Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday March 17, 2014

Monday March 17, 2014
Dear Family,

This week was really good! As you can see from pictures, we made dumplings for P-day last week! It was really fun! We also ate real Mexican food when we went to Taipei to do temple tours. Macho Nacho:).  The first time I have found real Mexican food while in Taiwan.
 Making Dumplings

As I was studying the morning that we were going to do temple tours, I really felt like I should prepare a tour for a member. Even though we didn't have any member tours scheduled.  Actually we didn't have ANY tours scheduled L.  I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and felt pretty good about what I'd prepared. As we were setting up for tours in Taipei, we ran into Sister Duff in, the mother of the American family that lives in our ward. We talked for a few minutes, and then headed off. We bumped into her later and chatted some more, and then, the third time we saw her, I finally realized that Heavenly Father was probably trying to tell me something. We invited her to do a tour. This tour truly felt guided by the Spirit. I don't know all of the reasons why she needed that tour, but I felt like the Spirit was guiding us that day, which was neat. 

Afterwards we ran into a girl on the street who did not have much of any religious background. We began to share with her about Jesus Christ, prayer, and baptism. After talking with her for a while, we invited her to be baptized if she learned what we were teaching was true, right there on the street. She accepted this challenge! So cool!

Saturday night was another experience we had inviting someone to be baptized on the street. As we were knocking doors around the church, we ran into a Philippine lady who spoke English. As we shared with her about the restoration, I felt the Spirit bear testimony to me that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and of the truth of the restoration. We invited her to be baptized when she knew for herself that it was true, and she accepted. Two accepted invites to baptism on the street this week. I feel like when people really understand what we are offering, there is no way to say no.

A cool moment of Chinese!  In church yesterday I grabbed the Chinese book that the lesson was out of, in an attempt to follow along. Then, the teacher, who has helped peike and knows us pretty well, called on me to read out loud! And I did J, with a lot of mistakes, but it was ok. This week was also the first week that I read scriptures out loud from characters in lessons, rather than the pinyin. It's still back and forth, but I’m improving.

Speaking of the ward. Invited to a primary dinner.  I want to belong to that primary

Stake Patriarch cutting the cake.

The  Zhang family is doing really well! She has already finished reading the Book of Mormon, loved it, and is moving on to the Bible. She just has to get rid of coffee. She normally doesn't drink it unless she is working, but she works crazy hours a lot of times, and doesn't sleep much, so it's hard. Especially because she is a nurse, and so if she makes a mistake when she is tired, she is afraid of hurting other people. 

This Wednesday we’ll have Zone Conference, so that will be really fun. And transfers are on March 28th, just about a week and a half. I'm guessing that I will probably transfer, but who knows! I think that I am a lot more prepared to leave now than I was last transfers, although I would love to stay and see the Zhang family and Sister Zhao get baptized. And Yang JM!! She is an investigator we have right now whom I have a lot of hope for and I love.

We had interviews with President last week, and as I was asking him how to be more consecrated to the Lord, he related with me some of the things that indicate consecration. Everything he named were things that mom and dad do. I was struck by how very grateful I am for you guys.  President mentioned simple things like doing home teaching and preparing a primary lesson in advance. Things that I've seen you do all of my life. I have been set up to succeed. I only have to follow in the footprints of my parents. And I am so very grateful.

I’m beginning to understand that an important part of being a missionary is being converted to the Lord, and loving him with your heart, might, mind, and strength, and GIVING him your heart, might, mind and strength. Mom and Dad you are consecrated unto the Lord and the impact that has had on my life is immeasurable. Now I will try to serve, be obedient, be consecrated and be patient to help my investigators! And future children.

I love you and I pray for you!
Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards/ Du Jiemei

Now for the pictures:

February 28, 2014 and Eagle Baptizes Sister Nelson and Sister Edwards Investigators and friends

Making Banana Bread in the crock pot

Am I still wearing this part of the mission uniform? 

