Tuesday, August 2, 2016

To Love Another Person Is To See The Face Of God

July 31, 2016 email

yes!!!!!! ok. This week was pretty dang fun. Not a ton of super crazy stuff happened, it was just a really happy week:)

First we will start off with P-day!!!!!!!! Last week we went to Taipei 101!! but not to the top, so we had a nice time checking out the massive mall that's on the first 4 floors. Talk about a posh place! so classy. Afterwards we found some other wandering missionaries and we all jumped on the train to Chiang Kai Shek. I have now been there 3 times.....still fun every time:)

Tuesday night we had another glorious day. We met all sorts of wonderful and crazy people. That night we finished off with scripture class and Ji Pei De had his baptismal interview. I was POOPING my pants! We'd already gone over all the questions with him earlier, but I was still just super nervous. We waited for him, and waited some more, it was long...45 minutes later, he came out. and.....PASSED! I was so stinking pumped. He just laughs at how excited I get about everything. . :)

Last P-day at Chang Kai Scheck Memorial.
Wednesday was another good day. English class was really funny. I've been having a problem with my class lately, they are all so DANG SHY! They literally won't talk at all.....I have to force them. I'm like come on friends, I am a fun person dang it! haha bless there hearts. But this week was a little different. A miracle if you will. So Every week I have a specific lesson plan on what I'm supposed to teach...this week was "How to come to church" I was kinda nervous to teach it, I'm like oh dang,,,we are gonna lose all our students after this lesson! But NO! This lesson was so AWESOME. Everyone had SO MANY questions, What is the priesthood? Who is the bishop? How do you join the church? Why can't girls have the priesthood? What's the difference between a ward and a branch? Oh man. It was the best. Now everyone's getting baptized! hahah not really...but soon enough they will;)

Thursday was super duper special. WE had the last lesson with Ji Pei De and just talked together about how he feels and jazz. It was amazing. We all testified of the enable and cleansing power of the Atonement and Christ's love for us. We all had a kneeling closing prayer and Pei De prayed for us. It. Was. Amazing. The most powerful prayer I've heard in my whole life! I was crying like a baby... You do stuff like that on your mission...

Temple Tours!
Friday we had temple tours ALL DAY! Temple tours are the longest days EVER! But always so fun. We had tons of tours and got to meet all sorts of fun new people. We also met some crazy ones too....our last tour was NUTS! he is from China and just wanted me to become hindi with him. I was like, "bro. I believe in Jesus Christ." Not really, but he was very interesting and gave a us a really special prayer at the end..;)

Outing with the ward!

I think this was lunch.

These two are looking more Asian every day:)
Saturday was such a great day!!! We got special permission to go with our ward on this activity in the mountains because we had a lot of investigator families going too! i have no Idea where we went. All I know was that it was beautiful and we dug up bamboo roots to eat and then taught all the families! I'm so grateful for such an amazing ward that has become a second family. :) But don't worry mom. I still think you are number one:)

Saturday night was the BEST. Ji Pei De's baptism!!! And bonus! The Elders had a baptism too!!!! Double Baptism!! Everything was awesome. All of us missionaries did a nice musical number and i played the violin..no big deal..I'm just legendary! jkjkjkjk.
After wards I was asked to introduce Pei De. I just cried and cried......Like a baby.

Je Pei De's baptism!!!  Best Day!!!
Yesterday I was pondering and I realized something. I remember the last time we skyped Jed and He was crying talking about that investigator that he had been teaching, (the one that looked like wolverine) I remember thinking, woa Jed, keep it together. But after I remember thinking, wow. I hope I can learn to love people like that and meet someone like that while I'm on my mission. 
I have. 

I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ! This Gospel changes people and can bring us an unimaginable amount of happiness and hope! The line in Les Miserables has been coming into my head all week this week! "To love another person is to see the face of God." 

Love is the most powerful thing in the entire world. And we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us more than we can understand! I'm so stoked for Ji Pei De and all the other people that we will continue to meet! Love you guys so much

Cockroaches Are Of The DEVIL!

July 24, 2016 letter

Sister Clawson and Sister Eyre!!  
Muzha is such a fun dang place to be:) I feel bad, I've been in Muzha for about half the time I was in Zhongli, but know it like 20x better! It's my home:) I love the streets, the people, the members, all of it! What a wonderful place to be.

