Monday, June 29, 2015

INSANE!!! The Word of the Week:)

This fabulous hairdo explains this week!!! INSANE:) haha
Our last district meeting before transfers. Elder Boyd bought us all mango slushies
I spent a couple days working with Sister Tate, my MTC companion. We laughed a lot about how  far we have come
Dear everyone,

I refuse to believe that I'm almost 20. haha

Things that happened this week:

1-My sweet Sister Johnson got transferred to Xinzhuang. That is in the Taipei West Zone. I MISS HER.
My new companion is Sister Walker. She was just in Jilong. She has fantastic curly hair and she's a super hard worker. She is from Boise Idaho :)
Saying goodbye to Sister Johnson
My new companion, Sister Walker:)
2-We officially became a ward this week :) It was such a fantastic meeting. I really love this ward. It was sad to see Hou HZ get released, but it was so AWESOME to see the new organization starting up. Our new bishop is going to rock it. Our new bishop is Zhang zhujiao. He's really really awesome. We are also so glad that Huang DX is still our ward mission leader. He is amazing!!!
Huang DX and our ward missionaries. We lost Sister Johnson and Elder Elliott and gained Sister Walker and Elder Matua!
3-HUNTER WILL BE BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY :) We're all very excited. The whole branch is getting involved in bringing food and friends and just... all the things! We're really hoping that we can have a lot of investigators in attendance as well. We're going to have to be doing some more faithful finding this week. We have a lot of awesome investigators! They're all so close.... I just feel like they're right at the edge of the baptismal font ... haha. But there are still some things holding them back which we have to confront first.

Our cute investigator Hunter and his sister!!! The story of he and his family is truly a miracle!
4-This week I have been studying Jesus the Christ. It blows my mind every single day. I was really loving the story about the Woman Taken in Adultery this morning. I just find the way that the Savior handles the situation so beautiful. I was also thinking it's interesting that he's very sharp with the proud Pharises but very loving and gentle with the humble sinner.

5-Using the "My Family" book. The "My Family" book has been a personal revelation for me. I remember as I started to put stories and faces and people together that I really understood more about who I was. So much of who I am is influenced by those who came before me. I come from such a blessed lineage! So many amazing people. It also strengthened my testimony of God's plan for his children. As I looked into how the gospel was introduced into my family, I saw the Lord's hand so clearly.

Random things:

- I'm going to be playing the traditional drums of the native people here for Seminary graduation on Wednesday.
- I've never sweated so much in my whole life.
- We keep getting scolded by everyone for being out in the sun during the heat of the day.
- I've started working on reading chinese characters lately. 
- We've had 2 different investigators offer to take us around on P-day!!

Alright, well, I think this has been just a super crazy week. 

I love you all so much :)

Keep on Keeping on :)

Gu Jiemei

This is our neighbor who is very catholic and her daughter who has cancer. They are some of my favorite people. Mama is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. They're both such big blessings to me:) 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Last picture with Pres & Sis. Day before they leave for home:(
The Cultural Celebration
The culture of this country is so beautiful and colorful and grand and just... the best! It was so cute to see our members getting involved and getting down to their roots :) I feel so blessed to be here at this time.
Dear Family and Friends,

Well, the Lord really wanted to keep me focused and busy this week:) haha. This week we had exchanges with the Temple Sisters and our Sister Training Leaders and we had the making of the stake and the cultural celebration in Hualien! 


I am so happy that we do exchanges haha. When I was a younger missionary I didn't like exchanges so much because I always felt like it was an opportunity for other Sister Missionaries to evaluate and judge me. This last week I really understood the purpose of exchanges. It's to inspire, uplift, and bless! We have incredible leaders in this mission and I have learned so much from their love and example. This last week was no exception. I learned a lot about being bold and bearing testimony. I learned more about the importance of obedience and most importantly HAVING FUN AND BEING YOURSELF! I've realized to that all missionaries do this work differently. That's the point! haha we're all different spirits and that's how God created it. I loved exchanges :) We were actually a little bit nervous about our area this week because we would be in Hualien over the weekend, but it was actually our best week ever! Thanks to exchanges :) haha 

Exchanges with the Temple Sisters
I had my last interview with President Day last transfer, but this was the last time I'll see him, unless I go up to transfers on Friday. We got to hear President and Sister Day's final words of advice and they blew my mind. Some of the things he said were very sacred and dear to me so I won't be sharing them here, but I am a better person because of the example of my Mission President. 

