Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 28, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

Hello again from paradise! This week was a great one! We really saw some amazing miracles!

This week a lot of people set appointments with us but then stood us up. :( But I really learned this week the value of not wasting time when people do not show up! Every time we got stood up we went outside and started talking to people, and we found like FIVE people willing to listen to the gospel and a few of them even said they want to be baptised! WOW! If every time we get stood up we find that many new people, I hope we get stood up more often! It was seriously great.

Also, last week for preparation day we went to an aborigine craft center and it was AWESOME! I forgot to bring my camera cord, so sorry, no pictures, but worry - we will probably go back there next week because the have an activity where you can make your own aborigine glass beads but last time we didn't have enough time to do it so we absolutely NEED to go back. I loved it!

Today I am really excited because we are going to go to Yuli and have a Hualian District Exercise competition. All of the members and missionaries are getting together from the Hualian district and we are gonna run and do all those other cool things people do at a family track meet. I couldn't be more thrilled!

Also, yesterday in Sacrament meeting for the second branch all the missionaries got to give a talk on missionary work. It was great because I got to share come of my experiences with the branch, and since practically all of my mission is here in Taidong, all the miracles I got to share are about people that they know and see every week in sacrament. I have already shared most of them with you, but today I want to share a couple others...

The prophet recently told us missionaries that we need to be inviting EVERYONE to be baptized. I mean EVERYONE. We walk out the door and the first person we see we need to invite. We meet people on the back of a scooter and we need to invite them. It had proven to be the most exciting thing about missionary work! I have two experiences that I want to share with you.

One is pretty funny. A few weeks ago our drains got all plugged up by stuff, and we didn't' have any time to fix them or buy drain cleaner so we were just dealing with it. Well, one day we went out the door and ran into one of our neighbors. We started talking to her and asked her if she wanted to be baptized. She said, "No, but I have something I want to give to you. It is an organic cleaning mixture that will clean out anything - including clogged drains." What?! Yes, this really happened! We did not tell her beforehand at all that we had a problem, she just handed us the bottle, told us how to use it and said goodbye. That was the most out of the box miracle I have ever seen. It was fantastic!

Another time I was contacting a man at a stoplight on a scooter. he was an interesting man, we talked about how religion helps people and how important it is to have faith. He was quite the talkative fellow and it was hard to get a word in. He started sharing about how he believes any religion that teaches good things is good and it doesn't matter what religion people are in the end. I told him that of course religion should teach us good tings and Jesus does! He said, "Well, if I already believe in doing good and serving others, then why do I need Jesus?"

I said to him, "Sir, are you perfect?" He said, "No."

I said, "Sir, none of us are perfect. We all do bad things. WE all have guilt form those bad things that we do, and except through faith in Jesus Christ's atonement, repentance and baptism you will never be able to fully rid yourself of the guilt from your sins. Without Jesus and baptism it is impossible. Will you be baptized?"

on that busy street corner that day, I have never felt the spirit testify so strong that these things are true. Although the man did not set a baptismal date, he set up a time to meet with the Elders and continue to learn.

I know that the doctrine of Christ is as simple as this - Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the Holy ghost, and enduring to the end. It is true. I know it is true. Without Jesus Christ and his atonement none of us can be rid of the guilt that comes from our wrongdoings. I am so grateful that I know this and am so happy that my full time responsibility every day is to share this good news! I love being a missionary!

I love you all and hope all is well with all of you! Remember to pray and read your scriptures and go to Church!

Sister Collyer

February 21, 2011

Dear Friends and Family -

Lu Shen Lilan is BAPTIZED!!! What a wonderful baptism it was. both branches had a ton of people show us to see it and it was absolutely beautiful. She has so much faith and truly knows that Heavenly Father loves her. She is super excited to share the gospel with all of her friends and family, and she even invited a ton of friends to her baptism - and ten of them came! Wow! She is just such an inspiration to me. I love her so much. I just cannot explain the feelings I have of seeing these people come unto the Lord. I have such a great feeling of being part of something truly worthwhile. Though us missionaries are just a small part, at least I can know I did all I can to make a difference. I love being a missionary. There is no other experience in life that could bring such a feeling except the work of the Lord. I want to be a missionary forever.

This week has been a great learning experience because I really feel like I have suddenly grown a TON on my mission. I have really learned the power of Fasting. Last weekend I fasted. Usually when we fast it is for a particular investigator or something like that, but I have been pondering lately about how the Sons of Mosiah fasted often so they could have the spirit, and I decided I needed to try it. WOW! Talk about POWERFUL! I feel like my whole life has changed. Suddenly I literally feel pain at the though of even one soul being lost! I am serious! I love being a missionary, and I just want to tell EVERYONE about how through Christ we can be cleansed from sin! I have never felt this passionate or desperate to share the word of God. I have always liked it, but now it feels just as important as breathing. I have definitely learned that fasting really is powerful, and I am so grateful that God has let me learn this important lesson.

