Tuesday, February 24, 2015

 
過年!

Wow, what a week! I literally feel like all I did was go to a members house, eat way too much, and then travel to another member's house to eat more food. I probably gained ten pounds this week, so please don't judge my pictures ;) Last Monday was a wonderful P-day, we went to 金姐妹 Jin Jie Mei's house with the Beitou sisters and just hung out there for the day. I love my sister training leaders, Sister Williams and Sister Zhong! We literally all just talked and ate food and took pictures. It was so fun!


 
The first day of 過年 Guo Nian was on Wednesday, and we had to bike across the bridge to get to a member's home. On the way there my bike starting making these thunking noises. Well, I got a flat tire. Lovely. The best part is during Guo Nian all the stores are closed, so I couldn't just take it to a bike shop to get it fixed. Haha! Looks like this is going to be a lucky year for me ;) Thankfully the member we ate with at an extra bike that I rode around on all week. The seat was lower than the handlebars, and the gears were broken, but it's a bike! All week I pedaled faster than the speed of light and my companion would still pass me, laughing the whole time of course. Let's just say I have been SO TIRED haha!

 
So on Wednesday we ate lunch with a member, and then at 3 we ate again with another member, and then at 6 we ate dinner with another member. It's like Thanksgiving, but at EVERY MEAL. And when you're full you can't stop eating. Oh man I nearly died haha! And people are always setting off fireworks and firecrackers. It starts in the morning and keeps on going into the night. It's very fun(: I got to know the elders very well this week because we went everywhere together.

 
On Friday we had interviews with President Day. I feel like we just had our interviews! My mission is seriously flying by. It needs to slow down. The interviews were really good! He just motivates us to become better missionaries and strive to be exactly obedient! My President is the greatest; I'm so sad that I will be getting a new one in July.
So yeah, that's basically my week in a nutshell. Sorry this email is so short, but I literally just ate food all week. I don't think I need to bore you with details of all the pig's feet and jelly fish I tried ;)
I have to say that I am so grateful for my family. This week I had the opportunity to eat with many different families. Sometimes it was just one person feeding us, and sometimes it was half of the ward feeding us! But through it all, I felt their love for me. I felt their love for each other. And I felt God's love. God has given us families so that we can have a safe environment to learn and grow. He has given us families so that we don't have to go through this life alone. He has given us families so that we can more easily feel His love for us. I'm grateful that I have been sealed to my family for all time and eternity in God's temple. I know that death will not part us and I can continue to have these relationships with my family for eternity. I know thatGod loves us beyond our comprehension.
I absolutely love Taiwan! I never want to leave. I am so happy, and I know that is because I am sharing this gospel with others. This gospel has brought true happiness to my life, and I know it can do the same for everyone.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!(: I love you!
我愛你!
簡姐妹




 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

 

 



 
 Learning Everyday

Hello!(: Another week gone by! This transfer has seriously been the fastest transfer of my mission. I don't even understand! Last Monday we went into Dan Shui and just did touristy stuff with Angel, Wu Jie Mei, and the sister missionaries from Taibei. It was seriously so much fun! I love Dan Shui. I don't ever want to leave here. My companion and I did some finding that night, and we decided to try a different tactic. We wanted to sing hymns for people! So we would introduce ourselves and ask if we could sing a hymn. We had a couple of fun experiences. We walked up to this one couple sitting down and they told us they weren't interested, but their friend inside the coffee shop would probably want to hear (in a very joking way). So we went to him and he gave his friends that "are you kidding me" kind of look, but allowed us to sing for him! And we were able to say a prayer with him. We found these group of ladies who were about to start working out and they said we could sing for them. They made us stand up on this wall, and they started clapping to the beat of our hymn haha! So that was fun ;) And the last lady was so adorable. We started talking to her, and she didn't have any interest, but I suddenly found myself saying, "Can we sing for you?" She said she loved to sing and started singing a song for us! Haha! We sang for her, had a lesson, and got her phone number! I believe in the power of music! I love it!


 
Tuesday night we did some more finding, and the first two people we talked to said my Chinese accent sounded like a Taiwanese person! Yes! And then the third person said that my companion had a weird accent and asked her if she was from Korea haha! Looks like we are influencing each other ;) On Wednesday I got to wear pants! How weird is that? We went to a service activity and I got to squeeze into my jeans (yes, it was a very sad moment for me haha!). It was so weird riding the MRT looking like everyone else!... besides the fact that I'm white of course. A bunch of us missionaries set up tables and chairs for an activity to feed the homeless. It was really fun!
Valentine's Day was actually super fun for me. 樊姐妹 (Sister Fan) was my valentine(: She even bought me dinner! (Because I'm a Facebook missionary she is teaching me how to type characters. It is SO hard let me tell you! Haha!) We also had a miracle happen. We had about 5 minutes until we needed to leave for a lesson, so we decided to ring all these doorbells. I ran all 16 of them and they didn't make a noise. So I thought, "Great... I guess we should just leave." But suddenly we heard this voice call out to us. We told him that we were missionaries and asked if we could share a message with him. He said, "Ok, I'll come down in a second!" Whoa! So we had a lesson with him, gave him a Book of Mormon, got his number, and set up to meet with him again! How cool is that? God is so merciful!
 
