Monday, June 20, 2011

Sorry, 2 posts on same day. Just noticed I didn't get last weeks on, so if you missed it, I just posted it before this one!

Hey ALL!!!!
So I just moved to Taizhong today!!!! My new area is called Beitun and our chapel is right next to the mission house. It is so fun! Our district leaders are the office elders! And my new companion is Sister Devictoria. I actually met her my first full day in Gaoxiong. She was serving close in Jiayi and Sister Lew's companion was in a trio with them. They all came down and attended W's baptism that first Saturday I was here. Then second move call she took Sister Bray's spot as junior in the area right next to mine---so we were in the same zone. And now we are companions! She said she totally called it too, so that is really fun! I love her so much and am so excited to serve with her! My new area hasn't had any baptisms in a long while apparently, so I am excited to see things change as we are diligient, obedient and worthy missionaries. Also, I am going to be able to go the Taibei Temple in three weeks! I am so EXCITED. It will be awesome.
This week has been a pretty much AMAZING one. On Monday we had just a nice relaxed preparation day and on Monday we had sister exchanges. I love those!! I exchanged with just the sisters right next door (literally...they live like five minutes away since we don't live in our area). The new senior over there is Sister Brownell---who I absolutely ADORE. She is just the best person/ missionary ever and I loved loved loved being with her. We worked hard together and felt so much joy in the work. It was just what I needed. Then, when we exchanged back on Wednesday afternoon Sister Cooper she had got the call that morning (usually it comes at night, but she found out a bit early) that she would be going trainer! Wow, both of my companions left me that way! So I got kicked out...again. But it was awesome because come Friday morning Sister Cooper went to Taizhong and I went to stay with Sister Brownell and Sister Morey!!! I loved it soo much. We were a great companionship. It was full of unity and love and we were able to find some really great people together. Plus we just laughed and had fun the whole time.
Well, I have to go soon, but here are the highlights:
*We saved a bat...kind of :).
*We made our own dumplings for dinner at this vendor's was awesome and she ended up coming to church on Sunday too!!!
*We made awesome brownies for a HUGE ward missionary activity and the activity was a success!
*We learned and sang a Taiyu song (aboriginal language of the Taiwanese) called "Jesus' Love".
*We sang hymns on our bikes together.
*We had compliment circles at night before bed.
*We recorded on their tape-journals at night!
*We are best friends :). I love them.
It is soooooooooo great, and they all live in Utah!!! So watch out, we are going to be best friends for sure. They are just so great. I have some fun pictures from this morning :). Might show up on Sister Morey (Amie)'s facebook, so go check for that.
Well, time to go but I love you all so much!!!
-------Sister Brooke Smith


Dear Family!!
This week has been a pretty great for me. We had a beautiful baptism on Friday. It was so great. Our investigator (now new convert) did so well and afterwards came out wearing the most sharp clothes and we were soo proud! She also bore a beautiful testimony of Christ. She absolutely loves "Finding Faith in Christ" and has strong faith in him. Her confirmation on Sunday also went very well and she was warmly received into the Fengshan ward. This past Sunday we worked more with the ward to have our investigators/new members feel welcomed and accepted. It worked really well and it made for a happy Sabbath. Q (who will be baptized this Saturday) came in a dress with nylons!!!! She even had some makeup on. It was her way of showing to God that he was important to her. Sister Cooper had been prompted to remind her to wear a skirt on Sunday and it turned out to have a really big impact. Because Sister Q wore a dress, her parents-in-law asked her where she was going. She was like, I am going to church. And I am going EVERY Sunday. I am soo proud of her and I know that Sister Cooper was inspired so that she would have the courage to be honest with her extended family. Having already overcome the family opposition, she will have more courage to endure. We are so excited for her baptism and enduring conversion.
Something else cool that happened this week is that we had a killer meeting with the relief society president. We had asked her for a list of five people in the R.S. we could go visit for her. So at the meeting we went over them and also discussed needs with her. She also asked for updates on our investigators so she could prepare the R.S. for them on Sunday. That is why Sunday went to so well! A happy sign of improvement was that sooo many ward members went to the temple on the ward temple trip this Saturday. It was amazing and I feel that there was a lot of bonding on that trip. Hopefully they will keep it up!
As for my gospel study this week, I have started doing something pretty fun! For my study on virtue I started going through the new young women's value of Virtue and completing (as much as is practical) the value experiences. It is so great and has helped strengthen my testimony not only of virtue but of the young women's program as well. I have also been studying the nine principles on how the gospel blesses families. It really has helped me a lot and I keep seeing so many ways in which I can improve. As I approach God in prayer and ask for his help in overcoming my weaknesses, I know he will help me.
All for now but definitely excited for this next week! Can't believe it is almost MOVECALL. I find out this Saturday if I move or not!!!!!! WEIRD!
Love you all!!!
---Sister Brooke Smith

