Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"We've been climbing a mountain for the last few months and it finally feels like we are getting to see the beautiful views at the top."

A kindred spirit!  This girls name is Maddie:)
We were invited this week to go and sing at an international music competition! However... it was stake conference that night so we got to be the warm up act :) haha we sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and then Angels We have Heard on High. It was also pretty funny because no one expected us to speak Chinese and so they got us a translator! hahaha
P-day trip to the Taipei Zoo!!!
Dear Family & Friends,

Here are a few of the happenings with me this week:

1. This week I think I've really felt like we are on the downhill side of things (in a good way). I feel like we've been climbing a mountain for the past few months and we're finally getting to see the beautiful views at the top. We've gotten more investigators, we've gotten better relationships with our members, we've really been working very hard. I think we've also gotten to learn a lot of good lessons in being positive. The Lord is helping us to be humble. He is helping us remember that it is ONLY through Him that we do this work. There literally is no other name by which we can be saved. 

2. Mom asked me how much we are teaching each week. We're teaching anywhere from 20-30 lessons a week. We do a lot of teaching on the street. Which is good and it gives us a lot of faith-building experiences but very rarely are the people we meet on the street from our area. We're the queens of sending referrals. We also have to call the APs any time we send a referral so... they might be sick of us by now haha but it's fun to talk with them once a day! 

3. I've been thinking about some of the things I like about being in Taipei. Here are a few.Secrets! Something I love about all areas is finding new parts of it. There's always something new to be discovered. A new street to go down a new address to try a new person to contact. It's just so much fun! I love finding new things. I also love seeing Taipei 101 all the time. It's such a beautiful building and they light it up with different colors every night.

A view of Taipei 101 in the background 
4. So my cold got significantly worse this week and, having been in Taiwan for so long I decided it was time for me to give the surgical mask thing a try. What I learned,

a. These surgical masks actually enhance your sense of smell. Especially rancid smells. Don't ask me how it works.
b. There are two choices, adult size, which covers your whole head, or child size, which makes you look like a small duck.
c. Biking while wearing a surgical mask is a completely different sport than biking without one.

I don't think I'll be wearing surgical masks again soon :) Sorry Taiwanese culture! haha
Me and my surgical mask
5. One of our new investigators is Chen Jiemei. We met her after a pretty discouraging night of finding. We decided (after eating a little bit of ice cream) that we needed to increase our faith. So we went out and kept contacting. And once again faced rejection after rejection after rejection. We got on our bikes and were starting to ride away from where we were when I saw this girl walking in the middle of the street. So I stopped where I was and asked her if we could pray for her. She said sure. So we pulled over and had an awesome lesson with her. We've met with her once since then and she really wants to know what the truth is. She's so awesome :) 

Thank you again for all the love and support!  I continue to be stretched, but I'm so grateful to be on a mission:)

Love you all,
Gu Jiemei

Sister Fenlaw wrote my name in the peanut butter. She's the best!!!
An amazing meal!!! So much food:)

So this week we had to travel to a place that was pretty far from our house on the map and so we decided to take the MRT like the big city slickers we have become. So... we took the MRT down there only to discover that it's actually probably faster and a lot cheaper to ride bikes. Learning! #tinyarea #zhongtaipei
My companions request for breakfast:)
P-day hike!
An awesome investigator and a cool sign behind us:)

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Week Full of Miracles:)

This week we found a Giant Pikachu:)
This picture is me on a very Chinese street ripe with cultural experiences and colors... where we bought McDonalds. You can take the American out of America... but you can't take the America out of the American. 
P day in Danshui and giant ice cream cones:)
Hanging out on the pier in Danshui
Dear Family and Friends,
It was an amazing week:) It was a week full of miracles!!!! Here are a few of the great things that happened this week:

Miracle #1 --and one of the most amazing miracles of this week was when I got a priesthood blessing. I'm so thankful to be around worthy priesthood Elders on my mission. This week I got pretty sick. We took things easy for a couple days and then I decided that I needed a blessing. So yesterday morning we called the APs (who are the Elders that serve in our district) and got it all set up. It was really strange hearing someone say my full name. As this Elder started the blessing it seemed to just burst out of him. I have never had such a fluid and specific blessing before in my whole life. I almost felt embarrassed at how personal everything was. It was almost like this Elder was reading my journal out loud and expressing all my personal prayers. It was absolutely incredible and something I'll never forget. I'm so thankful that God allows us mortals to access his power on earth. 

