Thursday, April 30, 2015

 
His Work and Glory

Another week in the beautiful city of 花蓮! I love this place so much(: 
We had to drop an investigator this week, Xie Dixiong, because his whole purpose in getting baptized was so he could marry Sister Howell... haha! That's not our purpose as missionaries ;) But we got two new awesome investigators! The elders found them and invited them to come to English class and we met with them afterwards. Their names are Chloe and Journey and they are both 16 years old and so incredibly sweet! They both committed to baptism at the end of May! Journey usually lives at her brother's house during the weekdays because of school and her parents' house on the weekends, but she specifically came to her brother's early on Sunday so she could come to church! So wonderful! And we had forgotten to get their numbers after English class, so on Friday President Lu received a random phone call and it was Chloe telling us that she was going to come to church on Sunday! What?! They are so awesome! I thank God everyday for these two sweet girls. 
 
We found a random service opportunity this week. We were biking and I saw this a'ma pulling vegetables out of the ground. We asked if we could help and she said sure! So we jumped into the dirt and started pulling haha! It was so much fun and she was so sweet! We taught a quick lesson and prayed for her. To help us clean our hands off she jumped into a stream, cupped water into her hands, and then brought the water to our hands! She's the cutest(: 
We also had a chance to do some missionary work with the members this week. The Young Single Adults wanted to go out proselyting, so we split work and took them to the night market. It was funny to see how nervous they all were. This was everyday stuff for me, but these members weren't used to sharing the gospel with complete strangers! It was so much fun and I ended the night in a great mood(:
This week my companion amazed me several times with her missionary skills. I think it is incredible that God can work through us even if we aren't masters of the language. We knocked this one door and the lady told us that she was "bai bai de" (worships her ancestors). Sister Meyers instantly whipped out a Family History pamphlet and then started showing her pictures of her family! The lady was interested and listened a little longer than she was probably planning. At another door I had this very strong impression that I shouldn't say anything. So I sat back and watched as my companion struggled with words but still got her message across. The man accepted a Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment! God is a God of miracles. I am so proud of Sister Meyers and her willingness to work hard and share this gospel despite her lack of confidence in the language. She is a real example to me. This is God's work, not ours. He will work through His imperfect children to get things done.
I have come to the conclusion that learning a language is one of the weirdest things ever. I also believe it is even crazier to learn a language with God's help. For example, a member invited us to come to her house this week. She lives outside of our area so I had to use the map to get there. Along the way I realized that our map was very old and didn't even have her street on it. I pulled over and asked for help. In all honesty, I did not understand most of what was said to me. I started biking again, and suddenly I had this feeling of knowing. I knew where I had to turn and I kept getting impressions about which way to go. The words that these random people on the side of the road had said to me started to make sense in my mind. I could NOT have found my way to this member's house without God's help. He truly does enlighten our minds and help us. He is guiding us everyday of our lives. 
I found this quote this morning that I absolutely love: "Brothers and sisters, we have a loving Heavenly Father who has designed our earthly existence so that we can individually learn the lessons we need to learn to qualify for eternal life in His presence."-Elder Richard J. Maynes. Amen to that! We all have different experiences because we have different things that we all need to learn. My life has not gone according to my plan, but that's because God has something even better in store for me. All my experiences are helping me to become the person that I need to be and help me to qualify to return to God's presence. I am so grateful for my mission. It has been the best decision I have ever made. I love my life. I've never been happier.
I love you all so very much! The church is true!
我愛你!
簡姐妹






 

Sunday, April 26, 2015



 

 Always Remember Him

Hello!(: I just want to start by saying how grateful I am for the wonderful life I am living! I am in this amazing country serving these beautiful people and growing closer to my Savior everyday! How could it get any better?
My child, Sister Meyers, is absolutely incredible. I don't feel like I'm training at all. We taught the first lesson together for the first time this week and she nailed it! She's so great and so willing to work hard(: I'm a proud mother ;)

