Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Temple Today - April 15, 2013

"In our day, the steadying arm of the Lord reaches us
through the ordinances of His holy temples."
Elder Robert D. Hales 

 "Prayers are answered, revelation occurs,
and instruction by the Spirit
takes place in the holy temples of the Lord."
Ezra Taft Benson 

Sister Gummow's email came late this week because her P-day was changed to Wednesday so they could attend the temple in Taipei.  Most temples are closed on Mondays, their normal P-days. 

Even though we are far away, we seemed to share the same kind of weather this past week in addition to challenges and blessings!  Here are some quotes from her email:

 "Joanna just emailed me and said that your Chinese is getting good!  She specifically said your accent was good, mom, so that is great!  Native companions have definitely helped my Chinese, though I feel like I have hit another road block... I must admit - because I never get to speak English.  Sometimes I wake up and I don't want to speak Chinese at all, -but guess what- I still do and it gets better!   ha ha! It was funny because my companion has a bit of an accent so I got to coach her on how to say "4" more biaozhun (standard) ha ha so funny.  We were both laughing as we walked to a member's house, listening to me teach her Chinese! 

Anyways, we get to go to the temple today!  Daniel asked a good question about the languages spoken in the temple and they do have English and Chinese.  I will probably do English today until my Chinese is a bit better... they also have translators.  

I'm so happy Matt is closer to me now :)  Yes... it was rainy here too and freezing!  It's all good though I am adjusted already so it barely phased me ha ha, but to be honest, my companion and I had a challenging week.  She has been having a huge problem adjusting and I have been super stressed because she just gave me all the responsibilities to do.  I had too much to think about and was forgetting things and was not exactly the most happy I've ever been.  Serving a mission without a companion's help is more than a little discouraging.  Luckily, we had the unique opportunity to have our coordinating sister come to our WPS.  It was so wonderful and so helpful!  She was able to help us set some meaningful goals that have really changed things this week.  One of her invites was to write down our responsibilities and split the work.  I think once my companion saw everything I was doing, she realized by herself that she needed to do a bit more.  It was so cool to see such a quick change.  We also had a long discussion after general conference about how to help us both progress.  We agreed to help her be "da tongban" (senior companion) and start leading.  It has been so amazing how much things have changed.  It has only been since Sunday night, but we have already seen so many miracles.  On Sunday, our whole plans ended up changing, so I told her I would follow her and support her.  We kept praying for direction and when she didn't feel anything, we would still follow her.  She was so frustrated, but I knew she needed to start then.  It was cool to have the experience of lifting and supporting.  However at the end of the day, I brought her to an area I felt like we should knock doors out.  Turns out a family let us in.  As we shared with the husband about prayer, his teenager daughter walked in and sat with us.  They may not be the most prepared people in the world, but it was our miracle and they said we could come back! We will visit again tomorrow and see what happens.  I have been working on really supporting and encouraging her.  She feels really  nervous to make choices, but as we have seen miracles and been accomplishing our goals, she gains more and more confidence and I realize how much the Lord's hand is in the work.  I think He just wanted us to learn how to do our roles (I needed to learn how to better assist and encourage and she needed to learn how to lead even when she is not 100% sure of herself). 

I may only be in Neihu for like 2 more transfers. ..........  It has been reconfirmed to me over and over again on my mission how the lord hears and answers our prayers.  He doesn't forget any of His sheep.  We had the chance to meet with a very cool lady this week.  C... JM.  She said the first time we met her she had just finished a prayer asking the Lord to help her come back to church.  Turns out I contacted a person right next to her and my companion was able to talk to her as she started heading home.  She said she would come to church but never did.  One day we felt like we should call the contacts in our phone that I didn't know.  Turns out I called her right after she had finished praying for some help again, so she set up with us for the next day.  She said she would come to conference, but didn't make it, but I'm sure she will meet with us again!  It is really an amazing feeling to know we are the Lord's tools. 

 I loved conference so so much too.  It was a little complicated because I had to find a companion to watch it with me in English, but it ended up being so awesome and Shandi, one of my best friends in this ward, watched it with me.  She was so sweet and I got my break to speak English like I really needed. 

Pray for L........... still no progress and I may be leaving Neihu soon so I'm praying that some miracle will happen and I can help her be baptized before I leave!  I am putting her name in at the temple today.  Other than that a mission has been a roller coaster of emotions every week (I remember John describing it like that and I completely agree!)  But every mountain I climb gets a little easier because I get that much stronger every time   I am hoping for a little bit longer of a down hill, but I'm guessing probably not... next transfer will be preparing for training if not training... we will see what the Lord has in store for me!  Here we go for another week!  I love you all!!!

PS - I think it is awesome that you plan out the hour goals on your day.  They have invited us to to half an hour goals lately and it has been such a blessing... PMG planning is so inspired!  I am striving to be more of a PMG missionary and there have already been so many blessings and we have accomplished so much more. 

Oh BENNY!! Happy Birthday!!!  I am sorry it is late, but I will send of a letter today too.  you are the best brother in law.  I hope you don't get too healthy while I'm gone because I do expect a "baking cookies" party on Sunday night when I return! ha ha.. 

You can also tell Amanda I love her and happy birthday!  I sent on her little person so she will get a picture from Taiwan and a letter from me about Taiwan :)  ha ha I love you all!!!"

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