This week was absolutely incredible!
Me and Sister Tapia are working so well together. It has been an absolute blast. We are just giving it all that we have and loving every single minute down here in XiaoGang.
Last P-Day we went the the Gaoxiong Dream Mall as well as the wonderful Japanese store where everything costs an American dollar, but is super amazing. We just LOVE Gaoxiong SO MUCH!
The last couple of move calls I’ve been getting up half an hour earlier with my companion for extra exercise and personal prep time. (It’s allowed- don’t worry!) I am telling you that is an extra half and hour that is life changing. Sister Tapia and I have both kind of fallen in love with exercise on our missions and it’s been fun to go together. We work hard and I’ve also been re-listening to general conference during the morning time. It is amazing how much we can be blessed by the word of God through a living prophet in our daily lives.
It gone down to 25 degrees Celsius here this week. (That is 77 degrees Farenheit). Almost time for a sweater! I’m definitely adjusted to the weather in Taiwan haha. FALL IS HERE.
Sister Tapia and I have been working with the zone leaders a lot recently to help the Gaoxiong West Zone to feel more successful in the work and invite more people to come unto Christ. We have been focused a lot more on doing our part in INVITING, and not worrying about the results as much. We are setting goals that we can be 100% accountable for because they are completely unrelated to the result and only related to our personal effort to invite. Our zone is focusing on making sure that not a day goes by without inviting someone to come to church and inviting someone to follow the example of Jesus Christ in being baptized. It has brought a real excitement into the zone as we focus on making plans to invite and do everything within our own power, and seeing the little miracles that come as people do accept those invitations.
This week we went on exchanges with the Nanzi sisters! It was a really great experience and we learned a lot. I was able to bring Sister Rumsey back here to XiaoGang and I just loved serving with her for the day. Something broke on one of our bikes and we had to walk for about 45 minutes to get it fixed and she didn’t even pause for a second to worry or complain or anything. I learned so much from her example!
So last week, we met that lady who said she was looking for a church outside the 7 and…when we met with her this week she was AMAZING! It was actually kind of funny. We gave her a tour of the chapel and then sat with her to get to know her background a little more and she was just really nervous giggling the whole time. It was a little awkward and I was just thinking- we NEED to pray. So we taught her the basic principles of prayer and then I said a prayer and when I was done, she was completely finished giggling and said that she felt really warm. We felt the Spirit enter into the meeting so strong. We helped her to understand the Godhead and that the feeling she had was from the Holy Ghost. As we invited her to come to church and follow the example of Jesus Christ in being baptized, she didn’t hesitate. She knew what she was feeling and was willing to act!
We several wonderful investigators from the college club and they are all progressing pretty well! SO MANY MIRACLES! On Tuesday, we were set up to meet with one and there were some weird things that happened and we knew we would only have 15 minutes. We decided to just talk about church and baptism and invite her. It was a miracle. She is so willing to follow the example of the Savior and she is working towards a baptismal goal and loved church yesterday!
This week Sister Tapia and I have spent a lot of time pondering on the meaning of a successful missionary and how that relates to being accountable t. This morning in my studies, it all kind of culminated together as I read in Helaman 15:6 where it says “they are striving with unwearied dilligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers daily.” We are here to work with UNWEARIED DILIGENCE to bring souls unto Christ, and there will be many who choose to and many who choose not to ‘add to our numbers,’ but our accountability is only on the part of our diligence. And then in verse 13 we are taught, “that they may be brought to the true knowledge…of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd and be numbered among his sheep.” As I serve, the only way I can truly be accountable is through personal prayer and knowing between me and my Father in Heaven that I have served to the end of each day with unwearied diligence in bringing His children home.
Our wonderful investigator who contacted us in the Family Mart last month is also still working hard. I have never met anyone with a more innocent desire to follow Jesus Christ. She just truly loves Heavenly Father even though it’s only been a month since she came to know Him.
We saw so many miracles all week long, but the experience that stood out to me the most was actually what happened after dropping an investigator Wu Jiemei. Right from when I contacted this sister about a month ago, I have been so excited to help her receive the gospel and been praying for it every day just like with all of the incredible people that we meet here. But when it came to keeping commitments and willingness to learn, we just had to make a decision and she did as well. She let us know that right now isn’t her time. We had a very good last meet and she said that the next time missionaries come knocking, she’ll be willing to let them in and listen. As we left, I felt like we had done exactly what Heavenly Father wanted us to do, but I also felt the sadness for her not accepting the goodness of the gospel. As we got on our bikes and went to the next light, I found it a little harder to contact at the next red light. I prayed in my heart to Heavenly Father and just let him know that I was sad. I felt a very clear impression come to my mind- ‘I know. KEEP GOING.’ And I did. At the very next light, I invited someone to learn more about Jesus Christ, just like we do at every light and she accepted. We kept contacting everyone we could and doing everything within our power to invite others to come unto Christ. Heavenly Father knows and loves all of His children and it is wonderful to do His work right along with Him. JUST KEEP GOING.
LOVE YOU ALL!
P.S. Our Mission President sent us this in his email to us. I love Gaoxiong and love the people here. It is amazing to be a part of building stakes in Zion!
Recently Elder Geritt W. Gong, our Asia Area President, asked if we, as individual missionaries, and collectively, as a mission would specifically pray “for the establishing of righteous families and priesthood brethren in Jiayi and Gaoxiong in the coming months.” An application has been submitted for a new stake to be created in Gaoxiong by early next year. We are also working diligently toward helping the Jiayi District become a stake by June of next year. There is much that remains to be done in both areas to prepare for these great events. If you are serving in either of these areas please prayerfully consider what adjustments you might make to your goals and plans in order to help with these efforts. Elder Gong and I would also like to invite you all, as a mission, to fast together this Sunday in behalf of the Gaoxiong and Jiayi areas to help us further the establishment of these two new stakes of Zion. I know that the collective faith and sacrifice of this mission can hasten the work of salvation!
凃納瑄姐妹 Sister Emily Turner
台灣台中傳道部 Taiwan Taizhong Mission