Miracle #2.--This happened just last night as we were finding on the street. We contacted a very sweet Ama (little grandma)  and just started walking with her. We ended up at a park near our house where there was a large gathering of Amas! So... naturally we offered to sing for them. Our singing was a hit! And, as it turns out, a lot of these Amas and Agongs were professors! And Christian! This woman told me to call her Kang Mama. She was very sweet and kissed me on the cheek about 4 times. She is a pretty devout Christian and so full of love. I can't wait to go and visit her again at the park by our house! :) We're hoping we can start meeting with her family!! :) 

Miracle #3.--We were street contacting when we saw this cute couple. We started talking and gave them a restored gospel tract. The husband told us that they were buddhist and they gave us free depictions of the God they worship. I didn't really feel that they had much interest until we asked the wife to pray. She said "Well... what God am I praying to?" I thought for a minute and then I told her, "A God full of love. A perfect father." She started to tear up and prayed very sincerely for me and my companion. After her prayer she told us that about 6 years ago she and her husband had actually met with the missionaries! She said they would take them out for pizza all the time. It was such a miracle to re-find this family. We got them referred within 12 hours and we are praying that they are continuing to take the lessons in Danshui :) I know that God does not forget about us.

MIracle #4--One of our new investigators came to our YSA FHE! It was a big miracle and I think he was very confused... because we've actually only met him on the street once and then we threw him into a room full of Taiwanese YSAs ranging from ages 40-20 all talking about the importance of converting unto Christ and sacrificing ourselves for it... but I have a lot of faith in him :) haha 

I want to thank everyone for the prayers and support. I'm so thankful for my amazing family and the blessings that this gospel has brought us. I know God loves his kids. 

Thank you for everything.

I love you so much

Gu Jiemei
One of the great things about being in Taipei is that I get to see lots of members from my other areas:) This is Cai Jiemei from Taidong!! It was so great to see her!
This is another fabulous Zhubei member. I have always admired Fan Jiemei so much. I honestly hope that my future family will be just like theirs. They are so strong in the gospel and so full of fun and life. Fan Jiemei was also able to comfort and help me in one of my harder times in Zhubei. It was so sweet to see her again a few months down the road. 
It was so fun to be reunited with some of the Zhubei members last Saturday. It was their temple day and so the youth came and did a tour while the parents went and did an endowment session. It was so fun to see everyone again. 
This is Hu Jiemei! She is going to the temple square mission!! :) She is our MM Leader in Zhubei's little sister and it was so sweet to talk with her about her upcoming adventure. It was also so touching because missionaries sent is an indication of growth in the church. Taiwan is growing up my friends! :)
This is our neighbor and perhaps the happiest Chinese man you've ever met. He's always smiling and telling us how pretty we are, even when we haven't done our hair or makeup or even showered on some days. He's always so cheery and has something nice to say. He has absolutely no interest in the gospel... yet. But he's coming :) haha
As we continue our tradition of sharing a special song for each visiting sister who stays with us, we were especially creative this week and had an Aladdin themed one.

Monday, October 12, 2015


These are some of the most stalwart and amazing women I have ever met:)
President Jergensen let us come make cookies at his house before going to watch Conference!!!
We added our "xing" to our cookies!
President fixed us cold cereal for breakfast. Look at him serving us!!! He's the best. We love the Jergensens:)
Dear Family and Friends,

WE THANK THEE O GOD FOR A PROPHET! Wow. Was conference not amazing?? I feel very refueled and ready. I feel like I received so many new tools and things I can do to be better!

Some of the things I loved hearing in Conference:

I loved how much we were told to trust in the Lord. I feel like that is something missionaries all have to gain a strong testimony of. I know that God loves his kids. I also loved all the talks about commandments being a protection. I think it's so easy to see them as a restriction even as a missionary! Because you have these investigators who you know could just be baptized if they didn't have to live the law of Chastity, or the word of wisdom... but that's not the point. The point is conversion. God is going to bring us to Him and then change us completely. We can do this. If we keep the commandments we will be blessed and safe.

I'm so thankful for my family. During conference I realized that next General Conference I will be home! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?! Very. I know that our leaders are called of God. I know that when we heed their counsel we will be protected. We do not know when the storms will come, but we know that they will. And when they come, let's be ready. I testify that God loves his kids.

This week I had interviews with our Mission President. It was so good. I realized how negative I have been since moving up here to Taipei. I was very critical of myself, and many other things. But I have a plan now and goals to accomplish what I want. Something President counseled me to do was not to say that my mission was hard, but to say that it is AMAZING. And you know what? That's what it is. AMAZING. It's life-changing and inspiring... ya. It's amazing.

Also! One final thing, in line with counsel from our Prophets, I would like to invite you all to church! I have no idea who all reads my blog. I have no idea where you come from, who you are, where you want to go, what you think about Jesus Christ... but let me testify to you that you will never ever regret getting to know Him better. I testify that church's purpose is to learn of Jesus Christ. Now, the members in the church are not perfect. Nobody is. But we all go to church to remember our Savior. So if you feel that you need something more or even if you feel like you don't need one more thing... go to the chapel. Partake of the Sacrament. Ask God what he feels about you and listen as you partake of the bread and water. I promise you as a representative of Jesus Christ, He will welcome you. You will feel His love. He never gave up on you so don't you dare give up on Him.

I love you all. 

Thank you for all the prayers love and support.

