Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello again from Paradise! Yes, I am absolutely loving it here. This week had been quite the adventure!

This past week a lot of our investigators started their winter break, so they left to be with Family for Chinese New Years, so we had a lot of contacting time. On top of that the Hualian Sisters came down and we did companion exchanges. We seriously saw a ton of miracles! We found a ton of new investigators and it just really reminded me that the Lord is truly guiding this work. Yes, most of the new investigators we found are from other areas, but still, it doesn't matter as long as the work moves forward!

This coming week is going to be a real adventure! It is Chinese New Year this week. Chinese new year is a week long event and every single day, breakfast, lunch and dinner and some meals in between we have people feeding us. Here in Taidong is the scariest place to do New year because the members are just so eager to have us over! Last year an elder gained 5 kilograms
(over 10 pounds) in one week and another elder ate so much he had to go to the hospital. So please ignore the double chin that will inevitably appear in next weeks pictures. Also, a few prayers wouldn't hurt! We are scared!

Last PDay we went to a beautiful garden park up in the mountains in Taimali. It was great! A few members took us and it was so peaceful and we saw a spider with a bright red body and yellow horns eating a fly. I was so scared! But is was also pretty cool. Also, they have spiders here that are bigger than your hand. I prayed all day last week that we wouldn't see one, and luckily we didn't! I saw one before in a tree in Taipei and it was scary.

Anyways, I hope all is well back home! God bless you all and don't forget to pray and read your scriptures!

Sister Collyer

January 24, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
Hello again from the Hawaii of Taiwan! Yes, it is ture, this place is better than Hawaii. But there is even a hotel on the road out to Zhiben that is called "Hawaiian Resort Hotel." Yep, it feels like paradise!
This week was a great one. We went up to Hualian again for a special training meeting and then companion exchanges, and it was AWESOME! The special training meeting really helped us know how we could better help people help us and want to get baptized and all that, and then exchanges, WOW!!! We really saw miracles! In the short time I was with Sister Lin I learned so much. We found FIVE people just from talking to them on the street that were willing to be baptized. SAY WHAT?! Yes, it is true! I never would have thought it was possible, but Hualian is a magical place! The Lord is truly sending his prepared people to his prepared servants. I am so grateful for all that I learned from Sister Lin.
The rest of the week was a lot of fun. Because most of our investigators have gone home for Winter break and Chinese New year, we spent a lot of time contacting. It was fun because we have been so busy lately that contacting time had been really rare, and it is sctually one of the tings I like best, so it was great to get back into the groove! I love this gospel, and I love seeing God's miracles!
I thought you would all enjoy this picture. My Companion took this pictur eof me contacting a person on a scooter. This is peobably our main way of contacting, so if you can just picture me doing this all day every day, that is a pretty accurate depiction of what it is like here as a missionary in the great land of Taiwan. The promised land! I love being a missionary!
I wish I had more so say, but unfortunately, I am just at a loss. Lastly I just want to give my weekly piece of advice: DON:T FORGET TO PRAY AND READ YOUR SCRIPTURES AND GO TO CHRUCH!!!! These things are so important it is ridiculous. When you don't so this, you let Satan into your life. Period. So I just want to encourage you all to cast Satan! Do these things daily and you will be blessed. Reject them and suffer. ;)
I love you all and hope all is well!
Sister Collyer

January 17, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,
I know that God answers prayers! Seriously, it is true!
We have an amazing investigator names Shen Lilan. She is a referral from a couple of members in the branches, and she is awesome. She herself before meeting with us said, "I don't think I would count as any religion except athiest. But I love goming here. It makes me the happiest I have ever been. And when I read the Book of Mormon, I just want to keep reading even if I don't understand. I don't understand why I have this desire to keep reading and coming to church and learning, but I really do. I still am not sure God exists."
Well, SHE BELIEVES NOW! Two weeks ago we gave her a sctipture to read and ponder about. Mosiah 4:9: "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." WE told her that she should read this scripture over and over and ask god to help her believe it. WEll, for a week everytime we called her she said, "I was just reading and thinking about that scripture. I am trying to believe. I know that God, is he exists, can see my sincereiry and real intent and will help me believe." I am serious - every time we called her she had the scriptures open and was pondering. WEll, on Saturday night, one of her friends that introduced her to us - Izzie - got together with her and they chatted about God for about two hours. On Sundey morning She Lilan couln't sleep so she got up and prayed. In relief society she shared with everyone what happened. She said, "Sisters, I just have this feeling. I know it is true! I know God exisits! I know it is true! I already invited all my friends to my baptism. I want to be baptized right after Chinese New Year."
WOW!!!!! Seriously, and honest seeker of truth, no matter what religious backround they come from, can know the truth. We can all know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that prophets lead God's church today, and that families are forever.
Also, can I just say how amazing our members here are? This week we had two members come up to us and ask when they can help us by being in lessons when us to support our investigators. Wow! That is the most amazing thing ever!
That is pretty much the amazing highlights of the week. I am so happy to be a missionary!
Sorry to be so brief today. I lov eyou all and hope all is well! i am praying for you Mom and Grandpa and Lisa and Calliana and Hannah and everyone else who needs a little extra healing right now.
Sister Collyer

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 10, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello again from the paradise of Taidong. Honestly, I cannot think of a happier place to be than right here!