Transfers are on Friday. And since Sister Johnson will be finishing her training, it's incredibly likely that one of us will be leaving our beloved Taidong. We are trying to have a good attitude and just remember the eternal perspective, but it's going to be tough. Pray for us. haha :)

Our New Mission President comes next Tuesday!!

The creating of this new stake really is a very historic moment for Taiwan. It's the last district to be made into a stake for the Taiwan Taipei mission. It was something that many didn't think was possible. I feel so lucky to just be tagging along for the tail end of this project and getting to see the outcome! haha. This is going to be a huge blessing for the people of our (now) wards because there will be all the keys of the priesthood in access.
Our branch president, Pres. Hou, is now in the new stake presidency. The new stake will be very blessed to have him, but we will miss him in our branch (ward)

Dinner with some of our favorite people:)
This week was hard and amazing :) I know that God has a plan for each of his kids. He loves us and wants us to come home. We can not give up. It's not going to be easy. Of course not, but it's going to be worth EVERY tear. EVERY heartache. and EVERY test. I testify that Jesus Christ is our perfect example. He made the way for each of us, his brothers and sisters, to come unto Him. He will not leave you. He can't. (haha It's kind of his eternal responsibility to be by our side) He does it because he loves us. 

I love you all!!

All the East Coast Sisters!
We thought this would make a great picture for the Ensign:)
12 sisters in one apartment. Can you say fun? :) haha it was the best!! I love being surrounded by missionaries. There's just a special spirit when you're with people who are working with you in the cause of Salvation. God is helping us a lot :) 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"My Two Personalities"

Training Meeting. All the Taidong Sisters in stripes!!!
Taking Sister Day to Sam's Burgers for a peanut butter burger:)
Dear ones,

This week's stories....

1-TERRY.So Terry is a very funny man. We met him when he was buying cigarettes by one of our member's houses. He thinks we're the cutest little things. He's very busy but he promised us if his work lightens up he'll come to church. Anyways, he officially became an investigator this week! So in our first lesson we felt like we needed to share with him about prayer. After we talked about prayer we started to share about the Restoration. Then, in the middle of a sentence he stopped and said.... "Would it be alright if I said a prayer right now?" we of course said "YES!" haha. He then said  a very sincere prayer asking Heavenly Father to help him quit drinking. We hadn't shared ANYTHING about the Word of Wisdom or really even the Restoration yet, but he had recognized that God was his Father and that he could get help. It was the best!

2-We also went to lunch with one of our LA's and her family. Her son is the one who is going to get baptized on July 3rd. I love their family so much. Liang JM is seriously one of the greatest mother's I have ever met. Her mother is also a very fine mother. Their family is just so closely knit and I really believe the rest of them will accept the gospel eventually. It was really strange going to a restaurant with a family. It had been a long time since that had happened :) It reminded me of my sweet family. I'm so blessed to have a gospel-centered family and I hope everyone can have that same blessing. 

3-It was also Specialized Training this week! So President and Sister Day were here with the Assistants. It was their last Specialized Training on their missions. It was a pretty special thing for all of us. I am going to miss those two immensely. They're so cute and goofy and just the best ever. 
President & Sister Day (dressed as Elder Ping and Elder Pong). They are the best! I will miss them so much.
This was an activity from our Specialized Training which answered a prayer and fast I had been doing. We all were supposed to take off our shoes (stinky... stinky... stinky...) and then throw them in a pile. Then we went and grabbed one shoe and we were given paper to write an inspiring note to an annonymous missionary. It was really fun. The note I got said, "You have spiritual traits and gifts. You have people that you need to find and you will help them." That little sentence tugged my heartstrings. I had been fasting to know what my spiritual gifts were. I was disappointed when I really didn't receive much of an answer. Then on Friday when I read that note I realized that what I had really wanted to know wasn't What my spiritual gifts were but what I had really wanted to know was Do I have spiritual gifts. It was the coolest.
4-I also had a really cool experience with the gift of tongues. On my mission I have realized that I have two personalities. I have my Chinese personality and my English personality. It's a strange thing... but very real. haha. My Chinese personality is a lot more sharp and sassy and my English personality is... well you all know my english personality. I've also noticed that there are many other missionaries who are like that too. Anyways, on the night of specialized training there was also a baptism in the 2nd branch. So President Day was presiding and gave some closing remarks. As he spoke to these two sisters who had been baptized, he spoke in Chinese, but I heard English in my head. I completely understood that he was speaking from his very soul as he bore his testimony. It was incredible. I want to be able to use Chinese in that way on my mission. I want to be able to merge my "two personalities" to be one in purpose to really testify with the power of God. 

