Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sugar Rush and Spooks 
Another week gone by! Seriously, the weeks have been going by so quickly! I have fallen in love with this area! The day I leave will be bittersweet, but aren't all good byes that way? This week was really fun for me, except for the cold. Gosh darn I forgot how cold Utah gets. It's not even that bad but still. 
We taught Bailey a couple times this week. She's seriously the perfect investigator. Her faith is incredible. Her mom even came to one of our lessons! So that was good. During our lesson on Sunday her aunt said to me, "don't go to Taiwan. We love having you here." Gah that broke my heart. I've started to say bye to my investigators and the members because I don't know when I'm going to be leaving!
Teala's baptism was on Saturday!(: oh my goodness, nothing went according to plan haha! First, they spelt her name wrong in the program. Then the two elders who were supposed to give the talks ran late, so Sister Whitfield and I gave an impromptu talk on baptism and Sister Calder did it on the Holy Ghost. And then Teala had to be immersed twice because her feet came up out of the water. And finally during the presentation that we sisters were supposed to give the elders got up and did it instead. But one of them is a greenie and he ended early, so Elder Walters was like, "umm... And it continues!" And just kept talking. Haha! But it went well otherwise(: Teala is very excited and happy to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!(:
We met with Cassiea, the less active member whose door said, "if you're not friends or family don't knock." We had a Family Home Evening planned, and then the Spirit directed it a different way. She started discussing her desire to go to church and that she really does love going. She talked about the importance of prayer in her life. And finally she got down to her real concern; she is worried that she will become and strong, active member of the church but her husband will never join. At this moment the Spirit prompted me to share my mom and dad's story. I told her that my mom was once in the same situation. She went back to church and my dad took the discussions for years! But he saw my moms example and he eventually was baptized. I felt the difference in my home that the gospel made. The gospel has blessed my life immensely. Heavenly Father blessed my family and I know He will do the same for Cassie's. The Spirit was so strong! God has given us experiences so that we can help other people! Cassie is an incredible woman; my heart goes out to her. She's going to try and get active in the church again! Gah! The gospel is so great!
We met with Jason several times this week. He's seriously my favorite. During one visit we started talking to him about his baptismal interview. He told me, "you know how pretty much every verse in the Book of Mormon starts with 'and it came to pass'? Well that's how I'm going to answer all my questions; 'well Sister Jenkins said...'" Haha! I hope I told him all the right answers ;) Sunday night we had another lesson with him, and I may or may not have been slightly hyper due to a sugar rush haha! But we talked to him a lot about going to the temple and how that's the next step. He was really excited about it! I'm so excited for him and his family to be able to be sealed in the temple for all time and eternity! I cannot stress enough how important it is that we all set the temple as our goal. 
Ok here are some of my random stories of the week: we had zone conference on Friday. It was really long but I learned quite a bit about how to become a better missionary. I got to see Jensen and Wheeler! It's always so comforting to see a familiar face. I started laughing and they called out my name and shushed me... Those brats. For those of you who thought my mission would make me quiet obviously that's not happening haha! 
Sister Whitfield left her phone in our senior couple's car and they weren't answering the door. So we tried unlocking the door through the window. It was a success!... Until the alarms went off haha! But we got the phone ;) 
Sunday night Jason and his wife were telling us some creepy stories, so the three of us went home kind of spooked. We turned off the lights and then we heard our bedroom door open and close. And then a light outside turned off so it got darker. And then lightning struck. At that moment both Sister Calder and I dove into Sister Whitfield's bed haha! Sister Calder turned on some hymns on the iPad, but then it randomly turned off so she was like, "yup, I'm sleeping with my nametag on!" Hahaha gosh I love these girls. We ended up pushing the beds together and slept like that hahaha. We found out that the window was open and that was causing the door to open and close, but we were all too freaked out to close it. So that was fun.

