Monday, December 23, 2013

Promptings from The Spirit and A Bag of Cherry Tomatoes

I went to Eslite a bookstore here looking for some books, etc. When I left I came out and was going to go across the street and then maybe do some more shopping. I have seen this woman so many times selling fruits and vegetables, but I didn't think she was homeless. 

I had my one foot a little further out than the other since I was about to cross the street, then I had promptings from the Spirit just a feeling that I should turn around and buy something. I heard the Spirit then promptly say,” Go back! Go back! Don't leave her! Go back!" I responded to the prompting immediately and turn around. The woman was drifting off to sleep, I came behind her near her left shoulder, and I touched her and said in Chinese,” Excuse me." At first there was no response, so I touched her and again said,” Excuse me." She then responded by waking up and smiling at me. I said in Chinese while pointing at a bag of three bananas,” How much are these?" She said in Chinese,"100 N.T." I thought about it, step back looking at the other fruits and vegetables she had, and then said in Chinese while pointing at a bag of four oranges,” How much are these?" She said,"100 N.T." She was starting to pick up the bag for me, even though I hadn't decided yet. I then thought about it a little longer, then pointed to a bag with cherry tomatoes and said,” How much is this? Is this also 100 N.T.?" She said,"100 N.T." I dug in my pocket getting two 50 N.T. coins, put them in her hand while smiling, she then gave me the bag of cherry tomatoes, and I said thank you.

During the time of me deciding there were two girls near her and one said to the woman in Chinese,” How much is this?" The woman said,"100 N.T." The girl said to her friend in Chinese,” Wow that's so much." However, after I was leaving crossing the street I heard a different voice (I think) asking the woman in Chinese, “How much is this?" I was smirking while hearing that and cross the street...turn into a ripple effect. I thought,” That’s awesome!"

As I was getting on my bike, I didn't want to do more shopping, and decided to just go home. I thought on the way home,” What are we going to do with these. Well, the family does like salsa." By the dad makes some really good homemade salsa. A little while after coming home and inside the house I told her what had happened and I handed her the bag of cherry tomatoes. I was crying while telling her. She said,"I'm proud of you! You know the true meaning of Christmas." She said to my dad,” Do we want to use these for salsa? Is it gonna be enough?" My dad,” Yeah, should be." My mom promptly took one from the bag and put it in her mouth (she loves tomatoes). Yay, I was right gonna use them to make some salsa! 

Christmas is in two day, it felt right for one thing, and for another serving and or giving isn't just for doing on the holiday's. Remember that please. I love serving and giving to others, always have. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Unselfish Service To The Homeless

Yesterday December 21 I got the idea to go out and buy something’s for the homeless, I've been wanting to do so for a long time. Well, me and my friend Julian decide to try it! 

We bought something’s, and then looked around and there weren't any people in sight. We walked around the train station, there were two homeless guys with blankets, coats, clothes, etc. and were smoking so we decided to keep searching. 

We went down into the tunnels near the train station we looked again no one in sight. We were walking when Julian pointed and said,” Look there is someone." Finally, I was hopeful and excited to help! We walked some to not draw so much attention, but got some courage and went for it. We approached a man with not much. Julian looked at me and said,” What should I say?" I grab a pair of gloves from out of the bag and said,” Just say this is for you." 

My Chinese isn't very good so I just watched hopefully waiting. Julian talked with the man he shook his hand showing that he didn't want them. Julian got up and told me that the said he didn't want them. As we were walking away the man said in Chinese "thank you." We started walking up the stairs out of the tunnel when Julian looked at me and said,” Do you know what he said to me?" I said,” No, I tried to understand but couldn't. What did he say?" Julian replied,” He said he doesn't want the gloves and was going to commit suicide." I said,” Wow! That breaks my heart." 

I prayed in my mind for the man and my eyes started to water, no tears came out though. Julian later told me how it's common here for homeless people to not want things from others, how they feel if they don't have a job then they don't deserve it. I was still grateful for the opportunity to go and try to serve.

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Mosiah 2:17

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello All- Sister Milligan (Shannon)

Hey, everyone!
     I'm doing good right now. Only three days left of my 2 week short-term mission!

    Today, Monday(p-day; preparation day), we're going to watch a movie called "Ephraim's Rescue"....which Sister Boyer has a small role in. :D Also, we're going to have cinnamon rolls while watching it, thanks to Sister White's hard work over the past couple of nights and this morning. (Sister White and Sister Boyer live with us, but are serving in the other ward.)

    Last night was kind of hard. I broke down and cried because of stress, homesickness, and feeling kind of overwhelmed. After talking to my dad on the phone about it, I prayed to have the strength to open up about it to my companion. After that and taking a breather, I finally just told my companion, Sister Gruwell. She was so sweet and helpful. We just sat and talked about what I was feeling until I finally felt better. Then she gave me a copy of a booklet about adjusting to missionary life. Reading it is helping.

