Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 29, 2010‏

Dear Family and Friends,

Nimen hao again! It was another fantastic week full of blessings!

First off, last P-Day I learned the magic of ChiDaoBao - Eat until you are full. Basically the most amazing Taiwanese buffet ever. I don't even know how to describe it. It is kind of like that bowl of soup where you can add anything you want that we ate once as a family at Sakura. Ok, pretty much that is exactly what is is, except there are NO LIMITS! You can eat anything, and you can eat as much as you want. And then there is also a ton of tasty desserts that are also all you can eat. Yes, it was fantastic. I attached a picture.

Other than that, the week was full of great teaching experiences. We have been teaching a wonderful woman named Liu Xiaojie, and she is fantastic. She truly is one of the people the lord has prepared to hear the gospel. She has such a spiritual and sensitive nature, and believing the story of Joseph Smith and understanding the importance of the sacrament is not problem. At church in Sunday school we learned about the atonement, and the teacher asked her if she had any questions, and she said, "Completely none." She just understands so fully the principles of the gospel, and her prayers are so sincere. Sometimes I feel like she is teaching me how to feel the spirit and seek answers from our father in heaven. It is great.

We have a couple other investigators who are also fantastic. We are working on getting them to come to church this coming week, and I think we can do it. I just know that church is such a blessing, and I am so excited when our investigators accept the invitation. They are so full of faith and hope to find the happiness that this gospel brings.

We also have the most amazing members in our wards. I am so impressed with all the people in Danshui and Beitou. They are so helpful for us as missionaries! We have received referrals, and people are so willing to go out with us to teach. Especially at church, the members are so friendly to new faces. Everyone comes up and introduces themselves to our investigators. One of the members even gave our investigator her phone number and said, " If you ever need anything or have any questions, please give me a call." Wow! That is member missionary work at it's best. These people are truly the Lords chosen people.

We also have amazing and strong new members. They are so fantastic. We often do new member lessons, and they are so full of faith it is truly inspirational. We present our lesson, and they get insights that I never would have imagined. It is amazing! I am so grateful for their example.

Something kind of funny about Taiwan that is different from the United States that kind of surprised me is how open they are. One of the greetings that is commonly used is "Chibao le ma?" Which means, "Have you eaten yet?" And then people will tell you! You could use this when talking to a stranger you have never met before. Pretty cool, huh? Also, they have a great sense of humor. One of our new members gave us candy the other day that was shaped like poop. :) and the attached picture, despite what is looks like, is actually a package of marshmallows! Yeah, the Taiwanese are great!

I was reading my scriptures this morning, an I found a verse that was really great. It is describing Captain Moroni and why he was a great man. In Alma 48:12 we learn that he was such a great leader because he was, "a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly." Moroni was grateful of the blessings he had, and liked to work hard! I hope that as I continue to serve the Lord here, I will learn to truly have a spirit of gratitude and learn what hard work really means!

I love you all!


Sister Collyer

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010‏

Dear Family and Friends,
Nimen hao from the beautiful island! There is no better place on earth than here. It is fantastic!

This week was definitely a week or miracles. On Tuesday, my very first entirely full proselyting day in Taiwan, we had the most amazing miracle! We had two appointments that day, and both of them set a baptismal date! It was amazing! Some Elders in our zone contacted Sister Huang and she was really excited to meet with us. When we taught her about the first vision, we asked her what she taught, and she said, "I think it is true." Wow! It was absolutely amazing! Sister Liu is someone that the sisters have been helping with English for a while, but this week was the first time we taught her a lesson, and she had the same reaction! It was amazing! God truly brings his prepared people to the truth.
Also, we had a lot of success contacting this week. Most of our contacting is done on the J (The Train System that we Use to get around). My Chinese is still pretty bad, but with my companion's help we have gotten a lot of potential investigators just from talking to people going from one appointment to another. It is truly a miracle. One person we met told us that we were so happy and beautiful that we looked liked angels. She is so prepared to hear the gospel! It truly is a miracle!

I feel so blessed to have such a great companion. Sister Ackerson is amazing! The people here just love her! She is so good at talking to people. It is such a blessing. She is also so patient. She always encourages me to talk to people and helps me understand what they are saying when we are contacting or talking to members. It is fantastic. She is also so helpful in every way! All throughout the day she listens to what people say to me and writes down words or phrases that I do not understand and helps me learn them in language study the next day. She is also so encouraging. I know my Chinese is pretty bad right now, but she keeps telling me how great I am doing. I really need that, because at times the language barrier seems enormous, but I am so glad that with her help, and of course the help of the spirit, I am learning how to overcome that. I know that as I continue to try and work diligently, God will help me learn Chinese!

