In Taiwan, a typical greeting would include the above Chinese statement and it is asking, " have you eaten yet". They have some of the most delicious fruit and foods in Taiwan - things that Sister Gummow has probably never seen or tasted before! - The perks to serving on a tropical island!
She had a really great week but is hoping for some specific blessing and could use some extra prayers!
I love your little Chinese additions to the emails mom :) it makes me so happy. I hope you can have a simple conversation with me by the time I get back... keep working with Joanna! I'm sure you will be able to :) So I loved all your updates. Bry- the white hat and shoes was a super cute idea! Way to follow in your sister's example and be creative! ha ha Jill would be proud too. I just got your letters with their updates btw and I loved it. Tell Joseph congratulations as well as Jared! John will have to give a quick congrats to the others in Hawaii like Jordon and Dallin and whoever else is getting engaged ha ha. I still can't believe that... so awesome!
I also can't believe how much Dan has been going through... xinku ta!!! Tell him I love him and will be praying for him and that his legs will grow like a normal person ;) jk jk I'm sure it will all be fine. Dad and mom it sounds like you have some really big plans coming up.. 25th wedding anniversary! I'm not even sure I'll recognize the yard by the time I get back... as long as the tramp is still, there I will be fine. Funny story was when I was teaching English class, I was teaching about back yards and I happened to bring up the trampoline... they didn't even know what it was, but that makes sense because they have probably only seen them on TV. We are really so blessed in the USA. Even small houses often have yards. We are sooo blessed! I think that is one thing my mission has taught me... in the USA we are so spoiled!
So I have a special prayer request for you all this week. Pray that my companion and I can find people to teach! This week was sooo awesome. I can't even tell you how many miracles we saw this week. We wanted to visit 10 RCLA (Recent Converts or Less-Actives). The normal for our mission is around 5. We ended up getting 9 and each one was a miracle! We have seen so much success with our RCLA's coming to church and it is making us so happy. I may not have had any baptisms yet, but helping an endowed member of our church have the desire to come back after years of inactivity is the best feeling in the world!
We have also been having tons of tracting time riding bikes to places and just in general. We were able to teach over 30 lessons this week to members RCLA and Investigators (including ppl on the street) sooo awesome! the thing is we only found 1 new investigator.
My companion and I have been studying the finding chpt and doing all that we can to think of new things to practice, new materials, referrals.. anything! We have been improving sooo much. It has been really fun to see our skills improving together and to become more and more like PMG missionaries, but for some reason the Lord has not quite seen it fit for us to find investigators. We need them though! It is a great experience and we are learning so so much. Sister O and I are becoming better and better friends and I must admit... even though sometimes missions can be discouraging, a companion makes all the difference! Even on the hard days when we come home completely sweaty and exhausted from a day of tracting in the hot sun (and yes, mom, we do try to find other things to do during the hottest hours, but because we don't have many investigators we are always tracting... and riding bikes... in the blazing heat ha ha.) I am so dark right now - which the Asians don't really like. They always think I'm from some other country. Lately every time I say I am American they are so surprised. The most frequently guessed country is Australia or Spain... random) We are still so happy and ready to take on the next adventure.
Our companion studies are also super fun because we have been doing some great role-plays that have really been helping us out on the street. So fun to take what we did in studies and see it succeed. I am getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and I am pro at riding my bike since our area is so huge. Things are good here though and as my companion and I are learning to rely more and more on Christ we are seeing so so so many miracles.
This week some of our miracles were:
1. We decided we needed to get in a habit of asking everyone for referrals, but we always would forget so we did a bunch of role plays everyday to practice asking people. We were able to ask a ton of people and got 1 from a cute high school student who's best friends family has been having problems. We were also able to get 2 different sets of christian girls to agree to pray for their friends and bring them to a lesson with us in the next 2 weeks (it is the end of school so they are all too busy to meet for awhile).
2. We were able to have some amazing member visits where we were able to serve them and bless their families. Sweet Wang ma ma (our branch presidents wife) broke down in tears after we blessed her and their home. Her husband was gone for 2 days at a church conference so she was taking over the bike shop while he was gone. She was worried because no one had come that day and she was alone. She was so grateful we remembered her and when we blessed that they would have good business... 20 min later (while we were still there) she got her first customer of the day. The Lord answers our prayers quickly sometimes, especially when we pray in faith.
3. A lady got offended at church on Sunday and as she stormed out I was able to stop her, give her a hug, remind her of her testimony... then our wonderful branch president pulled her aside for an interview. Right after we had sacrament meeting. We just encouraged her to bear her testimony and she bore powerful testimony of the saviors atonement. Sooo cool!
4. We planted so many seeds with so many awesome people! Helped so many people say their first prayer
5. To me this is the biggest miracle... my wonderful companion finally opened up to me and we are now at a place where we can really work together. I firmly believe that to have power when we teach we need to have all companionship barriers down... complete trust in each other (not only in missionary work, but in every aspect) that way the spirit can testify strongly through both of us. Companionship unity is essential to success and I feel like we finally have that now and I am so grateful for her willingness to share with me.
I love Taiwan and I love Taidong. I may not be seeing the miracles I expected to see, but the Lord is teaching me so much. I can honestly say I don't have any regrets! I will keep giving it my all. Thank you for all the love and support you have all given me. I hope the lord continues to bless you all!
I am so excited to see what miracles are in store for us next week.
BTW thank you Aimee and John for the letters! I got them :) You are wonderful and I will do my best to get one sent off today. I finally found the post office in Taidong so you may be getting 2 letters in 1. so so so sorry I have been terrible at writing. I will try and send the memory card with my pictures home as well! love you!!! :)
Also thanks for all the birthday wishes. G and G Gummow - I got your card and carry the handkerchief. So sweet and I will be carrying it around with me :) it really made my day to see all the emails and the fb birthday posts mom sent too. Ha ha thank you all!!!