Wednesday, August 24, 2011

June 13, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week it was! First off, thank you so much all of your birthday greetings. It truly was the best birthday in my life!

This week we had a couple of really great experiences. WE went and visited a referral up on Dulan which is about a 25 minute drive from Taidong, so we had a member take us up, they were amazing! THe husband is from India and the wife is from Taiwan and they are genuinely interested in knowing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. THey are just so wonderful! We are excited to visit them again this week. THey are the Kumar Family. It is great to find a family with genuine interest becasue lately all of our investigators have lost interest, which has been rough. We are going to be working hard to find new people this week!

But the highlight of the week was definiely on Thrusday. Brother Hou, a counselor in teh Branch Presidency, called us and said, "Can you come visit us today, my wife is not doing so well." So we went over to their house, and when we got there Brother Hous said, "WE have some otehr people coming over as well." Then in walked Hu HuiNa and Tracy and Sister Li who I helped get baptized while I was here. They were carrying cakes and cards and Sister Hou said, "Sister Collyer, did you really think we would all forget your birthday?" IT was wonderful! It was so funny because Tracy and Hu HuiNa had cancelled our appointments that day and I was SO sad about it, but it was just because they wanted to surprise me. All their kids were there too and it was really fantastic. I just lvoe them all so much. It turns out that last time My companion Sister Wu was on exchanges (Almost a month ago) She went over and talked to Sister Hou and set this all up, and I didn't know a thing about it! Man, could my companion be any better? I just love her so much!

I am sorry I don't have many pictures right now, but Brother Hou videotaped the whole thing and he will give me acopy so when I get home I will share it with you. BUt I do have a picture of me hugging come of the children. And also a picture of Sister Hou - she is the one with the striped shirt. Man, I just love them all so much! I was so touched. And a couple of the kids drew pictures of me and I am excited to show you the pictures - they are wonderful! Tracy's son - Liang HongTeng - also proposed to me. I guess I will just have to wait about 20 years!

I just love being a missionary because i have really had the chance to see people's lives change. Missionary work is not always easy - actually it gets rough and sad some times. But experiences like that, where you can see how the Love of our savior Jesus Christ has truly changed peoples lives - there is no joy in teh world that can compare to teh joy of the gospel.

I know that God sent me on a mission hree in Taidong becaue I need these people. My life has completely changed becasue of them. This may be my last week in Taidong, but my heart will be here forever. Truly it is here that I came to know and feel the love of my savior Jesus Christ. I like a scripture in Mosiah 18:30. It is talking about how the people who were baptized my Alma the Older feel about the place where they learned of the goodness of Jesus Christ. "And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."

And now it came to pass that all this was done in Taidong, yea, by the beach of Taidong, and in the rice fields near the beach of Taidong, yeah, the place of Taidong, and beach of Taidong, the rice fields of Taidong, how beautiful they are in my eyes, for it is here that I have truly come to know my Redeemer, and how blessed am I, and I shall sing to praise His name forever.

The worst part of being a missionary is that is comes to an end. But there is one thing I do know - I will truly Thank God everyday for the opportunity I had to serve.

I love you all and hope all is well.
Sister Collyer

June 6, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

First off, I would just like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! You are the most wonderful mom in the world, and I thank God every day for the angel he sent to raise me as a child and to inspire me as an adult. I could never do enough to repay you for all the sacrifices you have made for me and the love you have given me, but I promise I will spend the rest of my life trying. I love you, Mom.

This week was a great one with a couple of HUGE miracles! First off, we went on companion exchanges up in Hualian this wek and it was great becasue I got to see some of the members there that I helped teach a bit before they got baptized. What a great experience to see them again right before I head home. I love the Hualian Zone - it is full of nothing but miracles!

Also, we saw a really huge miracle onthe train ride back to Taidong. I want to first tell you a little bit of the circumstances behind the story.

At first, we were going to go on exchanges from Friday to Saturday, but then the Elders had a baptism on Saturday and we needed to attend so we changed exchanges from thursday to Friday. We even had to get permission from the president to change to Thursday becasue normally Thursday is weekly planning session. While I was on exchanges, poor Sister Braedy was really sick so we spent most of the afternoon in the chapel doing things that needed to get done and making phone calls. Neither of us really like to be in the chapel, and at the time I remember thinking, "man, I wish we could go outside." But it is all in the hands of the Lord, that is for sure. I made a lot of phone calls to a lot of people who didn't answer the phone.

Well, on the train ride home the train was super crowded and we didn't have time to buy tickets ahead of time so we had no seats. We started off by standing the the space between cars, but slowly moved our was to the center of car 1 where there is a small place to stand.

Now the mission has a rule - every Friday is spak English day so that the native missionaries can develope their language skills. So sister Wu and I stood in the crowded train and talked in English about what we learned durring exchanges and how we can improve. Then the phone rang. It was someone who I had called that afternoon that didn't answer. I answered the phone and talked to the person, and the girl next to Sister Wu turned to her and asked, "how is your English so good?"

