Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy Christmas Eve- December 24, 2012

shengdan kuaile! merry christmas!

oh my sweet buttery family. these past few weeks have been totally crazy but totally wonderful and also really hard but i'm so happy!!!!!!!!!! missions are totally wild, i tells ya. ok so let's first start with a bit of dramatic news....last week i found out that my release date has been changed. because of the huge flood of missionaries that is going to be exploding across the globe the timing got kind of messed up so now instead of coming home on november 19, 2013 i will be coming home december 10, 2013. when i first found out i kind of freaked out and panicked just because since the beginning i had november 19th engraved in my mind. i was only going to miss one thanksgiving and so on and so forth. basically it was embarrassing because i was totally selfish and being all like "3 extra weeks??? noWAYMAN!!!!!!!!!! ok this computer is freaking out。 now i guess we’re using this font。 roll with me。 so anyway i was kind of freaking out and just being a horrible selfish wretch and then i was really mad at myself because i realized this is a wonderful opportunity for me and i have been so happy on my mission even though it has been so so hard。 i was having a huge war with myself and then the next morning in personal study i flipped open to 2 corinthians 4 and the entire chapter blew me away and i felt like it was written for me and everything i was feeling。 there is a very special power in the new testament。 it makes me want to be victorious and makes me feel like a warrior。。。。like i am on the battlefront of aragorn’s army facing the gates of mordor。 it makes my spirit feel alive!!! please go read it when you have a chance。 i didn’t bring my english scriptures with me today so i can’t put
any quotes in the email。 i also read in mosiah 5 and 7and they connected so beautifully to 2 corinthians!!!

 mosiah 5:13 "for how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?" mosiah 5:15 "ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ [。。。] may seal you his。"

 isn’t that magnificent??? these scriptures struck me like LIGHTNING and my whole body felt like it was on fire and i just knew that this is the way its meant to be。 i’m so grateful and i’m just going to trust God because i think it’s pretty clear to all of us now that i probably could really use the extra time。。。。i have lots of growing up to do。
 mosiah 7:18-19, 23, 33 "my people, lift up yourheads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies...yet i trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made." "therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God..." "and now, is not this grievous to be borne? and is not this, our affliction, great? now behold, how great reason we have to mourn." "but if ye will turn to the lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you" i know i'm just being very dramatic but i think i've just been full of emotions lately because it's weird to be here and not home but everyone has been so good to me. these past couple weeks have been full of tons of little interactions that have meant so much to me as it's been easier for me to miss home.

 yesterday our district went caroling with some people in our ward. my companion and i were totally car sick because we aren't used to driving anymore and taiwanese people are totally crazy
drivers. one of the little old ladies we went and sang to burst into tears after our first song. it was so great because about half the people were totally off pitch and one guy who was with us is intellectually disabled and he was singing louder than everyone and trying to make us all laugh but she just said "thank you...thank you all so much. i'm so lonely here. i've never had this many people come to visit me before." it was such a happy little moment.

after church we had like a big lunch party and everyone was eating bread and noodles and then i sat at the piano learning the alto part to some christmas songs with sister guo, a darling little lady from indonesia. then we sat on the floor and just talked about god and her conversion story. she is so beautiful. tonight we are going to sister li's house for dinner. she is extremely good to us and helps us with lessons all the time and she is going to help us skype home this week and made arrangements with her friend who has skype. i always feel so happy when i am with her because i just feel like even when i don't understand everything she says that we are such great friends. she is a very warm and loving person. i'm excited for you all to meet her this week. her testimony is very powerful and she has helped so many of the people we've been teaching lately even though she has a lot of her own trials.

 well i'm pretty much at a total loss for words. i have been filled with the spirit this week in a very healing and peaceful way. i have felt the love of god so many times through the people i am so blessed to work with and know. i've never had a christmas quite like this....and i probably never will again. it is strange for me to be in a completely separate world from all of you but i feel tightly bound to each of you in a very deep and meaningful way. it is one of my sincerest desires that the things i do here will influence our family for good and will bring greater joy and happiness into our lives and our relationships with each other. thank you for being the people that you are and for supporting me and loving me even though i make so many stupid mistakes and i am slow to change and slow to learn...your love is uplifting and strengthening to me. your lives have shaped mine permanently. i could not have been more richly and tremendously all mean so much to me.

i know that christ really came to this earth and because he lives i live. because he lives i have hope and joy in the present and in the future. because he lives i came to taiwan and am learning chinese and am trying to be a more valiant publisher of peace and goodness. he loves us. he truly loves us and he loves us perfectly. it doesn't matter who we are or how many times we mess up or seem to live short of the expectations set for us by others or ourselves. in christ we can do all things. we can change and see miracles and lift up the hopeless hands and give strength to the feeble knees (even when it is ourselves who have lost all hope). his arms are ever stretched out. he will never leave us. "WHO SHALL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST?" nothing can except if it is we who choose to turn away. but even when we do we can choose at any time and in any place or condition to turn back to him. i know this is true. i feel it every day that it is true for myself, for the people i teach, for the strangers i talk to on the street. his love is for every single person.
 i love you all so much. merry merry christmas :)
sister coco

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