Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday December 2, 2013

Monday December 2, 2013

Dear loved ones,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We were invited over to the home of an American member who lives close by. Originally she told us we would be having chicken . . . but we showed up to a delicious turkey!  Her feast was delicious and impressive. She also invited some American friends from her classes, and it was fun to celebrate all together.  Although I decided, for probably the 100th time, that it's a good thing I'm not serving in the states . . . and I give props to every missionary who is!! It's so much harder with Americans and with English speakers to talk about the gospel! Heavenly Father knew I wouldn't be able to, so he sent me to Taiwan to talk with my sisters here. I seriously love Taiwan so much. And I love Taiwanese people!! I was meant to come here. I hope all of your Thanksgivings were as good as mine.

Yesterday was our first preliminary choir performance, but starting this week our real performances will start. We’ll be traveling around the mission. I'm really excited! I love Christmas and I'm glad I have this chance to participate in the Christmas season in Taiwan. 

Since Christmas is the topic why not a Christmas Tree?
Yesterday we got Christmas cards from our investigator Wu JM. They were so cute! Written in her best English. The card also included little wooden mirrors and combs that had our names engraved on them. It was neat!  She is so cute!

We also had a big dinner with some of the ward members on Saturday night that was fun. It was originally supposed to be a visiting teaching thing, but I don't think it went according to the original plan. It sure was fun and delicious! Our ward is amazing and I love the members.  

Members that were at the  Saturday dinner 

We also have a ward member who is going to feed us lunch on Christmas Eve. That will be great.

Last Monday was productive and fun. We had a member take us out for lunch on P-day. She ended up contacting both the lady working at the front desk of the restaurant, and the store she took us to for some Christmas shopping. We ended up with their phone numbers! Talk about member missionary work!

Perhaps my favorite part of the week was our miracle with Li JM.  Last time we met with her she told us that she believes the Book of Mormon is true. Then she disappeared!  We hadn't been able to get hold of her for weeks! We were about to drop her. We couldn't do this because we couldn't let go of someone who said they knew the Book of Mormon was true. As a last resort, under the suggestion of our bishop, we called a member she had had lessons with, and gave her Li JM's number. The next day WE get a call from Li JM! Turns out she hasn't been answering our calls because she's at work and then gets off too late to call us back. I image forgetting we had called her has a part in that too.  We met with her last week, and she is still interested!  We had to adjust her baptismal date to Christmas, but her desires are all in the right places for the right reasons. It was cool to hear the reasons Li JM had for wanting to get baptized. She wants to make that commitment, to really commit to this gospel. And to think we just about dropped her!! Members are so important!!!!! They have a lot more power than we do in some ways. 

Julia was somebody we contacted on the street last week, and this week we met with her for the first time. I was so unprepared to hear such honest and straightforward questions that it kind of took me by surprise. She was willing to make the experiment, and then to take action, be baptized, if she got her answer.

We met Amy for the first time after contacting her on the street. She came to church, all three hours and met with us after! She was super good and seems to have-real-intent. I'm so glad we had a good peike for that lesson! It made a big difference. Huang JM made sure Amy knew what baptism meant before agreeing to it. Amy did set a goal to be baptized if she knew what we taught was true. I really believe in inviting people to be baptized quickly. It makes such a big difference! When people really understand what you’re asking, they almost always agree, because they understand that this is an action taken only AFTER they have received their answer. It helps them to understand our purpose too. The people who don't hear a baptismal invitation soon have a lot harder time.

Another highlight is our never-ending miracle of Wu JM (Angel). She has been to church every week, all three hours, for the past four weeks

She also went to the new member/investigator hike Saturday morning in Neihu, and a fireside Sunday night.

These three pictures are taken from the hike.

She is keeping all the commandments we have taught her, which is almost all of them. The only worry with her is differentiating between interest in the missionaries and interest in the gospel. She still has never felt the spirit in a way that she recognizes. But she is reading the Book of Mormon and is in
II Nephi.  If she starts sincerely asking and seeking, she'll find her answer. She is doing everything she needs to do, but I'm not sure if she really has a desire to find an answer or just a desire to hang out with us. But she is still amazing!

After going to the trainer/trainee meeting I feel even luckier than ever to be with Sister George. I have such an awesome companion who helps me so much. The meeting made me really grateful for the open relationship we have. We really communicate, and that makes a big difference. Also we have the same basic outlook. Most of the time we see things from the same perspective and that makes missionary work easy. And she works hard and is happy--such blessings!

One morning this week I was feeling doubtful and miserable. I decided to just start from the basics of my testimony. I began telling my companion all the things I KNOW. I had barely started bearing my testimony, when I was overcome with the Spirit telling me the truth of what I was saying. I know God lives. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Book of Mormon is the truth, and the way of greatest happiness on earth and in the eternities. Simple truths, but I suddenly KNEW them SO clearly. It was an experience I never want to forget.

Sister Edwards/Du Jiemei"
I love you!!!
Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards

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