This week was a blast. Such a busy week! Sister Eyre and I are getting crud DONE! We are on fire. Well she is on fire. She is honestly the best:) She makes me laugh so much everyday, tells me great stories, and tells me about all the amazing food in Irvine California that apparently I've been missing out on! Mom! We have to go and visit Irvine. It sounds like a wonderful place:) This week we had a fun day of contacting....;) It was a beautiful wednesday morning and we woke up, exercised, and then started studies. By the time studies were over the clouds were looking a bit ominous... but nothing stops us from preaching the gospel DANG IT! So we jumped on our trusty steads and headed out! First it started to trickle, then rain, then DUMP LIKE NOBODIES BUSINESS. Like it was a full on waterfall for a solid few hours......instant shower. It was hilarious:) But out of tribulation comes blessings! The nicest guy pulled up on his scooter and was like, "What the heck are these white girls doing?" We prayed with him, shared a message and set up with him! Heavenly Father will always watch over us and bring us success!!

Contacting on the streets of Muzha!
Thursday and Friday we went to Yonghe on exchanges. It was so much fun! I always learn so much:) My comp was sister Hadley. She is adorable and absolutely NUTS! She is so fun with people on the street and helps them instantly laugh and feel comfortable. I need to be a bit more humble, forget my pride and loosen up! 
Friday our ward put on a concert for everyone. It was so fun! We brought our investigators and they loved it. Elder Sessions played the cello...LIKE A CHAMP!! I was so surprised! He did awesome. Some other members sang All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera..;)
A little #sacramentpaparazzi.  Phantom Of The Opera:)
It was really good. And hilarious. Just picture Taiwanese people that can't really speak english singing that and you'll understand what I mean:)

English lessons!
I also just want to take a hot minute and talk about how important it is to listen to the Holy Ghost!! Cool experience this week. We were on exchanges in Yonghe and I saw this dude drive past on a scooter. I thought he was cool because he had a Lego shirt on:) Anyways, I walked around the corner and he was getting off his scooter, we were on dinner break so I just acknowledged the coolness of his shirt and kept walking. THEN, I got the biggest prompting to go and talk to him more. I was like, "really Holy Ghost? really? OK." So I went and struck up a conversation with him and asked him where he lives.
Guess what he said?

He's the coolest guy ever:) Firefighter in Muzha chilling out in Yonghe with some friends:)

Cute Sister Eyre is on FIRE!

This week really has been so busy and full of miracles. Ji pei De was able to come to church! We met the most prepared woman in Englsih class! Sister Eyres bike came! Our member made us tomato juice! (not really a miracle...just trying to be positive because it was really gross..haha) Met a family to teach! I'm healthy! ya. we are blessed.

Last great story of the week:)
this was awesome.
So the other night, Sister Eyre and I had just gotten home for the night and we about to start our daily planning session, but first Sister Eyre had to run to the bathroom. I was laying down on the floor, completely pooped when I heard the most loud, blood curdling scream of my entire life. Then sister Eyre books it out of the bathroom!!!! There was a MASSIVE cockroach in the bathroom. And she was trying to go and make me kill it!!! Those things seriously scare the crap out of me....they are huge. and nasty. and huge. and nasty... But I had to pull up my panties and kill the sucker. I armed myself and jumped in the bathroom, terrified out of my wits. I couldn't find him for a few seconds, but then I spotted the sucker.He was chilling on the inside door frame. I did some quick thinking, and realized that if I slammed the door as hard as I could I could kill him. i grabbed the door and SLAMMED IT SHUT!
bad/good idea...

I killed the cockroach alright, but it exploded everywhere. Like so much guts and legs and antanas....then we had to scrape him up and throw him away.....It was awful.
The end. 

Taiwan is crazy. Love you fam:) 

Training and Stuffffffff

July 17, 2016 email

Gondola ride to Maokong Gondola with the district!

