Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Best Voice In The Ward!

April 23, 2017 email

Hello my beloved family! This week was full of miracles and fun. We have been struggling to find new investigators this week, but the ones that we do have are progressing really well:) I'll share about one of our investigators to start off. It will help this weeks title make more sense. Our investigator Liu JM had an even huge-er change this week. We taught her about repentance and it literally changed her life. She got so touched and realized that she had been repenting wrong her whole life. She left the lesson with a huge smile, and said, "I'm going to go home and REPENT!" Perfect! hahha I was super touched. I am so grateful for repentance. It's just like white out! We can literally become clean through our savior Jesus Christ. Liu JM also really understood the restoration and why she needed to be baptized again. She full heartedly set a baptismal date and agreed to come to church this week!

This is definitely not Chinese food.  It is my FAVORITE Thai Green Papaya Salad!!!!  YUMMY!!!

Church was definitely the funnest part. She came in in a wool dress and Electric blue heels. She is a little crazy. Just a little. :) But anyways she loved sacrament and class after, but the best part by far was Relief society! She was so dang giddy to start! We sang the opening song," There is sunshine in my soul today." She FLIPPED! Literally jumping up and down as she sang. I had to muster up everything I had to not die laughing! Relief Society ended up being a bunch of giggling old women this sunday:) It really lifted the spirit of our meeting a lot actually:) Liu JM was a huge blessing:) She sang at the top of her lungs. It was just a sweet reminder that we should all sing like that more often! We are members of the Restored Gospel. We should be the most happy jolly joyous people in the whole world!
Grateful for Liu JM:)

This past week really was a lot of fun. For Pday we went to a huge park and all played capture the flag together! It was so fun! Good, Clean fun:) haha.

Wang Ba.  The older gentleman and Emma had a deep discussion about MacGyver!  Who doesn't love MacGyver?!
This week we also had the awesome opportunity to help DEEP clean our church. We have a member named Wang ba that is about 70 years old that reminds me so much of Dad. We had an awesome time cleaning together and talking about MacGyver:) Dad You'd love him!

This week we also went to a magical place called Dulan to plan some new young men and young women activities with the young men and young women's presidents. They literally live in the mountains.. We made plans with them to start getting mutual activities organized and then we got to meet their friend Olivaro from spain! He was so cool!!!! He was really curious about the Book of Mormon, We shared with him the story of how Nephi built a ship, because he really likes to build ships too. :)
It was a cool experience. We are going back to their house today to help them build a roof.

Emma's investigator and her cute daughter.
Zhang Yue Mei is doing sooo good:):) Agh! My heart is just bursting! I love her so dang much. She spur of the moment went to taipei this week with her son but called us the day before she left and said," I have to reschedule our appointment to tomorrow morning!!!! I have to report on Alma 32 before I go to Taipei!" It was so dang cute:) She gets more and more excited about the gospel every time we meet with her:)

Agh! this stuff is all so good and its so true:)

This week my testimony of the Plan of Salvation really grew a lot! We had to help out with a funeral of a member in our ward this week. It was really hard to see so many people so sad, but so wonderful to hear all the testimonies of the plan of Salvation. Families really can be together forever, I know that sometimes that term is almost impossible for us to grasp right now, but we just have to keep having faith and really trust in our feeling of warmth and peace that come straight from the spirit telling us that this stuff is all true:)

Fun activity with the Ward.

Happy Birthday Sister Lin!!

I love being a missionary so dang much!
have the bestest week!

Happy Easter!

April 16, 2017 email

This girl and her pineapples!  She LOVES them!
This week was a ton of fun. Man, I feel like the weeks have just been flying by, this transfer isn't even real! It definitely was a week chuck full of adventures, hot sun, pooring rain, and all sorts of miracles in between. 

