 100% sure came from the prayers of my family and friends. 

This week I experienced my second biggest rainstorm in Taiwan. (I've been told that this one wasn't even that bad) We were soaked from head to toe. As we were riding from one lesson to the next we stopped at a certain light and I talked to this woman for a while. She wasn't interested and we rode on. Then at the next light I heard a voice from behind me. "Hey! You don't have a poncho! Here's one of mine." This same woman had stopped and pulled over once she realized how wet I was (for the record I had my rain jacket, but in Taiwan EVERYONE wears ponchos :) haha Rain jackets apparently don't count) and proceeded to pull out a poncho from her scooter-seat. She then put it on me right there in the middle of the intersection. I couldn't stop laughing. :) So thank you for whoever prayed that I wouldn't be rained on!! :) haha

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Don't stop believing.

Gu Jiemei

Some cute filipino girls we met:)

So much fun with these two!

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