Monday, June 7, 2010
Oh! Move-call day! I have a new companion! She is Sister Crane and I already love her so much. She is the most lihai, just the most awesome missionary I have ever met. I am so excited to be serving with her! My first move-call here I got to go with her on companion exchanges and it was just an amazing experience, I am so excited for this opportunity because I really want to be just like her so I hope I can use this time wisely and learn all I can. She is from Salt Lake area, graduated from BYU in geography teaching and was teaching for a year before her mission. Loves the outdoors and I am so excited, we are planning to go hiking sometime in the next couple preparation days.
Last preparation day we had a couple baptismal interviews during the day so I was able to take pictures of the cutest girl in the world. Her mom just got baptized this sat and it was one of the most fabulous baptisms ever. Wow, this was cai ying xuan, and she was so great. So ready for baptism. She was an investigator when I first came, and we dropped her because she wasn't keeping any commitments. She wouldn't pray or read. Not even with us, she kept saying it was so weird and she didn't want to pray. But that is why her conversion was such a miracle. This transfer our zone leaders challenged us to drop in week C's every day for the first week. We didn't realize it was only for the first week so we were still working toward it the next week and decided to drop by and add ying xuan. She laughed about it but said we could meet with her. Well, over the next couple weeks we kept meeting with her and emphasized prayer and scripture study. I have such a strong testimony that is what you need to do to progress. You need to ask Heavenly Father about His church, you need to read the Book of Mormon to help you know it is true. You need to be doing those daily acts to keep strengthening your testimony. Everyone needs to, not just investigators. Everyone needs to be doing these things. Well, she had a problem with tea too, but she was so good, and wanted the blessings--so we would call her every morning (she usually drinks tea with breakfast) and then we would sing to her :) After a week she was totally fine and we weren't able to call her every day but she was totally fine. Her cute little meimei, her little girl has also been such a big help. Ying xuan told us how meimei would cuddle up next to her before bed and say, mommy we haven't prayed yet! :) So cute! It is amazing to see what change has taken place in her life. It's really exciting to see her with her little girl and see how she has become more patient and more loving--she is such a great mom and it is so amazing to she her change and growth. And, I loved last week when we visited her and our peike, our member helper, asked her how she liked prayer. She loves it. She says she is so used to it now! Wow, :)
Oh! Mom, you'll love this--we taught a japanese lady yesterday--there is a japanese lady in the singles ward who speaks english but she brought a friend to church yesterday. It was so great, we had the member translate from english to japanese :) but it was so fabulous and it reminded me of you and I thought about you and your mission. You were probably the most fabulous missionary.
To tell the ward....I think the biggest thing I can think of is, don't be afraid to share the gospel. Everyone needs it, not just to live a better life and to be happy, but to be able to go to the Celestial kingdom. In order for them to be able to live with their families forever they need to be baptized. The best missionary work is done through members. If you want to develop more courage, more of a desire to share the gospel follow preach my gospel. In the 1st chapter about our purpose it mentions the Atonement. The best thing you can do is learn more about the Atonement and gain a personal testimony of it's application to your life. Once you understand that, you will have a natural desire to share the gospel with others and allow them to also experience it. Take courage! :)
I love you all, have a wonderful week!
Dearest mother and family,
You are so great--thank you for sending me your love and updates. I am so appreciative of all you do and all the prayers for missionary work. Also, remember to keep praying for missionary work at home. The most effective missionary work is through the members of the church.
Sundays are pretty busy. We cover three wards and one is a single's branch so it's fun but sometimes makes for really long days. But we have been really blessed and are able to see many people come to church every week. It is such a blessing that we haven't even realized as much until recently. We were blessed to have so many progressing investigators come to church and it is such a blessing to see them come, feel of the spirit, and make friends that will help strengthen them in the church. Yes, we have a list of the recent converts and less-actives in each ward and we call and visit them daily. It really is so important to help those recent converts. Satan works really hard on the recent converts. Really hard.
Some days are hard. Missionary work really is filled with so many ups and downs that I didn't quite understand when everyone told me about it. It's amazing how up and down each day can go. It has even more than before, meant so much to me that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and will listen to us. Not only that, but He, through His spirit, has the abiltity to give us comfort and to strengthen us. I love personal prayers and the ablitity to speak with Heavenly Father about the day and our investigators and ask for His help. It's just hard to watch some things happen. But, I know that this church is true and through obedience to the commandments of God and by exercising our faith and obedience we will be blessed, not just now, but forever. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today, President Monson guides this church and receives revelation that we need to follow. All we need to know comes from the prophets, through the prophets God tells us of His will. Because all that he has revealed and everything he is revealing now is what we need to know. The scriptures are true.