 
I've really learned that God knows we are imperfect, and yet He works with us anyways haha! I have gotten lost only a couple times, but things always seem to work out. God knows how to work with His imperfect children. I love it.
This week we met with Zhang Jie Mei. We walked in and she was so excited to talk to us about the Book of Mormon! She went off about how she had read four chapters in one day and that she felt so much more peace and happiness in her family. The Spirit was so strong! She then said she didn't feel like she could come to church because she has two young children. I flipped open the scriptures to try and help her resolve her concerns, but this woman suddenly walked in and the Spirit left. It was so weird. Zhang Jie Mei was super tense and wasn't being normal. We told her that she needed to come to church to get baptized. So we just kind of shared our scripture and left. 
We left feeling super sad. We pulled over to say a prayer and then continued biking. We suddenly heard this voice behind us yell, "Hey! Are you Americans?" and this white kid biked past us. We sped up and starting having a conversation with him. Everything I was saying came out so smoothly that I knew it had to be the Holy Ghost because I am NOT a smooth person haha! I suddenly found myself asking him to pull over so we could talk some more, and he did! His name is Camden and he's a foreign exchange student. We said a prayer with him and talked about the gospel for a little bit. He said he was super open to learning more! So now we have a white investigator(: haha! Sweet! It took me back to my days in Utah contacting white people with my trainers. It was really cool to see that both Sister Meyers and I have background in the states. I don't know. Life is kind of cool sometimes.
Sunday I had the opportunity to take a train with my zone down the Taidong to receive some training from a member of the Seventy, Elder Gong. Before it started President Day came up to me and said, "Sister Gong wants a musical number, and you've been volunteered! You have 45 minutes to find some other people to do a quartet with you." Haha! So I found some people and we sang "I Stand All Amazed." It was such an honor!
 
The first thing we did Sunday night was eat ice cream. Elder Gong told us that at every training President Day eats the dessert before the meeting, but he has some doctrine behind it. He says, "Preach My Gospel says you need to start with the end in mind!" Haha! So that was wonderful. Then we had a special devotional about the sacrament. It was absolutely incredible. He said that we all need our own witness of the sacrament so that we can help others to gain their own. Partaking of the sacrament is our chance to grow closer to Christ and actually understand who He is and what He did for us. Every week we have a chance to go and remember His sacrifice for us. His atonement is infinite and eternal. It stretches into the eternities. Because of of the Atonement there are no paths that we can't return from. He suffered and died for us. "He came to pay a debt He didn't ow because we have a debt we couldn't pay."
3 Nephi 11:15 says, "And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come."
I invite you all this Sunday as you partake of the sacrament to truly think about what the sacrament represents. I invite you to make it a spiritual experience. I invite you to always remember Him.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week(:
我愛你!
簡姐妹





 

Friday, April 17, 2015


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
God's Plan

My child is here!(: I hit my nine month mark on Thursday and she came on Friday. Very timely I'd say ;) Her name is Sister Meyers and she is absolutely adorable! We get along really well and I don't even feel like I'm training.
She served for six weeks in Washington state before coming here. She studied Chinese for 3 years, so her Chinese is better than mine was when I came on the island! She's very willing to work hard and talk to everyone! I'm really excited to see the miracles that will come from being companions(:
 
It was hard saying by to Sister Howell, but she has moved on to be a Sister Training Leader in Taoyuan! I'm so proud of her(: We saw a couple miracles together before she left. Last Monday we were coming home and we got on the elevator with this lady. Sister Howell recognized her as our neighbor and started a conversation with her. We got to our floor, and I suddenly had this prompting to ask her if we could share our message with her. But instantly I got these thoughts like, "She doesn't have time, don't ask her. She doesn't need it." I instantly recognized this as Satan, so I asked to share our message. She said of course, and we gave her a Book of Mormon and she was super excited to come to conference this weekend! It was so crazy! Her name is Kang Jie Mei, and she's awesome! Saturday morning Sister Meyers and I met with her before conference started, and my companion invited her to baptism. She had tears in her eyes as my companion bore simple testimony about how baptism can help her find happiness. She accepted! It was such a cool moment! Sadly, she called me last night and said that her parents fandui, but she knows that this is the true church and she hopes that she can keep meeting with us. So pray that as she comes to know the truthfulness of our message she will have the faith to follow Christ's example and be baptized! 

