Monday, May 18, 2015

Banana Spiders and Book of Mormons

These cute girls reminded me of my cute Mad-puppies!!! Love you girls!!!
(Mom Note: Maddie's nickname is Maddog, so when she was a YCL at girls camp her girls called themselves the Mad-puppies:)
We happened onto this motorcycle gang and I knew I had to get a picture for my Dad!!!
Taiwanese night market:)
Dear Family and Friends,

Then sings my Soul,
My Savior God to thee,
How Great Thou Art
How Great Thou Art.

These little lines of song have been stuck in my head all week. It has been an incredibly trying week, but as He ALWAYS does, the Lord has stretched forth his hand. 


Funny things,

-I SAW MY FIRST BANANA SPIDER THIS WEEK. When we went to Fuyan we were just struck by how beautiful it was. Seriously it was amazing. We felt prompted to walk down this little side rode and so we parked our bikes and started walking. We didn't get very far when Sister Johnson let out a cry of pure terror. I looked up to where she pointed and saw the biggest spider I have ever seen. Then... not 2 feet away there was another web... with yet another banana spider. We both thought that maybe we should turn back, but I told Sister Johnson we couldn't turn back yet because we still hadn't talked to anyone! So we kept walking and we knocked a couple doors and evaded some scary dogs, but still no one. But we still hadn't talked to anyone and I was determined. So we kept walking and guess what we saw?! ANOTHER BANANA SPIDER. It just was not ok. haha.  But we still hadn't talked to anyone so we pressed on. It really looked like an abandoned place and I wasn't feeling super sure that we would find anyone to talk to... when off in the distance we saw the clashing colorful clothes of an Ama! It was the best :) We went over and started talking to her and as we did, her daughter came out. Her daughter had just gotten some sugar cane from a friend and chopped it up right there in front of us and then taught us how to eat it. So we did! And Guess what else? She accepted a Book of Mormon! And she said she would be baptized! IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH WALKING PAST 3 BANANA SPIDERS.
In beautiful Fuyan! This is called a miao:)

-I CAUGHT THE COCKROACHES THIS WEEK. So yesterday when we got home from our long day of riding all over our area I went down in to the kitchen and discovered a cockroach. Which doesn't really phase Sister Johnson and I anymore. We've got a pretty good system down to catch and release them. But this guy kept getting stuck in corners... and it was really difficult to catch him so we kind of beheaded him.... and then we put him outside. During this whole endeavor I was reaching to grab our roach bucket when from underneath my feet ran another cockroach! We freaked out. haha We caught him too and released him into the wild. Then, after finishing our evening planning, I heard Sister Johnson's voice from downstairs. "Sister Giles.... there's another one." So it was the night of the 3 roaches. haha 

-WE PLACED 15 BOOKS OF MORMON THIS WEEK. So the standard of excellence for our mission is 5 a week. So that is 3 times the standards of excellence. Our District had a goal to pass out 50 Books of Mormon this week and Sister Johnson and I really wanted to contribute since the last time we had this goal we were sick. This was all through the power of God. He just knows His kids! He knew we had a goal and He knew who we needed to talk to. Our job was just to keep on trying. We tried talking to everyone and what do you know... success! 

We had a really awesome meeting with Yu Mei this week. So a little background... I think I've mentioned that our neighbor is like our best friend, our investigator, and basically the catholic branch president. And if I haven't mentioned those things... now you know. So we originally started teaching her and then her daughter came home from Taipei (she has stage 4 cancer and is getting close to the end) and she became our investigator. Then one day when we went over to visit them, our neighbor's younger sister was there. Then when we were walking by one day her younger sister called us in off the street to talk to her friend (she does that frequently now). So our neighbor's younger sister is named Chen Yu Mei. She's the funniest thing ever. I told her off-hand one day that we didn't drink alcohol because it's against God's commandments (she's a pretty heavy alcoholic, smoker, and binglang chewer) and since that day she hasn't drank any alcohol. She pulled us off the street this week for a few minutes and told us that she's planning on joining our church. She said she wants to be baptized with her neice, her sister, and her other friend. She said, "This is your mission here in Taidong. This is why you're here." It was one of the more magical moments of my mission. 

This week is my halfway. I really can't understand what that means. I pulled out all my planners from my past transfers and I as I was looking at them I said a prayer. When I was in the MTC Elder Ballard came and spoke to us. He told us about an experience he had when he had finished his mission. He and a friend went to the Sacred Grove and they decided that they would both go and kneel down and ask the Lord if their sacrifice had been accepted by him. He encouraged us to do that throughout our mission. So last night as I was looking at all my planners and feeling all nostalgic, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father if my service had been accepted. This was the Spirit's reply, 

Well, have you been changed?

Ya. I have.

Then it has been accepted.

I really felt like God was smiling at me in that moment. It was such a tender mercy. Then this morning when I was reading the Doctrine Covenants I came accross D&C 97:27. I feel like this was one of the moments where the Lord hit me right in the face.

27 Nevertheless, let it be read this once to her ears, that I, the Lord, have accepted of her offering; 

It was just the coolest. 

I testify that God lives. He loves us infinitely. I can't wait to see him again :) I LOVE YOU ALL! KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

Gu Jiemei

My legs last week:(
My legs this week:) There are getting better!!!
FHE with Pres. Hou's family and some friends! They are the best:)
A ward activity where we got to do charades.


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