Eating Goose Meat...yum tasty

Massive Shoe-Rachel's feet aren't too big after all

Rachel's hair before cutting it-although she didn't end up cutting it as short as was originally planned.  So it looks pretty much the same still

Sister Nelson and Sister Edwards accidentally matching

Rachel and some awesome statue at ShiDa4-a university close to the temple.

 Trying to preach the gospel to a three-legged dog.

Rachel trying to kiss her frog prince

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday March 10, 2014

Monday March 10, 2014

Dear Family,

Hello! I hope all of you had a wonderful week! This week was pretty good for us. One horrible/wonderful part for us was Zhang Family. Because of some new mission policy (splitting our area into two sections, one for sisters, one for elders, rather than having the same area and elders teaching men and Sisters women), we had to give the  Zhang family to the Elders. NOOOO!!!!!! We were really sad about it. But, we still got to meet with them once more this week. They are amazing!  It's cool to see how much Heavenly Father is working with them. Sister Zhang, because of her weekend classes, hasn’t been to church enough times to make their baptismal date on the 15th; consequently their new date is April 5. But their faith is strong.  Brother Zhang came to church yesterday with their daughter, while Sister Zhang was taking a test. Yesterday afternoon we got the neatest phone call from Sister Zhang. As she was going to take her test yesterday she was really nervous, so she decided to pray. After she prayed, she wasn't nervous at all.  As she was taking the test, Sister Zhang came to a problem that she didn't know the answer to. She said a prayer, and then she just knew which answer was right. After finishing the test, she and her friend were waiting for the results. Her friend realized she might have done a part wrong, and became really anxious. Sister Zhang offered to say a prayer with her. In her prayer she asked that they would both pass. And they both did! Her friend was  touched by the experience, as was Sister Zhang, as we all were :)  They are a special family. I realized that I want to see them go through the temple. I believe they will.

Another cool experience was our peike with a Brother Jiang. He is an investigator that the Elders gave us. His biggest issue is obeying the Word of Wisdom, especially his smoking addiction. We asked  Meng Qi to come with us-- partially because she is an angel and is willing to help, and because she was addicted to smoking for 20 years, but was able to quit. It was cool to see her faith, hear her testimony, and feel her love for Brother Jiang. She testified powerfully of the power of the Atonement, and faith in the Savior. When she decided to give herself to Heavenly Father, she was able to stop smoking. Probably the best part happened on Sunday. Brother Jiang came in to Sacrament Meeting late, and there weren't many empty seats (which is how it is every week lately . . . Yeah!!). Sister Chen saw him, looked at us questioningly for a second, but then got up herself and directed him to a seat on their row. It was just a small act of kindness, but one that was profound to me. I think he needs just a little bit of attention from someone so badly. The Elders told us how hard it's been getting brothers in the ward to befriend him, and I think that this change of missionaries might give him a chance to get to know some other members who might be able to help (seeing as we can't meet with him without a peike, because he is male).

Angel is a miracle as well. I don't know how to explain it, but she is just different after being baptized. I think it is the gift of the Holy Ghost. There isn't anything specific that I can point to that is distinctly different from before, but she just . . . is good. She helped us peike twice this week (lately a lot of members that used to be able to help us can't anymore . . . so finding members to help us peike has again been difficult), and that fact alone is a miracle! And on top of that are the things she shared. I don't think she recognizes her own testimony. It is still a newer testimony, but her faith is there.  She helped our investigator understand faith and talked about her own experience receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (we were sharing the gospel of Christ with the investigator).

Another small but significant miracle was Sister Lai and her two kids agreeing to come to English class! They are our LA's that we've been working with for a while. Last week they agreed to come to class, kind of half-heartedly, and as feared they never showed up. This week Sister Lai and her children were figuring out how they were going to get to the English class, what time they needed to do stuff in order to fit it into their schedule, etc. It was soooo interesting to see how her kids rose to the occasion. I was  touched by her son's commitment to come once he decided to come.

I love you!