Well, it turns out Na ZhongLing (The girls name) is a christian but has felt distanced from God lately and has been praying for God to help her come back to Him. She heard us speaking English and was interested because she studied English for a while. When she saw our name tags said "Jesus Christ" on the she thought, "Oh my goodness, God has sent his messengers to me! they are standing right nest to me aon the train!" and When I answered the phone she immediately started talking to Sister Wu because she knew she was Native and could speak Chinese.
Are you seeing how much God prepared the exact right people and the exact right time and the exact right place all for this one girl?! It had to be english day, it had to be exchanges, it had to be Sister Wu and I - it was just too perfect!
We shared with her the first vision and she actually laughed when she was reading Joseph's own words. We asked her what she felt, and she said, "i am laughing because I also saw two personages - you two - in answer to my prayer." You should have seen the way her eyes sparkled when we gave her the Book of Mormon. This last picture I am sending today is us on the train together before she got off. She doesn't live in our area, but she is definately going to meet with the missionaries in her area and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. It was a HUGE MIRACLE!!!

OK, huge huge miracle #2 - the Wu family. They are a referral from some of the branch members, and they are just searching for God so bad. The mother father and child all med with us and all agreed to pray every night. A lot of people make commitments, but you could just feel their sincerity and desire to pray together as a family. in the lesson I bore my testimony of how Dad and Mom's prayers blessed my life and they were so touched, so than kyou , mom and Dad, for being such a great example. The entire family came to chruch on Sunday, and it was fantastic.
I love you all and hope all is well. Keep praying and al things will wirk out!

Sister Collyer

May 30, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

What a fantastic week it was! First off, last Monday We went up to a beach in Donghe with our member that was baptized last Christmas - Tracy and her children. I just love them all so much. Man, the thought of leaving Taidong is getting harder and harder every day. It was a lot of fun because there is a bech up there where you can feed the fish and look through tidepools. The fish there are crazy! They will eat food right off the top of your feet if you are standing the water! It was so wonderful to spend time with them.

Also, another member - Chen Weiting, had us pver for lunch this week and it was great to be with her and her four adoreable children. I adore them!

And antoher awesome little adventure to add to the week's greatness, we had a mission conference up in Taipei this week. Wlder Jay E Jensen came and talked to us and it was AMAZING! He talked about how everyone has already had the missionary lessons before in teh pre-existence, so teaching them about it is really just reminding them pf what they already know, so of course they are going to have some of those, "Aha! I have always felt that way" moments in teaching. He told us a lot about how we can improve our teaching and I learned a ton. I just wish I had more than three weeks to apply what I learned! Time is just too short!

It was also very exciting because I got to see a TON of missionaries all together! The interesting thing abuot being in Taidong is that I never get to see other missionaries ever really, and seeing so many other people just like me who are tryingto serve the Lord as best they can was really powerful. I also realized I know almost NONE of the missionaries. Weird! Except for my previous companions and the Elders previously in Taidong I literally knew nobody. A couple people thought I was a new missionary. One sister came up to me and said, "Ah! You are the legend that has been in Taidong for so long!" Wow, I didn't know I had done antyhing so special to become a legend, but I thought it was pretty funny. i guess when you are so far away from mission headwuarters for an entire year people start to question whether you even exist!
It was so SOOO happy to see my previous companions again! I just love Sister Howell and Sister Wynder and Sister Theissen so much. And also Sister Qynder is training Wang YiHui, who is a member from here in Taidong! So it goes like this - I am Sister Wynder's mom becasue I am her trainer. Sister Howell is Sister Wynder's Dad because she was my companion before I trained Sister Wynder. Sister Wynder is Sister Wang's Mom because she is her trainer, and Sister Theissen is Her Dad because she was Sister Wynder's companion before she trained. So we are a big happy family and Sister Wang is my granddaughter! Yes, Sister Wang's Mom and I always joke about that - I am older than her becaue I am her daighter's grandmother! Sorry if that didn't make much sense...missionary humor... :)

And then on Saturday, SISTER LI LUO YUN HUA got Baptized! I have never met a so prepared person. But I guess I say that about everyone, right? Really though, the members that referred her to us in Taipei and GaoXiong came over for the baptism and it was fantastic. Something that she said to in her testimony was really powerful. Actually, they met Elders aobut a year ago and they would go visit them in their store. At that time, all they could remmeber was that the Elders asked, "Do you believe in God? Do you believe in Truth?" Her husband thought they were pretty ridiculous at the time, and so they always joke aobut these two questions. Well, At her testimony after her baptism, sh estood up and said, "I remember a year ago the Elders came to our store and always asked us thhese two questions. We always joke aobut it, but today I want to stand us and tell you all - I believe in God. I believe in Truth, and I know that this gospel is truth. It is from God."

I was just so touched by her testimony. I am so grateful that this gospel really is truth. It really is from God, and nothing in the world can change that, because this is higher than the world. this is the eternal world. This is salvation and everlasting life. I want to Add my testimony to Sister Li's - I believe in God. I believe in truth. I know this gospel is the truth that God has given us to make us happy. I thank God every day for the opportunity to share this precious gift.

Sister Amy Collyer

May 23, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week was truly amazing!

On Monday we went to Taroko in Hualian, which is the most beautiful place in Taiwan. Not a singel one of my pictures does the place any justice at all, but let me tell you, I have never been mor in awe of God's creations in my life as I was staring up from the valley of Toroko at the beautiful mountains and rocks that god made. It was an inspiring experience.

We also had Lin HuiXin's Baptism! It was fantastic! He older brother Tony baptized her and it was a great day for everyone! The spirit was there and I am so happy that all went well.
Also, Sister Li Luo Yun Hua passed her baptismal interview and is excited to be baptized this coming Saturday! We are so happy. She is so prepared!