I have a true testimony that change is good. It is SO hard, but it is good. It allows us to grow. Sometimes we have trials that are no fault of our own. It's just a part of this life and what happens. Through these trials we can either choose to give up or choose to push through and come out stronger because of it. Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8 says: " Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity‍ and thine afflictions shall be but a small‍ moment; and then, if thou endure‍ it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." These experiences help us to grow. I know that if we rely on God we can get through whatever adversity and trial that is thrown our way. I know that He knows us better than anyone else. I know that through Him all things are possible.


 
This week is 過年 Guo Nian, or The Chinese New Year!... which means that everyone goes home and eats food with their families so there is no one on the streets haha! It also means that members invite you to their houses SEVERAL times a day to eat TONS of food. Yay ;) So we are going to exercise our faith, eat some food, and find those prepared people!
I love you all so very much, and 新年快樂 Happy New Year!(:
我愛你!
簡姐妺

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015



 
I Just Ate WHAT?!

This was probably the best week of my mission so far! I saw so many miracles and it was just all around an amazing week! Last Monday night we were out finding and we decided to say a prayer about where to go. We felt prompted that we should try to visit this LA. We went there, but he wasn't home, but we both knew we needed to be in that spot for some reason. So we said another prayer and felt like we should start knocking on doors. After about four doors of rejection I looked across the street and saw these ladies sitting at a table in an Ok Mart. I saw in my mind's eye me and my companion sitting at the table with them and teaching them about the gospel. So we went over there, and that is exactly what happened! They invited us to sit down and we had a lesson and gave them each a Book of Mormon! It was such a neat experience! God is guiding us to where we need to be! I love it!

 
Wednesday morning when we were exercising these little old a'mas told me that I looked like I was 15 years old. Great. Haha! (It's a major compliment here to look younger than you actually are, but I think 15 is a bit TOO young ;)). Later that day as I was biking I almost hit this white person and I said, "Bu hao yisi!"... That awkward moment when you forget English is your first language haha! And then after English class these two students came up to me and asked if I spoke Spanish. I replied, "Un poco," and suddenly I was speaking Spanish with two Taiwanese boys. Haha! I don't even know Spanish... I don't understand how people are trilingual. It's so trippy.
 
Thursday night was quite the cultural experience for me. So last week we had gone to that Hot Pot and our peike had dumped something into the pot and told my companion, "Don't tell Sister Jenkins what she's about to eat." (I didn't hear that part). So I just ate the whole thing and didn't bother to ask what it was. So Thursday night we ate out with a less active and I saw in my soup that it had the same little lumpy thing that I had eaten at Hot Pot. So I just ate it no problem, not really thinking much of it. Our less active left for a moment, and my companion asked me, "Did you eat this already?" and I said yeah. She then told me, "Wow, you're so awesome!" I asked her why, and she told me, "This is zhu xie." Luckily I had studied the word for that a couple days before: Pig's Blood. OH MY GOSH! You should have seen my face. Actually, don't worry, my companion took a picture of my face haha! She told me, "I thought you knew! Last week you ate duck's blood." WHAT?! Haha! Oh man, my companion and I just died of laughter. This is why I don't ask what I'm eating ;)

 
The language is coming along faster now that I have a bendi companion, but I still make dumb mistakes. For example, I was trying to say, "We have things," and instead I said, "We have porn." Oops. Luckily it was with members and they were very quick to correct me ;)
Friday was a miracle day! We went knocking, and we found this girl who had so many good questions! We had a lesson with her on her doorstep and set up to meet with her again! Then we got on our bikes to go into Dan Shui and I pulled up next to this guy on his motorcycle. He said, "Oh, you're that Mormon Church! I have a friend in that church." So I said, "Oh, that's cool! Do you think we could meet with you and share our message?" He said yeah and gave me his number! What?! How cool is that! And then we got to Dan Shui and our lesson stood us up, but these boys from the Phililipines came up and talked to us. One said, "I'm a member, and I want my friends to meet with missionaries. Here are their numbers." Oh my gosh! Miracles! We had a lesson with them (in English). My companion even said a prayer in English! I was so proud of her(: Then we met with one of Angel's friends, and he didn't really have interest. But after the lesson Angel said, "Do you want to come meet my sister?" So we ended up having a lesson with her sister and setting up to meet with her again! Whoa! Where are all these miracles coming from?! And then we did some more finding and we talked to this one lady who for some reason just adored us. She left on her bike, but five minutes later came back and gave us these eggs that she had bought! How sweet is that? We couldn't eat them because they had been soaked in tea but it was still such a sweet act of kindness! Tender mercies from the Lord(:
 
