Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday July 21, 2014

Monday July 21, 2014                                                                                                                          
Dear Family,

 A couple weeks ago Andrea texted us wondering why some people call our church evil and heretical, and asked if we only have one God. We got a hold of her once after that. Then she didn't come to church, and we could not get a hold of her whether we called, texted, or visited her.  I was devastated. But on Sunday, we were calling and waiting for investigators.  I looked out the window and saw her making her way across the parking lot toward the front doors. I was beyond ecstatic. I ran out the doors and gave her a giant hug, and then another!! I thought she was a goner, but not at all! She was still interested, just super busy. It made me realize that I need to trust God a little bit more.

On Sunday we also had another investigator come to church. They apparently work with one of our members. They have met some other members before, and even had conversations about the gospel with our very own missionary Wu JM (who just moved from Taidong) before she came on a mission! We are harvesting the seeds others have planted.

I hear there might be a typhoon coming to Taiwan this week, so we'll see if anything exciting happens there.

Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards

Sister George and I reunite! Exchanges

Sister Peay and our matching dresses at the leadership seminar :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Monday July 14, 2014

                                                                                                                                    Monday July 14, 2014
Dear Family,

I hope all of you are enjoying nice summer heat like I am! It's getting pretty warm in Taiwan . . . and I absolutely love it. There is something about heat and sunlight that is just happy.

Friday night a member called us and invited us to go out to eat with him and his friends the next day. This group included members, non-member Christians, and those with no religion at all. Before going, we asked the member what he thought would be best to share. "How to know if God exists and loves me," he told us.  When we went, we met Wu2 Na4 (Apple) from mainland China. And she is curious. She has been told from birth that God does not exist. But she's had some experiences that were just too coincidental, and have caused her to wonder. During the dinner we had a rich conversation about God, before our "spiritual share" time.   This discussion led perfectly into the thoughts that we had prepared. Apple agreed to come to church the next day. And she did!  She came with her wonderful member friend. We met with Apple both before and after church. She is so interested to know if God really exists. It was amazing!

We went to visit an investigator, and after the visit, we were walking down the stairs and all of a sudden one of the doors at the bottom of the stairs caught my attention. I had a thought, "I should knock on that door." Ok. Why not? Nothing will probably come of it. I knock on the screen door, looked past the screen into the room, and my heart dropped. Yang2 Han2 Yu4! One of my former investigators from DANSHUI! How is that even possible??? Although she did not want to meet with us again, I believe that God wanted me to knock on that door and witness to that girl that he is aware of her and that he is trying to communicate with her. It was one of the most incredible miracles I have witnessed.

 Sister George's birthday was the 11th so we surprised her on the roof of our apartment with cake. Yay!

Missionaries gather together:

With Sister Day

Monday July 7, 2014

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Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

July 7, 2014

Dear family,

The Li family is incredible! This is the Li Que Su Lian (Shirley) that I've talked about before. They are 68 and 71, and the cutest couple in the world. This past week, when we were visiting and following up on their Book of Mormon reading,  Sister Li shared with us how, when she read 1 Nephi 4, she believed God existed. It was so incredible. And then as we started to teach about faith, they already knew what it meant! Brother Li DiXiong literally said, "Faith is power," which is part of a famous motto in our mission. Sister Peay and I just looked at each other and grinned. They came to church on Sunday, and in their Sunday best, and the ward loved them as well! Brother Li  told us last week that baptism was simply not an option, this week he had already warmed up to the idea that maybe, someday, it might be an option. When he feels God working in his life, and feels a personal witness of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I don't think they will have any issues.

The past couple days I've been doing an in depth study of 1 Nephi 4, in efforts to understand better how to recognize the promptings of the spirit. I have . . . learned so much. So I just want to encourage anyone with interest to do the same and share with me what they learn! Perhaps one thing that I've picked up on, is that the Spirit works with the knowledge that we already have.

I love you!

