It was wonderful to hear from Sara this week! She is blossoming and full of beautiful thoughts and actions! These pictures are pictures that Bryanna (her little sister took around our yard). If adversity is represented as weeds, we have had plenty of those because we have been so busy this summer not weeding......
Hello dearest family!
So this week was a billion times better than it has been in awhile... challenges always bring the most miracles after. Ha ha so this week was interesting... we started with temple sisters coming to Taidong to do exchanges with us. We saw so many miracles that night and despite it only being a Monday from 6-9 pm of proselyting time we were able to see so many miracles and gave away 2 BOM and got 2 NI (new investigators) as well as like 5 other lessons. Sooo crazy and awesome! The lord was definitely making up for our time because we only had until 4 on Wed. in our area and then came back for 2 on Saturday, which any missionary knows is a pretty long time out of your area. The crazy thing is, despite all the time gone, our numbers were better than they have been in a few weeks with full time in Taidong. We saw miracle after miracle and were able to teach with so much confidence and power. We have a few investigators that started progressing and a few potential investigators as well. We have 2 that we are especially praying for and hoping will be able to be baptized this coming month. We are also doing our best not only to bring up our area, but to find awesome investigators for the elders. This was very inspired as in this coming transfer they will be bringing 4 more elders out to Taidong which puts it at 8 missionaries per branch... sooo crazy and so many missionaries. The thing is when we were in Hualian on exchanges they were planning on 9 baptisms the following day. We all agree in Taidong that it is our turn now. We are going to find the next branch presidents and relief society presidents. I know they are out there and my companion and I have the ability to help them.
I think that is what I am learning the most this week is the power to change. We really need that faith in other to see who they can become. I think my companion's challenges will really help her have patience and love for our investigators and the changes they are making in their lives. For me it is the knowledge of how real the atonement is. It not only makes up for our sins, but for our weaknesses and it really does give us the power to change.
I am working on having that patience of realizing that despite the past, this week can and will be different. It is the hope and the expectation that good things will come. I am going to keep the Faith in people that they can change and come unto Christ. This month I expect to see countless souls go through the challenges and come off conquerors. That is one quote I loved this week. it was from president Holland to the missionaries and trainees. He just talked about "why isn't missionary work easy". Then he said it is because salvation is not easy. Christ's atonement... His whole life was not easy. If we are to understand any of what He went through, we need challenges in order to walk a few steps in His footsteps, -to feel a little taste of that agony He went through. Missionary work isn't easy because Salvation is not easy. It was bought with a price. I only have to pay a small token and I am willing to give it. I am just grateful that I can see others who are willing to give it too. All of our investigators with struggles and challenges coming unto Christ face the same thing and I am grateful they are willing to pay that small token to come unto the Savior.
That is what I want to tell Elise and all those preparing, thinking, or are already on their mission. What price are you willing to pay to come unto Christ? I know that a mission will bring you closer to Him and it won't be because it is easy or fun... those times come and do happen, but it is in our greatest trials that we really come to know Him. The Lord knows us... He knows what will challenge us and He knows who we can help. It is us taking that step of Faith to say I am willing to follow Him and trust in his will (proverbs 3:5-6)... wherever it may be. Idaho will be blessed to have my wonderful cousin Sister Elise Gummow serving there! We send a big "gonxi ni" (congratulations!) from all the missionaries in Taidong (especially an Elder Rayburn who may have been in your ward in Colorado) and we are grateful to be serving along side all those who were willing to pay that price. It is amazing!!! We are all on the same team whether it be in Taiwan, Colorado (where my companion was a visa waiter), or Idaho.
I love being a missionary! Even in my hardest times here I have loved walking out that door being filled with the spirit and sending a message of hope and happiness to the whole world! It is an amazing feeling.
Mom, I am praying for you. (Note from mom - I ruptured a muscle/tendon in my calf during a dance performance this weekend) I can only imagine how this trial will be affecting you... something you love sooo much! I know from personal experience here that this trial will really help mold you to become even more of the person the lord wants you to be. You look beautiful in the pictures! Keep smiling and being a light... and don't ever be embarrassed. You are giving our whole family a chance to learn. Let them learn how to serve you. Daniel and Bryanna and Dad... take this chance to show how much you really love Mom. I realize how blessed I was now to have a mom who would be willing to sacrifice so much for me. My mission is teaching me a little more of just how much that really was... I am grateful for all you do! Every letter, every talk or word of encouragement is something I need and I am so grateful for. It gets me through the rough times so thank you so much for all of your love and time.
Bryanna you look beautiful by the way! I can't even believe how mature and beautiful you are becoming. Use mom's injury as a chance to become more beautiful on the inside as well. That's what is most important and this is a great opportunity so take it while you get it because knowing mom she will be back up and doing stuff as soon as she can.
Daniel where are you? why haven't I heard from you??? I INVITE you... strongly Invite... (pretty much expect...) an email from you next week - "hao bu hao"? I want to know how school is going and what is going on in your life??!!
Dad- "jia you". You are wonderful and I am grateful for all your words of wisdom. I write them in my journal and it prompts even more revelation throughout the rest of the week. it's really super cool.
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Sister Sara Gummow