At the end of this week we had another really cool experience. We had the chance to sing in a Choir for a Janice Kapp Perry Concert. It was a real treat. Janice Kapp Perry was in Taipei this weekend, so the surrounding areas were able to participate in this concert. We were asked to be in the Choir, which was a real treat. It was a huge success, and a lot of fun. There was a disco ball and everything, and it took -place in a huge concert hall with an audience of around 800 people. It was a special experience as people from all over Taipei sang in both Chinese and English songs that bring people closer to Christ. It really struck me how much more important the language of the spirit is than anything else. From that, my companion and I had two people approach us and ask to meet with missionaries. Wow! The Lord is really preparing the people of Taiwan.

Today I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants and one verse really stuck out to me. In D&C 17:6, Jesus Christ himself Testifies of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It is such a powerful statement. I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, and it brings such great help into our lives. As we feast upon the word of God, the Book of Mormon and the Bible, we truly are given power to overcome all our trials. We just need to exercise faith, read, and pray, and "all things will work together for our good." I am so grateful to be on a mission to be able to share this happy message with everyone!
I love you all! God Bless you!

Ke jiemei
Sister Collyer
Pictures from the MTCPicture with the Mission President

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010‏

Dear Family and friends,

Nimen hao from the beautiful island! I love Taiwan! It is great to finally be here.

The first day here we went out to The grand Hotel, which is absolutely spectacular! Really, it was amazing! Right next to the Grand hotel is the sight where Taiwan was dedicated for missionary work. We went there and had a little ceremony. Since I am the only missionary that went to Taipei, it was pretty cool - pretty much just me and the mission president and his wife. It was a neat experience.

Now I am Serving in Danshui! My trainers name is Sister Ackerson (Sun Jiemei), and she is amazing! She is from Oregon. She is so good at talking to everyone and telling people about the church. Pretty much, she is the best! I have so much to learn! I am really impressed how self sacrificing she is! She is always serving me and everyone around her and it is so neat! I truly feel blessed to have her as a companion. She has a little brother on a mission right now, so that is a lot of fun. She graduated from BYU in Middle eastern studies and lived in Jordan for six months. So cool! So now she speaks Arabic, English, and Chinese. Pretty impressive.

My first area is Danshui, and it is fantastic. I kind of feel like God dropped a beautiful rain forest right on top of a huge city. There is a beautiful river running right through our area and the hills/mountains that boarder the edge of the island are so green! Even walking down the sidewalk on the way to church has a very "George of the Jungle" feel. I love it. Our apartment is in a high rise so we have an beautiful view of the whole area right from our window. You can see everything! Wow, I feel so blessed.

In my area, the sisters actually cover five wards. Most areas cover only one ward, but ours is special. We Cover Danshui, Shipai, Tianmu, and I forgot the other two, but yeah. This week we attended two of the wards. They had me get up and speak in Sacrament meeting for a minute or two, which scared me so bad! I think it went ok - at least Sister Ackerson says I did a great job, but I don't understand what people say to me yet, so it is an adventure. But really, the the members are amazing. Everyone wants to give us referrals! It is the most amazing thing ever! Really, everyone we meet, whether they are members or not, want to give us referrals. I am just so amazed! It is nice because we get to teach a lot of lessons.

Speaking of lessons, we taught two the day after I arrived. When I say "We taught" what I really mean in Sun Jiemei taught and when she told me to testify or pray I did so. The language is still a small (ok, a really huge) barrier, but I have faith that if I work diligently God will help me understand! Keep me in your prayers!

On Saturday we did Temple Tours. Twice each transfer the sisters in our zone go down into Taipei city and give tours of the Chapel that is next to the temple. We pretty much use the pictures in the chapel to teach lessons. It is really neat. I can pretty much smile and nod, which I feel is a successful contribution at this point in the Mission. Still, when my companions asks me to testify. I testify. It was really neat to be able to work so close to the temple and meet a ton of members from all over Taiwan!

Because our area is so huge, we actually do not get to ride bikes! After all my work in the MTC to get in shape to ride, and now I ride the trains everywhere! Go figure. :) The trains are super nice. I like to ride trains. The other day I decided I wanted to try some contacting on a train, and I ended up trying to talk Chinese to a family who only spoke Taiwanese and I had no idea why I couldn't understand a word they were saying. I just smiled and talked a little bit about the family and gave them a pamphlet. I am sure they were super nice! They seemed excited to try to talk to me. Afterwards my companion told me they were not even speaking Chinese and I felt a lot better. Usually I can understand at least one or two words that people say, but that time I just had no idea~ It was rather funny.

