Monday, April 29, 2013


Well, after a very long flight to Michigan, Japan and then to Taiwan, we made it to the mission home at midnight!!! We were all so exhausted but its exciting to be here. The next morning, we had to go running at 6:30 am to the Shanghai Sheck building. So no sleeping in. We were all dripping within like 5 minutes because of the humidity. It wasnt even a far run, but i was soaked. nasty. haha. Then we had breakfast at the Mission President's home and his wife made pancakes. We had orientation all day. Then on Friday morning, we had to wake up even earlier to go to the place where Taiwan was dedicated for missionary work. It is right by the Grand Hotel. We read the dedicatory prayer outside and it was beautiful. You can definitely feel the spirit outside. We came back to the mission home and ate breakfast and packed up our things and went to the transfer meeting. This is where all the missionaries who are getting transferred get assigned to their new companions and areas. It is kinda like a game show where they announce who your companion is and the area you will be serving. Lots of fun. I saw my friend Evan there too! It was so good to see him. He is Zone Leader in Taoyuan. Such a great missionary. Anyways, they made all the new missionaries introduce themselves to everyone in chinese then they show a picture of our trainers on the big screen and announce our areas. My area is Ji'an in Hualien! My trainer is Sister Evans from Illinois. Ji'an is on the east coast half way down to Taidong. My MTC comp. got called to Taidong. It is so pretty here. We are right next to the beach. We took a 3.5 hour train ride with ALL my luggage down to Hualien. so long. We had weekly planning on the train for 3 hours and i felt so car sick because i cant write when im in a moving object. So i was a little nauseous but i made it to Ji'an. There are 3 sets of missionaries in our district. we are in the Ji'an branch. The first few days where a little overwhelming and i had not a clue what was going on and i was also low on sleep and still am. We woke up at 5 AM today to go email...i guess thats what they do here. But i love teaching real people. Lots of people are really nice and will listen to your message, even though they won't accept it. And lots of people say they believe God exists, which is cool. We have about 8 progressing investigators. I meet the neatest people when we go knocking on doors. We will have prayers right on the streets with them if they let us. They always feel awkward to say the prayer at the end of our mini lesson but they say they feel happy when they do it. 
Now, i fear for my life everytime i get on a bike here!!!! its so scary! im just dumb and cant ride a bike i guess. It scares me everytime a car drives right next to me. Hopefully ill get used to it here. my bike is coming today, so ive been using a sister who went home's bike. Actually its been having break problems so my companion let me ride her bike and she rode the other one. anyways, i think id rather walk everywhere then ride my bike....well i guess just in high traffic times. so scary though. really. ahh. 
Food. I love the mangoes here! The first night i got here, i asked if i needed to get food for the next morning, and my comp said they really didnt have any food at home. So i got some fruit apples, bananas, oranges, and mangoes. yum. the first night i was here, we didnt eat dinner until 9pm. dont really know why, we were wandering everywhere to find a place that had rice and stir fry stuff like vegetables. Lots of places around here just has noodles and no vegetables. So we finally found a place and i got my favorite vegetable!!!! yes i was so happy because i was starving since i only had time to eat a