Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Missionaries Aren't Exempt From Life

What a great week and a half this has been!(: Last Monday we went down to Lao Jie (Old Street) and did some shopping. They give out free samples, so Sister Murri and I just went store to store eating all the moon cakes. Mmm those are so good! I felt like I was in San Francisco(: I loved it. So every morning we jog to this little park, and there are always these little old Taiwanese ladies. They have started saying to us, "One more! Two more!" in English. Haha! It's so great. Whenever I run past them I shout out to them, "One more! Two more!" They get a kick out of that(: They kind of remind me of Honey! 
Last Wednesday we had a Halloween party in English class. We did bobbing for apples, and that was so funny! I don't think any of them have done it before because they kept forgetting to breath! They would start choking on the water! Haha! So my district leader, Elder Miller, went and he did it in three seconds. They made me go, so I beat him and did it in 2! Heck yeah ;) Then we carved pumpkins. One of our students, Eisin, decided to use me as a model... but the pumpkin looked like it had four eyes and no mouth. Haha! 
Exciting news: Sister Murri and I have been asked to be a part of the missionary Christmas Choir! Ahh!(: I love it! Only the Taipei zones (West, East, and Central) are allowed to participate. There are about 30 of us! I was so honored(: But this means that I don't get a P-day for the next two months... haha! Don't worry, I still have time to email, just not do touristy stuff and such. I love it though! We've practiced twice so far. I auditioned for a solo and goodness that was horrendous! Oh yeah, I'm singing soprano. That's weird. But anyways I decided to audition for a quartet as an alto and that went MUCH better. It is so fun! I love it(: All the missionaries in the generation behind me are delayed because of visa issues! Gah. But Sister Meyers (she was in the MTC with me) was able to get hers and she's also in the choir(: So I get to see her once a week. That's nice!
We visited this member, Wu Xiao Dai, and she is so great! Her English is really good. So I would try and speak Chinese and forget how to say something so I would turn to my companion and say, "How do you say..." and then I would say it to Wu Xiao Dai. But she would tell me in English, " You know I can understand you..." Haha! She was so great. The members here are so great. I love it!
Xu Yu Wei got baptized on Saturday! Yeah! (: That was awesome. The font is pretty much a bunch of PVC pipes and a tarp haha! When we were filling it up we saw a bunch of things in the water. Sister Murri said, "There's a lot of floaties in it... sorry Xu Yu Wei." haha! Gosh I adore her(: On Sunday we were supposed to have a lesson, but we got stood up. So our peike, Chen Mei Hui, was like, "Oh I know some people that we can talk to! Follow me!" So we hopped on our bikes and tried to keep up with her as she sped off on her scooter haha! I was laughing the whole time! It was so comical to me! She kept getting lost, so we went in several circles for about an hour and a half! There was one point where we were trying to follow her up hill while the wind was against us and I was trying to keep my skirt from flying up! Haha! Oh my goodness I was having so much fun(: I love biking! 
Ok I have a new favorite investigator. His name is Li Tong Xue (Tong Xue just means student). We were out finding one night a couple weeks ago and we ran into this kid. We taught him a little bit and set up to meet with him again. The whole time he acted super uninterested and kept looking around like he wanted to leave, so I didn't really think he would meet with us. But when we met with him he just took everything in! He took a Book of Mormon and committed to read it! And he came to all three hours of church on Sunday! We called him the other night to see if we could still meet with him Saturday and he said, "Sorry, I don't think so. I'm meeting with the Young Men to play basketball at the new chapel." Oh my gosh he's so great! He accepted baptism... but he thinks that his parents will fandui (protest). But he's so wonderful(:
Yang Zhi Ming is so so great. She keeps coming to church and stuff and we keep meeting with her. Last night the peike, Lin Wen Qi, was talking about basketball in English and I asked him, "How do you say that?" and he looked at me and said, "BA-SKET-BALL." Haha gosh darn. Our two other tong xues have family fandui... but they are still meeting with us and they are so great!
So I was thinking to myself this week about how the Lord has told us if we ask for something with a righteous cause it will be given to us. So how come missionaries don't just baptize everyone they meet? How come we aren't just lead to the prepared people? It's because missionaries aren't exempt from life. We still have to go through trials. We still have to grow ourselves. If everything was given to us we wouldn't remember that we rely on God for everything. We need trials in order to grow. We need bad times in order to truly feel joy over the good times.
Someone thought I was Russian this week. That's a new one.
Yeah, so I love this work. I love this place. I love the people. I love my Heavenly Father for giving me this experience! I am so happy. Life is so good(: I testify that the gospel brings people happiness. I know that we can find peace when we follow God's commandments.
I love you all(: The church is true! Jiayou!