Elder Session and Elder Dong I think:)

Glass bottom gondola ride.  Pretty trees down below.
Holy crud the past few days have been pretty dang crazy. That's all I have to say. This past wednesday for Pday we went to the Maokong Gondola and explore hidden mountain temples and took lots of really awesome pictures!!! It was super duper pretty. Afterwards we headed to the mission home for temple day! we went to the last session and it was awesome. I absolutely love the temple! It's SO hard to stay awake though! I'm like, what do you expect?! Take a bunch of missionaries who are used to walking and biking in the heat of the day, completely drained, and stick them in a nice air conditioned room with the most comfortable chairs ever, turn off all the lights, and then watch a movie..OK! It was so dang great though. I successfully stayed awake! After our temple session was over we all went over to the Jergensens house for homemade waffles and bananas:) So dang yummy! It was fun to be there and talk to all the other missionaries for a minute. The Worst part was saying bye to Elder Roe! My Cache valley buddy has left me! But the good news that Elder Hansen from Cache Valley took his spot as the new AP!! hahahahh YES! It's fun to have old friends here and to keep making new friends everyday.

The Mountain Crest High School crew!  All these kids are from Cache Valley!  Elder Roe the elder in the middle with the green tie headed home this week.  
Thursday!! Oh man. Trainer Trainee meeting! I was pooping my pants. All of the Terrible feelings and stress that I had the first day of being on island all come back x1000! We have 8 new missionaries this transfer! They are all so fantastic and I'm so excited for all of them! We had some trainings, ate lunch together and then got separated into companionships. Holy cow. I literally almost threw up I got so nervous. It was like even worse than when I was the one finding out who my trainer was! 

English class.

Saying goodbye to Sister Hughes!!!!  She will be missed!!
But all is well now.

Because my trainee is LEGIT! 
Her name is Sister Eyre from California and basically she is awesome and I love her a lot. She is seriously Hilarious and we are getting work done and having lots of fun too! she was SO jet lagged the first night but still killed it in our lesson! She is such an awesome example and is already a fantastic missionary! She's gonna change lives. 

Emma and Sister Eyre with the movers.

New apartment with A/C!!!

Friday was absolutely crazy. WE MOVED INTO OUR NEW APARTMENT! The whole week has been so busy though we haven't had any time to pack anything up!! So friday was dedicated to packing and then us, 2 hard core moving guys, and the Elders getting all of our stuff out of the old apartment and into the new one! It literally took days and we were all soaked by the end. ONe of the movers told me he was impressed with my muscles..;) hahaha. 

OUr new apartment is still cluttered with stuff everywhere but we are excited to be there and to finally have AC!!!!! #christmasmiracle.

Emma and Sister Munsee!!!  Her family moved in with their grandparents who are our neighbors right after Emma left on her mission.  They've been writing back and forth for a few months, and they finally met in person!!  YAY!
OUr first night Sister Eyre almost died cause she thought she saw a cockroach and then in the middle of the night she started telling me the First Vision in chinese;) She's so dedicated:) hahaha it was the best. I love her guts! The rest of the week we had lessons, finding, temple tours, ward FHE, and a ton of miracles:) The best on was last night when we were riding our bikes home. we pulled off by this girl wearing overalls. we prayed with her, shared with her, and told her a little about the happiness we can have through our savior Jesus Christ. She was touched and set a baptismal date with us! Miracles happen ever day. I'm so eternally grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Cause lets be real. I suck! And don't even know what I'm doing! But I know Christ can help me learn and change. 

Goodbyes for Sister Hughes!

The Craziest Week Of All

July 12, 2016 email

Raining again in Taiwan:)
Holy POOP! This week has been so long, so fun, so full of miracle, and absolutely NUTS. I feel bad cause every time someone asks me, How is Taiwan? I always reply, It's nuts... because let's be honest. It is.

