Wednesday, August 24, 2011

June 13, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week it was! First off, thank you so much all of your birthday greetings. It truly was the best birthday in my life!

This week we had a couple of really great experiences. WE went and visited a referral up on Dulan which is about a 25 minute drive from Taidong, so we had a member take us up, they were amazing! THe husband is from India and the wife is from Taiwan and they are genuinely interested in knowing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. THey are just so wonderful! We are excited to visit them again this week. THey are the Kumar Family. It is great to find a family with genuine interest becasue lately all of our investigators have lost interest, which has been rough. We are going to be working hard to find new people this week!

But the highlight of the week was definiely on Thrusday. Brother Hou, a counselor in teh Branch Presidency, called us and said, "Can you come visit us today, my wife is not doing so well." So we went over to their house, and when we got there Brother Hous said, "WE have some otehr people coming over as well." Then in walked Hu HuiNa and Tracy and Sister Li who I helped get baptized while I was here. They were carrying cakes and cards and Sister Hou said, "Sister Collyer, did you really think we would all forget your birthday?" IT was wonderful! It was so funny because Tracy and Hu HuiNa had cancelled our appointments that day and I was SO sad about it, but it was just because they wanted to surprise me. All their kids were there too and it was really fantastic. I just lvoe them all so much. It turns out that last time My companion Sister Wu was on exchanges (Almost a month ago) She went over and talked to Sister Hou and set this all up, and I didn't know a thing about it! Man, could my companion be any better? I just love her so much!

I am sorry I don't have many pictures right now, but Brother Hou videotaped the whole thing and he will give me acopy so when I get home I will share it with you. BUt I do have a picture of me hugging come of the children. And also a picture of Sister Hou - she is the one with the striped shirt. Man, I just love them all so much! I was so touched. And a couple of the kids drew pictures of me and I am excited to show you the pictures - they are wonderful! Tracy's son - Liang HongTeng - also proposed to me. I guess I will just have to wait about 20 years!

I just love being a missionary because i have really had the chance to see people's lives change. Missionary work is not always easy - actually it gets rough and sad some times. But experiences like that, where you can see how the Love of our savior Jesus Christ has truly changed peoples lives - there is no joy in teh world that can compare to teh joy of the gospel.

I know that God sent me on a mission hree in Taidong becaue I need these people. My life has completely changed becasue of them. This may be my last week in Taidong, but my heart will be here forever. Truly it is here that I came to know and feel the love of my savior Jesus Christ. I like a scripture in Mosiah 18:30. It is talking about how the people who were baptized my Alma the Older feel about the place where they learned of the goodness of Jesus Christ. "And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."

And now it came to pass that all this was done in Taidong, yea, by the beach of Taidong, and in the rice fields near the beach of Taidong, yeah, the place of Taidong, and beach of Taidong, the rice fields of Taidong, how beautiful they are in my eyes, for it is here that I have truly come to know my Redeemer, and how blessed am I, and I shall sing to praise His name forever.

The worst part of being a missionary is that is comes to an end. But there is one thing I do know - I will truly Thank God everyday for the opportunity I had to serve.

I love you all and hope all is well.
Sister Collyer

June 6, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

First off, I would just like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! You are the most wonderful mom in the world, and I thank God every day for the angel he sent to raise me as a child and to inspire me as an adult. I could never do enough to repay you for all the sacrifices you have made for me and the love you have given me, but I promise I will spend the rest of my life trying. I love you, Mom.

This week was a great one with a couple of HUGE miracles! First off, we went on companion exchanges up in Hualian this wek and it was great becasue I got to see some of the members there that I helped teach a bit before they got baptized. What a great experience to see them again right before I head home. I love the Hualian Zone - it is full of nothing but miracles!

Also, we saw a really huge miracle onthe train ride back to Taidong. I want to first tell you a little bit of the circumstances behind the story.