    After that, we went contacting (handing out flyers to get people to come to church or English class) at the train station. That also helped me feel better. We handed out 48! The day before we handed out 60 though haha.

   Even though parts of it have been hard, I'm grateful to have been given this oppritunity. I know it is helping me improve in so many things and is teaching me so many things. I know the Lord has truly blessed me thoughout all of this.

   Oh, also, I have also been figuring out how to share the gospel with 3 of my friends! :D I'm excited to get started once I get back.
   I'll be back on Thursday afternoon (Wednesday night for those of you in the U.S.).
   I love y'all and miss y'all! I'll talk to y'all soon.
    Shannon Milligan

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Re: Dear Sister Milligan

Dear Sister Milligan,
I know with all my heart that as you pray to the Lord when your in struggle the Lord will answer you. Turn to Heavenly Father in prayer! As I have experienced myself when serving a short-term mission I was taught it was important to let my companion know how I felt, even when I thought it would be hard to do so. It's actually not hard, it's great letting your companion know your feelings, and it's like talking to a best friend. Your companion will help and guide you, remember we are human it's okay to express are feelings. In a book called "Missionary Miracles: Stories and Letter from the Field" there is a great example of a sister missionary expressing her feelings;

"The Best Day I've Had"
Brazil Belo Horizonte-Mission

This last week was truly a great one. Things have been pretty frustrating the last little while, so we had a meeting with the elders in our ward about how we can turn this place around. Our meeting ended with a desperate prayer to our Heavenly Father to help us and guide us to be able to help this ward grow.
I think the next day was the best day I've had on my mission so far. We went out to the “end of the world” for a couple of discussions with families there. The first discussion was with a family we've been teaching for a few months. The mother has a testimony and wants to be baptized, but the father has been very hard-hearted because of their financial problems and thinks that God has abandoned him. They also have had problems with their marriage due to the financial stress. The father had to go to work for his father—four hours away on foot, in the middle of nowhere. When we got to their home, he had returned from work as a completely different person. He told us that he now trusts God and has faith that God knows what’s best for his family.
After that we went to our next appointment. The husband has already heard the discussions twice and has really changed but always has some excuse not to be baptized. Right now his excuse is that he doesn't know how to pray correctly, even though he has a testimony and goes to church every week. We gave a lesson about the Savior’s sacrifice and asked him to choose someone to pray for us. He hesitated, and his wife asked him again to choose someone. He turned to us and asked if he could say the prayer. We quickly agreed and bowed our heads before he could change his mind. It was a beautiful prayer. He cried, his wife cried, we cried, everyone hugged, and we left in complete awe of the spirit we had felt.
Well, if that wasn't enough for one day, we had planned to visit a family who had been taught by some other missionaries but hadn't yet been baptized. When we got there they were excited to see us. The mother cried as she told us that she had been praying for God to send us to them.
My companion and I couldn't do a thing after that. We just sat by the edge of a dirt road at the “end of the world” for about thirty minutes and thanked our Heavenly Father for the changes we had seen. Everyone always asks if we ever get homesick—yes, I miss you all, but I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be here and to be able to witness so many miracles, even something as simple as a prayer. Don’t ever doubt it; don’t ever forget it.
Love you,
I hope this story helps and up-lifts you! It has done so for me many times in the past, for that I'm grateful.
We're truly proud of the accomplishments you've made and that your coming to learn the language easier. As you continue to pray to Heavenly Father that your tongue might be loosened, practice speaking to and teaching others, I'm sure the Lord will strengthen your language skills. 

The Family

P.S. Elder Boyd's companion Elder Chen asked dad if you sent pictures to us, dad said no. However, now he's thinking ya'll have taken some crazy pictures at ya'lls zone meeting. haha

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Enduring Struggles

When a situation arises whether it is adult rivalry, your boss telling you that you need to work hard, or a child miss behaving at home, we all at some point in our lives have these struggles. But...what do we say, what do we do, and how do we feel? Some of the times we exploded to the point of physical and or mentally harming ourselves and or others.

In a speech called “Big Issues” of Faith, Family, Religious Freedom, Elder Jeffery R. Holland says, “Regarding religious freedom, it’s important to give faith the freedom to flourish, because humans have both the ability and the responsibility to make choices with the hope — indeed, the confidence — that we will ultimately choose that which benefits the individual and the larger society in which those individuals live.

Faith, family and freedom are big issues inextricably linked with the hope and promise of democracy. And they are intertwined, interlinked, and interlocked so tightly that when one of them is struck, the other two are damaged; so that when one of them is cut, the other two will bleed.”