I love my companions so much. We played ping pong the night I had my sugar rush... So they don't give me sugar anymore hahaha. Our district leader called us while we were in the car so I answered. They thought that I was just being hyper and talking to myself! Haha! Oh dear me. Sister Calder reminds me so much of Jayne it's ridiculous. I love it. I am always laughing with these two(: 
The women's conference was so good! I really enjoyed President Uchtdorf's talk. Our Heavenly Father is constantly pouring out blessings upon us. He loves us so much! "Heavenly Father is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today." General conference is this weekend and I encourage all of you to listen! Our prophet and apostles and other general authorities will be speaking and giving us counsel(: it's a good chance to learn more about the church if you're curious! 
I love all of you! Thank you all for your support! You all mean so much to me!(:


This is for my sister Mel. Llamas in Utah.
The Look, "Why didn't you go to church?"
"It's just down the street."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Good Ol' Utah

你好!(: hello! This week went by so quickly! In the week and a half
that I've been here I have fallen in love with this place! Don't
worry, I still want to get to Taiwan, but I thank 神 God every day that
he has given me this opportunity to be here! It has been such a

 So this week Sister Whitfield put in a Sara Bareilles CD and I was in
heaven. I absolutely love my companions. I learned a very important
lesson from Sister Whitfield this week. We went to a house that said
"if you aren't friends or family do not even think about knocking on
this door." I was ready to walk away but Sister Whitfield turned to me
and said, "don't fear man." We knocked on the door and this sweet
mother with three young children came and talked to us for like 20
minutes. She then said that earlier that we she had gotten an
impression that she needed to go back to church so it was crazy that
we had shown up at her door. DON'T FEAR MAN. God's
hand is in everything! Trust in Him to guide you! That was something I needed to learn!

Jason is probably my favorite investigator. He has gone through about
12 sets of missionaries and we are the first ones he has committed to
be baptized! He has been going to church for about 15 years. The thing
that has been holding him back is that he likes his alcohol. But this
week he has decided to give it up! And he is so prepared to get
baptized and has a date set! Oh my goodness it's incredible! When we
told him Joseph Smith's account he said, "that is the first time that
I have thought of it as an actual event and not just a story." My
testimony that Joseph Smith truly did see Heavenly Father and Jesus
Christ has grown so much! I know for a fact that that is a true event
and not just a story! The Spirit has testified of that to me on
multiple occasions!
So Thursday morning was nice because I got to talk to that Chinese
lady! Yeah... So my 中文 Zhongwen is not that good because she started
laughing at me halfway through it haha! But there's a chance I might
get to talk to her again(: also I met Buford the cow. He's this cow
that came running up to me (he was inside a fence) so I decided to get
a selfie with him. He's my friend now. The family told me that they're
going to slaughter him soon... Why would you name a cow and slaughter
it?! Also, everyone in Utah either has a cow, a horse, a llama, a
goat, or chickens. And EVERYONE has a dog. So plenty of animals around
it! There was one house where the boy kept coming back with a new
animal to show us: "this is my pet snake." Gross. "And this is my
tarantula!" Sister Calder and Sister Whitfield were pretty much
running down the stairs at this point haha!
I love my zone and district here. Saturday morning we woke up at 5:30 (ugh) to play some sports. We played something called speedball and
then did indoor soccer, which was a bad idea because I got hit in the
face several times haha! I didn't cry though ;)

Saturday was super awesome. Sebastian got baptized! The Spirit was so strong and I was
crying and yeah. I'm so proud of him(: and then we got to go to the
cultural event for the Ogden Temple re dedication. There were 8,000
youth in the building for it! Wow! And I got to my seat and sat Jensen
and Wheeler! Wheeler wasn't supposed to come for another week so it
was so good to see him! Even cooler though: PRESIDENT MONSON WAS
THERE! Along with Elder Holland and Elder Bednar. Oh my goodness so
cool(: the celebration was so neat and I got to be on TV! Yay(: at one
point all the youth were holding up a banner that said "you can't get
anywhere without going to Ogden" and Jensen turned around and looked
at me and said, "you can't even get to Taiwan without going to Ogden
first!" Haha!
Sunday we got to go to the stake center to watch the re dedication.
Gosh I absolutely love temples. I love that I can be with my family
forever. I love the sacredness of the temple. I love that God has a
plan of happiness for us so that we can return to live with Him!
I spent so much time laughing this week. I love my companions. They
are so great. I love my mission. I love Utah. I love the people here.
I love the opportunity that Heavenly Father has given us to learn and
grow. It looks like I should be in Taiwan with the next 2 weeks! Crazy
stuff! I love you all so much! You're in my thoughts and prayers!(:
加油! Jiayou!(:


