Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010‏

Dear Family and friends,

Wow, is it really already October? I can't believe it. I feel like I just arrived in Taiwan and it has been over seven months! Wow! That is crazy!

Things are going great over here in Paradise. I mean Taidong. Sorry, sometimes I get the two places confused. :) Our branches are super excited about the upcoming baptisms and have goals about how many more people the want baptized in the coming months and how many people they will get at each baptism and the branch president is really encouraging referrals to help reach the goals. I love righteous church leaders!

And we really saw miracles this week! First of all, a less active member who hasn't come to church in YEARS - Xiao Mama - came for the second time in a row! The sisters have been visiting her every week and every week she refuses to come to church. Lately the mission president has encouraged us that if less actives are not progressing, we need to drop them and find new investigators. So for the past three months we have only been visiting her once a month, and I think it was exactly what needed to happen! She started to hunger for more spiritual experiences and so she came to church! I was so happy and shocked to see her! It really has been YEARS! and from the first time she came she has already changed a ton! She smiles more and seems genuinely happy and prays more and is really rebuilding faith. MIRACLE!!!!!

Also, we have another less active, Sister Ho, who hasn't been able to come to church for a long time because of some issues with her husband. Well, guess who was at church on Sunday? HER HUSBAND!!! She couldn't come, but the elders visited her husband last Saturday night and he came to church with their daughter. We visited Sister Ho that night and she was so thrilled she couldn't stop talking about it! Wow! It was a great thing for her to see her husband and daughter come to church! MIRACLE!!!!

Also, we have been teaching the Mayor of Fugang, Zhen A Fen for about two months now, and she hadn't come to church yet. She was an investigator a few years ago and didn't come to church ever then so the sisters back then had to drop her. But miracles happen, and after a simple phone call reminder, guess who showed up on Sunday. THE MAYOR OF FUGANG! It was awesome! We were so stoked to see her!

Our other investigators are of course doing great. We have Izzie's baptismal interview scheduled and the branch is just so excited. We are excited too! She is a branch member's referral, so what a happy day! Hu HuiNa and her also should be right on track as well and Lan Wanling is talking to her family this week, so hopefully all will go well! We are really excited to see these people draw closer to the Lord through baptism!

Last Monday was probably my most favorite preparation day EVER! We went to the Taidong Forrest park and just rode our bikes around and explored. We ended up at a YuanZhuMin activity center - Makapahay. It was just about the coolest place ever! We took a ton of pictures and I couldn't help but thinking - life really couldn't get any better. I am here watching people change their lives and find eternal salvation through the only one who can offer this gift - Jesus Christ. My district has the most faithful and loving - and funny - Elders in the whole mission, my companion is my best friend, and I am in the most beautiful place in the world. I love being a missionary!

I hope all is well back home. Just remember to Rely on the lord. I want to quote a talk by Elder Uchdorf from November 2008 Ensign Entitled "The infinite Power of Hope." He says:
"The Lord has given us a reassuring message of hope: “Fear not, little flock.”God will wait with “open arms to receive” those who give away their sins and continue in faith, hope, and charity.

And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in.

Never surrender.

Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.

Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.

Of this I testify and leave you my blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I want to add my testimony that Hope through the infinite atonement of Christ really has this power. It can overcome all obstacles and lift every burden. I know this is true. I have seen the Lord lift the burdens of those whose burdens are to heavy to bear. I have felt his arms lifting me in times of discouragement and doubt. The atonement and the power of Christ is real. Through Christ we can overcome all of our sins and weaknesses and feel the hope of eternal life and happiness. I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love, Sister Collyer

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