Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 24, 2010‏

Dear Friends and Family,

MORE AND MORE MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING EVERY DAY!!! It is absolutely fantastic! Where to even begin?

Well, for starters, There is the AMAZING Wang Family. The entire family finished all the lessons last week and had their baptismal interviews and they are ready to be baptized on Saturday! Yeah! The mom's name is ZheXuan, and the son and daughter are ShaoJun and ShaoYun. They are so fantastic. The son is 12 so he will be able to get the priestood and he is so excited to pass the sacrament. Seriously, every time one of those children prays I can feel heaven a little closer. It is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is just so real. This is a picture of me and Sister Mac Issac and the daughter and the mom.
Also, once again, MIRACLES! We had a girl who came to English class who is amazing! Her name is Hong RaeYin and she is 17. She is just the cutest thing ever. I really adore her. Anyways, last week one of the Elders gave her a Book of Mormon after English class, and when we met with her a week later she was already over half way through First Nephi. Then when we met with her the next time she told us about an amazing experience she had where she knows God answered her prayers. It was so powerful! I just don't really know how to describe how miraculous and wonderful this is. She is just so prepared for the Gospel. She came to church yesterday and really liked it (despite the really strange sunday school lesson about hellfire and idols). She said she will come nest week and we are going to meet with her again in the middle of the week. Wow! It is amazing! Not only that, but she wants to learn to play the guitar, and she just received her aunt's old guitar, so last time we met I played "Teach me to Walk in the Light" while we all sang along. Ah! It was so wonderful. I love missionary work.

Also, another miracle! Ok, sometimes we are not as organized as we think we are, and for some reason Sister Mac Issac's stomach is never hungry, so despite my daily pleadings that if we don't eat I will pass out, sometimes things work against us. One day in particular was just like this. In the evening, we had appointments that ran long, so from 4-7 straight we were booked and crazy busy, and I was HUNGRY! Finally 7:15 rolls around and our lesson gets out and I am thinking, "If I don't eat soon I may die." We were chatting with the Elders about how busy (and hungry) we were today and just as we were leaving the door to get some FOOD one of our less active members walks in the door and says, "Sorry I'm late!" Of course I was happy to see her, but oh boy was I also hungry! So we sat down with her and had our lesson and it was almost 8 by that time, when she said, "I brought you something!" and she pulls out these baked goods from a member's bakery. I was so relieved! So she left and wouldn't you know it - right outside our classroom door there was another bag full of food from Seven Eleven that said, "And they took no thought for themselves what they should eat..." Our Elders are amazing! Elder Yeh and Elder Van Wagoner had bought us food! Ah! I truly know that in our hour of need, the Lord will provide! I have never felt so grateful for food in my life. Ever. EVER!
Also, this week I saw a bunch of HUGE BUGS! First, this spider, I kid you not, was hanging precariously above my parked bicycle and it is about the size of a fifty cent piece. Needless to say, I was NOT happy to see it there! Also, this slug is, like, as big as a camera. Seriously! What happened here?! I swear they feed their bugs HGH or something! Wow!

I think I have discovered the most challenging part of a sister missionary's life here in XinZhu. I want to pose the question - How on earth do you keep your skirt under control while riding a bicycle in a windstorm? Really, what to do? Good thing I bought those bicycle slips because there is just no way to avoid the inevitable! It is just a constant struggle here because the wind is so stinking DA! (BIG!) Evertime I am on my bike and a new gust of wind blows my skirt and my britches show all I can think is, "Ah! The life of a sister missionary! Itsn't it great?" It is a good thing I love riding my bike so much!

I read a talk this week by Elder Watson about temperance from Last October Conference and it had a quote I really liked that I wanted to share: "Being temperate means to carefully examine our expectations and desires, to be diligent and patient in seeking righteous goals." I really liked the entire talk, and this part in particular. I know that as we try to better ourselves, God doesn't expect it to happen all at once. The moment we decide to change, we have a long and sometimes painful road ahead of us, but as we stick to our decisions, as we patiently accept our downfalls and continue to try - just try our best - slowly we will become the kind of person God needs us to be. We need to carefully examine our expectations, and do all that we can, but in the end, "It is by grace we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23). Remember - God will never ask more than our best effort! Then, if we really give him our best, he promises to make us for the rest. I know this is true. I am so grateful for His grace - it truly makes me a better person that I could be otherwise.

Well, I hope all is well! I love you all very much!

Sister Collyer

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