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Time in Utah

Nihao from Utah!(: I am loving it here! I cannot tell you how happy I am everyday and how blessed I am to serve in this beautiful place! On Friday morning I went to the travel office at 5:30 to prepare to leave for Ogden, Utah. My whole district saw me and Jensen off. Gosh, I miss them all so much already! It gives me comfort to know that I will see them again in a few short weeks! Elder Jensen, Sister Akita, and I boarded a train and two hours later we ended up in Ogden. We stepped off the Front Runner and OH MY GOSH it was freezing cold and windy! I was dying! Thankfully it has been hot this week, but I was worried for the first day that I would die here! I'm packed for tropical weather so oh dear! We went to the mission office and they told us, "well, you will be with us for a couple of weeks. So you will have a phone, here's your ipad, and you need to check Facebook everyday." Talk about a dream mission ;) 
 I met my two trainers/companions: Sister Whitfield and Sister Calder. I absolutely ADORE them! They are the missionaries I hope to become someday! Sister Calder kind of looks like Steph from certain angles. So they took me out to lunch (real food!) and then we began teaching. Our first investigator was this 9 year old boy named Sebastian. His baptism is this coming Saturday!(: I'm so excited for him! When we were doing weekly planning a member called us and said that her friend wants to get baptized! Wow! Miracles galore! Anyways, I felt super overwhelmed my first day but I absolutely loved being out in the field!
Saturday morning we had mission conference in Logan (Yes, Lolo, I thought of you because that's your name). So guess who spoke... ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND!! Oh my gosh it was so cool to see him speak in person! I forgot my journal at home, but he said so many incredible things! One of my favorites was, "The best missionary is you. There is no mold." So I needed to hear that. He is so awesome. Gah I got here just in time(: After that we had a lesson with an 11 year old girl named Teala who wants to get baptized. She is so cute. Her mom is very against the church, but she spends most of her time with her aunt who is inactive. Teala is so enthusiastic and excited! So we eat dinner with a member EVERY NIGHT. Home cooked meals mmm... #fatfatfat haha! 
Sunday was really good. I went to 7 hours of church! We had a meeting at nine with one ward, and then we drove to another ward for Sacrament meeting. I bore my testimony and I started by speaking in Zhongwen. So that was fun to freak everyone out ;). Then we drove to another building for another ward and I bore my testimony again and freaked more people out. Yes, different buildings for different wards. Churches in Utah are like Starbucks in California: they're on every street corner. After church we had an appointment with the girl who called us on Friday. Her name is Brooke and she is incredible! The Spirit was so strong in this lesson. Her parents are also against the church but they said that she can make her own decisions. She didn't have the nerve to ask her parents if she could take the discussions until now. I was teaching about the Restoration, but I had to stop because I didn't remember how to say Joseph Smith's first vision in English (How awkward is that? I don't know my first language!). After Sister Whitfield said the first vision she asked Brooke how she felt. Brooke said, "It just clicked. It all makes sense." I started crying. This young 16 year old girl has such a strong testimony and so much faith. I was crying as I bore my testimony, and I extended the invitation to her to be baptized, and she said yes! We were all crying by the end of the lesson. It was absolutely incredible. If the only reason I was sent here was to meet Brooke that's ok with me!
Yesterday morning was spent studying the scriptures and training me (I'm a greenie now... ugh). We went looking for more people to teach and found this super sweet lady named Tracy. She has so many questions for us and we are meeting her again this week. We had another lessons with Sebastian. We taught him some more commandments and such. After the lesson was over his dad was just asking him about his bug collection. Sebastian said, "oh... yeah I found out that they were a boy and a girl. Do you know what happens when a boy and a girl get together?" His dad had that "oh dear" face and said, "They... eat each other?" Sebastian then exclaimed, "Yeah! One of the them completely decapitated the other!" Oh my goodness I died. It was so funny! So here is my favorite story of the week: We went to the Brignones' for FHE. They were talking to us about all the non-members and such that lived on their street. Sister Brignone said, "I feel so bad for my neighbor. She's this sweet little old lady who doesn't know any English because she's from China." OH MY GOSH. So I explained that I know Chinese (and started crying again) and she's going to try and get me to talk to her! Miracles! I'm telling you! The Lord is blessing me!
After that I went out with Sister Calder to try and talk to people that were in our area book. We knocked on a door and this guy came out. We told him we were missionaries... and he proceeded to tell us why we are wrong and why our religion doesn't make sense. It was super upsetting. He was just trying to argue with us and wouldn't hear us out at all. So we left. That's ok though because we got lost and knocked on a wrong door and we now have an appointment with someone else(:
Today is my P-day, so we went and played soccer. It was us three sisters and about 40 elders. Oh man. I kicked the ball maybe twice haha! But it was indoors and they played MUSIC. Oh yeah, they are allowed to listen to whatever music they want to here as long as they feel like it invites the Spirit. Also in the morning I do workouts from DVDs and such. This morning I learned how to Cha Cha and Jive haha! It's awesome. For reals. Dream mission. Who woulda thought?! I saw Jin Zhonglao (Jensen) and we talked in pure Zhongwen for about 20 minutes. It was awesome! I feel the Lord blessing me and helping me remember Zhongwen! He's already taught two lessons in Zhongwen. Gosh good for him!
I love it here. I love the people. I love the area. I love my mission! I love you all so much!(: God lives! God loves all of you and He blesses us everyday!
I'm a Facebook missionary now, so if anyone has any questions feel free to message me!(: 

