Monday, March 7, 2016

This is it!!! Last Blog Post from Taiwan

This picture marked the ending of one of the happiest days of my mission. My cute trainer Sister Wu planned a surprise for me it included my first baptized investigator, my first ward mission leader, one of my first roommates, one of my first member friends and some of my favorite people:)
My trainer and Mom!
One of my favorite roommates, Sister Lin!
My first baptized investigator, Cho Dixiong
My first ward mission leader, Hu Dixiong
One of my first member friends, Cora

To top it all off Huang Xing Hua was baptized this Saturday :)
Dear Family & Friends,
I'm at a complete loss for words... so it's time for a song!

On the first day 'till I go home my companion said to me...

"It's March! I swear I'm not emotional..."

This was the first of March and our final Zone Conference together. It was our best training we've done yet. It's been so fun for me to watch Sister Meyers, who is by nature more shy and timid, really come out of her shell and take on this role as STL.

On the second day 'till I go home my companion said to me...

"Good luck at your interview!"

I had my final interview with President Jergensen this week. It was wonderful to receive one last Priesthood blessing from a man I admire so much. But as I left my interview I started thinking about everything we had talked about... and I became very discouraged. I felt that my mission had been a waste of time because I had not had enough baptisms. I was really hurt and I didn't know what to think for a while. I was very distressed and couldn't really function. 

On the third day 'till I go home my companion said to me...

"Last WPS!"

I had been praying a lot that night and the next morning for peace and consolation from the Spirit. It came. I was able to think logically and do you know what I realized? The only being in the universe who wants me to think my mission was a waste is Satan. So I stopped listening to him. :) haha. It was also so awesome to be able to do my last Weekly Planning Session with my companion. I really needed her encouragement and love :)

On the fourth day 'till I go home my companion said to me...

"It's your last exchange!"

Being a STL has stretched me in ways I didn't know I could be stretched and I haven't really liked it sometimes :) haha. But looking back I'm so thankful for all of the experiences I had that changed me. I was able to go on a really great exchange with our dear Li Jiemei. She's still in training, but she is going to be a very powerful leader in this mission. I was so thankful to be able to bond with her and be friends :) Also the picture of us in the font was when we were preparing for Huang Jiemei's baptism :) haha

On the fifth day 'till I go home my companion said to me...


This was potentially the happiest day of my whole mission. Huang Xing Hua Jiemei entered into the waters of baptism and made covenants with Heavenly Father. It was wonderful and she just kept saying how good she felt. That night Wu Jiemei and I had already planned to go to dinner together and she was going to invite some of her friends who lived in Yonghe. While we were waiting for her outside the restaurant who should show up but CHO DIXIONG!!! I almost cried when I saw him. It's been almost 1 full year since I saw my first RC. He walked up and told me that Wu Jiemei had invited him too! So we were all going to eat dinner together! I was giddy. He then kept telling me how much my Chinese has improved. hahaha. So we went into the restaurant to sit down and while we were waiting guess who walked in? Lin Jiemei! My roommate from Zhubei! And then Hu Dixiong came in! And Cora came in! And Cai Dong Dong came in! And naturally Wu Jiemei was also there, so happy with herself for surprising me :) It was one of the most wonderful reunions I have ever participated in. WU Jiemei also got presents for all of my family :) haha. She's really hoping we will adopt her later ;) ;)

On the sixth day 'till I go home my companion said to me...

"There's your 4."

Before LIn Jun Nan was baptized Sister Meyers and I faithfully set a goal to get 5 more baptisms before I went home. I've never fasted and prayed so hard for anything on my mission. We fasted almost every Sunday and prayed for it every day. We searched through all our former records, found on the street, got people to church, everything we could think of. After Lin Jun Nan was baptized we only had 4 more. So this transfer has been affectionately nicknamed "the 4" haha. We've been working so hard for it, but nothing seemed to be working. Our investigators would be all ready for their interviews and then all of a sudden their family would protest or they had to find a job or they had to move to China... so many different things. Last week after our WPS I realized that because of the requirement in our mission for investigators to attend church at least 3 times before baptism, I wouldn't very likely see 3 more baptisms after Huang Jiemei's on Saturday. So I prayed and told the Lord I trusted Him no matter what. Then on Saturday Huang Jiemei was baptized! It was wonderful and we had a lot of support from the ward. Then on Sunday we went to the fireside in Taipei. (My heart is so full even as I write this.) As we were leaving the fireside, I got to see Sister Nau, one of our sweet sisters in our zone. We used to serve in the Central Taipei Zone together when I was training Sister Fenlaw. She hugged me and very emphatically told me, "Anna is getting baptized on SAturday!" I couldn't believe it. Anna was a young African woman Sister Fenlaw and I had found during our first transfer together. I was elated! Then as we walked out into the hall I ran into a woman who I had given a temple tour to when I was companions with Sister Wood... she called my name, hugged me and said, "Guess what? I got baptized last Saturday!" I was speechless. 

As we were riding home I just kept telling Sister Meyers how astonished I was and she said, "There's your 4." I felt the Spirit just rush into my heart in that moment. All of the fasting and praying we had been doing meant something. It just wasn't something we were seeing direct results from. Those prayers and blessings were going to people outside of our view. I began to count mentally in my head, Lin Jun Nan (1), Huang Xing Hua (2), Anna (3), The miracle temple tour (4), but we were still short one. I asked my inspired companion what she thought of that, she then said, "Maybe it will be one you don't know about." Once again, the Spirit came into my heart and I knew what she was saying was true.

I testify that God knows His children. He loves us and has a plan for us. I testify that we will never fully understand the reach of our service until the very end. I know that Jesus is the Christ. He lives. He loves us. He has already given us all that he is (and that's a lot).

I love this gospel. I am honored to be a part of the Taiwan Taipei mission family. This really does feel like my new home. I'm thankful for every one of my companions and all they taught me. I'm thankful God is still watching over me. 

I love you all and I'll see you soon!

Gu Jiemei!!!
I got to visit Lin Dixiong in the hospital one more time before I left for home:)
My last exchange with cute Li Jiemei!!!
I TAUGHT MY FINAL ENGLISH CLASS. For some reason my entire mission I've been chosen to teach the kid's class... as you can see they are always so full of spirit :) haha
Taipei South Zone!!!
Taipei West Zone Leadership:)
This is the miracle woman I saw at a the fireside this week:)
One of my favorite members. This is Ding Jiemei. They got us cake for our last dinner with them :')

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Maddie for a job well done! Your mission memories will always be a part of who you are, and you will always be a part of so many people whose lives you helped change forever. Your grandpa is so proud of you and so am I! Love, Margy