To this email I attached a picture of Me and my companions on the roof of the mission Home. I am going to try and send another email with more pictures, But I want to make sure this one gets off!

Wo Ai Nimen!
Ke jiemei

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 8, 2010‏

Dear Family and friends,
Nimen hao!

It is amazing how time flies! I truly cannot believe it - I leave for Taiwan in less than 24 hours. Wow! I can't really explain the flood of emotion I am feeling right now. Probably the overriding feeling is gratitude. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to serve. I know I have changed so much in these few short weeks, and this is only the beginning. I look forward to my struggles and my triumphs, my sorrows and my joys, because I know that through these things, God shapes us into the people we need to be - His true disciples. I still have so much to learn, but I can't wait!

I truly will miss my companions. They have taught me so much about love, patience, diligence, and charity. I know they are a gift from God, and my only regret is that they are not going to my mission! Sister Malmrose and Sister Ko will be two of the Lords greatest missionaries. I know this because they already are. I owe them so much.

This week my Laoshimen (teachers) gave us each Chinese "first names." In fact, most of my district already had them, so really, only me and two other Elders received them. It was really special because our names reflect what the Laoshimen felt our strongest personality traits are. My Entire Chinese Name is " Ke MeiYin." Ke is 1st tone, Mei is 3rd tone, and Yin is 2nd tone. It means "Beautiful Diamond." It is a special character for "yin," a spacial diamond that has alid in the earth and is so perfect it offers light and protection to the bearer. Princes and Princesses carry around this kind of diamond. I feel it is the most beautiful name ever.

This week, as I head out of the MTC, a talk I read while I was here came to mind. It is Called "This Day" by president Eyring. In it, he quotes Joshua,"Choose you this Day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." I know as I am off to Taiwan, I am in the service of the Lord. President Erying in his talk points out that Service is a Daily decision. Every day we should rise and plead with the Lord. To paraphrase, he says, no matter what you circumstance is, plead with the Lord to know what you can do to serve him THIS DAY. When he tells you what it is, do it. He says,"It is hard to know when we have done enough to qualify for the atonement to change our natures and so qualify us for eternal life. And we don't know how many days we will have to give the service necessary for that mighty change to come. But we know that we will have days enough if only we don't waste them."

This day, I am choosing to go to Taiwan to serve the Lord. I know when I first get there, I won't be able to do much, but I know that I can do everything the Lord desires of me. He is my strength and my light. I am grateful for his Mercy.

I love you all! Next Stop: Taiwan!

Ke Jiemei

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

This is officially my last week in the MTC. I leave for the mission field on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 in the morning. I fly through Los Angeles and then on to Taiwan, where I arrive on March 10, 2010 late at night. I think I get to call home before I leave Salt Lake. I cannot believe that this time has come. It is really unreal, but very, very exciting.

This past week has definitely been one of reflection and thought. Even after I got my travel itinerary it did not hit me until yesterday that I was actually leaving.

Yesterday they called the new "Coordinating Sister in Training" to replace me, and that is when it really set in that I am leaving here for a great work. I have really put my heart into this sacred calling. I love the sisters here so much more than I ever thought I could love. They are everything to me. I know they are in good hands with the new coordinating sister, but I am sad to leave them. As I was thinking about this, it hit me that this is what my whole mission will be like. If I truly give my heart to the people, if I truly love them, and if I truly give my all to them. Each transfer will feel the same. It is such a satisfying feeling - a felling that I have done all I could and the Lord has accepted it - but it is also sad to leave people you love so much. Now I know why God gave me this calling - to teach me how to truly serve with all you "Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength." I am so grateful he gave me this opportunity, and he gave me this kind of love. There is nothing more important in the world.

In other news, our branch president was released because he has been called to be the Taiwan Taichung mission president! Crazy! If you read about President Bishop in the Church news, that is him! I know he is going to be an amazing Mission president. Him and his wife have taken such great care of us. I will miss him for this last week I am here, but I know the Lord needs him elsewhere.

Overall, Chinese progress is still going. I am still practicing my listening skills, so pray for me to have the interpretations of tongues when I go! Talking to a bendiren (Native) is totally different than talking to someone who is also learning the language. It should be an adventure! Still, I know that the Lord will support me. I D&C 68:6, Christ says, "Wherefore be of good cheer and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you." In the few short weeks I have been here, I have felt this already, and I know that in the mission field this will magnify 100 fold. I am so grateful for his mercy. Without him, I truly am nothing!

I love you all and wish you the best of luck! Next week will be my last MTC email!

Ke Jiemei