Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sister Biancardi, "this is my work", hike and dumplings, strength

My trainer and companion, Sister Biancardi
9 March 2015

An excerpt from Mission President Blickenstaff's letter last week to all of the Taiwan Taichung missionaries:

"....Our prayers were answered this past week as we welcomed 18 new missionaries who had been serving in various other missions while awaiting their Taiwan visas. They are an outstanding group and have definitely added faith and energy to our mission. We look forward to helping them settle in and learn what it means to be a Taiwan Taichung Missionary....

I am grateful for each of you. I appreciate who you are and who you are becoming. I am pleased with your desire to serve and give of yourselves. You are faithful and dedicated...."

Gaoxiong East and West Zones
(Can you find me?)
Singing the mission song
Sister missionaries meeting with Sister Blickenstaff
Dear loved ones,

I love you so much!  How is your week going? Here's news from me.

Sister Biancardi
My trainer/companion is from Oregon and she did a year and a half at BYU before her mission. She's been out a year now and has been in Qishan since November. It's her first time training! She's very patient with me and has a good balance between pushing me and throwing me into contacting situations on my own, while also helping me and making it less scary. She's shorter than me! First companion who's shorter than me :) and we both fit right in with the people here.

"This is my work"
At training, President Blickenstaff shared 2 scriptures from the Book of Mormon about God saying "this is my work".  He bore testimony about how it truly is God's work, and we cannot do it on our own.

I really believe that! This work is not ours and we will be most successful when we rely on Heavenly Father and bring the Spirit into the equation. It's our privilege to be a part of it.

Qishan hike
Hike and dumplings
This week one highlight was our ward activity. We met at the Relief Society president's house and went on a hike together. It was so beautiful!

It was hilarious because this old lady in our ward kept trying to push me all the way up the mountain because she thought it was helping. She said it was helping her too, so there was this chain of about 5 old ladies all pushing each other up the mountain in a little train.

Homemade dumplings over a campfire

Afterwards, there was a ton of food as there always is. At every activity, everyone brings food.

And lots of it!

And then they always send us home with all the leftovers. We made dumplings over a camp fire and they were delicious.

They also had matching visors for everyone. So Sister Biancardi and I had a fun time wearing them in as many ways as possible that we could come up with :)

So many ways to wear visors
Strength such as is not known among men
This week I've enjoyed thinking about a scripture in D&C 24:12
"And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men". 
We are told to talk with everyone! I feel like contacting and tracting sort of have a bad reputation. Whenever I heard these terms before my mission, I sort of got the vibe that missionaries didn't enjoy it and that they were really hard.

But it turns out it's super fun! It's the energizing part. I learned to love contacting during my time in Idaho because, really, it's just talking to people. What's not fun about getting to know new people?

It's also a fun challenge because you're forced to get creative about it and think of new ways to mix it up and interest people.

Being in Taiwan, it's definitely different because my vocabulary is still very limited right now. So I usually stick to the boring basic things that I know how to say right now, but I'm excited to learn more and be able to catch people's attention :)

 I love this scripture because it tells us to jump right in! That's how it works. I can't wait until I'm fluent to then have courage to talk to people, or else I would never become fluent. Even though it can be a bit uncomfortable at times, I've really learned to make it fun and to just laugh it off when people might be rude or feel awkward with us.

Because we bike everywhere, there are tons of opportunities to talk to people! At every red light, we have about 30 seconds to try and talk to someone about the Gospel and try to set up a time to meet with them to share more.

The promise is amazing that if we really do try our best to talk with everyone that we will be given "strength such as is not known among men." I'm testing that promise! 

And it's true. Every time I feel like I should talk to someone even if I don't know what I'll say, somehow my mouth is always filled.

Love you!
Sister Hancock

1 comment:

  1. I get to be a missionary right along with you these days, Sinclaire - my new office mate at work, Morgan, has been asking me all about the gospel, including where the meetinghouse is that they would attend (Half Moon Bay), what Primary is like (her kids are 6 and 7), and her daughter wanted to know if I was going to be her Sunday School teacher, haha! Some great discussions on Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, eternal families, strengthening youth, tithing and debt, etc. I was able to give her the booklets The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Atonement of Jesus Christ, For the Strength of Youth, One for the Money, and a booklet talk by Mary Ellen Edmunds (All the Time You Need). It has been such a cool experience - I've never handed out materials before, but I was so happy that I had them in my home to share. :) I'll have to show her your blog soon, I think her daughter Sydney would be fascinated to see pictures of you in the mission field! So glad you are enjoying Taiwan so far - the dumplings on the hike reminded me of Girls Camp, ha! Love you sweet Fake Daughter!! Fake Mom/Wintergreen