I love my mission. I love Taiwan. I love studies. I love biking. I love scooter contacting. I love Chinese. I love the food. I love this culture. I love these people. It's true! The Church is true! I love my Savior!! I love my family.

Thanks you for everything!!
Gu Jiemei
So this ring is one way that I know God loves me. When I first got transferred to Taidong I was really nervous. I had no idea what to expect and I felt very alone.( I didn't have anything to worry about but I didn't know it at the time) There is a member in our ward named Lin Dixiong and he has been a member for 27 years now. He's retired now and has taken up the hobby of making rings out of coins. In one of our first weeks he made both of us Sisters rings. I have been wearing it so much that my finger is turning green. But anyways... I lost it. I was sooooo upset. I was praying and praying and praying that I would find it. Then the night of specialized training I was feeling like I was about to have a breakdown or a breakthrough and my prayers were really sincere. As I reached to take my blanket and get into bed guess what was wrapped up in my blanket? MY RING! I was so happy :) haha
All the Sisters in our Zone:)
This is a very candid shot of what happens when you forget to put on bugspray one day. There was a miracle because an LA let us visit with her and share scriptures! However... we had to suffer the consequences of her "treatment" for bug bites. It basically includes scraping your leg for 15 minutes with a shoe horn and occasionally putting on ointment. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

7 Eleven's and Miracles

Have I mentioned that it is the rainy season? :) When it rains everyone pulls over to the side of the road, gets out their pastel rain ponchos, puts them on and keeps riding. Of course when you start riding with your poncho on you look like a giant pastel marshmallow:) We call it the Pastel Poncho Poof!
We've found a place by the church that sells peanut butter french fries. As soon as I heard the words "peanut butter" I was sold!!!
Some of our beautiful Taiwanese investigators:)
Dear Family & Friends,
Funny things of the week:

1-We got paid $200 NT for singing to Chen Ama this week.

Here's adorable Chen Ama looking at our family pictures. We've gone and visited her a couple times now. Her foot is broken so she can't walk. She just sits on her doorstep all day every day. She loves when we go and sing to her. This week when we saw her she predicted what our husbands would look like for us! She said they would be brothers. and that they would both be very handsome. haha :) 
2-We've become pretty good friends with the man who owns one of the 7/11's in our area. He talks to us every time we go over there. This time as we were walking to the other side of the store he yelled all the way accross the store, "Hey! You want chocolate? Buy Twix. It's buy one get one free. I've got my card." hahahaha We were dying. And we got free chocolate!

3-We also had another really awesome 7/11 experience. Our Golden investigator Jim that we met a few weeks ago reappeared! It was a miracle! We met him on a Saturday, he came to church on Sunday and then he wouldn't answer his phone after that. We were so discouraged. Then we saw him at 7/11! He said he's been working really hard to find work, but has been so busy and not able to answer his phone. 

4-I was given an impromptu massage on the street. haha jk that's not really what it was, but that's the fun way to explain it. We met this really loud and fun woman at that same 7/11 and she prayed with us and bought us chocolate.

5-Our Elders got us cockroach traps. They're the best.

Miracles of the week:

-HUNTER. So this week we had a special fast for Hunter. This week we found out that his dad wasn't to keen to let him be baptized. His Dad just wanted Hunter to be older so that he could actually decide for himself before he just got forced by missionaries to be baptized. We fasted for them on the day Liang JM wanted to talk with Hunter and his dad about the baptism. All day long I was so nervous. I was praying so hard that Hunter would have the courage to express to his Dad his desires to be baptized. 