I suggest you all to watch and deeply ponder this video, then apply these things to your own lives and also strive to do the righteous things advised. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sister Milligan: Hello Family

My younger sister is currently serving as a short-term missionary, she'll be back next week.

   I just wanted to send y'all a quick email to let y'all know how everything's going.
Last night my companion and I went with the elders to have dinner at a member's house. We had hot pot. The food was good, but most of it was sea food, which of course I didn't eat because of me not liking it. I couldn't understand about 90% of what was being said and didn't get much translation, so I felt a little awkward out of place. It's was nice to have at least gone though.

I obviously went off of my "diet" of eating healthy foods. However, once I finish the short term I'll probably go back on it because my stomach hasn't been feeling the best, but I have to make do with what we have to eat.

I've continued to exercise daily, except on Sunday's of course. I kinda miss dancing along with Just Dance though haha, but I'm trying to stretch my muscles more and definitely working out my legs by riding around on a bike. I've been coming home tired each night because of all the riding, but I've been sleeping really well because of that.
Today, Monday, is windy, so it might be a little harder to ride around. :/ I'll try my best and jia you! (refuel; add gas; go; etc.) This evening we're having dinner with the district (4 elders and us 4 sisters that all meet in the same church building). I'm slightly nervous about that. Tomorrow we have a district meeting.

The past few days have been kinda hard, and I've honestly been close to giving up, but Sister Gruwell has helped me and been very patient with me. I'm so thankful to have her as my companion. Seeing y'all yesterday also helped.

Momma and Daddy, I love y'all so much, and I thank you for your encouragement.

Kenzie, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for letting me use your shoes! They're the only ones that seem to work for both riding my bike and walking (and running when necessary). My new shoes and old shoes worked well for riding, but not walking. The new shoes gave me blisters, and the old ones were like trying to walk around in flip-flops....and they're flats. Oh, also they pantie hose you got me didn't fit like at all. They were too short and too small. I tried putting them on, and I ripped a hole in them before I could even attempt to get them all the way on because they were so small. I couldn't help but laugh when that happened. :D

Heavenly Father has really been blessing me with strength to continue, get through the day, and to ride my bike haha.
There's more that I can write about, but I can't think. Bleh!
I miss y'all and Ricky! I love y'all!


P.S. Please send this around to family, friends, and ward members. *hugs and kisses

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finding Peace Through The Lord (Part 2)

Yesterday I was sick with a cold still; only my mom has it as well. I and all my family members were not feeling well, so unfortunately we didn't go to church. We didn't have much medicine in the house and all of us were not feeling well. So, I kept praying that someone in the ward would bring us medicine and had the thought that it would be nice to have someone bring dinner as well. I doubted that someone would come, but still praying anyway, then the doorbell rang. It was a member from our ward; he brought us medicine and dinner as well. I felt so touched and at peace that indeed the Lord did answer my prayer! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Finding Peace Through The Lord (Part 1)

I got sick this week probably from the kids at church. It started out as a cough and sore throat, then later in the week turned into a cold. Does it matter who you get a cold from?! NO, COLD'S JUST SUCK!! I went through this week taking medicine and other usual stuff to get better, but it didn't help much. I prayed and read scriptures.

I read a scripture in Mosiah 24:15 which reads; "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."

I know some of you do not have the same beliefs as me, but I find this scripture to be peaceful. It's just a continuous reminder we are not alone in our trails and afflictions, the Lord will helps. Of course there is always friends and family there to help us as well, we are not alone. Later on, today in fact, I received a blessing from with my dad and a member of our ward. I'm sure things will get well soon.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Aloe Succulent Plant

If you don't know I love plants and nature! I've been growing a plant for about two months now and hoping to get some more plants soon! But here's a look at the one I've been growing:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaching On Sunday

Sunday 1/27/2013

This Sunday morning, it was my turn to teach the nursery kids. However, before I could teach them a 3 year old boy named Céng Chéng was running around the room. As I was sitting on the floor, I grabbed him and he sat down in my lap. We then had the lesson and after snacks. There were 3 kids in the nursery, 2 of them were sick. For a moment I thought to myself, what am I doing here?! Feeling a bit frustrated from continuously having to wipe runny noses of each child every 5-10 minutes during play time. I then considered to myself that this is what it would be like as a mother. How could I feel frustrated at them? It’s not their fault that their sick. Later, they smiled at me and I heard the laughter of all 3 kids as I played with them. Their innocence is my joy! My heart melts every Sunday when I'm in the nursery, even though sometimes things don’t go well!  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hsinchu Coastal Bike Path

Saturday 1/19/2013

Rode with my dad out to a bike trail near the coast called “Hsinchu Coastal Bike Path.” We rode 14.5 kilometers, which is about 9 miles. Relaxing and beautiful out there, if you haven’t gone before…go!

