Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I'm Grateful For!!!

It's officially Christmas in the Yonghe appartment!
Isn't the food beautiful?!!!
Yonghe ward is amazing! We got to eat dinner with 2 couples from our ward who have missionaries out in the field. It was so much fun and reminded me of my own parents. They were talking about packages to send for Christmas and how different America was from Taiwan and it was just a really funny role reversal. haha 

Dear family and friends,
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! So I thought I would just tell you all some things I'm thankful for...

- I'm thankful for an obedient companion. That was one of my biggest worries on my mission and   honestly  I've never had to worry about it. I've always had companions that were willing to work and do God's will.
-I'm thankful for music. Being with Sister Wood brings my musical appreciation level up by at least 75%. She also has Josh Groban Christmas music. That makes the end of every day better.
-I'm thankful for the gift of tongues. Chinese has been harder lately, but I know God is blessing me and helping me all along the way. I'm thankful for the little victories.
-I'm thankful for my health. I haven't had any injuries or really serious health issues since I've been on my mission.
-I'm thankful for the SCRIPTURES. I just... yes. I've truly started to understand what people mean when they say that the scriptures open the door to revelation. I seriously feel like God is re-writing the scriptures as I read them.
-I'm thankful for our ward. We literally have been given so much food in the past few weeks that we have had to throw some out for fear of it going bad! A good problem to have if I say so myself.
-I'm thankful for strong examples. We had an FHE at one of my favorite members houses yesterday and the bishop's family came. The sister whose house it was at has been divorced for a long time and raising two teenage sons by herself. I don't think I've ever seen her unhappy. She's incredible. She's always offering to help us peike or have scripture classes at her house.
-I'm thankful for my family. I've been so blessed to have so much support from my family back at home. I'm so thankful for the letters and love I feel.
-I'm thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the temple. We had a really hard visit last night when we went to stop by an LAs house. The woman who answered the door look really confused and at first we thought we were in the wrong place, but after chatting for a minute we realized that this was the family we were looking for. They let us in and we were even able to see the Dad and youngest son. They were all baptized and Mama was baptized about 5 years ago. We were surprised that they were such recent converts and were asking some questions to find out why they hadn't been at church when the dad said, 

Dad "Well, you know we did the whole church thing and after the temple sealing we..."
Me "Wait, what? You were sealed in the temple?"
Dad "Yes. We're an eternal family. 
*long silence*
Me "So you were sealed in the temple to become an eternal family... I don't understand why you would leave."
Dad "Oh! No it's not like that. We didn't leave right away, it was over time."
*long silence*
Me "Does that sealing mean anything to you?"
Dad "Well to me religion is a lot like a super market. It doesn't really matter what you buy as long as you eat till your full. right?" 

I was speechless. I couldn't for the life of me understand why this family, who had been sealed in the temple not more than 4 years ago, had completely forgotten the covenants they had made and the blessings they had been promised. 

I testify of God's eternal truth that families are forever. I testify that ONLY in the temple and with the proper Priesthood keys is this possible. I testify that this is God's desire for his children. He wants to be with us forever just like we want to be with our kids forever. I testify that the temple is God's sacred house. I testify that our covenants in the temple are real. They really are sealing and binding and lasting. I am so thankful that my family is sealed together forever. I'm thankful for the opportunity we have to change and repent when we mess up. I know God loves His kids. 
-I'm thankful for the Atonement. One of my goals last transfer was to understand the Atonement better. The biggest lesson I learned was that for me to use the Atonement, I just need to repent and be happy. It's so simple and so worthwhile... and such a work in progress. haha
-I'm thankful for the Spirit. I've learned so much about listening to and following the Spirit on my mission and I am eternally grateful for the things I've been able to watch God do when I listen to Him. 

I'm thankful for this gospel. I'm thankful for this mission. The church is true and nothing can take that away from us. 



Gu Jiemei

Sister Hughes is in our Zone :) Putting the three-some back together!
This week I got to go on my first exchange as a Sister Training Leader! I got to go with Sister Noble, who was actually in the MTC with me. We had a really awesome exchange and we were able to bond over a lot of the same concerns since we're in the same point in our missions.  
Another fantastic exchange this week with Sister Kitchens! It was so fun as we realized that we chuanjiao the same way. She's a real amazing missionary. So proud of her and all she's doing :) OUR MISSION IS JUST FULL OF ANGELS!

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