We also met with Sister Lai Yuan Jing and her daughter Huang Yu E and they want to be baptized on June 18! I am so excited! We are also currently a part member family, the Fang family, for their two smaller children to be baptized on that date, so if all goes well we will have four baptisms on that date! Wow! It is a miracle! We will see how everything falls into place.

We also had a big miracle yesterday. We found a family who was willing to listen to the gospel - the Hou family. They seem pretty good. Also, after we visited them, we went to find a couple previous investigators, and both of the previous investigatiors were home and both agreed that we could return, and one of them even thri husband and four sons set up with us. WOW!!! I have never seen such a huge night of miracles, but that isn't even where it ends.

For the last almost 6 months I have been unable to contact an inactive member I care a lot about. Her name is Hu Wanrou. She moved away from home to like in a dorm and her dorm is locked, so it has been impossible to visit her and her phone doesn't work. Well, yesterday night we were int eh area and we decided to go visit her home to see if maybe she was visiting. Well, She wasn't there, but for the first time in six months we ran into her family - her sisters - who told us her cell phone number changed and set up a time we can meet with all of them! WOW! It is a miracle!
I am so grateful for the wonderful experiences that I have had this week. I am so humbled that people are sowilling to hear the good news of the gospel. I know that this chruch truly has a prophet of God to lead and guide us. I love this gospel! I love telling everyone about how God our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ have once again called prophets and apostles today, "ushering in the long-promised dispensation of the fullness of times." What a great testimony of God's love for his children!

I love you all and hope all is well!

Sister Collyer

May 16, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
This week was another fantastic week. Lin Huixin passed her baptismal interview and is going to be baptized on Saturday by her older brother. Yes! What a fantastic week!

Also, Luo YunHua asked her husband if she could be baptized and he said yes! We still have to help her finish up the lessons and then she is ready! Seriously, it is just such a great miracle! Those two practicaly prepared themselves to be baptized. I am so happy inside!
We also had some other great experiences this week. One evening our lessons for the evening canceled. It had been a long day and we were really tired, but we prayed that god would guide us. We decided to go knock doors in a lane that was not too far away. Well, about the third door we knocked a little girl came out. We told her who we were and asked if her family was home. She said yes, so we asked if we could go in and chare a message. She said yes, and we said, "Do you want to ask your parents?" WEll, her parents said yes, so we went in and it turns our that the mother, two daughters, and one son are inactive members. Wow! I have never seen them before, so we got to know them a little better and then encouraged them to come to chruch. It was pretty amazing!
After that, we still had about 25 minutes, so we continued tracting. Not four houses later a very, very old man from mainland China and his caretaker let us in to share a message! Wow! A canceled lesson turned into an evening of two lessons! It was a miracle!

I am so grateful that even when we were tired and all we wanted to do was rest, we went out. Sometimes I think it is interesting - we can go all day and have a ton of energy and excitement for teh work and talk to 100 people and not a single one has interest, but as soon as we are so tired we want to call it quits, but decide to keep going, that is when God sends us his miracles. I know that God sometimes is just trying our faith to see if we will really prove our love for him, and when we do, he blesses us. I am so happy that God lets us have these moments where we can push ourselves and them find that we were stronger than we thought we were. It reminds me of a scripture in Ether 12:27.
This week the Zhang Family took us out to eat at an awesome restaurant up by the Chulu ranch. It is kinf of a garden ranch place with this really fancy hotpot buffet inside. It was so amazing! I love
the Zhang family so much and am so grateful for thier kindness. The food was so good and the gardens were amazing and the company was the best! I am really happy.
I hope all continues to be well back home and that you are all remembering to pray and read your scriptrues! I love you!
Sister Collyer

May 9, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

First off, it was so WONDERFUL to talk to the family yesterday! Wow, I am just SOOOO happy! Eric, congrats on an awesome engagement. Rebecca and Lisa, your kids have the most wonderful little voices. Stacy, I CAN"T BELIEVE you are graduating and going to BYU, and Mom and Dad, thanks for just being there for all of us. I love you all so much! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
I also wanted to tell the world what a great mother I have. I have been thinking about some of attributes my mom has andI want to share a couple right now.

Love! My mom writes me an email every week, and considering how computer illiterate she is, that is a big deal! Also, every valentines day and on my birthday my mom always sent me flowers. I truly love flowers, and I know that every flower is just mom saying, "Amy, I love you." Mom, I love you too!

Patience! Wow, raising five children, including two twins who when we were young LOVED to pick on our little sister is not an easy task, but I never once have heard a bad word about us in my whole life. My mom, she loves us. Thanks for your patience, mom.

Funny! Three words - Youth conference dances - pretty much says it all. Mom, thanks for teaching me how to have fun, laugh, and just enjoy life.

Caring! Remember whan I was younger and I wanted a dog so bad and I never let is go and then I bought a dog and then left for college and good old cubby stayed at home and my mom still cares for him even though she really doesn't like dogs that much? That is the kind of person my mother is. She just cares for anyone and everyone. and can you please give Cubby a kiss for me? :)

Faithful! I know that I am who I am today because of the faith if my mother. She is a living example of a woman who follows Jesus Christ's example. When I was at home and I heard my mother pray for me, I always felt the spirit testify that what she was saying is true. I, like the sons of Helaman, can truly say, "I do not doubt. My Mother knows my savior."


For those of you who don't know yet, move calls have come and gone and to my relief I am STILL in Taidong! One thing is for sure - the members here are really praying hard! I couldn't be more grateful than I am right now. I get to finish my mission right in the place I call home. I have never been happier anywhere than I am right here.

Also, some great news! There is a member from down here that just entered the taipei mission: Wang YiHui! Well, guess who her trainer is? Non other than my own little missionary daughter Sister Wynder! So in missionary terms, Sister Wang is my granddaughter. Well, I couldn't be more proud! I love her and her family. The picture above is us at the Eang Family home for dinner on Sunday. They are really fantastic. Wang Ma is the greatest, and all of her daughters are like my sisters. I just love them! The girl in the hat is Wang Yi Hui.
WE have some baptisms coming up and I am really excited about it. The week after next is Lin HuiXin. Her older brother and his children are members and she is so excited to be baptized. Her dad brings her to chruch every snday even though he is not a member. What a supportive father. I am grateful for him.

And in the next couple weeks Sister Li and a couple other people should be getting baptized. I just hope that I get to see these people make a covenant with God before I head back to the states, but if not, I know that God is caring for these people, and that is all that matters.

I love you all so much and hope all is well!

Sister Collyer

May 2, 2011

Dearest friends and family,
First off, CONGRATULATIONS BRO! You are Engaged! I love you so much and I can't wait to meet Courtney and hear all about the engagement!
Now for the updates. Serioucly, this place is the promised land. It is so wonderful here!
First of all, let me tell you a little more about one of our investigators, Sister Luo. We met her two weeks ago and she is already attending institute! She just loves our heavenly father so much! This past week at institute they had a lesson on Tithing, and on sunday she asked me, "Sister Ke, how do you pay tithing? It is the start of a new month and I want to pay." WOW!! We also gave her a pamphet on the law of Chastity and she said, "Oooo, this is wonderful. I want to teach all young women this commandment." WOW! Talk about prepared soul. She also shared with us her greatest desire - to be baptized with her husband. WOW! So guess who is meeting with us on tuesday? Sist Luo and her husband! I know that God truly lead us to this family because I have never seen such prepared, miracle people in my life. I am so grateful to a loving heavenly father who truly is guiding this work.
I am also so overwhelmingly grateful fo a faith-filled companion. Sister Wu is seriously fantastic. She sacrificed a lot to come on a mission and it truly shows through her testimony. SHe is the essence of diligence and hard work, and so loving that it just blows my mind. I am so grateful for her example and I know that we will continue to see miracles!
Some of the other great updates of the week. Lin HuiXin's father and mother signed the permission slip to let her be baptized, so she will be baptized on May 21. We are all super excited!
Lin ZhengWei and Ou YuXuan are two college students here and have been coming to shurhc for the past while. They are really great! Their parents currently oppose, and in Taiwan you need to be 20 to get baptized without parent's permission, but they are right on track. We hope we don't have to wait two shole years, but they are seriously great!
Also, Hu Hui Na's Little sister Wen Haini is so fantastic! She arrived at chruch lite 20 minutes early this past sunday and her little son is just precious. She attended primary with him for part of chruch and they were both just so cute! She was singing alng with the primary songs and it was so great! She has some word of wisdom problems to overcome, but I just knwo that she will be baptized. She already has a testimony.
Also, becasue she was in primary, I got to attend with her, and it was so great. Tracy - who got baptized last Christmas - is the pianist for primary and to see her in there with her little kids and learning and singing together and still strong in the gospel, I was just so touched I wanted to cry. A mission is so wonderful! You see miracles you would never get the chance to see otherwise!
I just absolutely LOVE being a misisonary. These people - they really are my family. I just feel so much love for them it is hard sometimes to believe. All of the families intehse branches - I just love them! When I call the branch members to ask questions or for help, they always say, "wait one moment, my child wants to talk to you." I am just so touched. I love these people, and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that through the Gospel I will be able to be with these people for eternity. Jesus Christ - he is all that is important. I know that He is my savior. Becasue of him, I can have everlasting life.
I love you all and I hope all is well!
Sister Collyer