 
Thursday morning I traveled up to Taibei to get some training on how to train. President told us he had received some interesting news that morning. As of lately if the missionaries didn't receive their visas they had to stay in the states a full transfer and then they could come out to Taiwan. But now the missionary department has said that as soon as the missionaries get their visas they will be coming to Taiwan! So tomorrow we are receiving 18 new missionaries! Our mission is so young. He basically told us that we need to help our trainees be able to train as soon as they finish training. No pressure ;)
That night all the trainers took a new missionary about "babysitting." It just means that we took them around Taibei and contacted people for 2 hours. It was so much fun and we saw so many miracles! God really does work through the weak and simple things of the earth. I love it.
Friday morning was the transfer meeting, and the new missionaries introduced themselves in Chinese and then President Day called out who their trainer was. When Sister Meyers introduced herself, President Day said, "You will be companions with... Sister Jensen!" I sat in my seat for about 3 seconds until I saw face on the screen and realized he had said my name wrong haha! But yeah, I love my trainee(: the first night I took her home and told her to make a phone call. She called, and when she didn't understand she looked at me all panicked and handed me the phone (much like my first phone call). But the second time she didn't give the phone to me at all! She just kept saying, "Ting bu dong, could you please say that again?" and then finished a whole conversation! What a champ!
We had the opportunity to watch General Conference this weekend, and it was absolutely incredible. I love that so many of the apostles and our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, talked about the importance of family and being sealed in the temple. I have an increased desire to go to the temple with my husband so I can be with my family for all time and eternity. I'm so grateful that through this gospel we can have the chance to be with our families forever. Death can never separate us. I'm so grateful I've been sealed to my family already and I plan on being sealed to my husband and kids one day. 
I'm so grateful for my time here in Taiwan! I am loving my mission so very much! I love how much I've learned and grown. I have come to know that God has a plan for each and every one of us. If we exercise enough faith in Him we can find happiness in this life. I love this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland: "Life ought to be enjoyed at every stage of our experience and should not be hurried and wrenched and truncated and torn to fit an unnatural schedule which you have predetermined but which may not be the Lord's personal plan for you at all... don't wait to live... we of all people out to savor every moment." Trust that God's plan for you is better than your plan. Have the courage to exercise a little faith. 
Life is good(: The church is true.
我愛你!
簡姐妹                                                      
 
 
                                        Me and a Lion



                                                            Nine Months

                                                          This is where I live:)
 

Thursday, April 9, 2015



 
MY BABY IS COMING!

That's right! I'm going to be a mom!(: I got a call last night from the BU and what do you know, it was Elder Colter Stewart. My companion and the other sister training leaders all told me to put it on speaker, and he asked me, "Sister Jenkins, will you help us train next transfer?" We all freaked out! I am so excited and looking forward to this new adventure in my life! On the other hand, I am so very sad that Sister Howell is leaving. She is my best friend! We have made so many plans for after the mission. I know that she is going to do great things wherever she goes!