granola bar for lunch that day. Alma, those Kind bars have been saving me these past few days. Then on Saturday for lunch, we got baozhi to eat. i got a veggie one and i got a mantou. so yummy. Ive eaten some mixed vegetables with rice and i love eating real rice again. no more MTC food. Today i cant wait to go shopping for food. we dont have any food at our apartment so breakfast has been rough. haha. Last night, we had someone invite us over for dinner which i was grateful for because it was sunday and we had no food. Today, i want to find a place where they have vegetarian potstickers and dumplings. My companion doesnt really know of that many places to eat around here. we never really have time to eat, so its always a grab and go. and i dont like going to 7/11 to eat because its all the nasty processed foods and meat. 
Yesterday i had to bear my testimony in Church. The church building is SO new and pretty and huge. Everyone thought i spoke fluently until i went up there and warned them that i didnt. They think im a native or understand everything they are saying. opps....surprise, im not! haha. but the members here are so nice. its a small branch. i loved getting to know people even though everyone has the same last name, Everyone has like one of five names. its hard to remember who is who. We also got to meet with recent converts after church and teach them a little lesson. we had a fireside last night on temples and only a few people came. The missionaries sang "i love to see the temple". One of our investigators came though so that was good. Im still trying to remember who all our investigators are. There are so many of them, i cant keep track. We have about like 15 investigators but not all are progressing. If everything goes as planned, we are supposed to have 6 baptisms in June. I have faith that that will happen. 
Oh and our apartment has 4 sisters living in it. the other two sisters are in the Hualien branch and are in a different district. One of the sisters is a native. she is hilarious. really, so funny. our apartment is considered nicer than most. the kitchen is tiny but the apartment is pretty roomy. Just dirty though. i want to clean it today. im just a clean freak i guess. it grosses me out sometimes. 
Anyways, i love it here in taiwan. still adjusting to how things work. All the new missionaries get this language book called Phase 1. It has all the lessons in pinyin, english, and characters. We have to pass a ton of things off and memorize tons of phrases and grammar stuff. i really want to finish it all by the end of my training which is 2 transfers. there are 3 phases. I hope i can make my goal. it seems kind of overwhelming. We don't learn characters until phase 3 but i'm starting to recognize a few characters. My mission president is awesome. i love him. I'm so grateful to be in Ji'an. I know I'm here for a special reason. Missionary work isnt easy but it's so rewarding. I love seeing people so interested in the Gospel. I cant wait to see more miracles here. I love you all and it was so good to talk to you on the phone. Cant wait to SKYPE on mothers day!! :) Alma, remind me of when i should skype. i forgot what you said about that. hope everything is going well at home. 
OH!!!! and my mission president asked me if i had family here. I said yes and he told me he doesn't want me visiting family. So i guess i cant see Xiao Gu Gu or anyone, unless i see them on the streets. i can email them though. He doesnt want me having lunch with them because there are a lot of native missionaries who have family here but cant see them. anyways, tell xiao gu gu that. But she can send me things if she wants. 
Okay got to go, ill send some pictures home if it works. Wo ai nimen!
Sister Chao