Wo Ai Ni!
P.S. If anyone feels so inclined to send me mints feel free to ;)
4380 S Orchard Avenue
South Ogden, utah 84403

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Lord's Timing!

Hey!(: I'm going to tell you about the past couple of days before I head out to Ogden!(: Monday's Yubei Tian (P-day) was the longest P-day... which is weird to complain about but it was haha. Sister Lew left, so I have been in a trio for the past couple of days. Which has been super awesome because I love both my sisters. That night my district was moved out of our classroom into a completely different building and we were combined with another district. So there were 15 of us missionaries and 12 of us are waiting for our visas to Taiwan. What a sad group we were haha! That night I had to say good bye to my two favorite Elders, Mclaughlin and Weber, who are now in Canada. I hate good byes. I also started to get sick Monday night. Ugh.
Tuesday morning I woke up sick. But hey, I always seem to learn something when I'm sick. Here's my awkward story of the week: so whenever someone tells me that they're going to California on their mission I always say, "California, my love! What area?" So this elder walked into our classroom and Elder Jensen asked him where he is going, and he said California, so I cried out, "my love!... not you! California!" That poor elder's face turned red and he shuffled away haha! Oops. During companion study it started to pour rain, so Sister Strong, Sister Fisher, and I all ran around outside for a while. It was so much fun! As the day went on my sickness got worse and worse and I started to really struggle. I started to question why I'm at the MTC and if I could do this any longer Elder Wheeler said something to one of the sisters that I really liked: "You've never heard of someone regretting persevering." Thank goodness for my district! They always help me to carry on!
Wednesday ended up being a pretty good day overall. I felt even worse and I ended up skipping both my classes that day to try and sleep. During the second class hour I just broke down and cried and prayed so hard to my Heavenly Father for comfort. Sister Meyers had given me a talk by Elder Uchtdorf called "Have  We No Reason to Rejoice?" One of my favorite quotes from it says this: "Wherever you live on this earth and whatever your life's situation may be, I testify to you that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the divine power to lift you up to great heights from what appears at times to be an unbearable burden or weakness. The Lord knows your circumstances and your challenges." This gospel is a gospel of hope! The Lord knows us and loves us! My Sisters helped me so much too. They taught me so much about charity and service just by their example. They are both struggling with being here too, but they have been trying to figure out ways they can serve others. They have forgotten themselves and have tried to make other people happy. They are such incredible examples to me. It's so true; I'm not here for me, I'm here to help others. They are so awesome. 
Today I got my mission call! That was such a relief! It came right when I accepted the fact that this is God's work and everything is on His timing. That is the lesson I have learned; I need to accept God's timing and that He knows what He is doing. It is my job to trust in Him!
So I feel horrible. I had to use my inhaler this morning, but I am breaking out of prison! ;) This gospel is incredible and can lift everyone up! I know that my Redeemer lives! I know that God answers prayers and comforts and helps us! I love you all so much!(: 

Wo Ai Ni!