 
This week was so much fun! (Actually, this transfer has been way too fun!) On Tuesday we had to bike 45 minutes up a gradual hill to get to a prison to visit a member who lives there (he works as a guard; how cool is that?!). And it has gotten HOT here in Taiwan! I am always sweating and every night I come home, look in the mirror and think, "Wow, I didn't know Hagrid preached the gospel!" Haha! But I love it. I also have a very awesome farmer's tan and croc tan ;) I feel like a missionary!
On Wednesday Sister Howell and I decided to heart attack some members. So we ran around taping hearts to people's doors while singing the mission impossible theme song haha! At one point we rang the door bell and sprinted to our bikes to try and get away. It was so fun! That night we had the coolest miracle happen. So last Sunday a lady showed up to church that we hadn't seen before. I asked her her name and which branch she was in. She said she was Lian Jie Mei and she was in the 2nd branch, our branch. She said she hadn't been to church in a long time. Sweet, a less active! So Wednesday night after English class we met with her to try to get to know her a little better. We asked her how she met the missionaries and she said on the street and she wouldn't often invite them over to eat fruit with her. We asked if her parents were ok with it all, and she said yeah. Then Sister Howell asked her when she got baptized, and she told us, "I haven't been baptized." We were both like, what?! Haha! So we finally realized she was an investigator and we set a baptismal date with her! Ah! It was so cool! God is so merciful. 
On Friday we saw even more miracles! To start off, a recent convert in our ward, Yang Jie Mei, asked us on Thursday if she cold come to missionary work with us all day on Friday! Sweet! So she was with us from 12 to 8:45. What a trooper! Because we had a member with us we were able to meet with more people! It was so cool. Also, I have been getting attacked by bugs. My legs literally look like I have leprosy. So she took me to a store to buy Taiwanese bug creme to stop them from itching haha! The Taiwanese have a solution to everything. I love it.
 
Saturday morning was quite the adventure. The night before Sister Tan had tried plugging in a fan and the plug exploded! So it blew out all the other plugs in the house. That morning we tried flipping a bunch of switches and the plug kept exploding, and then we also didn't have any working electricity. Haha! How many sister missionaries does it take to turn on a light bulb? ;)\
We met the most awesome person on Saturday. We walked outside and within five minutes we were talking to this security guard. He told us that he believed baptism was a new start and that God was a merciful God because He's willing to forgive us even though we make mistakes every day. And then we set a baptismal date with him on the street! Whoa! We invited him to church the next day, and he was super willing to go!... except he slept in haha! That's ok, next time! 
Zhang Jie Mei still has her baptismal date for the 9th of May. We asked her to pray about the Book of Mormon the other day, and she told us, "Oh, I haven't done that yet, but I will!" We also had her and her kids write down a question they had and listen to have it answered at conference.
So many other miracles  happened this week and I just don't have the time to write them all! I see miracles everyday. How lucky is my calling? This week I want to bear my testimony about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I have seen how it has changed my life and changed the life of those around me. This book is personal to each and every one of us. We can receive inspiration and find answers to those deep questions we have. It is a map for us to find happiness in this life and in the life to come. Through reading the Book of Mormon we can come closer to Christ and become more like Him. I know that those who read this book with the intent to know it's true can come to know the truthfulness of it for themselves. If we read it, ponder it's contents, and ask Heavenly Father to give us an answer we WILL receive an answer. I invite you all to test this promise for yourself. Read the Book of Mormon and sincerely ask God to tell you if it is true. Even if you've already done it before do it again! It's good to keep strengthening our testimony. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that it is true. 
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I love you so very much(:
我愛你!
簡姐妹


 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

 



[Insert Medical Term Here]