He really is excited!! :)

I love these Girls!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Livin' the Taiwan Life

Oh my goodness I LOVE Taiwan! I have been so blessed to be placed in such an incredible area to serve the Lord! Monday we went to the beach! Gah I love the beach! It was so much fun, our whole district went! We built sandcastles and took pictures and stuff. Everyone had to leave to get back to their areas except for me and Sister Murri. We watched the sunset(:

So there's an interesting tradition here in Taiwan. When people get married they come and take their wedding pictures on the beach. But they don't wear wedding clothes. The women wear these colorful prom looking dresses, and often times the men wear jeans and a plaid t-shirt. So there were so many people out on the beach taking pictures! Some would even go into the water and ruin their dresses! I felt like everyone was going to prom! Haha!

Tuesday I went on exchanges with Sister Smedley, the Sister Training Leader. (Exchanges mean that I spend 24 hours with one of the sister training leaders and my companion goes with the other one). So we had the opportunity of going to Taipei to do temple tours! We take people around the chapel and show them pictures and just teach them lessons and stuff(: So we had to go out and do some finding so we could take people on tours. We found this one lady, He Xiao Jie, and she was so awesome! At first she didn't seem interested in talking to us at all, but then she kept asking us all these questions and we were able to talk to her for quite some time about the gospel! We even gave her a Book of Mormon!(: So that was awesome. Oh, and on accident while I was talking to her I mixed up the word for children with the word for son. So I ended up telling her, "We are all God's sons." Haha! We were able to give several tours to members. One member was a recently returned missionary from the Taichung mission. She was so awesome. She had this incredible spirit about her. You could tell that she really loved the gospel. I hope that I return home with that same amazing spirit.
We had specialized training in Taipei with the mission president. It was so good! We just talked about the basics. My new favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon is 2 Nephi 31. I encourage all of you to go and read it! It talks about Christ's gospel. I love it! My mission president is the best. I had a little interview with him and I talked to him about some struggles I was having with myself. And this is why he is my favorite: He turned to me and said, "So, you did a lot of theatre in high school, right? Were you able to learn all your lines in one day? Could a production be put on in a week? Did you have rehearsals? Well, all the world's a stage." Yes! That was so awesome. It's so true; I can't learn everything at once. I need to have patience and take everything a day at a time! The Lord is just expecting me to try my best, not be perfect. 
Friday we found this man, Wu Xian Sheng, that is just so prepared! Oh my goodness he took the Book of Mormon and is so eager to meet with us again! I love it! And then we found another man on the street and I was just laughing the whole time. He said some pretty funny things to us: "You two are so skinny! Most Americans are fat. Not fat! Wiiiiide." And then he turned to me and said, "Your eyes look Spanish." Even Taiwanese people think I look Mexican! Haha! And then in Chinese he said to my companion, "Does your church have polygamy? That sounds pretty good to me!" Haha! Oh my goodness. (For the record, NO. WE DON'T). 
Sunday was so awesome. I love Sundays. The bishop called me up to bear my testimony... and that was scary haha! But the members are all so nice to me(: They are also so funny. This one member randomly called Sister Murri one day and just blurted out in English, "Hey sisters, do you want a pumpkin-lantern?" We were like, what the heck is that? We finally figured out he meant Jack-O-Lantern for our English party this coming Wednesday. Haha! There was a baptismal service after church and some kids went up to sing a song and I was so touched by the Spirit! The power of music is so strong no matter what language you are speaking! 
Some of my investigators: Liu Tong Xue: He's this sweet 14 year old that is so ready to get baptized. But for some reason every time I try talking to him he just goes, "Huh?" I think he's too focused on the fact that I am this white girl trying to speak Chinese haha! Yang Zhi Ming: She wants to get baptized so badly, but her parents are against it. She comes to church and keeps all the commitments. She is super sweet. I absolutely adore her. Lin Jiating: This is a family that we were finally able to meet with and they accepted baptism! They have two kids, Kitty and Andy are their English names. But they haven't been coming to church, so that's rough. 
Oh and here's another funny story. This recent convert, Angel, called us, but Sister Murri was busy so I had to answer the phone. The whole time we were just laughing because we couldn't understand each other haha! Then she came with us to teach Lin Jiating. I couldn't understand what they were talking about so I turned to her. She kind of mimed that we were talking about the part in the Book of Mormon where they were building the boat, so I mimed swimming just to make sure. She just laughed at me haha! And then when we said bye to her we did the "hang loose" sign and she was like, "Oh, does that mean Choose the Right?" Haha! Sister Murri and I are going to make that a thing here in Taiwan ;)
So anyways, I am loving my time here! The Lord is so great and so good to me! I love my trainer. She always leaves me random notes and writes on my mirror words of encouragement(: Alright, so I have a little more than a year left. My challenge to you all is to read the Book of Mormon before I get home. Reading this book will bring you closer to Christ. You will feel the influence of the Spirit and have a stronger relationship with God. I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that it is true. I love that I have the opportunity everyday to read this book! I love that I have the opportunity to share its goodness with everyone here!
I love you all(: Keep the faith! Jiayou!(:

             More pictures taken at the beach!!! 


