It has been another wonderful week here in XiaoGang! I love it so much down here and I am learning so much every day as a missionary.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard from the sisters serving in Tainan 2nd Ward that Ke Jiemei got baptized! My first week in Tainan, Jiang Jiemei and I went on splits after English class and I taught Ke Jiemei for the first time. It was my first time ever splitting for a lesson and Ke Jiemei’s greatest characteristic is that she talks A LOT haha. I was so nervous, but I really felt Heavenly Father’s love for her and invited her to be baptized. Since then, she has been working hard to overcome some things in order to prepare to be baptized. I was so excited to hear that she has done it! I’m so grateful for the time that I was able to spend teaching her and for answers to so many prayers that helped her to get to this point. The gospel is so real and I am so excited for her to have it in her life forever.
Last Monday on P-Day, Sister Tapia and I got permission to head up to Tainan to see Sister Murdock and Sister Porter! Best. We started this together back on June 11, 2014 but the way the move call worked out around Christmas and the start of a new semester, we won’t be going home at the same time-they will be headed back next week. It was really fun to be able to go see them-they will definitely always be some of my best friends. It’s cool to see how we’ve changed and grown as we have come to see the power of the gospel in our lives and in others. We love Taiwan and we love this work here! There is nothing better than being a Taiwan Taizhong missionary.
Sister Tapia and I have really done some good work with the members here lately. We have been very focused on helping them do their own missionary work and they have been so willing and incredible. I love the XiaoGang ward! I have been so impressed as they have started to set small goals- like telling their friends or co-workers that they have prayed about that they are members of the church- and hitting them! Then, setting the next small little goal and really doing all they can to share the gospel that they love.
Last week we exchanged with the GangShan sisters- Sister Payne and Sister Hughes! It was the best. They’re both super happy, hard working sisters and I have learned a ton from their examples while I’ve been here.
Samuel got baptized last week! He is Annie’s son, who is an awesome new member here. We are super excited for their family 🙂
This week I learned a really big lesson. One day during this week, I got a little less faithful and less full of real intent in my contacting. We were out contacting all day Thursday and at the end of the night, I was hit by the Spirit hard with the feeling that I had not given it my all with the people I was talking to. Even though I had still been talking to a lot of people about the gospel, I had missed the mark. Ever since I learned how to overcome my personal fears and put my whole heart and strength and testimony into a contact when I was being trained, I have tried so hard to do that in every contact and it has brought me so much joy here as I have been out sharing the gospel. I have come to know that the people I am talking to truly are children of our Father in Heaven. He LOVES them and they need the gospel of Jesus Christ. It can be really hard to put your whole heart, might, mind, and strength into every person you meet on the road when so many just say no, but I have learned time and again how worth it that is. But, on Thursday, I gave in to the natural man. I am so grateful for the power of the gift of the Holy Ghost that helped me to recognize my mistake, and called me to repentance. That night, for the first time in my entire life I was able to go through every step of repentance-including forgiving myself-in just one night. I felt true sorrow for my mistakes, grew closer to my Heavenly Father through prayer, felt His love for me and for all us, felt the joy of true forgiveness, committed to NEVER go back to that again even for a minute, and forgave myself. The atonement of Jesus Christ is real. As Preach My Gospel teaches us, “Through continuing repentance, we may obtain forgiveness and be cleansed of our sins by the power of the Holy Ghost. We are relieved of the burden of guilt and shame, and through Jesus Christ we become worthy to return to the presence of God.” I love the work of my Father in Heaven and I am grateful so much that He calls us in our imperfections to serve Him and builds us up in so many ways. Since that moment, my contacts have had more power than they did before this experience and we have found many people willing to listen. Heavenly Father loves His children and His greatest goal is for us to have the eternal joy that the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring.
On Thursday night, we were out contacting and a wonderful woman came up and started talking to US. She was amazing and brought us back to her house to meet her family. We started talking and getting to know them and taught them how to pray. Then the dad in the family went to a drawer and pulled out a picture of their family from around 30 years before at Taroko Gorge in Hualien with an older couple from America. The American couple- named Gellert- had met them there, taken a picture with them and written their name and the address of the stake center in Gaoxiong. The dad of the family showed us the pictures and asked if this was the church we were talking about. It was! Because of that experience around 30 years ago, they were willing to let us in and hear the message of the gospel. EVERY LITTLE ACTION to share the gospel has an impact. No matter what. I am so grateful to that couple for their small act of faith and service so many years ago and so excited to teach this little family more about the gospel.
Love you all SO MUCH! Thanks for all that you do for me! You are amazing people 🙂
凃納瑄姐妹 Sister Emily Turner
台灣台中傳道部 Taiwan Taizhong Mission