Well this was a week! I don't even know how to tell you about it... But alright here I go! Monday was so wonderful. I went to the beach!(: Yes, my mission is too great. I love it here! It was absolutely beautiful! We also got the opportunity to contact a monk while we were there ;) Tuesday was a rough day for my companion and me. I'm not really sure what was going on, but we both felt off. The night ended in us eating ice cream haha! But oh dear me this is where my week really starts.
Tuesday night I woke up with this pain in my stomach. I kept running back in forth between the bathroom and finally threw up. Needless to say, I never want to eat curry again. I ended up staying in bed all the next day with a splitting headache. The elders came over and gave me a priesthood blessing, and that definitely helped! I was hoping this was only a 24 hour bug or food poisoning or something so we did nightly planning and I went to bed.
Thursday I still felt very achey and just sick, but we were told that we all needed to go to the church building to do our Weekly Planning Session (WPS). So I biked up to the building (that took all my energy haha!) and we did WPS. When we finished, President Day showed up along with a member of the Quorum of the Seventy! Just us 12 missionaries got special training from Elder Ron and Elder Wang! It was absolutely incredible! He asked us if we had anyone that we wanted them to visit to encourage them to come back to church, and then they kept encouraging us to get this stake built! At the end, Elder Wang bore a simple testimony: "There is a God in Israel." You should have felt the Spirit that came into the room. It was absolutely incredible. These men are truly special witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Friday morning I woke up and I still felt horrible! Sister Day called and told me I had to go to the hospital. Let me tell you; it doesn't matter what country I'm in, I HATE GOING TO THE DOCTOR'S. But in all honesty, it was a super cool experience and I know that the gift of tongues is real. How else could two white girls who've only lived on the island for about half a year communicate to a Taiwanese doctor all that I was feeling? Funny story: about a week ago I was studying the "medical" section of Phase 2 and I thought to myself, "Why am I studying this? I'm never going to use these words!" I suddenly got this very strong impression that these words would be very important to me one day, so I studied them very hard. Well, who knew that I was going to use almost every single one of them so very soon? God knew. He truly is taking care of all of us and His hands are in the very details of our lives!
All I could handle in my stomach were smoothies!!
 
 
Anyways, so I get to the hospital and they told me that my English name was too long to put in the system, so I gave them my Chinese name (I feel so cool ;)). They did the typical tests and then told me to wait for a while. The doctor called me in and talked to me for a while, and then told me that he was going to need to draw blood. Ugh. So my companion held my hand and kept me talking the whole time to keep my focus away from my arm. I didn't cry!... but I still got dizzy and told the nurse I was probably going to faint. She helped me lay down, and then we waited some more. The doctor finally told me I had a Gastro Intestinal Viral Infection (in English; there's no way I could have translated that haha!). Apparently this was just something that's been going around with a lot of the Taiwanese lately. He gave me some medicine and sent me on my merry way. 
I'm finally starting to feel better, but it's a very slow process. I have learned a lot about patience... and that I need to work on developing it haha! I know that every missionary's dream is to sleep for the rest of their lives, but I've tried it, and it's not fun! I have also learned a lot more about trials. You can bet that I was praying at every instant during my sickness. I was praying that God would take my trials away and everything would instantly be better. But He doesn't do that. He allows us to have experiences so we can learn and grow. He never abandoned me; I felt His presence every step of the way. But He did allow me to have this moment of sickness so that I can better appreciate the times that I am healthy. He helped me to learn that we are faced with a lot of different trials and circumstances, but our attitude through it all is very important. No, I can't choose what circumstances will come my way, but I can choose how to handle them. I can choose to be happy. God's ultimate goal for us is to find happiness. 
I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is guiding and leading us throughout our lives. I am grateful for my companion who took care of my all week (poor thing). I'm also grateful for this experience. I hope that I can come out stronger because of it. Also, how many of you can say that you threw up into a Taiwanese toilet and then went to a Buddhist hospital? ;)
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers(: I know they work! Jiayou!
我愛你!
簡姐妹



 



 
 
