Da Jia Hao!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!! I love you so much!!!
So this week was really crazy and fun and amazing and important. Let me tell you a little about it 🙂
Life on island is really interesting. Especially as a new missionary. Everything is so foreign and different. This is the biggest transition I’ve ever had to deal with, because everything is different from before my mission. The culture in Taiwan and just the way of life as a missionary is just so much to adjust to! But I’m really grateful for the MTC, becuase I just learned a TON there, and I know that nine weeks really prepared me for the transition into missionary life in Taiwan. But I just absolutely love it here! I’m so happy and so excited!! This work is so amazing and so rewarding, and I have really seen the Lord’s hand in my life everyday. I’m so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve in Taiwan! I cannot even describe how amazing it has been. I learn so much every single day.
This week was full of a lot of new things. We have a new investigator, she’s a member referral and it was really great being able to meet her for the first time, and help her better this gospel. I’m really excited about her, and I think that this gospel will really help her with everything she is going through right now. This experience has really helped me better understand the importance of working with the members – the member who referred her is really excited about her and is really supporting her as she takes the discussions. Because he is a convert, he understands how much of a difference this gospel makes. Having him to help her understand and see the blessing of the gospel has really helped. It helps her see the gospel in someone close to her, instead of just two missionaries trying to teach her and testify of how it’s changed our lives. She has someone who she can better relate to, I think.
This week was my first time to teach english class!! The first two weeks, my companion taught, and I would help occasionally. But this week it was my turn, so that was a little stressful! I had never tried to teach English before, but I loved it!! I respect them so much for trying to learn English – it’s such a hard language to learn.
This week was my first time in the rain in Taiwan!! It poured pretty hard one day this week, so that was interesting. The roads are scary during the day when it’s bright outside, but when you get on your bike at night when it’s pouring down rain. Yeah, it was quite the experience. It’s pretty hot out too, so either you can get wet from the rain, or wet from getting really sweaty from wearing your rain jacket. It’s fun!
Some more weird foods that I ate this week! So my companion and I and the other two sisters in our apartment went to lunch together one day. My companion orders this dish, and me and Sister Harper ask her what it is. Sister Haupt and Sister Chang just tell us to try it, so we do. As we’re chewing, they ask us if we like it, and we’re both like “hai hao” like it was okay. And then they tell us it’s pigs ear. They laughed so hard at our reaction. That was pretty nasty. Then another day my companion got this weird egg thing that’s like really dark green. I tried some with this really gross tofu…never eating that again! My companion said she doesn’t know how they make the egg now, but they used to preserve it in horse pee. Yeah, the food in Taiwan is a little…different. Haha.
One little thing that still feels awkward for me in Taiwan is the fact that people don’t say anything after you sneeze. In America, everyone says bless you after someone sneezes, but in Taiwan, someone will sneeze, and then it will just be silent. It’s a weird thing to get used to. Haha
Oh! One more new thing I tried this week was a squatter!!! They’re pretty common to see in Taiwan. This week I used one for the first time, and I actually liked it a lot, because you don’t touch anything, so it feels a lot more clean.
I did my lesson two and three pass offs this week for Chinese! I teach my district leader the lesson in Chinese and he quizzes me on all this vocabulary and phrases and grammar and everything. The next step is for me to pass off lesson 1-3 with the zone leaders. Then I just have to do lesson four and five and a pass off of lesson 1-5 with the zone leaders and then I’ll be done with phase one!! President Blickenstaff wants everyone to finish phase one in the first 12 weeks on island, so I’m on my way. (Today is the beginning of week four.)
I love serving a mission, I love having so much time everyday to study the scriptures and teach what I learn and help others and learn a lot about myself. I have really grown so much in just these few weeks on island. This experience is a HUGE learning experience. I really have to trust myself and trust God and believe that I can do this! I love this work, and I am so happy I get to help others learn about Jesus Christ and their divine nature and part in God’s plan.
One thing that I really loved this week was something we talked about in District Training Meeting. One of the elders talked about how he read a article in the Liahona this week about a little boy who moved a rock. He was building a train track for his toy trains around this big rock. He decided that he wanted to move the rock over to make room for his train track. He pushed and pushed and pushed, but he couldn’t make the rock budge. So he walked up to his dad and told him that he did everything he could to move the rock. His dad said “no you didn’t.” The little boy was confused and said “yes I did, I pushed as hard as I could, but I couldn’t move the rock!” His dad responded, “you didn’t do everything you could because you didn’t ask for my help.” I really love that story and it’s symbolism. We often try to be strong and just do things on our own, telling ourselves that we can do it! But God doesn’t expect us to do everything on our own. He knows that we need His help, and is just waiting for us to ask for His help. As a missionary, I know that I have been called of God. I know this is God’s work, and that I am really just an instrument in His hands. He does not expect me to do this work alone. That is why He has given us prayer. He has given us a way to communicate with Him and ask and plead for His help and support.
I think this week I really learned that. I remember so many times just feeling like I could not do this work on my own, that this call and this responsibility is too big for me to bear on my own. But knowing that God does not expect me to do it on my own, knowing that He is waiting for me to call on Him, has really helped me. He wants to help in this work because it is His work. I know that God really is there, He really does hear us and He really does care about us. He wants to help us in every aspect of our lives. He is so much more stronger, so much more capable, and so much more perfect than all of us. Pray for His help, and you will find it. He’s standing there watching you push the rock. Just ask for His help, and you will be able to push the rock.
I love you all so much! Knowing that I have a family back home thinking about me and praying for me is such a blessing! Thank you so much for being so amazing! Keep being you!
Sister Jordan Michelle Berrey
Taiwan Taichung Mission
No. 498-11 Wuquan Road
Taichung City, 40446, Taiwan
Republic of China