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

LAST week at the MTC!! Holla!

Ni hao!!!
Okay so let's just say I am BEYOND excited to go to taiwan!!! One week from today! So send any packages today. Mom and dad, I got your package. the bread was still good and the sisters in my district loved them. Xiexie! I got the oils from Sister teng. I will be mailing the diffuser back this week...I might be mailing it to Alma and Rachel's...because mom wont be home to check the mail and dad is gone. Hopefully my suitcases are not over 50lbs!! Alma, will they have dictionaries that have pinyin in them and english in taiwan?? I need a pocket one for my first week so i dont feel so lost in words. but maybe ill just get one out there. oh and Happy Birthday Keely!!!! Okay so here are my TRAVEL PLANS!!! We are flying Delta Airlines all the way to Taiwan. Weird huh? I have to report to the MTC travel office at 4AM on Tuesday the 23rd! so early!
Flight 1950
Leaving: SLC at 7:15AM
Arrive: Detroit Metro, MI at 12:46 PM
Leaving: Detroit at 3:25PM
Arrive: Taipei, Taiwan at 9:25PM on april 24th
So I will be calling somewhere inbetween 1 pm and 3pm detroit time...hopefully by at least 1:30pm because mom leaves for work and I want to talk to her. So if it is a 3 hour time difference, I will be calling around 10:30AM california time maybe??? can the kids skip school? i really want to talk to them. I have a calling card. I will be calling alma's phone. so pick up! :) have everyone at our house...then i can talk to gugu, pingshang, and yeye too. If i have time, I'll call Aborn's cell after and veronica. sound good? any comments, dear elder me this week! I dont think I will be checking my email until my next pday in like in 2 weeks.
I only have a few minutes left to email, time flies when i email!! and now i can email friends. Did you post on my FB and the cousins page that i can email them? Problem is, they need to email me first because I dont have anyone's email. so tell clint and tracy to email me...i got a letter from tracy. I will be writing her back before i leave. and dear elders work differently when i get to taiwan. you have to pay. so let them know.
This week was rough but it was also really good. Gerald Lund came and spoke on revelation which was cool. An area of the seventy (of Taiwan) came to visit. He knows dad. His name is Juan, Jui Chang. He came to our alpine house for the doterra meeting. Small word. All the chinese people here to doterra. weird. Oh and funny experience at the temple...this old man asked if i was going back to my home country to serve. haha.
So this week, one of our investigators told us she had a chastity problem a few days after our lesson on it. I knew exactly what I wanted to tell her in english and how to help her but i just couldn't fully express myself to her in Chinese. It was so frustrating because I wanted to help her so bad and my companion didnt know how to tell her either. So i was trying my best, but coming out of that lesson i felt like i had failed. The only thing i wanted to do was help her and i thought i didn't do my job. I just couldnt say what i wanted to say to her. it was SO frustrating. Anyways, then Bro. Liu, an AMAZING teacher/zone resource, talked to me and my companion later and asked us what was wrong. He helped us through it and gave us some advice. Then our next lesson with her, we knew exactly how to address her problem and it was probably one of the best lessons we've ever had. It was great!!! She really understood our message and wanted to repent. I love how HF gives us challenges to try our faith and help us grow. He will never leave you in the dust though! Also, my teacher bro. seibert coached for one of the coaching sessions and invited me to really use the spirit and rely on the spirit when i teach. The next day, we had our last TRC and we taught this couple, mom and her highschool aged son. He didnt seem too happy to be there. They are from Taiwan. Anyways, we asked him a question about how he receives revelation or answers to his prayers. He said that he doesnt know whether his thoughts are his own or coming from God or coming from Satan. His mom was trying to tell him all these things, and then a scripture came to my mind in Moroni 7:12-13!! I'm no scriptorian and this was definitely the spirit telling me this. I knew exactly what scripture to share with him. It was so cool to see the spirit witness things to me at the very moment I needed it. I love that promise in D&C 84? or something like that. i cant remember. but the spirit will reveal to you what you should say at that very moment!!! so awesome! and i know that is true!! It was the best feeling ever because I could help that teenage boy. So that was a really great TRC experience. I hope i will have more experiences like this out in the field. I know that when i rely on the spirit, he will do great things! I need to act on the promptings i receive. so cool.
Anyways, the next time i email will be in taiwan probably!! Can't wait to talk to you all. Dear elder me this week!!! if you need to send stuff, send it now. love you and cant wait to get out there!!! Dad, my chinese is improving but still not very fluent. oh well....i think being in taiwan will help me pick it up faster. man man lai. Wo ai nimen!! have a fun trip dad!!! too bad you can't talk to me! tell the kids i say hi! give mia a kiss for me. and maybe ill see kira in taiwan!

Sister Chao

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

TWO more weeks!!!!