At first, we were going to go on exchanges from Friday to Saturday, but then the Elders had a baptism on Saturday and we needed to attend so we changed exchanges from thursday to Friday. We even had to get permission from the president to change to Thursday becasue normally Thursday is weekly planning session. While I was on exchanges, poor Sister Braedy was really sick so we spent most of the afternoon in the chapel doing things that needed to get done and making phone calls. Neither of us really like to be in the chapel, and at the time I remember thinking, "man, I wish we could go outside." But it is all in the hands of the Lord, that is for sure. I made a lot of phone calls to a lot of people who didn't answer the phone.

Well, on the train ride home the train was super crowded and we didn't have time to buy tickets ahead of time so we had no seats. We started off by standing the the space between cars, but slowly moved our was to the center of car 1 where there is a small place to stand.

Now the mission has a rule - every Friday is spak English day so that the native missionaries can develope their language skills. So sister Wu and I stood in the crowded train and talked in English about what we learned durring exchanges and how we can improve. Then the phone rang. It was someone who I had called that afternoon that didn't answer. I answered the phone and talked to the person, and the girl next to Sister Wu turned to her and asked, "how is your English so good?"

Well, it turns out Na ZhongLing (The girls name) is a christian but has felt distanced from God lately and has been praying for God to help her come back to Him. She heard us speaking English and was interested because she studied English for a while. When she saw our name tags said "Jesus Christ" on the she thought, "Oh my goodness, God has sent his messengers to me! they are standing right nest to me aon the train!" and When I answered the phone she immediately started talking to Sister Wu because she knew she was Native and could speak Chinese.
Are you seeing how much God prepared the exact right people and the exact right time and the exact right place all for this one girl?! It had to be english day, it had to be exchanges, it had to be Sister Wu and I - it was just too perfect!
We shared with her the first vision and she actually laughed when she was reading Joseph's own words. We asked her what she felt, and she said, "i am laughing because I also saw two personages - you two - in answer to my prayer." You should have seen the way her eyes sparkled when we gave her the Book of Mormon. This last picture I am sending today is us on the train together before she got off. She doesn't live in our area, but she is definately going to meet with the missionaries in her area and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. It was a HUGE MIRACLE!!!

OK, huge huge miracle #2 - the Wu family. They are a referral from some of the branch members, and they are just searching for God so bad. The mother father and child all med with us and all agreed to pray every night. A lot of people make commitments, but you could just feel their sincerity and desire to pray together as a family. in the lesson I bore my testimony of how Dad and Mom's prayers blessed my life and they were so touched, so than kyou , mom and Dad, for being such a great example. The entire family came to chruch on Sunday, and it was fantastic.
I love you all and hope all is well. Keep praying and al things will wirk out!

Sister Collyer

May 30, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

What a fantastic week it was! First off, last Monday We went up to a beach in Donghe with our member that was baptized last Christmas - Tracy and her children. I just love them all so much. Man, the thought of leaving Taidong is getting harder and harder every day. It was a lot of fun because there is a bech up there where you can feed the fish and look through tidepools. The fish there are crazy! They will eat food right off the top of your feet if you are standing the water! It was so wonderful to spend time with them.

Also, another member - Chen Weiting, had us pver for lunch this week and it was great to be with her and her four adoreable children. I adore them!

And antoher awesome little adventure to add to the week's greatness, we had a mission conference up in Taipei this week. Wlder Jay E Jensen came and talked to us and it was AMAZING! He talked about how everyone has already had the missionary lessons before in teh pre-existence, so teaching them about it is really just reminding them pf what they already know, so of course they are going to have some of those, "Aha! I have always felt that way" moments in teaching. He told us a lot about how we can improve our teaching and I learned a ton. I just wish I had more than three weeks to apply what I learned! Time is just too short!

