|I was given a sword this week by a man whose door we knocked into. #iloveasia|
|(Mom Note: Thanksgiving morning about 4:30am I received this picture from Sister Branch who is back in Taiwan visiting. She said Maddie is doing great!!!)|
Dear Family and Friends,
IT'S BEEN THE CRAZIEST WEEK OF MY WHOLE LIFE. I've never been busier. Ever.
Monday- Practice for the Missionary Christmas Choir. So a tradition that our mission has is that every year the missionaries in Taipei put on a Christmas program! Then we travel around to different places and perform and bring the Christmas spirit. It's sooo much fun. Since we don't have a TON of people, they needed volunteers for soloists... I got volunteered and I took one for the team. Little did I know...
|Part of our fabulous missionary choir:)|
Tuesday- WE HAD AN APOSTLE COME! This was significant for many reasons, but the funny part... guess what song we sang for him when he came? The song with my solo. So I've now sang solo in front of our entire mission and an Apostle. It was terrifying the day before and I was, as you can imagine, a bit stressed. But as the meeting began I started to feel so grateful for this chance that I got to share my testimony through song with Elder Stevenson and our entire mission. It ended up being a great experience and I'm very thankful :)
So here's another funny story about your daughter. So it's no small secret that my favorite Apostle is Boyd K. Packer. I just love the man and everything he says. And it's also not a secret that my favorite talk is "Your Four Minutes" by Gary Stevenson. So when President Packer passed away I was, of course, very sad and I still cry a little every time he gets quoted in meetings (which is every meeting) but you know what? I know God loves me because He sent the author of my favorite talk to take the place of my favorite Apostle in the quorum of the twelve. :)
So when I saw Elder Stevenson, I was just very tender. And I started to cry. Also, it's a pretty well-known fact that I am a compound cryer. I don't cry for weeks and months and then all of a sudden I cry one time for all of the times that I needed to cry earlier. So I was very very emotional and uncontrollably crying when I saw the Apostle. Then they announced that we were all going to shake his hand! I was watching him interact with all the missionaries before me and just getting more and more touched. When the line came to me and it was my turn to shake his hand I couldn't even form words. I just squeaked out, "I'm sorry. I can't talk." Elder Stevenson very understandingly, looked at my nametag and said, "Sister Giles, it's so nice to see you." Then he kind of side-hugged me and I went to talk to his wife. She then said, "That's how I felt the first time I hugged him too." hahaha. It makes me laugh every time I think about it, but those feelings were so real. I knew that He was a servant of God. I knew that he was to represent the Savior in this meeting. I was just so thankful!
Wednesday-Exchanges with Sister Kho! I love Jade. :) Our biggest problem when we were together was that we kept using our first names:) haha. We also had our largest English Class ever. By the time it ended we had 31 people in that little room. It was very stressful, but the kids were all surprisingly well behaved!
|I love sweet Sister Jade Kho!!! She will do amazing things here in Taiwan:) (Mom Note: She is one of Maddie friends from high school. Now they are serving in the same mission)|
|Our very large English class:)|
Thursday- Thanksgiving! By a funny set of circumstances we had 2 Thanksgiving dinners! It was a blast :)
Friday-MLC. Wow. wow. wow WOW! I love missionaries. I learned so many things this week in all of our meetings but I think my favorite things have been about trusting the Lord. It was so funny as we sat in MLC Sister Wood and I just kept making faces at each other because literally everything that we discussed in companionship study was what got discussed in MLC. And we didn't even tell anybody! THE SPIRIT IS SO GOOD!
|Sister Wood and I looking over the temple:)|
Saturday- We had another exchange and Stake Conference! Do you all remember the General Authority who spoke in Cantonese in General Conference? Well I've now met him twice in Taiwan! He's absolutely hysterical and so very bold. He starts a lot of comments with, "Now, I don't want to offend you too much..." then he just directly says what God needs him to say. He's amazing!!! He's changed my life. It was interesting to me that he talked about how in Taiwan he can talk about a kind of "higher law" of being a member because the church is so available to everyone. He said that in Cambodia and India they're still working on getting members to come to church consistently. It was just interesting to think of all the blessings we take for granted here. Then I thought about all the blessings I took for granted in Utah and I repented a lot. haha
Sunday- We had more Stake Conference. I testify that God's servants really are his servants. They speak the truth. They have God's power and authority and we need to pay attention to what they say and the counsel they give.
I testify that the church is true and God loves his kids.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I LOVE YOU.
|I got to see both of my girls at the meeting with Elder Stevenson this week. SO BLESSED.|
|Here's a picture of the bravest thing I did this week. Meet Cheddar our roommate!!!|
Here is a poem written by my roommate, Sister Alexis Farr:
Twas the night before P-Day and all through the house
not a creature was stirring except Cheddar... the mouse
Temple pictures were hung on the walls with great care
in hopes that our RC soon would go there
The Sisters were nestled all snug in their beds
with visions of investigators dancing in their heads
Sister Juarez in her blankets, and I in my cap
We'd just settled down for a long winter's nap
When under her bed there arose such a clatter
Sister Juarez sprang from her bed to see what was the matter
Reaching she flipped on the lights just like that
For we had been aware that our house... had a rat...
When what to her wandering eyes did appear
But two beady eyes... that struck her with fear
My poem... is to be continued later.... in life... but there is a little sneak peak.