Dearest Smith Clan
It has been a bit of a hard week for us here, but we are determined to make it better! Heavenly Father also really blessed us last week in so many ways. That is the thing about God--He will always reach out to us, just sometimes not in the way we expect Him too. Lately it seems like a lot of not so happy things are happening back home and it just makes me sooo grateful to be on a mission. I am so grateful to spend every day immersed in the doctrine of Christ--to know that death isn't an end, that sin can be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and that there is a purpose to this life. We are soo protected here as the Lord's missionaries. I never want that to go away. And I know that as I cleave to my covenants that protection will always be with me. God is in control. So I just need to continue to lose myself in the work and I will deal with the rest when the time comes. I just can't believe this is my last move call! Where did the time go???? I am excited to be able to come back to you all soon, but it will be hard leaving this beautiful island and name tag behind! So be nice to me when I come back ok? :P
Anyway, back to missionary work! This week we found no new investigators...and our other investigators keep failing to progress. Some are so very close, yet still held back by parental fandui (opposition). My companion and I have had special fasts, poured out our hearts in prayer, and studied for them, but they still have agency. I know that I can do better as well. We have been working on boldness and I feel like we have improved. The scarcity of investigators also forces us to be bolder--which is good! Our most promising investigator is a sweet sister. After she didn't come to church on Sunday (she was sick and it was raining...) we decided to do a quick drop by and ended up having a wonderful lesson. She was so awesome and as we committed her to live the Word of Wisdom (after teaching the Plan of Salvation) she said she was willing to keep this commandment so she could stay on the road of "Gao Rong" (Great Glory--the word for "Celestial" in Chinese). It was really cute and I know she will be baptized. We just have to help her become more committed to Sunday worship.
Something really awesome happened with our RCLAs this week!!! Our ward correlator was gone in the 1st ward, so a member of the Bishopric replaced him for Ward Correlation. After reporting our needs I asked if he could direct us to some less actives that needed visiting. He looked through our ward roster and gave me about seven names and their situations. It was so awesome! And we have been seeing miracles from that list! One lady only had an address and her house phone number had gone bad. We thought she probably had moved. Yet when we dropped by last Saturday afternoon, she was home! We are excited and she and her daughter have agreed to meet again. :)
Sister Thomas is done with TRAINING!!!! So weird to think this is her third move call....she is sooo lihai (fierce...as in skilled!) I forget she just came most days. She is an excellent missionary---she will work her hardest and therefore work MIRACLES for the rest of her mission. She has been such a support to me---and she is really too excited about "killing" me. We didn't end up moving so we are staying together for a third move call!! She will have been my longest companion (and tallest..haha) and this is my longest time spent in one area! Woohoo!!!!!! I always dreamed of "dying" in Tainan and now it's come true!!!!!
Gospel study is a precious time--I loved diving into the Book of Mormon even more this week. I have goals to finish reading the Book of Mormon for the second time (straight through) on the mission and I am getting close! I am reading the war chapters at the moment, but even in those we can find so many stories about key gospel principles. The Gospel just makes sense and helps give us courage to face the challenges of our day. Mom mentioned that the Old Testament is full of awesome inspiring stories as well--and it is true! I can't wait to have more time to study the scriptures...sounds funny as I use them 24/7 here, but we mainly stick to the Book of Mormon since people understand close to nothing about the Bible here. And we only get an hour to study in the mornings...I want more! Lol--that is a change huh?
Well, life is good on the whole and we are working hard. Kelsie Ainge (the one who is going to Hong Kong and is helping Grandma) sent me a letter last week! It was really fun hearing from her. I'll have to write her on her mission--I just never want to be disconnected from missionary life ever again! It is just the absolute best! Hope my little sisters are preparing 'cause you both should go--it is AMAZING.
Hope you all are doing good!!!
Love love love,
Sister Brooke Smith