It was also very exciting because I got to see a TON of missionaries all together! The interesting thing abuot being in Taidong is that I never get to see other missionaries ever really, and seeing so many other people just like me who are tryingto serve the Lord as best they can was really powerful. I also realized I know almost NONE of the missionaries. Weird! Except for my previous companions and the Elders previously in Taidong I literally knew nobody. A couple people thought I was a new missionary. One sister came up to me and said, "Ah! You are the legend that has been in Taidong for so long!" Wow, I didn't know I had done antyhing so special to become a legend, but I thought it was pretty funny. i guess when you are so far away from mission headwuarters for an entire year people start to question whether you even exist!
It was so SOOO happy to see my previous companions again! I just love Sister Howell and Sister Wynder and Sister Theissen so much. And also Sister Qynder is training Wang YiHui, who is a member from here in Taidong! So it goes like this - I am Sister Wynder's mom becasue I am her trainer. Sister Howell is Sister Wynder's Dad because she was my companion before I trained Sister Wynder. Sister Wynder is Sister Wang's Mom because she is her trainer, and Sister Theissen is Her Dad because she was Sister Wynder's companion before she trained. So we are a big happy family and Sister Wang is my granddaughter! Yes, Sister Wang's Mom and I always joke about that - I am older than her becaue I am her daighter's grandmother! Sorry if that didn't make much sense...missionary humor... :)

And then on Saturday, SISTER LI LUO YUN HUA got Baptized! I have never met a so prepared person. But I guess I say that about everyone, right? Really though, the members that referred her to us in Taipei and GaoXiong came over for the baptism and it was fantastic. Something that she said to in her testimony was really powerful. Actually, they met Elders aobut a year ago and they would go visit them in their store. At that time, all they could remmeber was that the Elders asked, "Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Truth?" Her husband thought they were pretty ridiculous at the time, and so they always joke aobut these two questions. Well, At her testimony after her baptism, sh estood up and said, "I remember a year ago the Elders came to our store and always asked us thhese two questions. We always joke aobut it, but today I want to stand us and tell you all - I believe in God. I believe in Truth, and I know that this gospel is truth. It is from God."

I was just so touched by her testimony. I am so grateful that this gospel really is truth. It really is from God, and nothing in the world can change that, because this is higher than the world. this is the eternal world. This is salvation and everlasting life. I want to Add my testimony to Sister Li's - I believe in God. I believe in truth. I know this gospel is the truth that God has given us to make us happy. I thank God every day for the opportunity to share this precious gift.

Sister Amy Collyer

May 23, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week was truly amazing!

On Monday we went to Taroko in Hualian, which is the most beautiful place in Taiwan. Not a singel one of my pictures does the place any justice at all, but let me tell you, I have never been mor in awe of God's creations in my life as I was staring up from the valley of Toroko at the beautiful mountains and rocks that god made. It was an inspiring experience.

We also had Lin HuiXin's Baptism! It was fantastic! He older brother Tony baptized her and it was a great day for everyone! The spirit was there and I am so happy that all went well.
Also, Sister Li Luo Yun Hua passed her baptismal interview and is excited to be baptized this coming Saturday! We are so happy. She is so prepared!

We also met with Sister Lai Yuan Jing and her daughter Huang Yu E and they want to be baptized on June 18! I am so excited! We are also currently a part member family, the Fang family, for their two smaller children to be baptized on that date, so if all goes well we will have four baptisms on that date! Wow! It is a miracle! We will see how everything falls into place.

We also had a big miracle yesterday. We found a family who was willing to listen to the gospel - the Hou family. They seem pretty good. Also, after we visited them, we went to find a couple previous investigators, and both of the previous investigatiors were home and both agreed that we could return, and one of them even thri husband and four sons set up with us. WOW!!! I have never seen such a huge night of miracles, but that isn't even where it ends.

For the last almost 6 months I have been unable to contact an inactive member I care a lot about. Her name is Hu Wanrou. She moved away from home to like in a dorm and her dorm is locked, so it has been impossible to visit her and her phone doesn't work. Well, yesterday night we were int eh area and we decided to go visit her home to see if maybe she was visiting. Well, She wasn't there, but for the first time in six months we ran into her family - her sisters - who told us her cell phone number changed and set up a time we can meet with all of them! WOW! It is a miracle!
I am so grateful for the wonderful experiences that I have had this week. I am so humbled that people are sowilling to hear the good news of the gospel. I know that this chruch truly has a prophet of God to lead and guide us. I love this gospel! I love telling everyone about how God our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ have once again called prophets and apostles today, "ushering in the long-promised dispensation of the fullness of times." What a great testimony of God's love for his children!