April 25, 2011

Dear Friends and family,
Happy Easter! And what a wonderful easter it was for us here in paradise! We had an easter party with the Taidong Second Branch and we painted easter eggs and ate dinner and had a relay race and everything and it was a ton of fun! I am just loving this place!
Also, we saw some really awesome miracles this week! We went and visited a referral from Taipei. Her name is Luo YunHua and she is so great! I swear she is just one of those that was waiting for the Gospel because she just didn't know where to find it. We met with her twice last week and she came to chruch on Sunday and wouldn't you know it - most of the members already know who she is because she works at an athletic apparel store that is one of the bes tin Taidong! WOW! She loved chruch!
And chruch was fantastic. Everyone who said they would for sure come actually showed up, which is a HUGE miracle. And it was great because it was Easter Cunday and we had all of our best investgators come. WE will definitely be having some baptisms coming up here next month! It is going to be great! I can't wait to see these wonderful people make everlasting covenants with God and start their path to eternal life. God sure loves these people! I do too!
This week we had a really interesting experience that made me think a lot. We were running late for an appointment that was pretty far away, so we had a member drive us there and drop us off, thinking we could for sure ask one of the other members inteh are to drive us home afterthe appointment. Well, it turns out that none of the members in teh area were available, so after some thought, we decided to walk back to the chruch (probably a little over an hour walk). Well, on the walk back there were two sparrows flying a little too close to the road, and a car came really fast. one of the birds made it away, but the other bird got hit and fell to the road. He was still alive, but very scared and injured. He managed to fluter off to the side of the road right in front of us. He looked so sad and scared and he couldn't fly. We decided that we could take him back to the chruch and figure out what to do. We pulled out a couple tissues and Sister Wu picked him up, but less than a minute later, he stopped moving. Her died right in her hands.
We were both devastated! we tried to feel for a heartbeat, but there was none. He was gone. What was just a moment ago flying and happily singing with his fellow friend was now lifeless and empty. Sister Wu and I found a place off to the side of the road, dug a small hole to lay his little body in, said a prayer that he could return safely to heaven, and reverently burried him.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Mat 10:29-31)
"Remember the Worth of souls is great inthe sight of God." (D&C 18:10)
Every one of us is even more precious than that little sparrow. When we stumble, God is there to lift us up. We must not give up. We must not let fear or pain pull us away from our God, who loves us so much. I learned a great lesson that day. Every sould is great. Every sould is precious. No person is too small and insignificant to be noticed by God. God has sent us misisonaries to preach this good news to the world: God loves you! You are not alone! one day, when the savior comes again, all things chall be made right. All that is unfair will be made right. God loves you. He knows you. "Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:36).
on this easter weekend, I just want to offer my testimony of our savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives! I know that becasue of Him, we will all live again, and that we can return to Gods presence and have eternal happiness. I am so grateful for this knowledge.
I love you all and I hope that you can all ponder more sincerely about what a blessing it is to know the saviour. "Oh Sweet the joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!"
Sister Collyer

April 18, 2011

Dear Firends and Family,
Wow, time really does fly by. I can't believe another week has come and gone, and what a great week it had been! Sorry, oncwe again I still have not found my camera cord, so still no pictures, but thisngs are still pretty good!
I just cannot get over how many miracles we see here these last few weeks. It is just getting hard to keep up! This week we really saw some asewome miracles!
First off, we met again wiht a new member's little sister. Hu HuiNa's little Sister, Wen haini, is seriously great! She has a lot to oversome to join the church, but she is so impressed with her sister's change that she really wants to learn. Ever since we met her two weeks ago she had prayed every day and had really felt a HUGE difference! She came to chruch this week and it was really amazing! Her Sister, Hu huiha spoke in chruch and it was so toughing everyone was crying and Sister Wen was crying and it was just plain BEAUTIFUL! Talk about an answer to prayers! I have never seen something so fantastic the first time someone came to church.
Also, we met a woman this week named Lai yuanjing. She is AMAZING! we met with her and she is achristian, but since she moved to Taidong she has not found a chruch where she felt the spirit. The first time we met with her we invited her to be baptised and she said, "You know what happened when you asked me to be baptised just now? I felt the spirit lift me out of my chair. I know what you are teaching is true and I want to be baptized And I want you to meet my daughter." WOW!!!! I have never had such an amazing experience in my life! We met with her daughter two days later and they both agreed to be baptized next month. It truly is a testimony to me that some people are simply, "kept from the truth becasue they know not shere to find it." Thereare prepared people here in Taidong, that is for sure!
We also had a ton of people come to chruhc this week - eight in total. Wow! I really know that God is guiding the work. Know God is preparing us in every way to become the people he needs us to be. Last transfer, he was trying our patience in finding new investigators, this transfer he is trying our organizational skills because there are a lot of people to take care of. In the end, I am grateful it is God that is guiding the work. His hand is so evident in this work that I can't help but remember every day what a little role I myslef have. I an just one small piece of a huge puzzle that God is creating to bring about the salvation of souls. How grateful am I that I get to be even a small part of this!
Also, one other piece of happy news. My first companion here in Taidong - Sister Lin - suprised all of us here by visiting! She is so fantastic! She went home last februarym and it is so great to see her again and talk to her. It is amazing - I now can actually understand what she is saying when she speaks Chinese! She is seriously one of my favorite companions, so it is so good to see her again! I thought I might not get to see her before I left Taiwan, but she is here and I am so happy!
I love you all and I hope all is well!
Sister Collyer