Last week for Pday our Stake President CaI Huizhang invited all of the taidong missionaries over to his house for dinner. There are 12 missionaries but he only had enough room to take 8 of us in his van. So the taidong 3 elders took one for the team and left earlier to bike to his house:) (don't worry, its not too far. haha.) We all met up at the church and headed on over to his house. He lives on a mountain next to a beach. WHAT?! we showed up to his house and I literally just died. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It reminded me so much of our cabin in bear lake!! just in Taidong! it was so gorgeous. President Cai is an architect and designed his home and a bunch more in Taidong. Pics to come! we had a delicious dinner together:)

The view and all the Taidong missionaries at Pres. Cai's home.  
Ok. all of a sudden I am super duper cramped on time!!!! Now for all the details of the week!.
we had the best zone conference in Hualian this week. We talked all about how we can better listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and then how we can better act on those promptings. We studied from 1nephi 2-5. go and read it now! It's all about how nephi went from being a boy into a man.
This saturday we had an activity put on by a member from Taizhong all about how to have a more successful family and business. We made invitations made and our job was to hand them all out to the cram schools in taidong. We had SO MANY! AND NO TIME TO HAND THEM OUT BY BIKE! We called our friend Taxi Liao and He and a member helped us get them all passed out in 1 hour! It was literally a miracle. It was super hilarious. Taxi Liao loved helping us do missionary work, I am positive that he the will get baptized one day. 
The faces of Taiwan.

Easter activity.
Other highlights from the week.
-I got to go on exchanges with Sister Apsley in Hualian! (Sister Apsley is Emma's MTC companion!!!  She loves her guts!)

-Our investigators are growing so much:) Zhang yue mei even made a cute little cover for her book of mormon:)

-We had a breakthrough with our investigator Liu JM. She just had the hardest time understanding why it was that she needed to pray about the book of Mormon. We really listened to her and tried to understand what she really needed, the holy ghost touched her and helped us clearly explain the importance of prayer. You could literally see a lightbulb flicker on in her mind! Such a happy moment:) When the gospel is clearly understood it really changes behaviors.

I know this church is true!

Dragon Bridge in Taidong.

Last night we also had a tender mercy. We were out finding and ran into this cute little family out on a walk together. My heart was a little sad earlier in the day because church was just a little melancholy. Still wonderful! But nothing to do with the Resurrection of our Savior and Redeemer and Easter! We went to talk to this cute little family and I started talking with the mom. the first thing she said to me was "Fuhuo jie kuai le!" happy easter. I almost cried when she said this! Turns out she is a faithful christian who would do anything for her savior and do anything to help others learn more of him. It was amazing to talk with her and share with her our special message of the restoration! They are coming to see our Meet the Mormons activity that we are putting on in a couple weeks! Heavenly Father really does answer all of our prayers and loves us so much:) He literally puts angels in our path daily! I know Christ lives and he died for us! Easter really is the best! I love you all so dang much!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Body Malfunctions and Cookies For Jesus!

April 9, 2017 email

These are the three sisters that Emma lives with.  Her companion is Sister Lin in the stripes in the middle.  
This week was really really great! 
It is starting to get hot as sin here and it's only April. Not gonna lie, I'm a little scared for a Taidong Summer. I have heard stories about how hot it gets here throughout my entire mission. Now I am going to live to tell another story. Even though it's hot it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!! The sky is absolutely massive here and you can even see the starts at night:) The work is magical here and we were blessed to see so many miracles this week!

pday was super simple this week. It was Elder Jacksons birthday so we bought a MASSIVE shaved ice!! Literally we had to have 15 people there so that we could eat it all. Then we went grocery shopping and found some neat little trinkets:) lots of fun.
Elder Jackson's birthday BING!!  Look at the size of that thing!  A bing is something that I have heard James talking about since the day I met him, almost 25 years ago.  It is a giant shaved ice that is covered in the most lovely ripe, fresh fruit on the planet and then doused with sweetened condensed milk!  He says that a Mango Bing in Taiwan will change your life!!  I am planning on eating one when we pick Emma up in July:)

Tuesday, now that was a funny day. We had scheduled to got to Hualian for exchanges with our sister Training leaders, we went to buy train tickets and were there for 30 minutes trying to buy them. BUT ALL THE TRAINS WERE FULL!!!! WTHECK! It was a holiday weekend here in Taiwan so everyone was taking the train back home....hahahaha. That was a funny phone call to the sisters. "Hey all the tickets are sold out! we can't come! sorry!"  We all had a good laugh together. the only rough part was that since we had planned for exchanges we made sure not to schedule anyone while we were gone. So now we had a whole day of nothing!!!!!! oh no!! But not really oh no, we saw so many miracles while we went out finding. This week we have really been trying to listen to every first impression that we have, cause that one is definitely from the spirit!