Singing in the Rain

I love these girls!!
 I got to finally wear my crocs!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Another Mission Call?!

Nihao!(: So yeah... I'm not in Taiwan yet because my visa is delayed along with the other 31 missionaries going to Taipei. So we are all getting reassigned for a transfer (about 6 weeks) to the states! I'm actually super excited about this. It will be a neat experience, and I will get to have multiple missions within 18 months! I should find out by the end of this week where I'm going... so any guesses?(:
On Monday we had TRC skype again. On the way to the building Elder Jensen kept saying "huigai" to everyone who passed by, and some people even said it back! The funny part is that "huigai" is not hello, but actually "repent." Hahaha he's such a brat. But the skype was so good! We talked to a guy named Hong and he was in Taiwan! I have definitely noticed that my Zhongwen has improved immensely! The Lord is blessing me! Also, in my dream that night I said a prayer in Chinese and I understood everything! Wednesday my friend from BYU came into the MTC, Janae Hancock!(: She's so cute, and it was fun speaking Zhongwen in front of her and freaking her out haha.
Sister Janae Hancock
Thursday morning we all skipped gym so that we could pack and do laundry, because I was determined to leave Friday! Elder Mclaughlin came up to me and handed me a piece of paper that had a bunch of tally marks on it (about 250). He told me that in the past two weeks he has been keeping track of how many times he has heard me laugh. Oh my gosh. Hahaha I guess I'm just a happy person! So before dinner that night we were told that we were being sent stateside. Sister Strong and I were actually really excited, but all the Elders were pretty upset. So it's been kind of difficult to stay positive these past couple of days. That night we had another "party" and the Elders were all going crazy from being locked up here. We are all struggling to focus... so if anyone has any advice for me on how to keep my focus or how to endure to the end that would be great(:
Friday I was a trio for a day because Sister Lew got to go to Salt Lake. Sister Strong and I kept forgetting Sister Fisher was our companion, so we kept leaving her on accident... oops. We all made guesses about where we're going on our missions. I got a lot of California missions haha. Roseville here I come ;) That night Wu Laoshi came in and taught us for an hour! It was seriously so good to have our old teacher again. He understands us and knows our needs, so he can relate to us so much better. We had a giant discussion about God's will and timing and such. He kept asking us to share scriptures that we thought would help us. He told us, "You already have all the answers. Use your scriptures and allow God to guide you. God has a will and He does things in His timing. We just need to trust Him." It was such a great class and changed my whole perspective around. I think the Lord is trying to teach me patience, but it's hard to have patience when I just want answers now ;)
Saturday we all decided to walk into class with a positive attitude and it made all the difference. We enjoyed class and we learned a lot! At dinner my whole zone did the "cereal challenge." It's where you drain a whole tube of cereal before the MTC employees can refill it. So we did cocoa puffs and Cap'n Crunch. Some Elders had about 8 bowls... oh my goodness. When I found out we did it I threw my head back in celebration and bumped Elder Green who was carrying a bowl of cereal and he spilled some milk on my hair. Gross. Hahaha.

