A New Apostle!

2015 11-29 Stevenson

This week has been incredible. I am so grateful for every minute of my mission. It is a joy to experience the Atonement of Jesus Christ and see myself changed by it, as well as see those around me changed by it as they come to know and love Jesus Christ. He is my Savior. I know He is. And I love Him. I am so glad to serve Him and represent Him in doing His work here in XiaoGang. There is nothing better! 

 This week was yet another incredible week in missionary work. We were able to have a Thanksgiving dinner with some wonderful members who worked really hard to make some American-ish food for us and it touched my heart. I love the people of Taiwan SO much. I really feel at home here with these wonderful people. Heavenly Father has opened my eyes and opened my heart to let me see just how much He loves these people and I’m telling you he loves them SO much. I do too 🙂 And I’m thankful for the service that they are to me and all of the love they are showing me everyday. I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to bring them the gospel – which is the source of all happiness in this life and the next. 

 Last P-day we went to the 85 with our wonderful investigator and best friend Cao Jiemei! It was SO much fun. We went to the very top of Gaoxiong. It was a clearer air day and we were able to see a lot and ride up the elevator in 45 seconds! I love this city! Cao Jiemei is doing amazing! We really love her and have become like the three amigos basically. We call three got distracted on the way to the 85 to look at a second hand book store, so that tells you that all of us are really similar in that way. Keep Cao Jiemei in your prayers 🙂 She is really accepting the gospel and changing and learning and it is amazing to see the blessings coming into her life as she does so. 

 Last Saturday, we went contacting in park and I felt like we needed to go talk to a woman from the Philippines. I was really surprised when she said she was a member! She moved to Taiwan several years ago and attended the English branch in Taoyuan for a couple of years, but then when she moved down south to Gaoxiong, she wasn’t able to find the church and there isn’t an English branch down here either. It’s been almost three years since she has been to church. I was so glad that we stopped to talk to her. We ended up sharing Mosiah 2:41 about “the blessed and happy state of those who keep the commandments” and inviting her to come back to church. We offered to translate for her and she was SO happy to have the church back in her life. She wasn’t able to make it yesterday, but she is planning on coming as soon as she can. What a wonderful miracle and a testament that Heavenly Father will place the people in our path that need us- whether or not they were who we were looking for! 

 The big highlight of the week was that newly-called apostle Elder Gary E. Stevenson came to visit our mission. He came to pick up his son Elder Stevenson who finished his mission here last week and on Friday we had a mission conference. The conference was absolutely amazing. Sister Blickenstaff spoke about Alma 56 and 57 and related us as Taiwan Taizhong missionaries to the stripling warriors. President Blickenstaff told us about when President Ezra Taft Benson came to visit his mission when he was a young missionary and then talked to us about personal revelation and how we need to open our hearts to receive it. Sister Stevenson shared an amazing message that really answered a lot of my prayers. She taught us about how to be a PRO- to pray, read, and obey every day. She showed us a picture of two pairs of shoes at the mission home in Japan when she and Elder Stevenson served as mission president and wife there- one of a newly arriving elder and one of an elder about to finish his full time service. The picture made me cry as I thought of my shoes that are currently super-glued together and worn. You have to give every ounce of effort every day- that’s all that Heavenly Father asks. Elder Stevenson was able to teach us for over an hour and it was INCREDIBLE. He talked to us about our missionary purpose, which has become everything to me- INVITE others to come unto Christ by HELPING them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. He shared with us that God really does qualify whom He calls. He really expressed how it feels to suddenly be called as an apostle and that he understands us completely when we feel inadequate as missionaries, but urged us to have faith and confidence and focus on the things we can do instead of the things we can’t do. He taught us the importance of obedience and said something that made me even more happy to be a missionary-“When you get up at 6:30, you get a blessing. When I get up at 6:30, I get tired.” Obedience leads to blessings which lead to happiness! He taught us of inviting people to do things to come unto Christ and promising them the blessings of doing so and leaving with an announced testimony of the restored gospel. It was Preach My Gospel chapter 11 but just a few steps deeper than I have ever taken it before and it helped me to know what I need to do in every lesson moving forward. He left us with an apostolic blessing with anything that we need, peace, comfort, confidence, power to endure, and to allow us to love fully the people we are serving. It was an incredible experience.

I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Have a great week 🙂

凃納瑄姐妹 Sister Emily Turner

台灣台中傳道部 Taiwan Taizhong Mission

 

 

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