Monday, September 21, 2015

new missionaries, second time, sacrifice, broken heart, offer ourselves, stinky tofu

Monday, September 21, 2015
Dakeng, Taiwan


It was a quick week! 

New missionaries
We had exchanges on Monday and it was fun serving with Sister Oakeson. She is still in training so I got to go through "12 weeks" in the morning for study time and train her which was really fun because I hadn't looked at "12 weeks" for a long time. I'm always so impressed by new missionaries. They have so much faith and don't get discouraged by anything. They don't really understand a ton of Chinese still and especially not the subtleties. So a lot of times they don't realize that someone is rejecting us and they're really happy. So I just go with it and don't really tell them. But her Chinese was really good so I didn't feel like she was still in training at all.

Exchanges with Sister Oakeson!
Second time
On Wednesday, we went to the temple! It was my second time going to the Taipei temple and it was a great experience :) It's a relief to see how everything is the same as it was when I went to the temple in Oakland, California. It's a relief because we can let our guards down for a bit and don't have to worry about what to do or the Chinese, and because we can see the Church truly is the same no matter where you are in the world! 

Taipei Temple:  House of the Lord
In preparation for the temple, I loved studying about sacrifice. The temple is full of altars to represent our sacrifice and willingness to follow and serve God to the best of our abilities. So I wanted to focus on understanding this part better. We read about animal sacrifice in the scriptures, an ancient symbol of God sacrificing His Son, a sign of the Atonement which Jesus Christ would come to Earth to perform. After Christ performs the Atonement, we learn in the Book of Mormon that we no longer need to perform animal sacrifices, that we instead can offer up a "broken heart and a contrite spirit." This symbolizes the Savior's sacrifice of Himself. 

Made brownies to celebrate our Emily's baptism!
She's officially not a recent convert anymore, she turned 1!

Broken Heart
I've enjoyed studying Jesus the Christ on my mission because it's the most "gaoji" book we're allowed to read as missionaries. There are 4 books that we're allowed to study along with the scriptures and church magazines and most are pretty simple because what we teach everyday as missionaries is simple doctrine, so we focus on the basics. 

But I love reading Jesus the Christ because it forces you to read closely, analyze, think deeply and it keeps my English skills sharp. In Jesus the Christ, the author argues that Jesus literally died of a broken heart. Growing up, I had learned in Sunday School or somewhere about how cruel the crucifixion process was and that it was designed to keep you alive for a few days, as a form of torture so that you wouldn't die from mortal wounds, but from internal causes as a result of you trying to keep your body hanging up by exerting pressure on your feet, etc. Basically I had never looked into it that deeply but only understood that when people were crucified, they died because of internal causes. 

James E. Talmage goes into depth and provides evidence that Jesus Christ literally died of a broken heart for us: 
"The strong, loud utterance, immediately following which He bowed His head and 'gave up the ghost,' when considered in connection with other recorded details, points to a physical rupture of the heart as the direct cause of death."
Psalm 69:20-21 reads
Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Offer ourselves
I love studying Christ's Atonement because the more and more I learn, the more I realize how completely perfect His sacrifice was for us. Our job, then, is to offer ourselves, our own broken hearts as a personal sacrifice. Elder Maxwell suggests 
"Real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed!" 
I'm grateful for the experience of a serving a mission to learn about Heavenly Father and Christ's sacrifice for me and what more I can do to honor those sacrifices. 

Have a wonderful week!

Sister Hancock

So proud of my companion for trying....

stinky tofu :)

The cooking lessons continue:  for Sunday lunch
Sister Howard learned how to make pasta with avocado sauce

Banana bread we made for Family Home Evening

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