I love you all and hope all is well!

Sister Collyer

May 16, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
This week was another fantastic week. Lin Huixin passed her baptismal interview and is going to be baptized on Saturday by her older brother. Yes! What a fantastic week!

Also, Luo YunHua asked her husband if she could be baptized and he said yes! We still have to help her finish up the lessons and then she is ready! Seriously, it is just such a great miracle! Those two practicaly prepared themselves to be baptized. I am so happy inside!
We also had some other great experiences this week. One evening our lessons for the evening canceled. It had been a long day and we were really tired, but we prayed that god would guide us. We decided to go knock doors in a lane that was not too far away. Well, about the third door we knocked a little girl came out. We told her who we were and asked if her family was home. She said yes, so we asked if we could go in and chare a message. She said yes, and we said, "Do you want to ask your parents?" WEll, her parents said yes, so we went in and it turns our that the mother, two daughters, and one son are inactive members. Wow! I have never seen them before, so we got to know them a little better and then encouraged them to come to chruch. It was pretty amazing!
After that, we still had about 25 minutes, so we continued tracting. Not four houses later a very, very old man from mainland China and his caretaker let us in to share a message! Wow! A canceled lesson turned into an evening of two lessons! It was a miracle!

I am so grateful that even when we were tired and all we wanted to do was rest, we went out. Sometimes I think it is interesting - we can go all day and have a ton of energy and excitement for teh work and talk to 100 people and not a single one has interest, but as soon as we are so tired we want to call it quits, but decide to keep going, that is when God sends us his miracles. I know that God sometimes is just trying our faith to see if we will really prove our love for him, and when we do, he blesses us. I am so happy that God lets us have these moments where we can push ourselves and them find that we were stronger than we thought we were. It reminds me of a scripture in Ether 12:27.
This week the Zhang Family took us out to eat at an awesome restaurant up by the Chulu ranch. It is kinf of a garden ranch place with this really fancy hotpot buffet inside. It was so amazing! I love
the Zhang family so much and am so grateful for thier kindness. The food was so good and the gardens were amazing and the company was the best! I am really happy.
I hope all continues to be well back home and that you are all remembering to pray and read your scriptrues! I love you!
Sister Collyer

May 9, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

First off, it was so WONDERFUL to talk to the family yesterday! Wow, I am just SOOOO happy! Eric, congrats on an awesome engagement. Rebecca and Lisa, your kids have the most wonderful little voices. Stacy, I CAN"T BELIEVE you are graduating and going to BYU, and Mom and Dad, thanks for just being there for all of us. I love you all so much! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
I also wanted to tell the world what a great mother I have. I have been thinking about some of attributes my mom has andI want to share a couple right now.

Love! My mom writes me an email every week, and considering how computer illiterate she is, that is a big deal! Also, every valentines day and on my birthday my mom always sent me flowers. I truly love flowers, and I know that every flower is just mom saying, "Amy, I love you." Mom, I love you too!

Patience! Wow, raising five children, including two twins who when we were young LOVED to pick on our little sister is not an easy task, but I never once have heard a bad word about us in my whole life. My mom, she loves us. Thanks for your patience, mom.

Funny! Three words - Youth conference dances - pretty much says it all. Mom, thanks for teaching me how to have fun, laugh, and just enjoy life.

Caring! Remember whan I was younger and I wanted a dog so bad and I never let is go and then I bought a dog and then left for college and good old cubby stayed at home and my mom still cares for him even though she really doesn't like dogs that much? That is the kind of person my mother is. She just cares for anyone and everyone. and can you please give Cubby a kiss for me? :)

Faithful! I know that I am who I am today because of the faith if my mother. She is a living example of a woman who follows Jesus Christ's example. When I was at home and I heard my mother pray for me, I always felt the spirit testify that what she was saying is true. I, like the sons of Helaman, can truly say, "I do not doubt. My Mother knows my savior."