Monday, June 6, 2011

Island Adventure

So today I sent out my email so late because I had an ISLAND ADVENTURE! It was sooo great!! Some of our new members  set up a young single adult activity and invited our whole district to come too. So one pair of elders and two pairs of sisters (Sister Cooper/me, Sister Lew/Lee) went and it was so great. It was kind of crazy because we had to bike to a train station to catch a 6:30am train to Gaoxiong, where we had to catch a bus that rode for an hour, where we went on a half hour ferry ride to Xiao Liuqiu Island! It was RIDICULOUS...and fun. Luckly I did a bit of letter writing amidst all the traveling. Then our friends all rented motorbikes and we had to rent bikes...sigh. The bikes were waaaaaaaaay was definitely not comfortable since my knees kicked up super high and the gears were not working. But we had fun with that since all the bikes in Taiwan seem to be that way besides ours...which are imported. Hahaha. So the island was suupper hilly and there was no way to bike up them, so we had to walk our bikes about half the time too. But we had a great time of it and the beach was AMAZING. So beautiful.  Anyway, we basically biked a loop around the island stopping at various geological attractions (reminded me slightly of Yelio, mama).
Great fun in the sun...I put on sunscreen several times but still managed to get a bit burned....sigh. Oh well, I have this super cool watch line now :)
So we have two baptisms coming up!! One this Friday and one next Friday. It will be so great. The first is so cute and it will be so great for her to have the support of the members. She is great and says that whenever she is at church, reading, or praying she receives a clarity of mind and we have seen it happen. I know that Lord will help when we allow Him too. It is so great.
The second is our lovely Q. She is a miracle woman for sure, and after church this Sunday she was even more ready for baptism. Because we need to wait for her to attend church three times, her baptism has to wait until next Saturday. One cool thing is that after passing her interview, she went to some Christian meeting and told all her friends she was going to be baptized. They asked her at what church and when she told them the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints they all told her we were not Christians. They are a group of many different sects, but one sent their minister to visit her and spent FIVE HOURS trying to convince her she was wrong. But she was so awesome! She said she thanked him for his concern but knew by the Holy Ghost testifying it to her, that our church is the only true church and that she must join herself to Christ. It was amazing and I am so impressed by her strength, Such a miracle.
Hope Kat has such a blast at Trek!
Sister Brooke Smith

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sorry this is late....Da jia hao!

Da jia hao!!

So this week has been pretty crazy but really good. I learned a lot about Charity this past month---it has been much needed.

Fun things from this past week:

We had a special mission meeting in Taizhong on Friday where Elder Jensen taught us how to become better missionaries. He is so amazing! Funny thing is, we were tricked by our zone leaders--they said we had to be at the train station to catch the bus at 3:30am and that the bus would leave at 4am. But actually...the bus didn't even leave to 4:30AM !!!!!!!!!!! But other Elders were there at 3:30am so we had company. Sigh, slightly grumpy since we missed out on some sleep, but the bus wasn't too terrible...except one Elder snored like (name removed to protect the innocent) was bad. The meeting wasn't until 9am, but we only got there like an hour early. They took pictures, so hopefully I will be able to send them to you soon!! But the whole experience was so amazing and I was able to see all of the missionaries in our entire zone! It was great!! Sister Bray is doing soo great and all of my little MTC family was there. I met the new missionaries that came last move call and it was so great. I love Sister Afflick, who is from Eagle River..I think..and she is always in the same big meetings that I go to! So it was awesome.

Saturday night we watched a broadcast from Taibei! Elder Bednar was there and they did this SUPER cool thing where all the stake centers in Taiwan were hooked up so anyone could ask questions all over Taiwan!!! Someone in my old ward (in Daliao) asked a question and it was soo cool to see how it showed up immediately on the broadcast. It was a special q&a session with Elder Jensen and Elder Watson (and their wives) there with the Bednars. It was especially for the youth and singles, but everyone that wanted to could come. It was AMAZING and I will have to write more about it next week. But Elder Bednar was like the perfect companion, always yielding to the other speakers who were moved by the spirit. He also sometimes delegated and it was so great. We learned about marriage (the first q...hehe), study habits, how to reactivate less actives and work better with the members. So great right?

Last night we had such a fun ward activity too! It was like a potluck...but all of it was CHINESE! YAY! So awesome and so delicious. We had some investigators there too and it was just such a great time. We have really been trying to build ward unity so it was awesome.

Then the third thing is the story of our first meet with Q, , taught all the lessons after church she passed baptismal interview and going to be baptized 6/11 miracle story! It is in my president's letter mostly, but more next week for sure.

Outta time, but loves you!!!!!!
---Sister Smith