Sister Gummow has made it over the "hump"/"camel day" and has felt your prayers and encouragement. Thanks for continuing to remember her in your thoughts and prayers. This week they focused on finding and helping the Less Active members to remember the blessings of the gospel. This work, she is discovering, is every bit as important as baptisms and she is finding great joy in it!
"So this week was full of challenges just like usual, but I am getting a much better perspective. Mom, thank you for the Letters. They came so quickly and just when I needed them. I also got quite a few emails this week... so I'm guessing you tipped off a few people that I needed some encouragement. Ha ha thank you! It is good to know I have so many at home loving and supporting me. I am trying to keep a good perspective and honestly despite my feelings of inadequacy I can really look back on my mission so far and say I have grown and changed sooo much! It is pretty cool that I have been able to speak the language I love so much for the past 9 months. Sooo awesome! My Chinese is not great, but it is definitely pretty good and it feels natural to me now. The funny thing is that when I am really really tired or in more of an emergency it comes to my head to speak Chinese first now. I think it comes from my first two companions being Taiwanese because every time I needed something, if I said it in English they would just look at me like "ting bu dong" so I would have to re say it anyway.
Taidong is seriously an amazing place. It really does have a very "Hawaii" feel to it and I feel like I fit in here very comfortably. Sometimes too comfortably. I think that is why the lord is letting me continue to have so many challenges. This week we saw many miracles as we have been working with our LA's. We decided it was time to search out some more of our lost sheep. It has really been amazing to see them have a desire to change and know that the lord put us there for a reason. He really is preparing people, but sometimes the people He is preparing are already members. They just needed some time and when they are ready to come back He lets us missionaries know. He also lets us know the best time to go visit.
We have been exhausted from riding bikes in the hot sun, but it feels good to come home knowing that we gave our all and maybe a little more that day. My companion is growing and learning so much. I am really learning a whole lot about communication and how important it is. I have also noticed this pattern in myself of things starting out good and then getting harder and harder. I think the big thing is I always go into everything with the most optimistic outlook. The thing is, despite any difficulties, I will always be grateful to them and I LOVE them. That is what I think is most important. Whatever challenges we have had just increased my love for them as we worked to overcome them. My trainee is awesome, but there are, as with everyone, some things that hold her back sometimes. Some of the ways I am used to doing things are not effective for her at all. I am doing my best to build myself into a better person who is more capable of love and understanding. Training is tiring though! I am going to be so proud of her wherever she goes though because I know she has learned well and will go bless many lives. I am excited to see what next adventure the lord will send my way.
We have one more week and then it's off to new areas new companions (probably though there is actually a good chance we both might stay). I am surprised to say that my usual need for change ( I love moving!) is actually smaller this time. I feel like I would be comfortable staying in Taidong for a long time. Moving would be fine too, but I wouldn't be sad if the Lord wanted me to stay here either though. I am so willing to do whatever He wants ha ha... much better than anything I would want!
I have to tell Bryanna that I was especially touched by your card. It really helped me through this week and I am working on having that faith that can move my mountains. I also absolutely loved the CD of your and Dan's music. You are both so amazing!!! I can't believe how awesome you are both becoming! You can steal my earrings, but try your best not to lose or damage them... I may be in Taiwan, but I will still like those when I get back! ha ha I am sooo grateful for all of your support. Love you!!!"