Let's start off with last Pday we went to this place called Xinmen. We were excited because so many people had told us it was super cool and everyone in Taiwan has to go there to check it out! It's basically like a big outdoor mall..x1000. We went with 2 other sisters and the Elders. We got off the train and walked up to Xinmen. Right when we got there I felt so weird. I didn't know why.. but I just felt dang weird. Everyone split up to do different things and me and my comp decided to go find some skirts. We went into a store, each got a skirt, walked out, and then looked at each other. We both felt completely drained and powerless. It's probably the worst feeling I've had my mission! We decided to take a short cut the HECK out of that place and go get mango ice. We felt better right away:) but we couldn't figure out why we felt so off.
That night we had english boarding and Elder Session asked me how I liked Xinmen. I told him that it was ok, but I just had the worst feeling ever! He said, "Me too. I hate Xinmen, its a pretty wicked place, lined with gay bars up and down the streets. The spirit cannot be there at all so you feel powerless!" Thank You elder sessions for helping me figure out my weird feeling. Stay in places were the spirit can always be with you:)
then some crazy women at english boarding came and kissed me on the cheek....

Even as a missionary Emma love a good Chaco tan! 
We had a typhoon this week. But luckily the mountains obliterated it before it got to Taipei. We just had a lot of rain! BUT EVERYONE WAS INSIDE!! Hard missionary work for a few days but its alright!

Li Yi Jen JM and Sister Hughes.  Cute girls!!
And we have a cute sister doing missionary work with us for a week! Her name is Li Yi Jen JM:) She is 16 and SO CUTE. this is like a mini mission for her and she has been kicking butt!!

Ji Pie De is a favorite investigator!
This past friday was one of the coolest miracles I've seen. We had our lesson with beloved Ji Pei De. We were pretty scared. This night we were going to share with him about the Law of Tithing. Ji Pei De LOVES money! He has 2 jobs and is one of the hardest workers I've ever met, and all he wants is to just have enough to be well off and take care of his future fam! I fasted for him, and my companion and I had been praying for days that The Lord could help soften his heart and that he would be able to Trust in God and the blessings that come from keeping his commandments:) We started off with an analogy where you use 10 skittles to represent tithing. It's really cute and fun I promise, I just don't have time to explain it all right now! sorry.. but anyways we finished the example and we gonna introduce how this BiYu represents tithing, but before we could start he stopped us and said, "Is this about tithing? Where you donate 10% of your income to the building up of the church?" we were like...., "Yes....." He replied." I read about it on mormon.org! I prayed about it. I'm prepared. I'm willing to keep this commandment."

what the...

then I started to cry.

Heavenly Father prepares his children so much and will let us see miracles!! I have a testimony that fasting and prayer work. Heavenly Father hears and will answer ever single one of our prayers. He will never leave us in the dust. EVER.!

This is a typical discussion.
Now we are moving on to Story number two of the week. This is to show the compare and contrast between lessons with different people:) haha.

We have another investigator named Yu xuen xin JM! she is so cute and has the strongest little testimony, she is just really scared to set a baptismal date. We had an awesome lesson prepared for her all about faith. Before the lesson started she texted us and asked if she could bring her brother with her. We were like SURE! deep inside we were a little nervous, because he's an LA. BUT  we had faith the Lord would help and guide us!

The greatest ward members in Muzha!  They help the missionaries so much and love them:)  Thank you!!
the lesson went awesome she LOVED IT. We read enos with her and she loved how she could really relate herself to him. Our time was about over and we talked with her a bit about baptism and her feelings towards it. Then, her brother LIT UP! he hadn't talked the entire time, and then went off for one hour about how cruel we were to try and make his sister get baptized. What it came down too was that he has felt so hurt by the church, and doesn't think that we as americans can truly understand how taiwanese work. It was super tough. Yu xuen xin was crying, me and my comp were trying to keep it together. Man! Our little missionary that is with us bore the most powerful testimony about the truthfulness of this gospel and then we wrapped up the lesson before we all started bawling! This lesson was the biggest learning experience. This church is perfect. but everyone in it is imperfect. We all need to try and have a little less pride, become a little more humble, and always rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know this church is true with all my heart! We hope that Yu xuen Xin will continue to feel it for herself too:)

District Meeting.

This just reminds me of silly pictures Jed would send home from Albania!  Missionaries and their weapons:)

Emma and her beloved Sister Hughes!  6 great weeks together:)  Love you Sister Hughes!!!
I absolutely love taiwan! its crazy. but awesome.
Random facts of the week:

-Ji pei de killed a spider as big as my face in the church..\
-i got an instant shower in the rain this week on the way to a baptism. A member saw how wet I was and then got two blow dryers and dried me up and down....ya..
-our ward is awesome and went finding with us this sunday.
-I'm moving apartments on friday.