Saturday was another amazing day. We went finding in Dan Shui and talked to this mom and her two daughters. They all had interest in what we were saying, and when we asked if we could meet with them again they said, "Yeah! Do you have time tonight!" Well, of course we do! So we met with the mom (Chen Jie Mei) and one of the daughters (Xu Jie Mei) that night, and the daughter set a baptismal date! She is so prepared! Xu Jie Mei has been searching for a church and she just loved everything we were saying. The best part is they came to church on Sunday! I was so excited to see them! They don't live in our area, so we have to give them to the elders, but I'm all about that Team Jesus life (a phrase that our mission president always says). Even if we aren't the missionaries to help them get baptized, they are still coming unto Christ. At the end of church they told me, "We want to come to English class on Wednesday. We want to see you again." I was so touched! Ah! All these miracles! How did I get so lucky to come to this beautiful island and have the opportunity to meet these amazing people?!
I love this scripture found in Mormon  9:15: "And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles." God has not ceased to be a God of miracles! We all just don't recognize the miracles that happen every single day! If you take time to look you will see God's hand in your life every day. It is absolutely incredible. I know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Miracles still happen. We just need to have the faith to see them.
I love my mission! I can honestly say that coming out on my mission was the best decision I have ever made. I am loving life. I know that God lives and answers prayers. I know that He guides and directs our lives. I know that we are all His children.
I love you all!(: Jiayou!
我愛你!

簡姐妹


 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

 
The Power of Prayer

Another week in the beautiful city of Dan Shui! Both Sister Fan and I love this place and have decided we are never serving anywhere else... so it look like we are eternal companions ;) This week we lost a lot of investigators. They either stood us up or told us they weren't interested. But I am not discouraged. I know that I am helping to prepare these people to meet other missionaries somewhere down the line!
Tuesday night we had quite the adventure trying to get to our appointment on time. So an LA decided to treat us to hot pot (which takes about an hour to eat). We went a little over time and we told him we had to go. He said, "Ok, but you need to finish this first!" So we tried shoving boiling hot food down our throats so that we could leave on time haha! We got outside and it was sprinkling lightly, but we didn't have time to put on our ponchos so we just started biking into Dan Shui. We had about 30 minutes, and it usually takes us about 45 minutes to get into Dan Shui. So we said a prayer and we biked as fast as we could! We must have had angels pushing along or something haha! I was laughing the whole time. Not to mention the rain picked up so by the time we got there we were soaked. (It doesn't rain all winter but decides to rain on this particular day, of course). But I am so glad we got to this lesson! It was so spiritual. We taught the Plan of Salvation to Feng Dixiong and he just loved it. It all made sense to him. Before we came to this earth we lived with our Heavenly Father. He provided this plan so that we could all gain a body and gain experience. He provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, to overcome death and sin so that we can return to Heavenly Father's presence again after we die. How beautiful is that? Please keep praying that Feng Dixiong's body will get healthy. He is a fighter. He even bore his testimony in church on Sunday. It was so neat.
As for our other bike adventure: we were up in Dan Shui another day and we needed to get back to Zhu Wei to teach a lesson. We gave ourselves the right amount of time and headed back. As we were searching for our investigator's house we suddenly ended up on the freeway headed into Bali (the elder's area). We pulled over and called the investigator. Turns out I had heard her wrong and we were looking for the wrong street haha! Oops. So we had to bike all the way across the Bali bridge and turn around all while trying to avoid getting hit by traffic (don't worry mom, I'm ok). I couldn't help but laugh at our situation haha!
I tried contacting some people the other day, and discovered they were from Australia! So I switched to English... and oh my goodness who would have thought that I would be more comfortable speaking to people in Chinese than I am in English? Luckily he knew Chinese so we switched back to that haha! What a strange moment that was for me.
As for my language: I finally passed Phase 1! When you get on the island they have a language study program and there are 3 parts: Phase 1 is all the religious vocabulary, Phase 2 is 2000 flashcards of everyday words, and Phase 3 teaches you characters from the Book of Mormon. So now I can finally learn how to order food at restaraunts on my own! Yeah! ;)

 
This week I really gained a testimony of the importance of prayer. My companion is such a wonderful example to me. If we don't know what we should do, she tells us we need to pray. If we need to make it to an appointment on time, she tells me we need to pray. Before we walk into a lesson she makes us say a prayer. I have noticed a difference in my life as I have turned to my Heavenly Father in prayer to thank Him for all my blessings and to ask Him for help. My life has gone so much smoother and I am definitely happier. I have received so much more personal revelation and inspiration. God has given us prayer so that we can communicate with Him. He is our Heavenly Father. He wants to hear about our day. He wants to hear about every single moment of it. He cares about us so much and has given us this method so that we can communicate with Him. How incredible is that? We are able to communicate with the creator of the universe. I promise that as you turn to Him in prayer you will receive guidance and direction. You will receive comfort and answers to your prayers. I know He loves and knows each and every one of us individually. I invite you all to build your relationship with your Heavenly Father through sincere prayer.
I love this work. I love this gospel. I love the happiness that it brings to my life. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. I know who I am, I know where I came from, and I know where I'm going.
I love you all!(:
我愛你!

簡姐妹
P.S. I am going to start being a Facebook missionary, which means that I have to deactive my personal account. If you see a "Sister Courtney Jenkins" on Facebook please please don't contact it! It is purely for missionary work. Thank you (:
 
                                                 A picture of Shu Wei in the morning