Snickers Sisters

Time is so weird. This was an extremely fast week! I literally feel like I was just emailing you guys! I just have to say, emailing is so stressful! How do I tell you about a week in about an hour? Haha! I'll just jiayou ;)
This week was awesome because we had Zone Conference! President and Sister Day came down with the temple sisters and assistants to train my small zone of 12 people. It was so awesome! And it was the most spiritual zone conference I have ever been a part of. In the beginning my district sang the opening song (well, the four elders sang and Sister Howell and I played piano). After the opening prayer President Day stood up and said, "I really hope that you all will listen to what the Spirit has to teach you today. Actually, I just decided we are going to sing some more so we can invite the Spirit." He then invited the other district to sing their song, the elders to all sing "Ye Elders of Israel," and the sisters to sing "As Sisters in Zion." And then he invited me to get up and sing, "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus," a capella! I was seriously so honored that he invited me to sing a song in order to invite the Spirit. It is one of the most special moments that has happened on my mission. I am so grateful for this gift of music that God has given me!
The training was all about different languages; the language of the Spirit, the language of Love, the language of Taiwan, and the language of the Gospel. We need to work hard at all of these in order to be effective missionaries. ALSO, he told us that the paperwork for Hualien to become a stake has been sent to the first presidency. The final numbers were 1901 members, 132 tithe paying, worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders attending church, and 5/6 units qualifying to be a ward. We made all the numbers!! We really hope that sometime in June these branches can become a stake!
It rained a lot this week. Like, POURED. Sister Howell and I just walked around in our rain ponchos spreading the gospel haha! One fun story for you; we just finished talking to this man and his daughter and they told us they had to leave. So we walked to another door to continue finding. Sister Howell said, "Man, I wish we had given them a Book of Mormon." I took that as a prompting and waddled (yes, waddled) after this car. They rolled down the window and I just handed them a Book of Mormon and said, "We are sharing this book and want to give it to you!" Well, they took it! Sister Howell and I couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous I looked waddling around in this blue poncho in the pouring rain ;) Nothing will stop the work of the Lord from going forth!
We had the chance to go to Taidong this last weekend. The Relief Society had their big anniversary activity, so we took this giant bus and drove over 3 hours south. I can now say I have been at the top and bottom of my mission area. But the whole bus ride there and back everyone was singing karaoke. It was so cute! And most of them are pretty tone deaf, but I absolutely love these people! I love Hualien!
 
I also absolutely adore my companion. This has been the funnest transfer of my life and I know it's because of Sister Howell! I'm just so amazed at how well we get along. It makes missionary work that much more fun!(: We visit the Dong family for FHE and they gave us these hats that say "Snickers" across them. So we call ourselves the Snickers Sisters ;) Pretty catchy I'd say!
We taught the Zhang family yesterday. 3 kids are baptized (10, 11, and 13) and their mom isn't. But yesterday we set a baptismal date with her for the 9th of May! That's her birthday too, so that would be perfect! Her kids are so adorable and they have the strongest testimonies! I absolutely love them! Just pray that Zhang Jie Mei will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in her life and have a desire to come unto Christ through baptism!
This week we have started passing out these cards inviting people to watch a video called, "Because He Lives" in preparation for Easter. It's about Christ's resurrection and it's absolutely beautiful. I invite you all to go and watch it and then share it on Facebook! I am so absolutely grateful that Christ came to earth and lived a perfect life so that He could Atone for us. Because of Him I can become a better person. I can change. I can be forgiven of my mistakes and return to live with my Heavenly Father again. I can be with my family forever. Words cannot describe how immensely grateful I am for His sacrifice for all of mankind. Because of His Atonement He can strengthen us in times of need. We can make it through the hard times and we are able to have good times as well. Because of Him all things are possible. And Because He Lives we all can overcome death. We will all resurrect again one day and be able to live with our Heavenly Father. 
I am also so excited that conference is coming up so soon! It's this weekend for all of you, so enjoy listening to a prophet's voice! For all of my friends that aren't members, I invite you to visit our church's website and listen to the messages that living prophets and apostles have to say. I know that we have a living prophet today who is guiding Christ's church!
I love you all so very much(: Have a wonderful Easter and remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, still lives today.
我愛你!
簡姐妹

P.S. Watch this video! HeLives.mormon.org
Also: lds.org (: