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

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