 Sunday was super good. We had Mission Conference instead of Relief Society and Priesthood. Someone said that when we are in the midst of affliction we have no where else to go but up! I like that; when we hit rock bottom the only way we can go is up. Sister Nally (The mission president's wife) told a story about a Mongolian sister going to Salt Lake for the MTC. She didn't know that she was supposed to switch flights when she reached Chicago, and she didn't know any English, so when she got to the airport she couldn't find anyone to help her. She said a prayer, and a minute later a man appeared and showed her his temple recommend and put her on the phone with someone who knew Mongolian (that was a miracle in itself). The best part of the story was that the man was upset he got delayed in Chicago because that never happened. But because he got delayed he was able to help this poor sister. A thought came into my mind that maybe I'm delayed because I need to help someone. I just don't know! This is God's work, not mine! 
Yesterday I gained a strong testimony that God answers our prayers and gives us person revelation. I walked into the meeting with a question: why does God feel the need to test us when we are doing what is right? One of the speakers said this: We are tested because it tests our character and reveals it. Also in Sacrament meeting Elder Wheeler got up and bore his testimony and he said, " sometimes trials are opportunities." These two answers just hit me so strongly. I know that God loves us and He hears us and will answer us if we are listening! Last night I watched a movie in Mandarin! I understood quite a bit of it, but it just made me laugh because in a couple weeks I will be completely immersed in a new culture and I feel like the only thing I know how to fluently say is "I need to use the bathroom." Haha! I have so much faith that the Lord is going to get me through this and He WILL help me!(:
Elders Robinson and Wheeler
Last night Sister Fisher, Sister Lew, and Sister Wawro sat in the stairwell until about 11:30 talking about the gospel (Sister Strong had already gone to bed). Sister Wawro has the most beautiful voice and she sang, "I Believe in Christ" and there was a lightning storm right behind her and the Spirit was seriously so strong! I love these girls so much! Sister Lew leaves for Australia today... I'm going to miss her but I am so grateful for the opportunity to build these relationships with these people!
I love this gospel. I love being out on my mission. I am loving my time here. I have learned so much and am STILL learning. I am so grateful for the atonement. 我知道我的救贖主活著. I know that my Redeemer lives. I love you all and I know God loves you! Keep the faith!(:

Wo Ai Ni!
Saying Good-bye to Sammi Lew

Monday, September 1, 2014

So Close, Yet So Far

So... some bu hao de xinxi (bad news): my visa is delayed along with the other 31 missionaries who are supposed to leave this Friday. So we probably won't leave until next Friday haha. But you know, God has a plan. So I will diligently xuexi Zhongwen he Yesu Jidu de fuyin (study Chinese and Christ's gospel). This week FLEW BY. Wow. We had TRC on Monday and we skyped again, but the skype wasn't working so we couldn't see him. But he was in Taiwan! It was so cool! He was hard to understand, but the Lord definitely helped me and my companion(: In class Tan Laoshi told us that we don't have to be perfect at every commandment. She said, "We don't need to be the ultimate example; we just need to help them see the ultimate example: Jesus Christ." I love that! I know I'm far from perfect but I can point others to the perfect example!
My whole Zone (all going to Taiwan)
The devotion was so good Tuesday night. It was by James B. Martino of the Quorum of the Seventy. He told a story from his mission. He said that when he left the MTC he felt like he had the language down and he could go out and speak to anyone! But when he taught his first family, he didn't understand a single word they said. He sat there in silence as his companion taught. Then the companion turned the time over to him, and he said the family asked him this BIG, deep, doctrinal question. He looked at his companion in panic and said, "what did they ask me?" The companion gave him a "are you kidding me?" look and then said, "they asked you 'what time is it?'" hahaha! That gives me hope. Elder Martino talked about Enoch, and how Enoch felt unqualified to do the Lord's work (Moses 6:31-32). The Lord gave him 3 commandments: 1. Go to work 2. Be obedient 3. Open thy mouth and it will be filled. In Luke 17:5-6 it says that if we have faith like a mustard seed we can work miracles. We need to believe in things that seem unreasonable (like learning a language). It was so comforting to me. As long as I continue to exercise faith the Lord will make all things possible for His work to go forth. We had a devotional review right after that, and our district leader, Elder Jensen, stood up and told everyone in the room what he admired about them and what their strong points were. One thing that stood out to me was that he said that even if I only know 5 words of Chinese the people will still love me. It was so sweet! He has grown so much! I absolutely love my district.
My Cousin Mallory
MALLORY CAME ON WEDNESDAY! I was sitting on the creeper bench (the bench that me and my companions sit on to stare at all the new missionaries coming in) and then I hear Mal's voice "Courtney! Courtney!" (For the record, I'm not used to people calling me that). It has been so great having her here! She seems to be doing great(: I'm so proud of her. In class we did role plays where one companion picked a problem to be solved and we had to be led by the Spirit to try and figure it out and solve it. I testify that if we listen to the promptings of the Spirit we will be led where we are supposed to go. The Spirit prompted me to say the perfect things and then led me to the perfect scripture. I have such a strong testimony that the Spirit will help us if we listen! Elder Wheeler and Elder Robinson gave an awesome lesson about striving for perfection. I don't remember who said these quotes, but they were awesome: "Don't worry too much about trying to be better than someone else. Learn from others, yes. But don't just try to be better than they are. You have no control over that. Instead try, and try hard, to be the best you can be." Also: "Striving for perfection is the journey, not the destination in this earthly existence. It does not need to be an obsession. We must learn to exercise faith in the Savior and seek His help in making our weaknesses become strengths (Ether 12:27). It was seriously such a good lesson! 
Tan Laoshi
I'm going to miss her. She goes to BYU and I want to be her friend forever.