Last Monday we went up to Yuli which was awesome! We rode our bikes up and hiked in YuShan national park and it was great! Also, Yuli is a really special place because up there they just recently got a baptismal font, so before that came in they used to baptize at the waterfall you see in one of these pictures. about paradise! What a perfect place to be baptized! Yeah, it was probably pretty cold, but wow! What a baptism!

This week we have once again seen miracles. We have these investigators. They are four high-school age friends names Cheese, Anthony, Cathy, and Bunny. They are all seriously fantastic, and this week they introduces us to five more of their friends whose names I cannot recall. But really, MIRACLES!

WE also went to the Lai Family's house to eat dinner this week and it was great! They are so fantastic. Their father is not a member yet, but we pray for them and we have hope that one day his heart will be softened and they will be able to be sealed in the temple as a family.

Something I have really learned a lot from the people here in Taidong is patience. Most of the members come from part member families without a priesthood holder, and these women are the most persistent and amazing examples of faith I have ever met! I admire these people so much. They wake up and prepare all of their children to come to church then load them all on a scooter when it is very cold and sometimes raining outside and come to church and patiently deal with crazy children running up and down the isles in Sacrament all the while not breaking a sweat. Wow! Peifu Tamen! (I admire them!)

This week I was thinking about something I read in a letter someone sent to me. Everyone says things like, "I know it is hard sometimes, but you can do it." Well, I have a confession to make - it really is not that hard! Every day I walk out the door and I can feel Christ supporting us everywhere we go and it is just so happy and so wonderful and so easy it almost seems wrong! Shouldn't this be harder than it is? The fact is, no! It doesn't have to be hard. If you remember who is behind it all, if you remember that angels are bearing you up through it all. The holy spirit is testifying all that we say is true. Wow! There is more support from God now than ever before in my life! With that in my mind, how could it possibly be hard?! This is the most exciting, wonderful, rewarding time in my life. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Well, That is about it for this week! It has really been a fantastic one! We are still helping a few prepare for baptism so things are going great. Thank you so much for your prayers!

Sister Collyer

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011

Dear Friends and Family!

Nihao! Well, this week really couldn't have been better! First off, I am STAYING IN TAIDONG for another transfer. Wow, I don't think I have ever been so nervous for move calls in my life. But here we are! I am staying here with my wonderful companion Sister Wynder and that makes me happy!

Next off, this week was New years, and we celebrated it with the YuanZhuMin (Aborigines). Taidong is really special because there are a lot of aborigines and even the chief of one of the tribes is a church member and is really great. So one of the families, the Lin family, dressed me and Sister Wyndre up in traditional clothing and we headed out to party with the aborigines. We watched the coming of age run and all of the young 18 year old boys wore nothing but a short blue wrap and ran and then we listened to the chief give a prayer in some language that he made up that no one understands and then they sang aborigine songs that are also not in any particular language and it was fantastic! We also ATE a LOT of FOOD, and Aborigine food is delicious! (You gotta be careful because sometimes they eat some really scary things like raw pig intestines and snails, but other that that it is always a real treat!) I am really grateful for Sister Lin for taking us out and helping us have a wonderful time. It was truly fantastic new years!

We also had a baptism this week! Well, four people got baptized - three kids and one man. We taught one of the small kids - Guo JingRu. She is seriously so special. Her older brother is a member but lives in Gaoxiong and their parents are not members. She is 9 years old and even though she cannot read all of the characters in the Book of Mormon, She still reads every single day and prays all the time and is seriously fantastic. And she marks her favorite scriptures! And all the scriptures she marked are the ones I like in Chinese too (but maybe that is because they are the only ones we can actually read all the characters...;0)). Anyways, she was so excited to get baptized, and it was a wonderful service.

This week especially has been a bit more stressful because a lot of our investigators have come up with problems that we didn't see coming. We are relying on the Lord to work through them and we really think we are going to see miracles in overcoming these obstacles! I love this work because it really is a work of miracles! i am so grateful to be a missionary. I have never felt so many blessings and growth in my life as I have this past year serving the lord. I have learned to do things I never thought I could do, overcome things I never thought I would need to overcome, and most of all felt the overwhelming peace of the Lord wirking miracles in mine and other people's lives.

For my friends who are not yet members of the church, I want to encourage you to think for yourself about this - Do you know how much God loves you? Do you want to find out? Talk to the missionaries! They are God's servants sent to help and serve the wolrd. Our purpose is your eternal happiness and welfare. Please see and find a chapel near where you live and you will see. God truly loves you - there is no doubt.

I love you all so much! It is so fantastic to be a missionary here in Taidong! Keep praying and reading your scriptures every day and going to chruch every week! Change yourselves and watch how you influence others to change! The power of God is real!

Sister Collyer