Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Xin nian kuaile! - Happy New Year! Feb 10, 2013

Sara shared with us some of her experiences this week with the Chinese New year:

"New Years in Taiwan has been fun.  Everyone is very happy and though they may not want to take time out of their holiday to hear our message, it has been amazing to see the Lord's hand guiding us.  I even was able to contact by myself while my companion was writing and giving cards to less actives.  I was able to teach 2 lessons and find a new investigator.  Talk about miracles!  Ha ha my Chinese is improving, but I can feel myself hitting a bit of a plateau so please pray for my language ability this week... also pray for my stomach -   ha ha the members here are wonderful and are feeding us all this week lunch and dinner... and when I say feeding us I mean it is like having 2 Thanksgiving meals EVERY DAY!  I don't know how I will survive, but it is great to be with the members and to get to know them better.  I am even at the point that sometimes I can actually be myself in Chinese... that may sound weird to some, but it is really hard to express your personality if you don't know how to say it in Chinese.  It does get better every day though.  My companion and I have had a much better week.  I think it has helped me to know that I am not completely reliant on her for our success.  The lord will help us both accomplish His work.  I have seen this blessing over and over this week."

We had the privilege of having a new friend from Taiwan that Sister Gummow met at Christmas time who is now living in Provo over for dinner to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This friend is the only member of the church in her family and Sara has the privilege of teaching her mother about the church currently.  We enjoyed getting to know her and having that connection with Sara
"Thank you for all the updates!  It is hard to imagine you guys in the freezing cold snow!  I hope you are all surviving ok!  Taiwan is getting warmer and warmer every day.  I have a feeling the summers... are going to be fun ;)  ha ha I am glad I'm not suffering in the snow though.  Better make a snow man for me and send the picture.  Tell Jill's sister gonxi gonxi :)  Congratulations!!! I am so happy for her.  The Lehi party sounds great!  Our Chinese new year has mostly consisted of eating food.  They celebrate it for an entire week, but we don't specifically do much because most of the holiday's meaning is in the resting part which we don't do ha ha.  It has been fun though to have all the people be so kind to us!"

She also gives some missionary advice and things she wished she had brought on her mission: 

Mom thank you for getting that package for me!  I seriously love pictures!!!  It has been the only regret that I didn't spend more time picking out good ones before I came, but I never really thought about it because before I always had facebook and such I could pull them up whenever I wanted, but now I cant do that to tell people about family and friends, so thank you!!!  I love you all so much and am grateful for all you do!

Hey Daniel!  I think it is so great that you are joining in the rules with us!  I think seminary is probably right on the rules because when I was in seminary we did a similar thing and I saved the paper and yep... white handbook standard... it really isn't bad out here though, but one thing I didn't realize before my mission was how it really does take self discipline to succeed.  There is no mom to help you complete your goals out here and sometimes your companion may not want to keep the rules, but you can still motivate yourself to do it without anyone else.  In the end judgement is between you and the Lord... you can't tell Him oh, but what about my companion or my mom forgot to remind me so I didn't do it.  In the end it is really between us and Him, so work on that discipline now and you will find success.  I haven't sung called to serve in a while actually and I am kind of missing it.  I wish I could have heard you play!  Let me know how it all goes this week. :)

Bryanna!  Oh you are becoming such a teenager.  I wish I could have seen your curly hair!  I bet it was so pretty.  Your hair is sooo long.  Maybe by the time I get back mine will be too :)  It is fun to hear of you experiencing these new things.  Whenever I show my family picture they always say two things 1. my mom looks so young! (they usually can't tell who mom is they think it might be Aimee) 2. my little sister is so beautiful.  I would have to agree with both of those statements.  The thing I wish I could explain to all of them though is how beautiful you all our from the inside out.  I would encourage you to focus on the inside beauty because that is what lasts... that is what changes the world.  Like sister Dalton always says, "1 virtuous young woman can change the world."  I love this and I know it to be true because I am seeing it happen all around me.  The most beautiful, amazing people I have met have been the ones who are sacrificing and serving the Lord.  They are truly amazing!

Mom and Dad you are so great and I love you both for giving me the gospel to guide me.  One thing I have been thinking a lot about lately was how grateful I am for the pioneers in our family who gave us the gospel and for righteous parents who took the time to not only gain a testimony of the gospel  but to live it in every way!  The sacrifices you have both made for the gospel are amazing and to see the blessings unfolding everyday are even more amazing!  The Lord truly does take care of His sheep.  He is taking care of us here in Taiwan and all of you at home.  Thank you for your support and kindness."

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