I also realised how important faith really is. Every Time Christ healed someone, he always says, "According to your faith." It has occurred that the people, without Christ, could not be healed by Christ. Christ can do everything in his power to heal them, but it is their choice whether to accept his help. In the end, it is all about Faith. When we walk out the door, we need FAITH that the lord will put prepared people in our path. We need FAITH that what we teach has the power to convert. And we need to boldly act upon our faith and do what God asks us to do in order to see his miracles. It is all about faith. So please, have faith! Just believe God is there, he is helping you, and i promise you He will be with you. missionary or not, we all have trials, and God will help us through our trials if we rely on Him. He loves us. Do we love him?

The rest of the week was definitely full of miracles! WE ran into these three Sisters who said they would be willing to be baptized! and we also had a previous investigator come to watch the baptism and she really liked it and she also met a bunch of people she already knows in our church and it really had a good impact on her and she set a baptismal date. WOW! Talk about miracles. I am so glad that God helps us. I know that as we continue to work hard we will be blessed with more miracles and more and more people will come unto Jesus and we can have THREE branches down here in Taidong!!!

Anyways, I love you all and hope all is well!

Sister Collyer

February 14, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!! Yes, I love valentines day. And this year I got a great valentine day present...I am STAYING IN TAIDONG!!! Is it possible? Can I really be there for six transfers? I guess it is because it is true! Move calls came and went and I am still in my little magical paradise, and we have a baptism next week.

But my dear Sister Wynder is out! She is currently heading off to Zhongli. I will miss her a lot, but any call is a call from the Lord, and that is the best way to do the work!

My new companion is Sister Theissen. She is great! I really like her a lot! She just came from Danshui which is my first area so it is fun to hear the updates about the people I love over there. Man, being a missionary is crazy! One little phone call and your whole life changes! And that phone call comes every six weeks!

First off, sorry that there are no pictures attached to this email. I forgot my camera cord. ;( I will give you pictures next week.

Last week was a really good one. A lot of our investigators came back from winter vacation so we had a lot of great lessons. She Lilan is going to be baptized this Saturday and I am so excited! She is so ready! Everyone always asks us, "Isn't she a member already?" She has a solid s\testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Repentance, Forgiveness and enduring to the end. She has already invited all of her friends to come to the baptism. It is going to be fantastic! I can't wait!

We also had a lot of miracles as far as member referrals go. People literally called us up this week and said, "I have a friends who has agreed to meet with us tomorrow. Are you free at four?" What!? Yes, we are! Of Course we are! That is how good the members here in Taidong are. I just feel like it is seriously one miracle after another!

Also, a strangely huge amount of people we called or pulled over on the side of the road were willing to meet with us to learn more. Yes! I know, I KNOW that God is guiding this work and that if we are obedient and do our best, we will definitely see miracles. I love seeing miracles because it reminds me that no matter how hard it is sometimes, it is 100% worth it. I love the Gospel! I love God and Jesus Christ. And I love being their missionary - their hands. I am humbled and touched to play such a small role in such a great work.

Well, I hope all is well and that you are all continuing to read and pray and come to church! Don't forget the little things - they make the biggest difference!

Sister Collyer

February 7, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

Is it really possible that it is already february? I feel like I just got here, but I have been a missionary for such a long time. Wow, my mind is blown. But at the same time it is a little strange because I also feel like I have been here forever - like I never lived anywhere else.

Well, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Chinese New Years was definitely an adventure never to forget. Wow. I have never eaten so much food in one week in my entire life. Imagine Thanksgiving Times 10 every meal for an entire week. Yes, it really was like that. I am not gonna say how much weight I have gained this week, but the skirts are feeling tighter than they have ever been. Whew, I have never looked forward so much to Fast Sunday in my entire life!

Also, my companion Sister Wynder was sick pretty much the entire week. :( so we even missed a couple dinner appointments becasue there was just no way she could make it. So pretty much all we did was go out for one or two meals, eat, then go home and she would sleep and I would make phone calls. a LOT of phone calls! Let me tell you, I have never appreciated being outsid eto do missionary work more in my life! My companions is now alive and well and we are both THRILLED to get out there ans see some miracles!

Seriously though, our members here are absolutely fantastic. I am so touched by their goodness. I just have no way of letting them know how much we appreciate them. This past Sunday in Sacrament meeting the closing song was "Families can be together forever," and as we al sat together singing I just had this feeling that these people - they really are my family. I want to be with them forever. I am sogrteful to God for sending me here so that I can meet these people. I am so touched and happy for the blessings that God has given, and I am so happy that I can be a missionary so that I can give my little bit back to Him. I know my part is so small, but I also know that through small and simple things are great things broght to pass. (Alma 37:6-7)

So next week is transfers and it is all up in the air, so it is unsure whether I will be in Taidong next week, but there is one thing I am certain of - whether I stay or move it is the will of the Lord, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that the things the Lord has in store for us are greater than we can possibly imagine, and I am so grateful for the things and the blessings I have already learned. This new Chinese new year, I really want to rededicate to be the best servant I can be, to do whatever the lord wants me to do, and to be more Christlike as I invite others to partake of the Lords Blessings.

On another note, today we went to the prehistory museum in Taidong for P-day. It was great!

I love you all and hope all is well.

Sister Collyer