Saturday, October 18, 2014


Could You Please Repeat That?

Oh my goodness, my first week in Taiwan and I am LOVING it! I thank the Lord everyday for the opportunity to serve here! Monday night all of our trainers showed up and they "babysat" us. This means that they took us out on the streets for two hours and we shared the gospel with everyone we talked to! I was with Sister Smith. She was way awesome. But the Lord was helping me so much! My trainer would start talking to them, "sjkdfdsjflsjlsjlksjfls" and then she would say, "my companion is going to pray for you." I was like, "Oh! Ok..." haha! But it was so cool! Then they would say a prayer. For some of them it was their first prayer ever! It's such a neat experience to help people be able to talk to their Heavenly Father in prayer for the first time!  Tuesday morning we had the transfer meeting. He made us come up one by one and introduce ourselves in Chinese and then he would tell us who our trainer was. It was super exciting. My trainer is Sister Murri and I adore her!
 She's been on the island for about 6 months and her Chinese is incredible. She's from Texas and she went to BYU for a semester. She's super sweet and just so great! I am in the beautiful city of DanShui. It is on the North coast. Today is Sister Murri's birthday so we're going to the ocean!(: Anyways Tuesday she took me back to our apartment and we did some planning. Then I had to ride my bike for the first time. Haha! Let me tell you, I have become an expert at riding my bike with one hand while holding down my skirt with the other ;) I love biking! Here in Taiwan, the pedestrians yield to cars, not the other way around. So I pray everyday that I won't get hit haha! But anyways, my bike wasn't here so I had to use the bike that was left here from the last missionary. But she took her helmet with her! So I had to "borrow" a random helmet from the parking garage... haha! We were biking down a hill and the strap came undone and I seriously though the helmet was going to fly off. I had to keep my head down so that it wouldn't! Haha! 

Wednesday morning we had zone training. Wheeler is in my zone! (His trainer is Colter Stewart! Small world!) That night I taught my first lesson and halfway through saying the first vision I forgot everything and just stopped talking. Ugh. The member who was present was super sweet and just picked up where I left off. I pitied myself for about a minute and then realized that the spirit was still there. It doesn't matter if my Chinese is perfect! The Lord will get His message across! That was an important lesson for me. Thursday it rained. A LOT. There was a point where it had stopped raining for a while so we decided not to wear our ponchos. But that was a bad idea because halfway through it started pouring so we were soaked! Haha! I am constantly laughing. During a lesson someone made a comment about my laugh (I think?) and my trainer said, "Yeah, we will be riding our bikes and I just hear her behind me going, 'ha ha ha!'" I just love being here!
Friday while we were out knocking on some doors and I rang door bell and a lady came over the intercom: "JKAIDNIFNVEINAN!!!" My trainer told me that she said, "Go away I'm sleeping!" The benefits of not understanding is that I don't know when people are mad at me ;) haha! Taiwanese like to take naps between 1 and 3 in the afternoon... interesting. Oh! They also keep their trash in their freezers because of bugs. SO MANY BUGS. Ugh. I had to kill a cockroach the other day. It was nasty. I'm also being eaten alive by mosquitos! Haha!
We got to watch General Conference this weekend. It was so good! We watched it in our church building, which is this rented building. We're getting a new chapel in a couple of weeks!(: How exciting! All the members are first generation members, meaning they are all converts. It is so incredible to see their faith and enthusiasm. They're all so sweet to me. They start talking to me and realize that I ting bu dong (hear but don't understand) so they will try to switch to English for me. Haha! I ask people to repeat things a lot... and usually I still don't understand. So I just stand there and smile and nod(: haha!
My trainer made me make phone calls starting from day one. Typically it goes like this: "Hello! This is Sister Jenkins. Can we meet with you this Friday?" "ajdklfajsfmnisenfi." "Oh... wait a minute" and then I hand the phone to my trainer haha! I've gotten better though ;)

But anyways, General Conference. Elder Bednar's talk was incredible! For reals, everyone go and watch that. If you've ever wondered why members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints love to share the gospel, Elder Bednar talks all about it! We love the gospel and we want everyone to receive the help that comes from the gospel of Christ.
I have tried so many things! The food here is so good! My favorite so far is zhuabing, which is this pancake thing with eggs and soy sauce and stuff. I really can't describe it. But hao chi! (good eat, or yummy).  Oh, also their trash trucks play songs. I think I almost have it memorized haha! Every night is like a giant block party when the trucks come around.
Anyways, I am LOVING it here! I love the people. I love the culture. I love the language (even though I'm so awkward when I speak haha!) I know that my Redeemer lives! I know that God loves all of His children! I know that Christ's Restored church is on the earth today!
I love you all so much! You're support means so much to me(: Jiayou!