(cute little tidbit Emma sent about how she found out she was training. ---- I had to share!  I didn't sleep AT ALL last night! I was pooping my pants a little. I guess I'll let you know how it goes! I was talking to Elder Roe last night asking about a last few details about our new apartment, (oh ya, I'm also moving apartments on friday!) He told me some essentials I would need such as, soap, rags, broom, mop, and diapers...\
I was like diapers?
he said yes, for the baby.
then he told me I was training....
I FREAKED OUT!!! he's leaving friday and I'm so sad!!!)


Adventures and Miracles In Taiwan

July 3, 2016 email

Emma and Sister Hughes were able to return to Zhongli this week to see Willie be baptized!!!  Emma and Sister Komatsu found Willie the second week Emma was in Taiwan and now he's a member:)  Such a great day!
What a super duper awesome week!! I am so grateful to be here in Taiwan. It's such a special place! WE will start off with last Pday! Sister Hughes and I decided that we wanted to go on an adventure. We heard of a majestic waterfall up some hidden canyon so we jumped on  a bus and hoped for the best! It turned out to be the most beautiful place!!! It's called Wulai. This little village in the mountains! We walked a ways up and then BAM! This super duper amazing waterfall! It was beautiful. We found lots of cool asian trinkets and ate weiner on a stick with some friends that we made. The miracle part was that we even made it back before proselyting time:)

Waterfall in Wulai.

Later Monday night we did our usual hour of english boarding by the hospital. Everything was going as normal until this kid came up to me and asked me in chinese, "Are you american?" I replied, "yes!" and then he FREAKED OUT!!!!!!!!! I don't know what he was saying but he was yelling, and EVERYONE was staring!!! I was gonna poop my pants! Luckily Elder Dong is an angel and got after him and literally saved my life..
Pretty sure the guy was special in the head.. but it was still the worst! Elder Dong is The district Mom. I'm so grateful he helped a sister out! Dong mama for President.

This is Elder Roe (the Elder in the middle)  from Cache Valley too! He and Emma went to Mountain Crest High School together.  He is home now.

The rain made Emma look as if she's a nursing mother:)  Sorry, but I just think Em is so much fun!
This week was truly amazing. We are finally starting to find those who are really prepared! the Lord loves us so much and ALWAYS will help us have success. We just have to be obedient and patient. I'm not super good at either of those...
I'm super good at being obedient, but patience is something that I definitely lack in!!

Another miracle from this week was that our investigator Ji Pei De was able to come to church with us and the investigator fireside last night!!!!!!!!!! AGH! He is so dang awesome. He never fail to amaze us with his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This week we will be sharing with him Tithing. Oh man I am SO NERVOUS! He really loves money. He is the hardest worker I've ever met and is already balancing 2 jobs right now! Pray that he will have the faith to keep this commandment and understand the intense amount of blessings that he'll receive from obeying God:) We love him to death! I have a green CTR ring that he just loves. I told him when he gets baptized I'll buy him one. He was pumped. :)

Willie's baptism.
Another massive miracle from the week was in Zhongli!!!!!!! I had the chance to go back to my birth home of Zhongli and watch my investigator Willy get baptized!!!!!!!! It was such a cool experience. He has changed so much and its been cool to watch him from the very beginning! I met him my 2nd week in Taiwan. We had know idea where to go, so we prayed, opened our eyes, pointed left, knocked on a door, and it was him:) He is so dang awesome! It was so special to go back to Zhongli this week. I didn't think I'd made much of an impact in Zhongli but it was crazy to see friends, and members again. They actually like me! 
Taiwan is so great. Here are some fun facts and special moments from the week.\
-we were praying in the elevator nun style (hands clapped together) and then some people walked in...but we weren't done...awkward;)
-my english class is so dang shy its hilarious. My personality is SO different than taiwanese:)
-My brain is pooped everyday. 
-we might be kicked out of our apartment next week!
-Moving to a foreign country makes you have super intense American Pride.
-I saw a spider as big as a softball this week and almost threw up!
-I got a fungus on my wrist because it could never stay dry cause I always have my watch on....but now its better;)