Riding out on the train the trail,

seeing the coast

and going over the rainbow bridge. There are about 3 of these at different locations in Hsinchu. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Free English Class

Wednesday 1/16/2013 

Tonight I went to English class and spoke with a woman who is Taiwanese, but has visited India. She told me she stayed at a hotel with 25-30 or 20-30 people and they had a guide. They ate at the hotel sometimes Indian food, but sometimes Western food, they used forks and other silver wear to eat instead of eating with their hands. Wendy is the name I gave her. Wendy told me stories of her trip and what the architecture was like. She spoke of there are different kingdoms in India and religions. Although, I already knew of that part I still enjoyed listening. She spoke of different levels of society there; richer people may not necessarily eat with their hands while lower class people will. She said when visiting India it’s good to have a guide with you because it’s dangerous there. Besides having a guide with her she also had two Taiwanese friends that went also. Wendy said its expensive going there, coming back, eating, and staying at a hotel. However, she told me it would be cheaper for a hotel if you go by yourself, but safer going with a guide.

I asked her, “Are you a teacher, what’s your job?” She replied, “What do you think I am, take a guess?” I said, “I think you’re a teacher.” She said, “Yes.” I asked her, “What do you teach?” She didn't catch what I said and replied by saying “what?” I asked again, “What subject do you teach?” She said something about teaching or talking with students about stress and anxiety. She also told me that the place in which she taught was at a university.

Wendy asked me questions as well, “why do you like Taiwan, how long have you been here, and how many siblings do you have?” I told her I like Taiwan because of the food, the language, culture, scenery, etc. I told her I have two brothers and a younger sister. Then, I told her I’m 20 and that my dad went on a mission here many years ago in Taipei. After, he went home he met my mom and they got married. They had my oldest brother and when he was about two years old they lived in Taiwan for two or three months, this is what I told her. I then told her later my parents had my next older brother, me, and my younger sister. I spoke of that when we’re older my dad wanted to teach in Taiwan. I said, “My mom, dad, me, and my younger sister moved to Taiwan while my brothers stayed in the U.S. The question of how many years we've been in Taiwan I replied, “ We've lived here for four years. She told me she has a daughter who is planning on studying in the U.S. and wanting to get a master’s degree.

Later, Sister Cisney reminded me to share a scripture with her. I went and got my scriptures, but didn't share a scripture. Instead, I talked with her about “The Plan of Salvation.” She then told me we could pray and asked me to pray. I prayed and not long after we finished English class.

There were only two investigators in the English class today, Sister Cisney talked with and taught a guy named Vincent, while I talked with and taught Wendy. It was great!   

My Short-term mission

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 1/3-5/2013

Thursday night I was a short term missionary because a sister named “Sister Oler” had to go to a meeting in Taipei. I stayed with her and her companion Sister Cisney that night; they gave me a lot of advice about going on a mission.

Friday morning we got up at 6:30 a.m. rode our bikes to the train station, locked them, and then got on the train. We were going to Chungli, other sister missionaries were going to get on the train there while I and Sister Cisney would get off the train and head back to Hsinchu. We got off and got a train back to Hsinchu, got off the train, unlocked our bikes and went back to the house. Sister Cisney and I both got some rest, but she actually fell asleep and I didn’t. She had a cold and I didn’t sleep well the night before. After we taught some lessons during the day, it wasn’t the best day though.

Saturday we both slept well and woke up at 8:00 a.m. we then went to get breakfast at a breakfast shop called “Layaburger.” There we ate our breakfast and talked about weather in the U.S. I told her I’ve never really experienced snow since I lived in Texas before. Sister Cisney said that in Utah it snows a lot and I would like it there, also she said she doesn’t like winter. It was funny coming from a woman who used to live in Utah before her mission.

After, we went back to the house and had personal study and companion study. In personal study we both read similar scriptures, I read 2Nephi 28:30 “For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” Also another scripture in which I can’t remember, but we both talked about what we study/learned in personal study and it was about miracles.

Then, we both shared miracles we thought we had in our own lives. We got dressed, grabbed the stuff we needed and went out the door. We taught a woman whose lasted name is “Xie” about the Plan of Salvation. Later, we ate lunch then went to teach two siblings, an 11 year old girl and a 12 year old about faith, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ.

After that we went to the train station and met with a church member to go eat dinner. The church member, Sister Cisney and me were waiting for another church member to show up to go with Sister Cisney to get her companion Sister Oler. Only her companion Sister Oler got separated from her companion in Taipei, she then found out she didn’t need to go get her companion and that there was a sister that could come with Sister Oler back to Hsinchu.

Not long after all of that, I went home. Also, while on my mission 5 missionaries got colds because of being around each other and I got it. I lost Sister Oler’s name tag somewhere, but she found it at the church on Sunday. It was a fun experience! I loved it a lot!