We were biking down a street and were stopped at a red light when we looked to out left and saw this little phone store. There were two little kids inside too. We had a prompting to go and just invite them to english class. We listened to the prompting and as a result saw a miracle!! We went in to talk to this little family and turns out that the dad used to be an investigator . The 2 kids were absolutely the best and were so dang cute:) an 8 year old girl and 12 year old boy. We started talking to them about the gospel and asked if we could do an FHE with them! They WERE SO WILLING!!!WHAT?! MIRACLES!!!

This friday we had the best FHE them about families and they are wanting to learn more:)
What do we learn from this?! That we must always listen to the promptings of the spirit!The first one! we just have to humbly and bravely obey and act!

This week sister Lin and I also put on a killer english class. It was How to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies. Our class usually only has about 4-5 people, but since we announced it last week and got everyone excited we had 15 people come and 5 of them were new students! Cookies for Jesus! it was a blast. Everyone loved it. Cookies+the restored gospel of Jesus Christ=MAGIC.

This week really did have so many fun little moments, here's a few more.
-we went on exchanges with the other sisters in our apartment!
-On exchange sister Liu and I taught an english lesson, that was tricky, but she was way cool!
-Sister Lin and i hugged all the grandmas we talked to.
-A 5 year old boy gave me his number:) he wants to date jane:) hahahaha
-and much more!

Conference was so wonderful this week. I was so filled with the spirit and it was an awesome self check for me. I am so grateful and know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the earth today. He is Gods messenger. Listen to Him! Read your scriptures dang it!

Listening to conference

Sister Lin LOVES Emma's hammock:)
But really, conference was awesome. One of our investigators loved it so much.She came to all the sunday sessions, than when it was done, she looked and me and said, "Was that all true?! Where can I pay tithing!" What?! She is truly awesome. 

Her name is Zhang Yue Mei. We met her earlier this week.She is a referral from taipei that lives in our area. We went by her house this wednesday and got to know her. She is struggling. She is 60 years old and her husband just passed away last year. She is living in pain and sadness and does not know how to escape. We shared with her #becauseofhim and she just started to bawl. All she could say was, "wow. They filmed this really well."She is really cute. She is so ready and excited to keep learning more about the plan of salvation.

Ok! Now for the funniest story of the week to finish all this jazz off. Alright so saturday night we had a pass off lesson with some of the elders from the 3rd ward. I'll cut to the chase and just say that the investigator is a little nuts, a little crazy, and we were dead tired after the lesson. 

Sister Lin and I were pooped, we were going to grab some dinner and sister Lin was like, I know what we can eat! "鹹酥雞 Click here to see a picture of what Emma ate!" I was like "Ok!" I had never eaten it before, Basically it's just a ton of mushrooms, vegetables, meat, and everything you can imagine all put in a fryer and then drenched in seasoning.

Taidong friends!
I was STARVING! We ran home to eat it and I took one bite and it tasted pretty good. Then my stomach started to do backflips, I was like, that's
weird, maybe I just have gas. So I kept eating. I took a few more bites and could just feel the oil running down my throat. like SO much. after about like 5 minutes of eating my stomach was screaming for help! I went to the bathroom and basically died for 20 minutes! I pooped my guts out and then got hives all over my stomach, my eye and mouth got swollen like none other. My comp was dying:)!! So I took some benedryl and CRASHED the rest of the night. the next day I woke up no problem:) They think I have a allergy to high doses of MSG. neat. 
so ya. This week was really really awesome. Till next!!

People Really Like Their Veggies Here In Taidong!