Gu Jiemei

Another blessing of the Lord putting us right where he wants us. On this evening, we weren't sure where we were going to meet with our member so we ended up walking to a family mart and meeting with her. On our way back we saw one of our members at work so we decided we would stop by and say hi! Turns out his mom was just sitting there visiting with him! So we were able to have a lesson right there with their family!! How cool?! Too cool.
A fine picture of one of our favorite members... his name is Yo. Yo Luo. So... YOLO. 
So this week my companion had a bright idea for an activity we could do for our member visits! It consisted of them using their faith (like the brother of Jared) and writing down something they could do to increase their faith on little rocks. However... we had no rocks and it was raining. So we went outside and tried to find rocks large enough to write on, but small enough to carry in our one miniature bike basket that we share. (luckily one of the three nephites left us a plastic bag in our basket on this day) So we spent some time outside in the rain hunting for pebbles in the middle of Taipei, which is ripe with wildlife so it was super easy. After finding these rocks we went and visited our first member family Lin Jiating. They had lots of little kids who would've very much enjoyed this activity... but we ran out of time and so only the family with 5 teenage sons was able to participate later on in the evening. Yay! :) haha 
Sister Fenlaw is awesome:)
Luo Jiemei! This girl my friends... this girl... may be the biggest inspiration I have. I've never been her companion, but every time I see her she lifts me up and helps me feel better and more prepared as a representative of Christ.
Between session dinner at Cozy Burger!!! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Week of Goodbyes & Reunions:)

My cute mission family. My  mom (on the right), and my two daughters (on the left)
This was our districts last morning of frisbee playing before Elder Varney and Elder Larson left.
Cute Sister Johnson is moving to Zhubei, where I served and also my trainer:) One big happy family!!!
Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a crazy one! We stayed inside for a typhoon, we went to the trainer-trainee follow-up meeting, got put into a tripanionship, did temple tours, and went to transfer meeting! So we will call this week... the week of goodbyes and reunions. I was so blessed to be able to see many friends this week at the transfer meeting! But it was also sad to say goodbye to a lot of friends.

Here a few other things that went on this week:

1-Temple Tours & Ipads- We've recently started using Ipads as part of our temple tours and it has added so much power to our lessons! We were able to take one of the RCs of our ward through and talk about the importance of attending the 3rd hour of church so that he could learn how to better use his Priesthood power. It was the coolest! Then we got to watch the video "None were with Him" by Elder Holland. 

2- Humility Month-So for the past few months I've been selecting different Christ-like attributes to focus on and particularly pray for. Last month was patience, and this month is humility! Sister Fenlaw has also joined in on this praying... and we're in for quite a month :) haha One of our most amazing members Wu Jiemei  helped us peike (be present for our lessons) 2 times! And to thank her I accidentally threw my whole water bottle full of water on her. Oh humility month.... Pray for us:)

One of our amazing members who I drenched with water accidentally :(
3- Early Morning Seminary- This morning we got to go to early morning seminary! It was so great to see that seminary is the same all over the world... We went to attend early morning seminary at the request of one of our members. It was fun to see all the teenagers gathered together and sacrificing their sleep to come closer to Christ.

Early morning seminary. I made them pose for this picture:) Normally they are all paying attention:)
4-Seeing my cute friend Jade Kho, who is now serving her mission in Taiwan. (Jade is one of Maddie's friends from High school, she recently got her call to Taiwan and just arrived)  So we had temple tours on the day that the new missionaries were coming in so we were at the chapel ALL day... I could not focus. I was constantly looking around the corners or out the windows or just anything... trying to find my Jade!! haha So then... at the very end of the night when we were getting ready for English class, I saw a large horde of Elders and I didn't recognize any of them. I knew these had to be the new ones. So I searched and I searched and finally at the very back of the pack of suits I saw a yellow cardigan and I ran and flew into Jade's arms :) haha It was so sweet to see her. I then was blessed enough to go to the transfer meeting as well and watch her introduce herself to everyone! She already speaks super super well. haha I don't think anyone believes she's not native.
Cute Jade Kho!!!

5- Release Letter- I got my release letter this week. Oh my. My release date is March 12.

I just want everyone to know that God loves us. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooo thankful for a living prophet on the earth today. Being here and not being able to access general conference as easily or being able to go to the temple has really made me appreciate so much more the blessings we have in this gospel. I know that the Prophet is called of God. I know that God wants us to be happy. I'm still trying to figure out the whole infinite Atonement thing, but I know that it is all about hope and love. I take great comfort in knowing that I don't have to know everything in this life to make things work out. I can just keep trying and God will make up the rest. I'm thankful for amazing leaders and friends and family who have supported me and guided me throughout my life and especially on my mission. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ atoned for us. I know that we are all supposed to keep learning.


I love you all :)

Gu Jiemei

This is one of my favorite streets. Don't you love all the Chinese lanterns?

One more shot of the street:)