Liang JM said that Hunter's usually pretty indecisive about things and so she wasn't sure how this was all going to play out. But as soon as his Dad asked him if he wanted to be baptized he said a definitive, "Yes." Liang JM said that after that, his Dad said that he would respect it. He just wanted to be here for the baptism. When we heard about it we cried. haha :)

-WE HAD 5 INVESTIGATORS COME TO CHURCH. We had a lot of people set up once again, but I wasn't so sure who would actually show up. So our next door neighbor Chen Su Mei (The one who has stage 4 cancer)  had said that they would come this week, but then they were kind of unsure and just... ya. But! On Sundaymorning we went over to knock on their door and Chen Su Mei answered. She was dressed in a skirt! She was all ready to go!! We were so surprised! Then I just prayed and prayed and prayed that they would still come. haha.

So we rode our bikes to the church with lots of anticipation in our pedals. The meeting had just started and we were out in the hall making some last minute calls to get people there when Chen Su Mei and her mom (the catholic branch presidnet) and Rini (Their Indonesian care-taker) showed up! Oh my goodness. What's better? It was fast Sunday and everyone shared clear and perfect testimonies! No false doctrine! :) 


I love my mission. Even on the days when I feel like everything is going wrong I still can write in my journal that I love my mission. Isn't that amazing?! The church is true. I love this gospel and I love all the parts of it. I know this is God's true church on the earth. 

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers :)
Gu Jiemei
We've been meeting people from around the world. This girl is from Russia. I tried speaking a little Croatian (that my sister Kenz taught me) to her and she didn't understand a word of it:) haha. 
These three are from Spain and approached us in the 7 Eleven

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bring Your Own Bowl and Chopsticks!

This cute Ama(Grandma) reminds me of the little Grandma in "Mulan"! We love her ! She always puts both hands in the air and waves at us whenever we come by:)
Another sweet family we are working with
There is a cute little family who owns a rice place where we go eat. These two little girls had matching "Frozen" dresses on when we went in last week! So cute!!
Dear Loved Ones,

I just want you all to know that the church is true.

And at the end of the day that's what matters. 

This week the Lord stretched us and pushed us and pulled us and shaped us as a companionship. It was hot and hard and I didn't know why everything was happening the way it was happening. We were frustrated, but then the miracles came. 

For starters we weren't in our area for 2 days because we went up to Taipei. Which was magical and I loved every second of the training. However... I realized that I much prefer my rural Taidong to the big bustling Taipei. haha Another sad thing we realized is that this transfer is one week shorter than a regular transfer. We both freaked out a lot. 

The coolest thing that happened was that leading up to the meeting I just had been feeling nervous. It's so easy to compare yourself to others when you go to these meetings in Taipei. And I know how deflating that can be when you're a new missionary. So Sister Johnson and I just prayed that we wouldn't compare ourselves and that we would just be able to love everyone. It was my favorite meeting I have ever been too. I love President Day. I testify that he is called of God. I am going to miss him so much when he leaves. He seriously touches my spirit every time he gives us a training. 

When we got back, we were in our area for two days and all of our investigators stood us up and our members cancelled on us and just every plan we had fell through. It was rough. It was something I hadn't experienced to this extent.

But what I did realize, was that when everything was going wrong it made me appreciate the little miracles and the little blessings that God did send to us that much more.

Two awesome things from this week:

1- We live out in the farmland and on Friday night we were riding around and saw that a cow had escaped his pasture! So... naturally we tried to coral him back in on our bikes. haha He was very nice to us, but then someone rode by on a scooter and he CHARGED! hahaha Sister Johnson and I were dying. 
This picture is of Sister Johnson and our friend the cow!!!
2- The picture below perfectly illustrates a principle I love about the south. It's the Bring Your Own Bowl and Chopsticks principle. How gatherings work here in the south is that everyone makes food and brings it and then everyone else just brings their bowl their chopsticks and digs in. The South is the best :) 

District Cultural Event. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bowl) and Chopsticks Event!
More pictures of the cultural event! Sister Johnson and I both got teary as they were performing! Such beautiful people with such big hearts:)
Kids at the cultural event
The missionary organization of Taidong 3, fenhui!!!
Misisonaries of Taidong 3
Oh! Another thing I found out! Cho DX's mom (in Zhubei) is getting baptized this week!! :) YAY!! Miracles!

I testify that the Savior lives and loves us. I am so grateful to be a part of the family that I am in so that I can feel of the truth of this message. I know God is my Heavenly Father.  Thank you for everything

Gu Jiemei