Thursday night was our last class with Tan Laoshi :( She was seriously the best teacher ever! She let us have a paidui (party) in class. We each wrote our name on the top of a piece of paper and then passed it around and everyone wrote what they learned from each other. I have gotten so close to my district; it's going to be so hard to leave them all! Tan Laoshi said, "Remember what you have to offer. God gave you gifts and experiences to bless His children." We then proceeded to spend half an hour talking about her mission and her love story and then took selfies. She even let me take the selfie! (By the way, I'm doing fine without my phone, really. It's quite incredible how much the Lord is helping me break my addiction).
Friday was quite the emotional roller coaster. We went to infield orientation (it gets you prepared and excited to go out into the field). It was really good! But near the end of orientation they told us that our visas were delayed, so that was super disheartening. Right before I taught Zhong Wang Quan for the last time Elder Heaps and Elder Elliot were comforting me and stuff. For reals though, Elder Heaps is so wonderful. He's definitely one of my best friends and has helped me grow immensely in the language and in the gospel. He told me that I've progressed so much and that I can do this. So of course I started crying. My companion and I go into our lesson and halfway through he says, "OH, I have some bad news. I'm going to China tomorrow with my family so this is our last lesson." So I started crying again. Haha I'm ridiculous. I had gotten so close to this investigator and felt God's love for him. I just bore my testimony about how much God loves him and that we also love him. Then I bawled my way through the prayer and went to class. It was our last class with Wu Laoshi. He came up to me and told me that his last lesson with Zhong Wang Quan went the same way; he just cried his way through it. He gave us the advice to allow our missions to change us. I hate goodbyes. 
Saturday morning we met our new teacher, Yan Laoshi.
He started talking in very fast Chinese to me and my companion and the only part I caught was, "Wo yaoqing nimen..." so I turned to my companion and said, "He just invited us to do something." We found out he invited us to teach our new investigator right then. So without any preparation we walked into our first lesson with Biao. It was incredible! The Spirit was so strong! The Spirit helped us with the language! I started reciting Joseph Smith's first vision and at first I was stumbling through it, but then the words just started coming! It was so neat! The Lord's hand was definitely in that lesson. Sunday in Sacrament meeting the three districts that are leaving stood up and sang "How Great Thou Art" and sang the final verse in Chinese. It went really well(: The devotional was by Richard N. Holzapfel (what a name!). He told us that our mission presidents are going to love us like their own children. He also said it's important that we keep a study journal so we can figure out how the Lord communicates with us. 
This was a super good week, and my testimony has grown even stronger! I know that my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, lives and loves us. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson. I know that he receives direct revelation from God and leads Christ's church. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I love all of you so much! I cannot thank you enough for all the support and love I receive. It helps me get through my week!
Hopefully this is my last email in the states, and then on to Taiwan I go!(:
Wo Ai Ni!

Jian Jie Mei 
Most of the sisters in my Zone

President Woodfield and Sister Woodfield