Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday November 25, 2013

Hi everyone,

As I sat reviewing the week last night, I realized just how blessed we've been. One thing is XXJM. She is doing so well!! She has now been to all three sessions of church three weeks in a row. She is reading the Book of Mormon and is in 2 Nephi. So cool! Actually the coolest part for me was our lesson Tuesday night. She opened up her scriptures and showed us a part she had marked and her interpretation of it. At that moment  I knew she is going to be converted. Since she is sincerely reading the Book of Mormon, I know she'll make it. It was so cool.

Wednesday we talked to a girl on the street named Ella, and ended up teaching the first lesson right there. She has been Christian since middle school, and seemed to be an honest seeker of truth. She accepted our invitation to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and made an appointment to meet with us!

I've wanted to eat at this one restaurant for a few days. Thursday we decided that was the day to do it. As we were struggling to order,  neither of us can read many Chinese characters, a Haitian kid asked us if we needed any help. We ended up eating and talking with him. The biggest miracle was talking in English and naturally bringing up the gospel.  We found out that he already had a Book of Mormon and has read it more than once. What??? We asked if he'd prayed about it, he hadn't.  We invited him to do so, as well as meet with the Elders. He agreed to both. Whoa!!! So cool!! My trainer told me how following her stomach always led to miracles . . . it’s true! I've never exactly thought about the Spirit working through my stomach before . . . but it works!

Saturday was temple tours. Going in to it I was really nervous, because we had NO ONE coming for a tour, and we started at 10 in the morning. It sounded like we were going to have a very long day, but my fears were for naught! Before we had even set up a bishop approached us and wondered if we could give a tour to their ward's investigator while the members were in the temple. We had to ask the investigator to wait a few minutes while we finished setting up! His lesson was so cool.  He is from China and staying in Taiwan for the semester. Three weeks ago he and some friends found and went to church all on their own. Since then he's met with the missionaries several times. Somehow they had not gotten to the first lesson yet, so we taught him the first lesson! He understood so well, it amazed me. After teaching that lesson I am so excited for his future. But I do have to say that juan3she2 is killer!!! I could barely understand him! And even when I could understand him, Daluren (Chinese people) don't use the same words for the same things that Taiwanese people do! Good thing he was really patient.

We have an investigator that's been really busy (partially with midterms), so we haven't met with her in a long time. As we were rescheduling yesterday, yet again, I asked about her Book of Mormon reading. She told us that she is reading in 2 Nephi!! I was so excited. I really believe in the power of the Book of Mormon. Despite not meeting with us in forever, she has still been reading! The Lord is working with everyone whether or not He wants us to be a part of the process.

I love studies,except for language study. Despite our district meetings focusing on language studies, I've loss motivation lately. I think it's because every time I DO use a new word or phrase that I've learned from phase 2, the Taiwanese person looks at me funny, or laughs, and then tells me I used it wrong or people don't really use that phrase anymore. Ah! I don’t want to put so much effort into memorizing, because the word has no use or is good, but only for specific circumstances, and I rarely have someone to ask. I'm working on it though :)

This really was one of the best weeks on my mission.  I have SO much to be thankful for. It is such a good way to go into Thanksgiving.

This picture is at the university right by the church (Zhen1li3 Da4xue2)-- some dog was lying down right in the middle of campus . . . and it just struck me as so funny--he looked dead! So I tried to capture it in picture form

These are our thankful turkeys! Last week making thankful turkeys was our English class activity. It was really fun.  Everything in this email was included on my thankful turkey's feathers.

We pull up to the church one day and something smells BAD . . . so I start checking the bottom of my shoes. Sister George, "looking for the bad smell?" Yeah! She points across the parking lot to a truck full of pigs! They smelled bad, but they were still pretty cute! Well, sort of :) 

Nothing is going to turn out well for those pigs. No wonder they look so worried.

There was this cool float thing that was on the road one day, proceeded by a few trucks full of people with instruments making a lot of noise. I worry a little bit that it was some sacred ceremony I photographed . . . but I couldn't pass up the chance. 

Can you believe this view I have waiting for the MRT (subway) in Danshui? It was particularly gorgeous the other day, although the picture doesn't quite capture it.

One really cool thing from this week: it was transfers, but my entire district stayed!!  I love my district, so it's great. I am so lucky! I am always put with the best missionaries-- I don't know why I am so blessed, but it keeps happening. Here we all are celebrating.

Perhaps this is the view from Rachel's apartment window.  Most important of all it has air conditioning.  

Last, but not least, is the glory of the fanguangdai (reflective belt? I forgot) displayed while wearing rain gear. Did I actually go outside looking like this? Yes. Yes I did. Best day ever :) This is what it means to be a missionary in Taiwan! The fanguangdai is a new rule from a week or two ago--we have to wear it at night now. So any chance of looking semi-normal . . . is pretty much shot :)

I am so grateful for my family and friends. I love you so much. I know I don't always get emails off very quickly to answer yours, but I am  grateful for you.This gospel and my family are the most precious things in my life. I pray for each of you by name every night. I miss you. I love you. You are what I am most grateful for in the world. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (And eat some turkey for me, because we're eating chicken!)

Du Jiemei, Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards

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