So this week was awesome. Why? I'll tell you why.... EXCHANGES in FLUSHING! Sister Mann and I took a trip to Flushing and Sister Laney stayed in Woodside. Guess who I got to spend a day with? SISTER DEAN! (She's in a trio with a visa waiter too.... so I was technically paired with her companion Sister Norton who is AMAZING, but we spent a lot of time with all four of us together.)
United once more with my first companion from the good ol' MTC. :)
One of the best days of my mission. :)
To help you understand how my day was, Flushing is the area just to the east of Woodside and it's a little bit like stepping out of the USA and into China. Haha. Everything is in Chinese and the majority of the people around you are Chinese or Korean. List of my favorite things about my exchange in flushing....
1.) We started out with morning exercise...THAI CHI! Wooo... Wouldn't you love to have a video of that? The four giant white girls doing Thai Chi with 100 Asians at the park. We weren't hard to miss that's for sure...the blonde/curly hair, clear confusion about right and left, and the complete lack of flow in our moves was a dead give away.
2.) Sister Norton and I fearlessed in CHINESE and Spanish! (I know how to say, "Please come to our free English class" in Chinese.) TRILINGUAL. (Ha. Not really.)
Sister Norton is SO good at fearlessing. I'm glad I got to learn from her. She's just super brave and talks to everyone... And yet she's still very efficient and got us to all appointments on time. For those of you who have served missions, you understand that this is a difficult art to master.
3.) I got to meet an awesome member of their ward (Hermana Lopez). We talked to her about helping her less active son and non-member husband feel the spirit. She's such a strong woman, and her testimony of people's ability to change really strengthened me. She actually got hit by a bus recently and is recovering from surgery. She's been getting around in a wheel chair. And get this, the Flushing chapel doesn't have any ramps for wheelchairs...so she came all the way to Woodside for church yesterday because our church has ramps! I was so grateful to see her again. AND her husband came with her!
Such a tender mercy for me to see them again, and to see them both together at church!
(Just a fun piece of information... They asked me if I was from Argentina because she thought I was a native Spanish Speaker. [Apparently there are lots of European looking Argentinians with blonde hair and fair skin.] Haha. WOO! Things are looking good in that regard.)
4.) REAL Chinese food! (Woodside Chinese officially became panda express junk-a-rooski.)
I have to be completely honest with y'all. I don't really know what I ate. No one in the restaurant spoke English or Spanish so I just had to point to what I wanted and hoped that it tasted good. Haha. I know I ate a couple different kinds of fish (Trust me, I know that it was fish because they still had their eyes, heads, tails, scales, fins and bones. Haha. Pretty sure I had some duck and some sort of shellfish... and a bunch of chicken dishes with curry and lot's of rice and noodles. SO good... Whatever it was. :)
5.) I love learning from other missionaries. You just learn things you never knew you never knew constantly. :)
As for other news... Graciela is incredible. She's been meeting with us A LOT. One of the biggest struggles I've had thus far on my mission is getting investigators to meet with us frequently. It's just tough. But she's wanted to be with us as much as possible. She and her husband (He's home and doing well!) have come to the church to meet with us a couple of times and it's been amazing. Heavenly Father has blessed us so much. We are so privileged to know this family. It's rare that investigators really want to pray with us. But she has gladly said a prayer with us in EVERY lesson.
The Cortez Family is progressing too! We're doing an FHE with them this week where they'll have the opportunity to come to the home of one of our ward members, and meet some of the awesome families in our ward. Hopefully this will be the key to helping them come to the church. I know for a fact that when the ward takes the responsibility of inviting and accompanying investigators to church it works out better. That's the way it should be. The ward will always be there to support them, and we won't.
All in all things are good. I feel so blessed. The Lord is in the details of our lives!
Families are forever. And I was lucky enough to receive an email from my mom and hear about the family reunion going on... All I can say is that I LOVE MY FAMILY.
All of you! Thank you for your prayers and for your testimonies. You are all so strong. And I know that our family members who have passed beyond this life watch over us and cheer us on everyday. Never forget that your daughter/sister/granddaughter/cousin/niece/great-niece/crazy friend in New York City is so glad that families are forever... because that means I get to be with all of you. If we continue in the doctrine of Christ we will all live in eternal joy forever. How awesome is that?
Keep the faith and I hope all of you Poulsens and Reseighs are enjoying sunny California!
Much Love, Always,
Sister Tara Franklin