Friday, August 28, 2015

32, new companion, luau, 6 months ago, the Chinese comes, I love, line upon line

Saying goodbye today to Sister Eo at the train station--she's on her way to the south
August 29, 2015
Dakeng, Taiwan

Move call!  Our mission got 32 new missionaries this week! 

That's the biggest group they've ever had, and it means it's also the youngest our mission has ever been. 

Me and Sister Eo's last night together
New companion
So our move call got moved to today, and I have a new companion! I'm still in DaKeng, my second area, starting my 3rd move call here. 

Playing chubby bunny our last night together
Our cute 9-year old investigator
My new companion's name is Sister Howard, and she's from Virginia. It's fun having a companion from America again because it's so fun using English to speak to each other and it's easy to get to know each other really fast. 

I'm excited for companion #8. Also I haven't had a companion from Utah yet, which is pretty rare, so my streak is still going! 

She just finished training, so she's only been on island for 12 weeks which means I'll be breaking again. It's going to be a fun transfer. 

I can feel the miracles coming!

It was a really fun week! 

On Wednesday, we had our English party. We had a luau theme, so we played limbo, taught them the haka [dance], and made a huge conga line. We ran all around the church and it was hilarious to see their reaction to all the dancing. 

We made dessert nachos which were delicious! 

We sliced up tons of apples, then drizzled chocolate sauce and sweetened condensed milk on top, then crushed oreos and candy bars over them. The students loved them! 

Dan Jones activity
Last night, we were invited to help out with the Dan Jones activity which I was so excited about! 

Dan Jones was one of the earliest and most famous missionaries for our church, known for how bold he was and preaching in front of huge groups of people. 

So to get the new missionaries excited, and to throw them right into the work, we take them to the busiest spot in Taizhong and have them stand on a stool holding a Book of Mormon, and yell out their testimonies, in Chinese of course, to all of Taiwan. 

It's super fun because all of the older missionaries cheer and clap for them and everyone passing by is really curious and stops to listen. 

It's hilarious to see how nervous some of them are too. It was especially poignant for me last night, because I was able to see 2 elders who were in my district in the MTC, which is what I consider the family of my mission.

RC [recent convert] Vickie
6 months ago to the day 
And while talking to them, I discovered that exactly 6 months ago to the day, it was us who was on the stools yelling our testimonies. 

But there we were, as the "old" and "experienced" missionaries, guiding the new missionaries around and helping them hand out Book of Mormons. 

It was a humbling moment to me to be on the other side of things, to be cheering on the new babies and helping welcome them to Taiwan. I didn't feel like I belonged, because I still feel like I'm a young missionary! 

But it was awesome to see how far we've all come. It's hard to notice how much we've progressed because it's gradual, and it comes slowly day by day.

But it hit me when I saw that the new missionary I was leading around couldn't understand anything they were saying, and every time a Taiwanese person asked her a question, she had to look at me to translate for her. 

Reunited at Dan Jones experience!
The Chinese comes
It hit me even harder when I realized I could carry a comfortable conversation with them, while they were trying hard not to laugh at her bearing her testimony because they could only make out 2 or 3 words of it. 

It's true like everyone says, the Chinese comes. 

It's awesome seeing how fast everyone grows and I'm so excited our mission has so many new missionaries! They have so much fire and even though the Taiwanese all laughed at them, I was very impressed at how good their Chinese was!

Line upon line
It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures:
"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." -2 Nephi 28:30
I miss Vickie! :( She's gone again
 this week on family vacation to Malaysia
I love...
I love being a missionary and I'm so grateful I'm able to serve in Taiwan. I love being challenged everyday by Chinese and feel that it's such a miracle I'm able to communicate with God's children in this part of the world at all. 

Like all things in life, I've found that we do develop our Chinese "line upon line", and if we're willing to be humble and keep working hard every day of our missions, even when the language becomes easier, that we'll be blessed to keep improving our skills. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! 

Sister Hancock

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