Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Elder Holland came to my mission!!

Dear Family,

So this week was once again full of tons and tons and tons of miracles... so many tender mercies that it is hard to count.  I feel like every week just goes by faster and faster.  So this week's main highlight was the fact that Jeffrey R. Holland, and Elder Wilson, Elder Holstrom all came to our mission.  

They were here for some conference and were able to set up a special devotional for all the missionaries in our mission and then the next day speak at our sacrament meeting in West Taipei stake.  It was truly an amazing event.  Jared Winkel gave me a talk called "The miracle of a mission" http://laytreasuresinheaven.com/the-miracle-of-a-mission/ which has been one of my favorite talks my entire mission and it was sort of like having a live version.  He really helped strengthen our faith and commit us to be better. 

One of my favorite things that he said was something I had been thinking about lately.  One day I just really wanted to know who wrote Preach My Gospel.  I wanted to know how it came about... but Preach My Gospel itself gives no glory to any of it's writers.  When he was talking to us he said he felt impressed to tell us why they developed it.  He said it was because so many RM's come home and were going inactive or completely losing their Faith.  They were not living up to the things they had been teaching. They were so concerned that they developed Preach My Gospel... not to convert more people like I had supposed, but to help convert the missionaries.  Through a careful study of Preach My Gospel we truly learn the basic principles that our Faith is founded upon.  We strengthen our Faith in the core of the gospel.  The church unit is simply a way for us to live our faith, but preach my gospel tells us what we actually believe in and gives us the means to develop that testimony.  It is not something you memorize, but something like the scriptures, we ponder and apply.  Preach My Gospel has changed my life and I hope that every member is reading it... and continues to love it's pages as much as I have on my mission.  I have a principle that I have lived by on my mission and that is every single question I have can be answered through PMG, the scriptures, and the white handbook.  Those three resources have helped me through so many trials on my mission as well as the good times.  

So other than the amazing conference ( mom - I met that random lady from Thailand BTW whose daughter is going to our mission soon) we also had some really neat finding and teaching experiences.  One of the good news is that my old investigator  (when we changed areas, we had to give her to the elders) but she passed her baptismal interview and should be getting baptized next week!  We should be able to go to it too so I am so so happy!  

The coolest teaching experiences definitely happened on Sunday.  So a few weeks ago we had a finding miracle and knocked on these two doors and they both had interest and became our investigators... well this week we were finally able to find a peike (member who could come to the lesson).  It was so neat to feel the spirit at these people's houses and our peike gave us a huge hug and thanked us for the opportunity to meet these two people.  The spirit that was present in their homes was so so strong and it was so clear that the lord loved them so so much!  I have never felt the spirit so strong that it moved us all to tears and moves me to tears once again just thinking of the experience.  The best part is - we get to feel it and teach them every week.  I feel so blessed that the lord is letting me be a light to so many in Taiwan that are in a dark place.  

My favorite thing that I have been learning still is that we are Noah's arc... he is shining on us and we are his hope in this dark and dreary world.  He looks on us and smiles.  The cool thing is that Elder Holland said the same thing to us.  He told us that we are the ones the lord is smiling upon (the exact wording I have been telling all my sisters on exchanges)  I know the lord is proud of our efforts to do good and fight of the powers of satan.  We are strong and we have the power to crush that serpent's head!  

I wish I could tell you all the other really amazing things that happened, but just pray that I can get around to writing in my journal so someday I can share them with you!  

I love you all!

Sledding looked like so much fun.  I'll look out for the package for sure!  Give Jill another hug for me if you see her!  


Sister Sara Gummow

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