April 11, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
I just can't explain how full of MIRACLES every day is here in Taidong! I love it here! I love my companion! I love the Members! I just love it all. Mostly, I think I just love being a missionary!
This week on Friday we had one of the members here go out with us all day and work and teach and it was absolutely awesome! Wang Yihui is going into the MTC nest week. Guess which mission she is going to? TAIWAN TAIPEI MISSION! Yep, she put in her papers in her college ward, which is over in the Taizhong mission boundries, so she is off to her home mission to serve the lord! She is already fantastic. WE saw a lot of miracles with her, and I am so grateful. Usually if we have an entire day of lessons set up, about 2 or three will stand us up, but on friday we had every single lesson meet with us and all of them are seriously fantastic! It was amazing! A MIRACLE! I am so grateful for Yihui's faith. She is going to be the best missionary in the Taipei mission!
Also, may I just say that conference was amazing! Wow, I learned so much and I loved it. And talk about hading God's hand guiding what happened - seriously our investigators and new members that came literally came to the perfect sessions to answer their prayers and questions! It was a miracle!
I especially liked Elder Christopherson and Elder Holland's talk in conference. I have really come to notice how much happier life is when we learn to take correction from those who are wiser than us - the most wise, of course, being our heavenly father. I know thta heavenly father has a plan for each of us and he is shaping us into the kind of person we need to be, but if we deny his guiding hand we wil never grow to be the person he needs us to become. When we receive correction, it is godd becasue it means that God cares enough about us to bother to correct us. This means a lot to me lately because my new companion is a native to taiwan, and I told her that she should always correct my Chinese if she hears me say somehting wrong. Well, these past two weeks I have really come to find out how bad my chinese really is!!! I can't spak two sentences without being corrected. I am so grateful and also a little sad that no one corrected me earlier. Imagine how much better I could have been if people had corrected me this much from the beginning! That is the same with spiritual guidance and correction. The earlier we learn to take correction from those more wise than us, the faster we will grow in faith and wisdom that the lord needs us to have. Imagine how much better we could have been if we learned these things earlier in life! Why have we wasted so much time?! It is simply becasue we are too prideful to take the lords correction. I learned a lot about this principle, and I am so excited to start applying what I ealrned from conference!
Also, I loved one thing that Elder Holland said: Conference is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. It is true that we will really hear the things we need to hear. If our soul needs comfort, we will hear comforting words. If we need to be corrected, God will tell us that too. In the end, it is up to us to take what we learned and apply it in our lives to make ourselves better. Are we willing to do it? (See Mark 5:3).
Also, I learned a lot about setting prayerful goals this week. We set a goal that we wanted to find five new people so teach this week, and by sunday night we were still short one and we had to go in for a meeting. WE prayed before we headed out for the meeting that we would be able to find someone tonight becasue it was our goal, and Heavenly Father Literally placed someone in the parking lot of the chruch for us! At first it was two little girls, so we talked to them and asked them where they live and if we could go visit their family later in the evening. They said yes. So we were in our meeting and it was about to finish when we saw their mother come to look for them in the parking lot. We immediately booked it out to talk to her, and when all was said and done, the two girls, the mom, and the mom's brother all met with us that night and agreed to hear more. WOW! Talk about MIRACLES! I know that Heavenl Father heard our prayers and becasue we set righteous goals He helped us achieve them. I am so grateful and humbled how God's hand is truly guiding the work.
Today we went up to Chulu cow ranch with one of the members - Sister Chen Guan Shiting and Wang Yihui. It was a lto of fun. We got to feed cow and goats and a cow even licked my hand. We have some good pictures, but unfortunatly I cannot find my camera cord so for now I cannot send them to you. Sorry!
I lov eyou all and hope all is well!
Sister Collyer

April 4, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
Wow, I don't even know what to say except that every day I love being a missionary more and more!!!! This week we have seen miracle stha tI never would have imagined!
first off, I just want to say that The mission president sent me the BEST sister missionary in the entire mission to be my companion, and I couldn't be more grateful! Every day is so full of happiness and excitement to go out and do the work, and because of it, every day is so full of miracles I just can't believe it! I absolutely love Sister Wu!
The members here are amazing! WE saw so many miracles and I know it is all becasue of the members faith. This week we got a ton of new people to teach because members introduced us to their friends and family and we are so excited about it! I am just so humbled that these members are so into missionary work!
This week we set a solid baptismal date with Zhong RongZhi for the end of this month and we really feel that she is going to make it! Also, we went to visit Sister Lan and She also was willing to set a baptismal date and she hopes her son can make it with her! Right here I just want to make a little interjection real fast - without the members we have NOTHING! Wang Ma went with us to go visit Sister Lan and it was PERFECT! Without Wang Ma there, I am sure Sister Lan wouldn't have been willing to set a date.
Then on Wednesday we had English class, and a lot of new people cam to class, and FIVE people that came were willing to learn more baout the gospel and set up time with us to meet and learn! Two of them are Zhang YingYing and Her aunt Sister Pan. We went and visited them on Saturday and YingYing is so amazing! She is 15 and loves to read the scriptures and leantr about Jesus and we taught her about the restoration and she knows it is true and wants to be baptised at the end of the month! Wow! Her aunt is great too - they both came to chruch yesterday and loved it!
Then this week we also met a wonderful woman named Su Jialing. WOW~!!! Talk about PREPARED! The missionaries met with her about three years ago but she was never baptized because her mother-in-law opposes, but she KNOWS the chruch is true! We asked her what she remembers from the previous misisonaries and she started telling us how she would read her children the Book of Mormon every night and how her favorite part is Lehi's dream and she knows that God really had prepared a straight path for us to return to his presence and she also wants to be baptized! WOW! Her biggest problem is Still her mother-in-law. She had a big challenge to overcome, but I know that she can do it. She really has faith!!! I love her! and her two children are pretty much the cutest children in the world!
i just can't express how grateful I am for the miracles of this week. I know it is becasue of the members and their help an dtheir efforst to help others come unto Christ. The members here just have TESTIMONY burning in their hearts and becasue they KNOW that this is true, they have a great desire to share it with others. I just love working here. I am home.
I read in Alma 45:1 this week and I was really touched. Alma says that the people, after they are delivered out of the hands of their enemies gave great thanks by fasting and worshiping the Lord. I read that on friday and I was so touched becasue I feel just like them! Every day we missionaries go out and we are at war with Satan to bring about the salvation of men. I just feel like this past week we had a huge victory over Satan! It is amazing! I feel like we were literally delievered out of his hands and saw miracles and I am so grateful it was FAST SUNDAY yesterday! I was so happy to fast and thank god for all that he has done for us this week. I love my Father in Heaven, and I know that he loves me.
I love you all and hope all is well! Don't forget to pray and read the scriptures - You too can see miracles!
Sister Collyer