These Sisters know where to find good cookies...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Monday June 30, 2014

Monday June 30, 2014
Dear family,

This week went by really slow and really quick at the same time. This month as a whole has FLOWN by! I can't believe it. But we've seen some absolutely amazing miracles. Sister Peay is an exceptional missionary, and she’s teaching me so much. To start off is a little quote from President's email to all the missionaries that I loved:

President Kimball also said: “They who reach down into the depths of life where, in the stillness, the voice of God has been heard, have the stabilizing power which carries them poised and serene through the hurricane of difficulties” (Ensign, May 1979, p. 6).

I loved the beautiful way he said it.

This past week we went and visited Shirley again, even though we had kind of dropped her, and it was perfect! Her husband was there and we got to meet with both of them, and he became our new investigator! They are the cutest elderly couple in the world. We love them.

Yesterday we set up a peike to help us with a potential investigator. As we were waiting for our investigator, we started talking to this friendly man who was sitting at a table outside McDonald's. By the time our peike showed up, we knew we were stood up by our original appointment, and this man was all prepped for a lesson. We sat down with our peike, had a lesson, and set a baptismal date with him. And he even lives right across the street from the church!  He was interested and earnestly intrigued by the gospel of Jesus Christ. We were definitely guided by the Lord.

This week was one of a lot of personal revelation for me, which was nice. This morning I read a scripture I loved. Alma 32:17-18 "Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe. Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it." I love the perspective this verse gives us on faith. Faith is only possible in the absence of knowledge. The pattern for true knowledge that I've seen in the scriptures is always through faith first. If miracles are manifest to those without faith, the miracles produce no change, belief, or conversion. Miracles that come through true faith lead those who witness the miracles to greater faith, and eventually to knowledge.

I love you! Have a great week!

Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards
Sister Peay and Rachel 

This is me and Sister Mao2
A belated birthday card for Rachel received sometime from someone.

Monday June 23, 2014

Monday June 23. 2014
Dear family,

Last week was crazy! There was so much going on. My new companion's is Sister Peay (pronounced "pay"), from Mapleton Utah, and she is wonderful! I'm still waiting for that one really hard and difficult companion, but I'm going to have to keep waiting. She is full of love and a desire to serve. I'm really excited for this transfer! AND Sister George, the sister I trained, moved into our apartment too!!! I love her so much and I have missed her, so I am super excited about that.

Nian JM (Andrea) is doing so well!! Last week she agreed to obey the Word of Wisdom and set a goal to be completely following it by the 21st. We met with her on Saturday, the 21st. She has finals, she's still recovering from her car crash a couple of weeks ago, and she didn't drink any coffee the entire week! Not only that, but she gave all her coffee away. She told us her roommates were so surprised, because they wanted her coffee before and she wouldn't give it to them, but now she voluntarily gives them all of it! She is absolutely amazing!  Because she's following the Word of Wisdom, she’s been receiving blessings. Her body has been healing a lot faster than she expected. And she's saving money from not buying coffee! These are subtle but significant blessings. She is amazing. And so is God.

Zhao got baptized on Saturday!  It was crazy planning his baptism while working around transfers, but it turned out alright. And I've never seen someone laugh so much walking out of the water--it was so cute.
Zhao, his mother, Sisters Peay, Edwards and the member baptizing Zhao.

Today for exercise we woke up early and biked to the train station to drop off a bike there. So on our return trip we switched off one companion running, one biking. We pulled up to a guy in a blue truck, with watermelons in the back, eating Binlang (Betel Nut--super disgusting stuff) and looking like every other blue truck guy, which is not super great. But we said hello and chatted for a second. As we invited him to church, he started quoting the beatitudes from Matthew. What?!  It so happens that we have a Book of Mormon in the back of our bike. We flipped open the Book of Mormon to 3 Nephi 12 and showed him Christ teaching the Beatitudes to those on the American continent. And then he agreed to come to church. And then he gave us a GIANT watermelon!! So even exercise time is a great time to contact.

I've been thinking lately about the agency involved in belief. We must choose whether or not we are going to believe. In Alma 19:31-32 we see Lamoni, who has just had an incredible experience and converted to Christ. He teaches his people, "and as many as heard his words believed, and were converted unto the Lord. But there were many among them who would not hear his words; therefore they went their way." God will never take away our agency. But if we choose to listen, we will hear and believe. But we must choose ourselves.

I love you! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Rachel Caroline Edwards