Well, my time in Taiwan is drawing to a close and I don't like it one bit! Part of me would rather just zap back home with out all the good byes. Sigh, but thus is life right? I am very excited to see all of you again, but the whole transition part is not my favorite!!!! It will work out though and I can't wait to hug you all! Keep us in your prayers--I am going to finish strong with all of your support.
We are working hard to do what the Lord would have us do, and really praying with all our might for our investigator. Her family still hasn't given her permission to be baptized. But she did pass her baptismal interview this Sunday. The Elders already have a baptism planned for this Saturday and so if she gets permission this week, the ward would support her baptism on Saturday. So we are hoping for one last miracle here! But of course it is not the end to God's miracles. I read about that today in Mormon chapter 9. I really liked how Moroni explained that God is a God of miracles. We think miracles have ceased only due to our own unbelief and wickedness. I have seen miracles every day of my mission. I am sure that as I remain faithful and abounding in good works, I will continue to see miracles every day of my life. We just don't always get the miracles we really hoped for--but God will always give us what we really need.
I do know that I have been able to work hard every day, and that I am improving along the way. God loves me and as I remain His humble servant, I will be able to return to Him one day. I love the simplicity of mission life. I don't have to worry about anything but doing God's work. I know that I am doing something meaningful every day and my life is so full of joy. I am scared to go home (school, work, social life..what is that??), but I know that these great happy things don't have to end. They just take on a new form with the new stage of my life. I have been slightly emotional about that today, but it will all work out. I just need to rely on God and He will guide my life. I have faith in Him and on His Son Jesus Christ. I know Christ is my Redeemer--I know that as a missionary I still desperately need the power of His Atonement every day. I am so grateful for Him and that I have this special consecrated time in my life to wear His name boldly every day.
We found some really amazing people this week!!! Probably the most miraculous add we had this week was when we went on an errand for our bishop. He had the address of a less active, but knew she had already moved elsewhere--no phone number though. He wanted us to go to her old address and check it out--see if they neighbors knew where she had gone to. We weren't too excited to play detective (we ended up taking a camera and taking pictures of her mail to confirm her identity...it was kind of fun), but we decided it was important to do what the Bishop asked. So we went, and the apartment complex was a mess. The floor she had previously lived on was gutted out and we met a rather peculiar man squatting on the property. We were a little creeped out and about to give up, but decided to check out the second floor since it seemed inhabited. We knocked and it didn't seem like anyone was going to come out. But then a cute girl about our age opened the door and started talking to us. She didn't know anything about the less active member, so we decided to invite her to learn more about the message we brought. She added and we will be meeting with her tomorrow! So exciting!!! We would NEVER have tracted that house in a MILLION years--we know the Lord guided our bishop and guided us to her.
We are finding and doing our best to teach all of the many people who want us to meet with them. I find that we are so busy with lessons because we have soo many people who are willing to meet with us. On Sunday a less active I contacted on the road came to church--the first time since she moved here a year ago. Her life is not in a very happy place, but she had met our bishop at a baptismal service she attended with us and the yesterday went in to have an interview with him. She had such a glow about her and was sooo happy to be with her sisters again. It was so amazing! We actually had quite a few less actives show up at church this past Sunday--as well as some part member families. Also on Saturday we had the R.S. president peike for this family and the mom and two kids came to sacrament meeting!! We have been meeting with them for like four months and this is the first time they attended sacrament meeting. They attended primary once before, but didn't know anyone so felt kind of awkward. They plan on coming again next week.
I could go on and on about all the miracles we are seeing--God has been soo great to us. I know I fell short on some of my goals for this week, this move call, and this mission---but I know that my goals pushed me to do more than I could have ever imagined. I love the Lord; I love His work. I will work hard to always be the Lord's missionary.
Love you so much and see you soon :)
Sister Brooke Smith
P.S. For my last P-day our district had a potluck--Sister Thomas and I made the salad. After the huge lunch we played Jenga and had primary songs playing in the background. Yep, missionaries know how to throw a party :). The jenga blocks are HUGE cardboard pieces (kind of like the bricks we got for Christmas when I was little). It was really fun and we built it up over our heads! I will show you pictures soon!