March 28, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
So this had been a HUGE week of MIRACLES! The biggest miracle is that I AM STAYING IN TAIDONG!!!!! YESSSSS!!!!!!! I didn't dare pray for another move call becasue I felt it would be selfish of me, but here I am, the seventh move call in Taidong, and I couldn't be happier. Dear Sister Thiessen after only one short transfer already moved! She went over to Zhongli, and now I have myself a wonderful Sister Wu from Taizhong. I can tell we are going to get along just perfectly. She is so excited and happy to be doing the work of the Lord!
Another serious miracle that had probably changed me for good happened this week. One day I took my personal book of mormon out because I needed it that day. Well, we went to visit a member in the evening and then headed back to the church for a lesson, and when we got to the lesson, I realised my scriptures were gone. I thought for sure I left them at the members house, so I called her and they were no there. I was horrified. I prayed all that evening and in the morning that i would find them. I woke up early that morning because I couldn't sleep. I prayed again, and suddenly, I knew exactly where my scriptures were. They had fallen out of my basket on the side of a road we took last night. I knew exactly where becasue I SAW it. So when Sister Thiessen got up, I simply said, "They are on the Corner of Siwei Street and the dirt road. Lets go get them.
So we went, and sure enough, there they were, peacefully sitting on the side of the road. It had not rained that night, no one ran them over, no one picked them up, nothing bad happened at all. It was a miracle.
I truly know that God answers our prayers. I am just so happy that God heard the prayer of a little missionary in Taidong who lost her scriptures. I know it is because I have tried do hard to werve a worthy mission that we have had this miracle. I know that obedience truly brings blessings, and God really does care about the things we care about. It may seem like a small thing to some, but it was a big thing to me. I am so, so grateful this week for this answer to a simple prayer.
Also, we had seven people come to chruch this week! It was a huge miracle. and church was SOOOOO good! The temple president and his wife came down and spoke to us and it was exactly what our investigators needed to hear. I have never felt so grateful in my life than I have this week!
Sister Lan and her son came to chruch. They are a member referral and they really want the gospel to help them overcome the difficulties they have recently experienced in life. They LOVED chruch! Then also Sister Oh and Brother Lin came even though they were sick, which is seriously a MIRACLE in Taiwan - their nose starts to sniffle and they are bed ridden for a week, but not Good old Sister Oh! And then there was Zhong RongZhi and Tammy and Hong Yufen. They are all just fantastic. I am so grateful to have met them, and also so grateful that chruch was such a great experience.
And then today was seriously the BEST P-day ever! My companion had to leave early in the morning, so I got to be companions with our member Sister Hou all day. She had the cutest little children, and we just read scriptures together and played games and sang songs and ate and I have never been happier in my life. Sister hou is my angel.
Anyways, my new companion, Sister Wu really seems fantastic. She is just already so fun-loving and excited to be here. Of course she misses her old area, but that she is still great. Also, she was trained by my only other Taiwanese comapion, Sister Lin, who I just LOVE, so all things are going to be fantastic, I am sure!
I love you all and hope all is well!
Sister Collyer

March 22, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
This week was FANTASTIC! Once again, we spent the majority of the week out of our area, but we still saw miracles. On thursday I had to attend a meeting in Taibei, and since it takes too long to get there we had to head up starting Wednesday afternoon. We made it to Hualian Wednesday night and then my companion stayed with the sisters there while I went up to Taibei for a special training meeting and it was AWESOME!!!
We focused on how to become better missionaries through receiving revelation. we also discussed how best to teach our investigators to learn by the spirit and recognize the spirit. I especially liked one set of Zone leaders encouraged us to teach our investigators about the spirut at the very beginning of the lesson, and then tell them to watch out for those feelings as they learn. Another set of missionaries also talked about the power

of a good, bold commitment invitation. I have notices that as a missionary I could really improve on this point. There is a huge difference between "Do you think you can come to chruch this week?" and "Will you attend chruch with us this Sunday?" I really need to work on my invitations, because any invitation is an invitation to come to Christ, ands that is SUPER important!
We got back to Taidong on Friday and then went on companion exchanges. I got to work with Sister Lin. I really admire Sister Lin. She moved in to Hualian at the same time as I moved to Taidong, so most of my mission I have been with her. She is a really great missionary, a really hard worker, and really diligent in following the promptings of the spirit. We went from an evening of canceled lessons to having two new investigators. SHe also helped a lot with a couple of new members and progressing investigators. I just am so grateful for her example and that she was able to help out so much. I love her!
On Saturday we saw a lot of miracles too. We taught a lesson to a couple of college students and they REALLY liked it a lot. There is Sister Oh and Brother Lin. They are really special. We
asked them, if this is true, do you think it is important? Why? Sister Oh Said herself, "WEll, if God really established his church through Joseph Smith, then every other chruch is false. This is SUPER improtant!" YESSSS!!!!! EXACTLY! If our message is true, this chruch really is the only true and living chruch that has Gods full truth on the whole earth. That is why receiving a personal witness from the Holy Ghost about these things is so important. When you know by the Holy Ghost that these things are true, everything else falls int
o place.
Then, right after we left their lesson, I ran into a person on the street and said, "WE are missionaries sharing a message about Jesus. Do you have 20 minutes right now that we can sit down with you and share our message?" Well, she said YES! WE sat down and she is great. Sister Chen is her name and she is searching for a chruch and a true religion right now. How perfect is that?
I am so grateful for God's guidance becasue it really has felt lately like we have been beating against a brick wall trying to find solid people to teach, and this weekend it finally came through. I know that God is leading the work, and it we continue in diligence her really will lead us to prepared people, or lead prepared people to us. I am so grateful and humbled to see God's miracles!
Also, we had FIVE people come to chruch yesterday, and they all really liked it! It was a great miracle and I am so grateful to our branch who helped and welcomed our new friends so much. The branch members are the key to everything in the work.
I love you all and I hope all is well!
THe pictures I think are really funny. One is the Elders sleeping on the train up to Taibei. THe one wiht the facemask is Elder You and the one across the isle with the coat over his head is Elder Sessions. I just thought it was hilarious!
And this is sister Dowdle. She was in the MTC one before me, and it has been over eight months since I have seen her! She was at the meeting in Taipei too.
Sister Collyer