Ni Hao!!
Can you believe it, exactly TWO more weeks until I leave for Taiwan! Yay! I've just got to endure to the end of the MTC. If you want to send me anything, send it soon! I can't wait and we get our travel plans this Thursday. They say that normally they dont do layovers in San Fran. It will probably be in L.A. But I will let you know the layovers and what time they will be because I will be able to call home at the airport. So since dad will be in China, I won't be able to talk to him on the phone. Alma, I will be calling your phone most likely. Can you go over to Mom and dad's house so i can talk to mom and yeye too? Hopefully the kids can miss a little bit of school?!! This will be the only time i get to talk to them since they will be gone for the holidays. Also, what phone number will I call? I feel like you have a million numbers. Let me know. Can't wait to talk to you all!!!!! :) The MTC really is a great place. I love how strong the Spirit is here and all the teachers are really inspiring. However, I can't wait to go out into the field. I know it definitely won't be easy and that I will have a lot more challenges ahead of me, but I will actually get to teach real people and I'm so excited!
So last Tuesday for Devotional, Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the Seventy came and spoke. I LOVED his talk! It was on enduring to the end and it was probably one of my favorite talks! He talked about how in Preach My Gospel (PMG) on page 3 it says the the most important of the Lord's work is done in the HOME. It is within the walls of your own home. So why are we on missions if that is the most important work? In the home, we testify of Jesus Christ, we teach the importance of keeping the commandments. I liked how he said that there was a reason why Nephi went to Jerusalem to get the plates BEFORE he went to Jerusalem to find a wife. H.F. wants you to have the most maturity and strong foundation of the Gospel BEFORE the home! I really liked that analogy. This mission experience will help us learn about enduring to the end. The lessons learned will help us better do the most important work of the Lord in the home. If you endured to the end on the mission, you will come home PREPARED to endure to the end in this life. We can then teach our children how to endure to the end. We shouldn't worry about adjusting after the mission because we won't need to. You need to continue focusing on enduring to the end. He said that your parents, converts, future spouse, and H.F. will care if you endure to the end. Use your mission to help you improve so you can be the best mother/father in the home. He also quoted Pres. Hinckley, "Everything good that has happened to me since, I can trace back to the decision I made at that time." I love that because I know how much my mission will affect me after I come home. Anyways, ENDURE TO THE END! The only thing in our purpose that we haven't fully experienced yet is enduring to the end.
Did everyone just love conference?! I am so glad I got to watch it here at the MTC in ENGLISH before I left for Taiwan. It was probably the best weekend at the MTC. So relaxed and I was so spiritually fed. I don't have a favorite talk and I don't have much time to tell you about all the talks I liked, but I loved how there were so many talks about families! Well, to me, I thought that was one of the main themes of conference. We had a district meeting after and talked about our favorite talks. I loved how everyone had their own opinions on what they thought the main theme of conference was. This just proves how personal conference can be. We all heard different things depending on our needs. I loved how Elder Eyring talked about how while i am on my mission and serving the Lord, I can depend on the Lord to take care of my family. This brought great comfort to me, because I think about you all a lot! Hopefully you are seeing those blessings in your life. On Sunday, inbetween sessions, did you all watch the MTC/missionary special on BYU TV called "A Mighty Band of Youth"? If not, you should watch it! So cool to see how missionary work has grown in the past 6 months!!! 65,000 missionaries now!? Crazy!! I'm so grateful to be apart of this wave of missionary work! A few sisters from my zone are in it. You get to see the inside of the MTC. Watch it for FHE or something. I think the kids will love it and it will help them get excited for missionary work!
On sunday for devotional, they had BYU's Vocal Point come and sing for us. The whole devotional was them singing. It was so cool! They were on NBC's "The Sing Off" a few months ago. Go youtube them. They are great! Then for the film devotional, I decided to go watch Elder Holland's talk called "Missions are Forever". This one was almost just as good as "Character of Christ". So everyone, go and search for the text of Missions are Forever and read it!!!! It was so powerful and hilarious. I wish you can watch it because the way Elder Holland talked made it so funny! But the message was the best part. I don't have time to tell you much about it, so go look it up. He talked at the end about teaching with power and authority and astonish someone. Also, he talked about why missions are so hard because salvation is not a cheap experience. I think i might have mentioned that before. The road to salvation goes through Gethsamane. We can't say we are Christ's disciples without experiencing some of what He went through. Anyways, he just goes on about how you need to be obedient and how you need to give your mission everything you've got. Love Elder Holland.
Okay, I'm out of time. Wo ai nimen!!! Jiayou!
Sister Chao

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Only 3 More Weeks!!

Ni hao!!!
Can't believe I've been here for 6 weeks! Three more weeks from today and I'll be on my way to Taiwan! Yay!!!!! Thanks for the Plan of Salvation puzzle Rachel and Alma! I got the puzzle at lunch time and we were teaching Jiu'en Jihua (plan of salv.) that night!! Can you just say perfect timing?!?! We used it I figured out what each little puzzle said. So thank you, it was very helpful. My investigator seemed to like it. Also, I got the Easter package from the Melendez! Thank you so much! I shared the cookies with my district so I wouldn't eat them all by myself. I love getting mail, it's like Christmas. haha. So guess what? Apparently I'm not allowed to run outside around the temple anymore. We've been doing it for the past 4 weeks and even asked the security guards if we could (they said yes). Then last week, we came back from our run and one of the guards was like oh you can't run around the temple unless the field is open. So now we are only allowed to run around the MTC within the gates. Oh well, hopefully they will open the field up soon. This past week was SO warm I loved it. I sat outside for language study on Friday and Saturday and now i have a major watch tanline. haha. Easter sunday was so beautiful. But now it is rainy and cold. Utah weather is crazy! Oh and we did get two new sisters in our room! so now we have 6 girls living in a cramped room with 4 tiny closets. it's fun...They are really nice though and i like them a lot. They are going to the Birmingham England mission and will only be at the MTC for 12 days. Also, I can't go to the temple early in the mornings anymore. We have to go to the 1:45 session now or do sealings or initiatories during that time. So now we get to eat lunch there. yay! :)
So Easter Sunday. The most beautiful day! It was so sunny and the sky was blue and it couldn't have been more perfect. We got to choir practice super early even though our seats were saved. Sisters are crazy here. Everyone wants to be in the choir because that means you get a seat during devotional. So last week, we were 1 hour 30 min early waiting in line so we could be in the choir on easter sunday. IT was crazy. It's like survival of the fittest trying to get a seat. I dont like it. Basically I'm only doing choir so i can get a seat. but I love the choir director. he is funny. Maybe my singing skills will improve? Definitely not a good singer. ha. So we all expected some big general authority to come and speak on easter. No apostle came unfortunately. However, the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Causse, came and spoke at the morning sacrament meeting devo. He was great. Talked about love and how the salvation of others are in our hands. He also talked about how in order to be a witness of Christ, you have to KNOW Him. We need to share the good news and partake of the fruit (love of God). Obtaining access to the Atonement and to feel the love of Heavenly Father is at the heart of missionary work. We need to tell everyone that He Lives! So good. It was an MTC wide sacrament meeting on Easter and it was so cool. The Spirit was so strong in the room. Over 3,000 missionaries were taking the sacrament at the same time! Then for the night devotional, SHERI DEW came and spoke! I love her!!! Her talk was one of my favorites at the MTC. She is so successful and inspiring. I can't believe she is not married! She is an incredible woman! She talked a lot about the Atonement. I love her view of the Atonment. It made me realize even more how far encompassing the Atonement can be. The Savior is the ONLY chance to feel hope, be healed, overcome weaknesses, repent, forgive others, successfully deal with the adversary, resolve hatred, avoid envy and jealousy, receive eternal life, find true happiness, and many more! I never thought of it that way before. If you are feeling anxious, nervous, fearful of the future, or weak, the SAVIOR IS THE ANSWER! She also said that one way you know you were a successful missionary is if you love the Lord MORE than you love Him today. I loved that. Anyways, Easter was such a good day. What did everyone do for easter? How was church? D&C 4, D&C 90:11, and Ether 12:27 are a few of my favorite scriptures this week. The field is white and ready to harvest! The Gospel is being taught all over the world in their native tongues. How awesome is that?! If we are humble and have faith, our weaknesses will become strengths. The mission is going well. I love it and I am so glad I am here right now. Wouldn't want to be doing anything else now.
Do the cousin's know my email address? Tell Clinton to write me. Also how is baby Mia doing? Can you email me a picture of her and also print pictures of your family Aborn and send it to me? I want to see what Mia looks like now. I miss her!! Also, Rachel, tell the kids i say hi!!! and Veronica, hope everything is going well with the baby! :) Alma and rachel, thanks for the dear elders this week. Sorry, don't have time to respond to everyone personally. Hope my emails arent too boring. Keep up the letters. They are the bestt. It was fun hearing from a few friends and Tamir! Hope everything is great at home. How is mom doing and yeye?  I'm praying for each of you everyday!
Wo ai nimen hen duo!
Sister Chao
P.S. I'll be sending pictures later.