I love you all, keep reading keep praying. Love you!
That weather report is hilarious! Wow, still getting snow?! And pouring rain for state track, baseball and tennis, wow, that sounds hard. That's kind of funny though--you probably had pouring rain when we did too :) I love the rain here, the drops are so big and there is just so much of it--the only thing is right now it's still so hot so I don't want to put on my raincoat. We ended up just biking in it anyway and letting ourselves get wet. Everyone thinks we're crazy. One thing about Taiwanese is that they are afraid of a lot of things: cold water, the sun, the rain.... they wear coats or long sleeves even when it's ridiculously hot because they don't like getting tan...they think all rain is acid rain and will make your hair fall out. All the members keep reminding us to wear long sleeves and cover our heads in the rain :)
Mom, I'm so excited for you to start your garden! You would love the gardens here, there are all sorts of gardens on the sides of the road that are just random plots of earth that people have converted into gardens.
I can't believe Devin is coming home! No way! I felt like he just got out and now I still feel like he has another year...Crazy.
You went to the temple too! That is so cute, you guys are adorable :) I loved the temple so much. It's a small temple and I think it's even smaller than the Twin Falls temple, but it was so beautiful! Still a Tawainese building, but so beautiful--and it was such a blessing to be able to go. I haven't been able to go since the MTC, and we were lucky enough to live north enough to get to go. It was still a good bus ride up and back, but wow, I love the temple so much. Nothing can compare the spirit that is there and the opportunity to remember the covenants we have made with our Heavenly Father. I am so excited that you have been able to go and especially that you can go together.
So, I really want to tell you about this one awesome lady. Her name is xu wei rong and she is, wow, awesome. One thing that has been really special teaching her is that she is actually someone I contacted on the street. It was while we were on our way home and it was almost 9. We had done a lot of contacting that day, were still one short of our goal, and I was really discouraged because I had started contacting by myself and was getting a little frustrated that I didn't understand what anyone was saying back to me. I hadn't been able to add anyone that day either which was especially discouraging. But, this lady was great and agreed to meet with us. The thing was, as I was giving her a baptismal goal her phone rang and she quickly said ok and then brushed me aside.
The first couple lessons were shaky too, we were visiting someone else and were late to our first appointment with her and then she kind of laughed while we were teaching her a first lesson. Then she told us her purpose for meeting with us was so that she could find a church for her daughter. Well, that wasn't too great, but we still set up another appointment with her anyway. My companion was really frustrated with her so I made the followup calls and a couple times she just flatly told me not to keep calling and she would remember the appointment on her own. :) Haha, she is a fireball, such a strong woman. Anyway, we were surprised that she kept showing up to appointments but she still wasn't willing to pray or read or come to church. But, after we taught the second lesson, she said once again that she was willing to keep learning and to keep meeting with us. To be honest I got a little frustrated because I didn't want to keep teaching someone who wasn't willing to do their part. So,....I just told her. I told her we could keep teaching her, but that wasn't how she was going to find out the church was true. She had to do her part. She had to read, she had to pray, she had to come to church. The way to know of the truthfulness of this church can start by listening to others' testimony, but you need to do your part if you want your own testimony. She was also really interested in the Plan of Salvation so I told her that by reading Alma 40-41 and praying she would learn more about it and know it was God's Plan for us.
I wasn't sure what was going to happen after that, but I still didn't call for a couple days, because honestly I was still a little scared of her. But, then I called about 3 days later to follow up and she was totally different person. Wow. She was actually excited to hear my voice! She asked my why I hadn't called in so long and when our next appointment was. When I asked about her prayer and reading she had done it! Not only that, but she told me how it help her understand the plan of salvation better. I couldn't believe it!
From then on she has continued to read and pray every day and to progress. She is so strong-willed. Once we taught the Word of Wisdom she drank tea once with friends a week later, and we talked with her about what she could do to help her keep the word of wisdom. She is so awesome, she said, well, I have the desire to do it, so i just need to do it, it's not that hard. Wow. She is so great! She passed her baptismal interview so quickly and wow, she is just fantastic. It's so great to see her and every day a little more friendly--but more than that, you can just hear in her voice that she is happier. This church makes everyone happier. I know that you need to be reading and praying every day in order to progress. It is so important, and so important for investigators to realize it's importance.
I love you family! Have a wonderful week! I'll be writing again soon because monday is preparation day so it'll be in only a couple days.... and I'm so excited to write more because we have some great investigators I want to tell you more about! Love you!
-Sister Allison Ko