Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 5, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
Nimen hao! This week was absolutely fantastic!
Last Monday my whole district hiked Bali Shan for Preparation day. Hiking here in Taiwan is a little different than in the states -along every hiking trail they build a staircase! So hiking=climbing stairs for an hour or so. It sounds kind of intense, but it was wonderful! It was the most beautiful day ever - the sun was shining, but not too hot, and you could see for miles. We could see so far out in the ocean that you could see the curve of the earth! Wow! And inland you could see all of Taipei Shi with the rivers cutting through it. We could also see our whole area - Beitou down to Shilin. It was huge and so amazing! We were even able to find out high rise apartment complex, which was fun to see.
Also, I just want to say that my district is fantastic! I don't remember what I wrote last week about them, so sorry if this is a repeat! Our district leader is Elder Moreno. He is a great leader and is really helpful. Every week I get to teach him a practice lesson in Chinese, and he gives really great suggestions and feedback. He has so much faith! I am really grateful for his leadership and optimism.
His companion is Elder Knight. Elder Night was in the MTC with me, but in the group ahead. He is fantastic. He is a little bit more reserved of a fellow, but he is so good at putting himself out there and tailing to people, even if he doesn't understand their responses! He really inspires me to have more courage to open my mouth.
Then there are the Elder Smiths. Yes, there is a companionship where both of the Elders are named Elder Smith. We tell them apart by calling one "Piano Smith" and the other simply "Elder Smith." Piano Smith is fantastic. He is always joking and has such a great personality, but is also really serious about missionary work. He is so committed to baptizing! It is great. Elder Smith is on his very last transfer, and is really hilarious as well. He is super organized and responsible, and is so helpful in keeping us sisters updated! The Smith Elders are really quite an amazing pair.
And then there is me and Sister Ackerson. I love Sister Ackerson! She really is amazing. This week she came down with a nasty cold, and yet she still goes on with work as if nothing is wrong! Also, since I don't speak Chinese very well, she is still doing most of the talking and teaching and everything. Wow. She is just amazing! Her faith is so strong, and she is so committed to serving the Lord with all that we have! It is great! Also, we always have a lot of fun, which is one of the things I really appreciate about her leadership. I could easily be really stressed here, not knowing the language and everything, but she is just great at dispelling any overwhelming feelings and keeping faith. It is wonderful.
Anyways, on to the rest of the week! It was fantastic. I got my bike and helmet this week, which for me was a real treat! We also painted it to make it look uglier so it won't get stolen. I really like the bike. It is special delivered from a company and it says,"No Success can compensate for failure in the home" on the side. Pretty cool. I also put my Chinese name on it with some help from Sister Ackerson and Also some masking tape.
On Tuesday we had exchanges and I went to Jilong with Sister Olsen for a day. Sister Olsen is a great missionary, and I got to ride my bike, which was awesome! Also, we got to do a little hiking trail in the morning for exercise, which was awesome. I love Taiwan because everything is so beautiful!
On Thursday we had Temple tours. Basically, twice a transfer every companionship in the Taipei Shi area goes to the temple chapel and gives tours. It was fun. We always meet some interesting people. This week we met a man named Pony Ma who was really interesting. He told us that both the God of the East and the God of the West hate him because he is a research scientist and kills rats for a living. He also told us that he has read the Book of Mormon several times, and the hardest thing for him to believe is that Lehi and his family sailed across the ocean. He told us they would need a military cruiser to make is successfully. The image of Nephi and Lehi in a military cruiser sailing the ocean has not left me since the conversation. :)
Friday we taught lessons as usual, and Saturday was the same. Overall it as a great week!
Just wanted to tell you about a little miracle that happened this week. We set a goal to add two investigators with baptismal dates this week. The two people we wanted to add both cancelled their appointments, but don't worry, the Lord has his ways! Two of our more long time investigators both called us up and set dates! It was a real testimony to me that God blesses our efforts is ways we don't always expect.
Well, I love you all!
Ke jiemei
Sister Collyer

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