Angela and her daughter Claire
One last story I forgot to share:
Every Wednesday night we hold an English class! (: That is fun haha. Oh! Here's an awesome story. I was sitting in a lesson with Dora (I don't know her Chinese name) and I ting bu dong everything. But the spirit prompted me to share my testimony about how the Book of Mormon can help her. So I did and she asked me to give an example. I was able to share a scripture and an experience with her. I later found out that they had been talking about how the Book of Mormon can help her and she wasn't quite understanding how. At that moment I had interjected with my testimony. The Spirit works in powerful ways! It's so incredible! D&C 85:85 says, "Neither take ya thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and ti shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shell be meted unto every man." I know this is true. I know that the Lord always provides a way! Gah this work is incredible! 
Saying Goodbye to my Utah Sisters

Goodbye Ogden Utah

My Companions on the Flight to Taiwan


Sunday, October 5, 2014


I'M IN TAIWAN!! Like, what?! What is life?! Haha! I have fallen in love with this place in the two days that I've been here. For reals, I am so excited to serve the people here! I'm so glad I got to hear your voices Mom, Dad, and Mel(: You all sound like you're doing really well! The twelve hour flight to Tokyo went really quickly. I got to sit next to Wheeler and Jensen. Jensen and I had some really good deep, doctrinal conversations. I absolutely adore both of them. So we arrived in Tokyo and met up with the rest of the missionaries! There were several missionaries who barely made the plane, but luckily they did! On the plane to Taiwan I sat next to Jensen again. He turned to a lady next to him and started speaking Zhongwen and teaching her the gospel! He even gave her a Book of Mormon! He inspired me, so I tried speaking to the lady on the other side of me. Haha yeah... she gave up trying to talk to me because I didn't understand. Oops. It was worth a shot. We arrived in Taiwan at 9 o'clock Saturday night Taiwan time and met our mission president and his wife. Oh my goodness I adore them! They are so great! So during our crazy travels I got maybe 45 minutes of sleep. We got to the mission home (which is right across the street from the temple) and I just crashed. 
Yesterday morning we got up and went to a Mandarin ward. I didn't understand anything! Mom, I'm so much like you. I've been laughing so much these past couple of days because I'm nervous and have no idea what's going on haha!  But anyways, I got to interview with President Day and tell him all about myself and yeah. We all ate lunch together. It is seriously so good to see everyone! I love being here! Then we went out proselyting! We went to a park with our companions (mine is Sister Griffin, she's adorable) and talked to people! Oh! A funny story about Sister Griffin. She had a dream that it was 6:30 and time to get up, so in real life she got out of bed and got in the shower. She said that she got out and realized that it was only 2 in the morning! Haha! This time thing is crazy. Anyways, Sister Griffin and I were able to give out a Book of Mormon, but a lot of people were rejecting us haha. I've realized it's much easier getting rejected in a language I don't know because I don't realize what's going on ;)  So the Sister Training Leaders came up to us and said they wanted to go on splits. So I went with Sister Bang and we talked to this lady and this little boy. Suddenly I was put on the spot and Sister Bang invited me to pray! So I quickly said a prayer in my head that the Lord would help me speak Zhongwen and went for it! It was awesome (: It was seriously so much fun! My language skills are horrendous, but I know they're going to get better! We had dinner and then a fireside, where I saw Colter Stewart! He sang a solo. I talked to him for a little, and that was weird haha. But during the fireside all of us new missionaries kept falling asleep haha! It was horrendous. Luckily we all got to go to bed after that. 
This morning I got up at 2:30 and couldn't sleep for the life of me. Ugh. So I'm kind of tired haha. But this morning at 6:30 all thirty of us met outside and went for a run to the Shanghai Shack. Oh my goodness that was so cool! We're all just running through the city saying "zao an!" (Good morning!) to everyone we saw. At the Shanghai Shack there were all these little old ladies doing taiqi. It was adorable. I just wanted to join in. They made me think of honey haha! So that was super neat. We had breakfast and now we're just doing a bunch of stuff like emailing and getting money and all that fun stuff. Tomorrow I meet my trainer and we go to our area! Ah! Oh, and the weather has been incredible! It's humid and stuff but it's nice and cool. I love the month of October. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be here! The Lord is blessing me immensely! I have already fallen in love with the people! I feel like the language is going to be tough, yes, but I know that through God's help I can do it! 
I know without a doubt that this church is true. I know that God lives and loves ALL His children. I know that He blesses us all the time. I am so incredibly happy because of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
I love you all so much!(: