Write Me

Sister Burr
Taiwan Taichung Mission
#498-11 Wuquan Road, North District
Taichung City, 40446, Taiwan
Republic of China

amanda.burr@myldsmail.net
taiwantaichungmission.blogspot.tw

Monday, June 30, 2014

I am a man with girl appearance

This week was so good! There were so many funny little miracles and tender mercies. First off, Zoe. She came to church for the second time this Sunday and we thought it was time she wore a skirt so I brought one of mine that she could borrow. She HATED it. She hates skirts and walked out of the bathroom and said " I am a man with girl appearance". It was so funny, because she is the cutest girl but would rather just wear a t-shirt and stretchy pants. We ended up switching skirts so she could wear one she liked better. So not only do we need to get the investigators to church but I had to swap clothes with them. She is doing good. She is following some of the commandments now but is still nervous for baptism because she feels like her faith isn't enough. No problem. Commitments, pray, and reading should help her overcome that. It’s so refreshing to know what’s holding people back so we're just not shooting in the dark when we teach. 

Today we went on a hike with Stella which was super funny. She drove around in circles for about an hour first then decided it was time to eat lunch then took us to hike. I finally saw banana spiders (look it up) they are as big as my hand and so scary. It was good spending time with her. She has a big Jehovah's Witness influence but no Christian background because they'd visit her and just read scriptures with her. That time we hike she asked us about probably every commandment and it was so hard to explain it all to her when she hasn't been taught about the Plan of Salvation yet but it worked out. That's the lesson that really ties everything together. That's my favorite lesson to teach. It’s the one that answers a lot of questions and brings a lot of peace. I love the puzzle Tori sent of the Plan of Salvation because it helps people see how the PoS and Restoration fit in. Before the restoration we only had some pieces. We knew heaven, this life, and hell but after the restoration we knew about spirit world, resurrection, and the kingdoms, and judgment. It put the pieces together. 

We went to Sister Zhao's house to visit her husband. She is the other mother with husband opposition. Man. She is so solid! She is constantly asking her husband to meet with us and is constantly sharing the gospel with him. She reads scriptures out loud when he is nearby so he can hear. I love it. She's solid. We hadn't met her husband yet because he is always at work but last night we surprise visited them so we could just meet him once. He was sleeping so we just started meeting with her and then all of a sudden her sleepy husband comes out in his boxers and then looks at us and goes back in the bedroom to sleep. It was so funny to me! I thought it was so funny because that was our first time we saw him. Her testimony is strong and it is slowly softening her husband's heart. He said he just wants her to wait 2 months and then she can be baptized, so we will see. 

It was so easy to see all the blessings and tender mercies of the lord when I was looking for them this week and writing them down and thanking God every night . There really is true power in gratitude. 

I love you all sosososoosso much!

Love Sister Burr
I'm a frumpy sister missionary and I love it!

Hiking with Stella to Blue Lake (Lan Tan)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sister Blurr and Sister Blancardi

My Dear Dear Fambly,

Pappi! Daddy! Happy Fathers Day! I'm so sorry I forgot. It's August 8th here (ba-ba which means dad and eight-eight so that's really cute) but that's no excuse.  I've been so excited to write you this week to tell you all that has happened. No Sister Chen is still having her problems and she told us she wants to "start over from the beginning" so we're trying to figure out what that means, but we'll figure it out because this week was SUCH a good week of leaning. Sososo good. 

First things first, let me tell you how American television has influenced the young Taiwanese school girls. Last Wednesday we went to an all-girls high school to answer their questions about American life. The things they asked were about graduation parties, the "cheerleader popular crowd"", and then I sang "Call, Me Maybe" to them. Yikes! I knew the words. It was super funny and I was just reminded how pure and good these people are. Man. I love them. They are so hard working.

Also, the most dangerous contact happened this week. We had just parked our bikes and it was on this platform probably two feet high. To get on it you need to go up a little ramp that is really steep. There was a lady next to me so I start talking to her and telling her who we are. She started riding off on her scooter saying she wasn't interested and missed the ramp and just completely dropped! Oh no. So she was okay. Just some scratches. We were able to pray with her and comfort her for a bit so that was good and she was off after resting for a bit. I've been so clumsy and my clumsiness is just rubbing off and I've been so lame!

And let me tell you WHY. I'm so lame without the spirit. I know without the spirit we can do the work and yeah we blow the mission standards out of the water, but it's exhausting and not so effective. Mission work is so hard without the spirit because without it we do the work we think needs to get done rather than the work that the Lord needs to get done. I know He has prepared people and it’s just our job to find them and we do that by listening to the spirit. It's like a chicken running around with his head. With the spirit we can know what to do and where to go. I've seen it COUNTLESS times. It happened just last night! We prayed to know where to go and the first house we knocked let us in and we taught a sister and her brother. So cool. I feel like these past few weeks or so I haven't had the spirit as much. I actually know I haven't because it was so hard to do the work. It's like swimming with weights just to show how tough you are. dumb. It's exhausting and there's no point to it. You just need to let go of pride and drop what's weighing you down.

One of the things was companion contention. Wow. Man. I didn't know where it came from but it was a complete brick wall hindering the spirit. It was like a two sided brick wall. I'd take down a brick and then my companion would put one up on her side and vice-versa so we couldn't get this wall down and there was no Holy Ghost for us. Yikes.

Elder Holand said this   "Unity is so crucial in this work, and if there is disunity, or a lack of harmony of any kind, any sort of break between a missionary and his companion, the work is crippled. We all remember the famous incident in the life of the prophet Joseph Smith, who, in the course of translating the Book of Mormon, had some little domestic tiff with Emma. I’m sure this was nothing extraordinary, something natural to most newly wedded couples, who in their particular case were under an immense amount of pressure, but we all know what happened the gift of the Spirit of translation ceased immediately, the flow of inspiration completely stopped, and the work was for a moment totally thwarted. For that moment, the adversary had won a victory. Now, rightfully and appropriately, Joseph and Emma patched things up apologized to each other for whatever the offense had been and the Holy Spirit returned, with it the power and privilege of translation resumed."

Unity is key. We worked on it! And it's so much better. Just love and trust. It's what we were lacking because I became a MISSION ROBOT. 

Oh no. I'm so ashamed I was an absolute mission robot and the song "human again" from the new Beauty and the Beast just keeps running in my head because I can't wait to be human again. What I mean is I was just tunnel vision on missionary work the way I wanted to do it and numbers. I forget to just "be still" and listen. Listen to self, companion and the Holy Ghost.

I love what Sister Holland says, "I believe we can find our steady footing and stilling of the soul by turning away from physical preoccupations, superwoman accomplishments, and endless popularity contests, and returning instead to the wholeness of the soul, that unity in our very being that balances the demanding and inevitable diversity of life".

WHOLENESS OF THE SOUL. Just being still. Anne morrow Lindbergh also said, " Not knowing how to feel the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distractions... the problem is how to feel the soul".

How true and what I mean by that is to just acknowledge our human feelings and be human and further to feel the Holy Ghost in our lives. Be still and listen to Him. We were averaging 26 lessons a week and we were just back to back busy. It was so hard to have that stillness and that wholeness and just listening to self and spirit. MOM! And because of that we were “not so productive busy". It was just fluff that was muffling and getting in the way of the spirit. But, I'm coming back! I really just forgot to love and feel the love for the people I think. Relationships ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT. With self, God, and others. So this week was SUPER good with learning.

Emeleeyne - a miracle, she is a member from the Philippines who was looking for the church in Taiwan for 6 months! She found the address through Facebook but doesn’t speak or read Chinese so we had to go pick her up and I had to translate for her at church. SHE IS A LIGHT! There have been so many lights lately.  
Zoe- Doing good. She is trying to live the word of wisdom this week! She understands it all but is still working on feeling the truth of it all
Stella- We are going to Costco in a little bit with her and she is AWESOME. She recognizes tender mercies already. She is so prepared and sweet and kind. Man I love her. She is just a light and how the light. She has a goal for next month but her problem is work :/ she owns a breakfast store. 
Sister Chen - She hasn't picked up and just needs some time to sort stuff out. We have members friendship her.

FAMILY! It's all good. I love this work and I love you all sososososo much. Thanks for all the love and support. Remember in my setting apart when they talked about feeling the prayers and loves and supports from home, well it's real. I feel them and am so grateful. 
xoxoxoxo
Sister Burr

Monday, June 16, 2014

Family

My Dear Family,

Well. This little Island has been home for about 14 months now. Yikes! I can't believe Wyatt will be home this month. He is going to be the funniest RM. You're so lucky you'll see him like that!

Sister Biancardi and I tried to go shopping today and it was such a bust. I hate shopping. The music is too loud in stores and everything over 17 American dollars is just too expensive.

I was so clumsy last week. We went to go visit a LA that we are trying to reactivate. She has this tiny tiny shop where she cuts hair and as I sat down I knocked over her soup bowl which then shattered and it took down her phone/computer thing with it. Yikes. So that was a sad experience to have with the missionaries. BUT SHE WAS SO KIND. So that was okay, but I wanted to buy her a new cell phone case today but it was so hard. 

NO! Chen JM did something very silly. She told her husband that she is already baptized and he got so mad. He said that they were getting divorced and her mom said that she was going to disown her. WHAT? This is the trail we need to hurtle right now. That wasn't the Lord’s way of doing things, so we need to sort that out.

On a happier note we have more investigators than we have time for right now and one is Zoe and Stella. I love them. Zoe is looking for happiness and Stella saw the elders giving the sacrament to an old man in the hospital and was so touched she chased them down to meet with them. MIRACLES. It just goes to show you never know who is watching you. The Lord will use us to help others so we just got to do our best to be our best! That's all he asks.

Love you all,
xoxo 
Sister Burr
The Baptists also know God is Love

Monday, June 9, 2014

This week in pictures

We went to Fancyland again so it'll be said with pictures.

Highlights:

Elder Funk came and used Sister Biancardi and me in his talk. Yikes! It was about the Holy Ghost.

Chen JM is still working on her goal and so is Zhao JM whose problem is also her husband’s opposition. C'mon! It's rough but I know that faith is a real power so we will see what happens.

I hope you all have followed Elder Ballard's invite and got a PMG. Rescued one LA and working on 2 more.Yay!

Love you all so much. xoxoxoxo. Thank you for all the love and support! It's like that Bette Milder song about wings beneath feet or something.

Love you all
Sister Burr
Fancyland fun house
Love ice cream
That is a cloud. It's so hot and it just pours so quickly. The weather changes in a minute. I love it.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pictures from the Mission Blog

Sister Blickenstaff does a great job on keeping the blog updated on a regular basis.  If you want to know what is happening in the Taiwan Taichung Mission, you will find it there.
http://taiwantaichungmission.blogspot.tw/
President's follow-up training in Jiayi for trainers and new missionaries May 2014

One transfer old missionaries and their companions

Sister Blickenstaff's famous cinnamon rolls

Happy sister missionaries

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy Dragon Boat Festival

My Dear Dear Family,

Dragon Boat Festival is back! Wow. I still remember it last year. I'll tell you a funny story. This morning from walking out of our house for the 3 blocks to the church, we were given SIX zhongzi (the rice cake triangles wrapped in the banana leaves that are so good!) in less than 15 minutes. Isn't that funny! One was from our running buddy. She has been to church once and played the erhu at our fireside, but she's not willing to take lessons yet. We're still working on her. The other was our 91 year old neighbor (picture) who literally just pulled us into her house. What a wonderful people!  It's also so bai-baiy so it's all smoky and incense-y. I love Taiwan.

It was a very very good week in the work and with growth. Just absolutely fantastic. We blew the mission standards out of the water and we are seeing our investigators progression take up speed. Chen Yue Wen still has her family opposition so she still NEEDS PRAYERS. I was really thinking about how we can help her. She has been taught the lessons, and she has a goal for the end of this month, but we just have to help her overcome her family problems. As I was thinking about it more I thought that wasn't just it. She still occasionally drinks milk tea and will miss church now and then. Now this is one of the most faith-filled woman I know and Satan has worked on her so hard and we weren't positive how to really help her.  Then I thought of the role of a missionary with is to teach, invite, and support so really all we need to do is keep inviting to help her progressing the faith. There are countless stories in the Book of Mormon where when the people start strictly obeying God's commandments they are blessed. I know I just KNOW that if she strictly obeys the commandments the Lord will soften her family’s hearts. We have a God of miracles and I just know it can happen. It won't be easy. These last months will be miracle filled! 

We are teaching this other girl "little monkey" she is a Chen JM but every time we say Chen JM she replays "oh just call me little monkey" She is amazing. Complete turnaround. She used to drink, do illegal drugs, smoke, chew betel nut, and so much more but she has stopped it all! She pulled her strength from the scriptures and prayer. The work honestly just needs the Book of Mormon, prayer and scriptures and it goes forward. And missionaries to just invite and clarify. My testimony has been so strengthened of the Book of Mormon. Dearest family, that book is a book from God. I don't think I will ever comprehend the power and the divinity of it, but I hope to never take it for granted. It has helped so many investigators this week overcome problems. It's a book with a promise to let us know if it's true or not. How cool is that. In a world where not everything is certain, we have a promise that we certainly can know if that book is true which means Joseph Smith did see God and Christ and angels conversed with him and this Church is the church is God's authority and full gospel and if that's true then God really does love us and we are children of God. It all connects. 

I love you all so much. 

Sister Burr