March 14, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,
18 months is too short!!! It drives me crazy how fast time flies by. I just can't seem to get a handle on it - it just floats away and before you know it you have already been serving the Lord for over a year and three months and everyone is asking you shen you are going home and you have to face the fact that it is not that long before the inevitable happens and it is going to be the hardest day of my life and everyone wants to talk about it but I don't!!!! That is all. ;) I just love being a missionary and I just can't imagine what my life will be like when my mission ends. I just feel like I have meaning and purpose and even though sometimes it is hard, I just love every minute of it!
This week was AMAZING!!!! We had President Perkins of the 1st Quarum of the Seventy come and have zone conference with us and it was great. WE talked all about faith and I learned so much. I have never been so impressed that Faith is truly a choice, and when we simply choose to believe we will see miracles. Every time Christ performs some miracle he always says, "According to your faith, be thou healed." It really strikes me that no power in the world can heal us or touch us if we do not have the faith that God is there. faith, Faith, FAITH! That is all it takes!
Also, a really special experience - President Perkins did interviews with six missionaries in the Zone, and out of all of the missionaries in the zone, I was one of the missionaries that got to be interviewed. It was a really special experience. I can testify that He is a Special Witness of Christ. I know that as we look to the chruch leaders - especially those we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators - we will not be lead astray. This is really a unique message we share with people - we have living prophets! WE have the authority of God on earth today to lead and direct his church. And the greatest part is we have PROOF that what we say is true! This proof is a record that God had given us to help us come to know his truth. It is called the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. You can hold it in your hands. You can study it. Through sincere prayer you can know for yourself it is a true book and truly testifies of a living God, our savior Jesus Christ, and living prophets. I love sharing this message!
I especially learned a lot this week. We had Stake conference in Hualian on Sunday and I really learned a lot. President Perkins also came to that and it was really good. He talked to the branches about unity and the sidtructive power of contention, and the healing power of the gospel. He told the story of a family that was torn apart because the father had done some bad things. He and his wife were seperated and the kids wew living wiht the wife. After several years of living apart and several months of not communicating, the father met the missionaries and started hearing the gospel. Two weeks later his sife called. She said she needed his permission to be baptized into a chruch. He said, 'Which church?" She said, "The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." He said, "Hey, I am hearing the gospel too!"
He gave his permission. He also started preparing for baptism. They lived inthe same ward, but still did not associate with eachother, but the fater attended his wife and childrens baptism. Some time later, they also attended his baptism. Over time, they even started sitting next to eachother in church. Finally, the wife and children moved back in withthe husband and they were sealed as a family in teh temple for time and all eternity.
The gospel of Jesus Christ really can heal all wounds. I know that this is true. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I love the gospel and I love the people here in Taiwan and I love being a missionary!
This week also Sister Sun came to Hualian with us and she seemed to really like it. WE also met some new friends that are great. There is a Sister Lin that is really looking for the truth. Her friend Sister Hou introduces us to her and she is really GREAT!!!!! I am so excited to see how things go.
I lov eyou all and hope all is well!
Sister Collyer

March 8, 2011

Dear friends and Family,

Nihao!! How is life onthe other side of the world?! I hope it is great, becasue It is great over here too!
It is raining today, but hey, living on a tropical island you have to expect it, right? :) I don't mind the rain, it makes me feel like really hard core going out and talking to people on their scooters even though the weather is bad. Rain or shine, the gospel is still true!!!

This past week was a good one. on last monday we went to the family track meet in Yuli and it was awesome. I got to run the 3K, which was a lot of fun, but that day
it conveniently decided to be really hot, and all of us poor white skinned missionaries got sunburned and on thursday our skin on our faces started to peel and it was hilarious because every singel one of us looked really funny! Life is great.

This week we also saw a miracle. We met a woman that came and asked if she could meet with us! Um, I think the answer would be yes. She lives relatively close to the chapel and has always wanted to come in but has never been invited but one say we were outside the chapel and she saw us and wanted to talk and she came to chruch on sunday! She is Sister Sun. She is great. What a miracle!
Also, we went to Hualian on Exchanges this past week and it is always great there. I sometimes forget that the rest of Taiwan is not like Taidong...There are actually people outside in other places! REally! Taidong is just my little glorious hicktown with rice fields and the most humble people in the world, and the rest of taiwan is crazy busy! I tis always fun to go and spread the gospel on busy street corners. And Sister Lin and Sister Li in Hualian are GREAT! I learned so much from them!
Well, I hope all is well! I lov eyou all!
Sister Collyer