April 2, 2017 email

Emma and her new companion Sister Lin!!
This week was absolutely SICK! Taidong is getting better and better everyday and we keep meeting cooler and cooler people everyday! I love it so much:) Heavenly Father has really been right next to us every minute of every day. It's also been so cool to see how many ties have been made this week as well. Members serving in the same mission as Uncle Eric and him also serving in my companions home ward! The world is such a tiny place!
This church is so true!! (Note from Lisa:)  James, and my 2 brothers and 1 sister in law have been scanning faces for the last year, searching for people that any of them knew in Taiwan.  Well this last week we hit the mother lode!  My youngest brother served in Taiwan about 10 years ago as a missionary.  When Emma posted pictures of the people and friends she was meeting in Taidong, Eric called so excited!  Emma's companion lives in another part of Taiwan that Eric had served in.  Her family are members and had the missionaries over for dinner frequently.  Eric ate dinner with the Lin's almost on a weekly basis!  Sister Lin was about 10 years old at the time, but Eric remembers and loves her family!  Also another sister that was in a picture with Emma, was a missionary who served in one of Eric's areas. The world becomes such a small place sometimes!)

Alright, now we will start off with last P-days adventure.
It was super duper adventurous. We rounded up all the taidong missionarie, our stake president, and a bunch of members to join us! (we actually just needed them to drive us...hahah. jkjkjk we really do love them!) We all got together at the church and said a prayer to bless our journey:) We hit the road! our first Destination was SanXianTai. It is a super pretty beach, famous for this fancy little bridge that goes to a small island. It was absolutely gorgeous! It was pretty funny...we spent a really long time throwing rocks. I don't know, something about throwing rocks into water is so peaceful:) Then we went and explored the bridge! I can't believe how beautiful Taidong is. Its so similar to hawaii its crazy. 
This is Sister Bernhardt and she went to the same high school as Emma!  They have been friends for years:)  They now are in the same zone and get to see each other every once in a while.

Dragon Bridge in SanXianTai.

After the bridge we headed to destination number 2. A fish house! Not live ones. Dead ones. This place was pretty interesting. they just had thousands and thousands of fish and sharks and all sorts of sea things that had just been caught! Then they bring them to this warehouse and chop them up and box them up and ship them all around Taiwan. It's open for the public to come and check out. At first it was really cool, but by the end I was trying not to barf.

Our last destination was NUTS. We drove up this road a little ways into the mountains and then pulled over on the side of the road into a little turn around area. I looked out the window and there were like 15 monkeys. Just chilling. 
We all got out of the car to check it out!
They were so cool! Not a huge fan of monkeys but it was cool to be so close and check them out.
This monkey park is open to the public, but the monkeys are super duper protected, you are not allowed to touch them. I didnt' want to get mad monkey rabies anyways so I stayed away. It would freak me out too much! But ya, you will love the pics:)

So it was a fun day for sure! full of lots of adventures and monkeys:)

The rest of the week was great as well.

Our area isn't chuck full of people like taipei is but we have still found some awesome new investigators this week. It's crazy what happens when you just talk to everyone you see and invite everyone to learn more about Christ and how we can improve our lives!
I am so grateful for my companion Sister Lin. We have become the best of friends. she makes me laugh really really hard. The best is when she talks to me in English:) She is SO DANG CUTE! She kills me. but not only is she cute, she is also and amazing missionary! She has a talent for inviting the spirit everywhere she goes.!

This weeks english class was a blast. We are the Beginning class teachers and have the best students. This week we taught about American and Taiwanese cultures and did a compare and contrast. It was super funny and everyone was laughing there guts out by the end of class. this week we are baking cookies. should be fun!

this week we met so many cool people. It was interesting we had 3  people this sunday tell us that we were dumb for not being vegetarians. ugh...Ok..sorry! It was just funny that they all happened to tell us this on the same day!
People really like there veggies here in Taidong I guess.

Saturday night we went to our investigators jessie's resturant to help her clean up so that she would get enough rest to come to church! It was so fun! She was SO grateful that we would come to help her. It totally reminded me of working at the bakery! brought back lots of great memories of closing at the Good Ol Great Harvest:)

We also met an angel this week:) her name is Shi Ruo Fan. She is so prepared! We have met with her a couple times this week and she has the biggest desire to be baptized! Last night we shared the restoration and shared the Because of Him video. She was so touched and so happy to finally have so much confusion in her life be cleared up.

I love this gospel so much and know this church is the restored church of Christ! Through following his example we can all have ultimate peace in our lives!
I love you all so dang much!:0