Monday, February 15, 2016

Chinese New Year Part 2

Giving one of our lessons during Chinese New Year.
I'm holding the Cumbuca! (Monkey Trap)
Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

but more importantly...


Things that made this year's Chinese New Year great:
1. The Cumbuca- So Taiwanese people are wonderfully competitive, especially when you give them a challenge of intellect. So each time we would go over to someone's house and present the Cumbuca we would say that it was a game people would play in Brazil. We would then outline their challenge, they could only use one hand to get this fruit out of the Cumbuca. All 5 of their fingers and their palm had to touch the fruit. They kept trying to find ways around it or to cheat. haha. But nobody could get the fruit out of the Cumbuca. We would then explain that this task was impossible and we would read the first 2 paragraphs of the article from the Liahona. After that we would teach them how to "let go" of their "sins" using repentance. After that we taught that after we repent, Jesus Christ could give us the thing we most wanted, BLESSINGS! We would then open up the Cumbuca and show them that inside there were hongbao (red envelopes). Inside of our Hongbao we had a picture of the temple, a picture of us with a little note, and a referral card. We then invited everyone to think of one person in their lives who needed this repentance blessing. We'll be following up in the next week :)

Trying to get her hand out of the Cumbuca:)
Getting your hand out of the Cumbuca is just impossible!
2. Our investigators- Living in Yonghe is really nice because there were actually quite a few of our investigators in town! I was very surprised because we're up in Taipei, but we were able to meet with a lot of people! Also, the biggest miracle of all... THIS WEEK WE HAD 7 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH. It was a Guonian Miracle! :) haha. We really saw the Lord's hand in guiding us to the prepared this week and many people kept their commitment of coming to church! It was glorious! We also had a couple people just walk into the church looking for peace!! WOW! 

3. Finding- We were actually able to find A LOT of new investigators this week as well! It's nice living in the most populated place in Taiwan ;) But I think once again, this week we were able to see the miracle of former investigators. God is ALWAYS preparing his children to hear the gospel and if they don't fully accept the gospel the firs time around, He will give them another shot. One of our investigators at church was a Huang Jiemei. I had never seen her before yesterday but had her record in our area book so we called her and set up! She is amazing and wanted to know about all of the activities and everything. 
This is a candid shot of one of our favorite New Investigators May. Her son is actually a less-active member in a neighboring ward and she LOVES to come to English Class. She insisted on feeding us during Guonian, and up until this point we had never really gotten a chance to teach her the gospel, so we decided now was the time. We shared about the Restoration and she was very quiet through the whole thing. No questions, no concerns... and so I wasn't really sure if she was understanding it... then at the end she quoted back in her own words almost the entire lesson. GOD LOVES HIS KIDS.

Also... May is 84 years old.
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I had a very difficult experience this week that taught me A LOT, for example:
1. I learned how much my mission truly means to me. 
2. I learned that the gift of tongues is real and that it also includes God sometimes taking away my ability
    to say everything I wantto say, but He insures that I say what I need to say.
3. I learned to love those around me.
4. I was reminded of the importance and power of fasting.
5. I was also taught more about my love for the Taiwanese people.

This week we worked with a Sister companionship that was struggling a lot. They even wanted to go home. It was hard for me to see someone in such a dark place and it caused me to ponder on a lot of different things. But I want to share my own testimony that God is real. The Atonement is real and it works. I testify that as we have faith in and rely on Jesus Christ, it will work out. No it won't work out immediately, but it WILL work out. Our job is to not give up. 

We met with one of my all-time favorite members yesterday and she shared a story from when she was struggling in her own mission. She said her mission president pulled her aside to interview her and she just broke down and said she wanted to go home. Her Mission President looked at her and said, "Sister, I will let you have any companion you want. You can choose wherever you want to go... just don't give up." Wow. That story really impacted me as I thought about the eternal truth. Heavenly Father tells us this all the time, "JUST DON'T GIVE UP". He knows things are going to be hard, and he has prepared for that! If we just don't give up, if we just rely on Jesus Christ, things will work out. I promise. 

Mom asked how I am feeling with just a month left on my mission.  I feel at peace. I feel like God has had a hand in everything that's happened so far, and He's not going to abandon me now. He was there for me in Georgia waiting for my Visa and I had to take over my area after 2 weeks, He was there for me in Zhubei learning Chinese and Taiwanese culture, He was there for me when my area got collapsed and we were over 2 wards, He was there for me when I left for Taidong, He was there for me when I trained Sister Johnson, He was there for me in the heat of the summer, He was there for me when I came up to Taipei for the first time with Sister Fenlaw, He was there for me when I first learned how to be a Sister Training Leader, He was there for me when we wanted to give up on Lin Dixiong. 

I don't believe God's going to leave me hanging. I just have to not give up :)

There's all kinds of emotions with the coming change, but I'm thankful. I can feel that God prepared me my whole life for my mission, and on my mission he's prepared me for my whole life after. 

I love this work and I'm thankful to be here :)

I love you all!

Gu Jiemei
Off on an adventure:) Taking a perfectly safe bike selfie!!!
Picture at sunset with our cute roommates!
I thought Mom would appreciate a picture of me playing the piano!!
Zone Meeting!!! We call ourselves the Wild West Zone:)

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