For those of you who don't know yet, move calls have come and gone and to my relief I am STILL in Taidong! One thing is for sure - the members here are really praying hard! I couldn't be more grateful than I am right now. I get to finish my mission right in the place I call home. I have never been happier anywhere than I am right here.

Also, some great news! There is a member from down here that just entered the taipei mission: Wang YiHui! Well, guess who her trainer is? Non other than my own little missionary daughter Sister Wynder! So in missionary terms, Sister Wang is my granddaughter. Well, I couldn't be more proud! I love her and her family. The picture above is us at the Eang Family home for dinner on Sunday. They are really fantastic. Wang Ma is the greatest, and all of her daughters are like my sisters. I just love them! The girl in the hat is Wang Yi Hui.
WE have some baptisms coming up and I am really excited about it. The week after next is Lin HuiXin. Her older brother and his children are members and she is so excited to be baptized. Her dad brings her to chruch every snday even though he is not a member. What a supportive father. I am grateful for him.

And in the next couple weeks Sister Li and a couple other people should be getting baptized. I just hope that I get to see these people make a covenant with God before I head back to the states, but if not, I know that God is caring for these people, and that is all that matters.

I love you all so much and hope all is well!

Sister Collyer

May 2, 2011

Dearest friends and family,
First off, CONGRATULATIONS BRO! You are Engaged! I love you so much and I can't wait to meet Courtney and hear all about the engagement!
Now for the updates. Serioucly, this place is the promised land. It is so wonderful here!
First of all, let me tell you a little more about one of our investigators, Sister Luo. We met her two weeks ago and she is already attending institute! She just loves our heavenly father so much! This past week at institute they had a lesson on Tithing, and on sunday she asked me, "Sister Ke, how do you pay tithing? It is the start of a new month and I want to pay." WOW!! We also gave her a pamphet on the law of Chastity and she said, "Oooo, this is wonderful. I want to teach all young women this commandment." WOW! Talk about prepared soul. She also shared with us her greatest desire - to be baptized with her husband. WOW! So guess who is meeting with us on tuesday? Sist Luo and her husband! I know that God truly lead us to this family because I have never seen such prepared, miracle people in my life. I am so grateful to a loving heavenly father who truly is guiding this work.
I am also so overwhelmingly grateful fo a faith-filled companion. Sister Wu is seriously fantastic. She sacrificed a lot to come on a mission and it truly shows through her testimony. SHe is the essence of diligence and hard work, and so loving that it just blows my mind. I am so grateful for her example and I know that we will continue to see miracles!
Some of the other great updates of the week. Lin HuiXin's father and mother signed the permission slip to let her be baptized, so she will be baptized on May 21. We are all super excited!
Lin ZhengWei and Ou YuXuan are two college students here and have been coming to shurhc for the past while. They are really great! Their parents currently oppose, and in Taiwan you need to be 20 to get baptized without parent's permission, but they are right on track. We hope we don't have to wait two shole years, but they are seriously great!
Also, Hu Hui Na's Little sister Wen Haini is so fantastic! She arrived at chruch lite 20 minutes early this past sunday and her little son is just precious. She attended primary with him for part of chruch and they were both just so cute! She was singing alng with the primary songs and it was so great! She has some word of wisdom problems to overcome, but I just knwo that she will be baptized. She already has a testimony.
Also, becasue she was in primary, I got to attend with her, and it was so great. Tracy - who got baptized last Christmas - is the pianist for primary and to see her in there with her little kids and learning and singing together and still strong in the gospel, I was just so touched I wanted to cry. A mission is so wonderful! You see miracles you would never get the chance to see otherwise!
I just absolutely LOVE being a misisonary. These people - they really are my family. I just feel so much love for them it is hard sometimes to believe. All of the families intehse branches - I just love them! When I call the branch members to ask questions or for help, they always say, "wait one moment, my child wants to talk to you." I am just so touched. I love these people, and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that through the Gospel I will be able to be with these people for eternity. Jesus Christ - he is all that is important. I know that He is my savior. Becasue of him, I can have everlasting life.
I love you all and I hope all is well!
Sister Collyer