Sunday, May 24, 2015

My new companion, rain, finished with training, God's influence, talk with Him personally, nowhere to turn but up

My new companion!  So much rain this week! 
25 May 2015
Qishan, Taiwan

My latest purchase! The Meinong umbrellas are absolutely gorgeous
and completely hand-made and hand painted. 

My new companion: Sister Price
It was a fun week! 

First full week with Sister Price... so it's been fun getting to know her and working together. She's from Seattle, Washington, and is going to study nursing when she goes home (in 8 weeks!) It's her first time during her whole mission being this far South and in a rural area. 

So it's a new experience for her but she really likes it in Qishan. And she also keeps commenting "Wow, they really do love bananas in Qishan." Yes we do! 

Banana everything! So delicious. 

She says it's the quirkiest ward she's been in her entire mission. Which reminds me of an active member visit on Friday with You Jiemei. Many funny things happened.... It didn't phase me whatsoever, because that's so You Jiemei. But Sister Price's reaction made me realize how truly funny this ward is. I really love the members! 

I fell in love with the birds and
knew I had to have one with a bird on it...
It rained this entire week! It was so much fun! The Taiwanese do not like the rain - they're sort of scared of it and think it's just a huge inconvenience. So hardly anyone was outside this whole week. And when it's a rainy day, it's hilarious, because it turns into this huge sea of people in gigantic bright yellow ponchos. And yes, needless to say, we rocked the ponchos :P 

Exciting News
Another exciting piece of news: I'm officially done with my training time! 

So starting tomorrow we'll leave the door at 10:30 which will be super weird.  Going through training twice [once in Idaho and once in Mandarin in Taiwan], my entire mission so far, we've always left at 12:30. So we will have a lot more time in the day now.

Prayer: God's influence in our lives
This week I've been thinking about prayer.  It really is a special privilege to be able to witness people saying their first prayer even--something unique to serving in Taiwan.  It's wonderful to see how sincere they are and how nervous they are to try praying.

It causes me to think more deeply about prayer and how I can make it more meaningful even though it's something I've been raised to do and have done since a young child. 

I love the promises stated in Preach My Gospel and have found they really are true: as we pray often, we will realize God's influence in our lives, we will feel closer to Him, we will feel forgiven, we will make better decisions, and have increased strength to resist temptation. 

Prayer: talk with Him personally
Elder Richard G. Scott, a current apostle,  said:

"Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul.

Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father.

Actually, because He knows how desperately we need his guidance, He commands, "Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private."

It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him.

We need no appointment.

Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed.

It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help.

He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer."

Nowhere to turn but up
Missions are a really special time for several reasons. One of the reasons we grow so much is because we cut out all distractions. 

Normally when we have a bad day or something stresses us out, we could listen to music, go for a drive, watch a TV show, go swim, or whatever it might be to clear our mind. But that isn't an option anymore. 

Everything around us is removed and all the normal places we turn to are gone now. So we have nowhere to turn but up. 

It really is the better method though! Turning to Heavenly Father has really helped bring me more peace.  It's such a blessing that we can talk to Him just as we would to our own father.

Love you all!!!

Sister Sinclaire Hancock

72 hour emergency kits
Spelling by my cute English students

Lunch at Gaoxiong Zone Conference (May 14, 2015) 
Official photo of our Gaoxiong East and West Zones (May 14, 2015)
(2nd row, center)

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