Before I forget, dad yes the fruit here is amazing! It is the end of orange season right now and these little tomatoes. Literally like everyone we visit gives us oranges, kiwi, or mini tomatoes. It is crazy. Strawberry season is next I think...I haven't had many mangoes because they are not in season but last night at Hong JiaTing, they invited one of our investigators over for dinner with us, Gan JieMei and she brought green mangoes and they were so good! Like the sweet and sour ones!
AND Our new dog is SO adorable! Yes, he is fat! haha put him on a diet! It looks like Alexa and Lachlan absolutely love him! Marissa, he loves you so love Buddy back! :) It sounds like it was a fun spring break and Marissa, it looks and sounds like you had a great birthday! I can't believe you are 15!! Happy birthday again!! Grandpa H., happy birthday to you as well!! Sure love you all :)
Bryan, loved the pictures you were able to send this week! (or last :) It's good to hear that you are having a great time serving in the Philippines. There is a person who just got baptized in our branch on Saturday, one of the elders investigators, who is from the Philippines but more down south. He is here in Taiwan for work and will possibly be here for up to the next 5 years. But, his wife, son, and mother-in-law skyped in for his baptism and I was able to talk to them for a little bit! They were so cute! The people there must be amazing! Keep up the great work! Thanks for being such a huge example to me! Love you!
As for my week:
Monday: Last Monday, our mission leader took us all to XinZhu and we had a blast! We were able to go to a small art exhibit in a high school and talk to two students about their art. It was cute when we were there. We were walking through a building and all these girls came up to me and said hi and I said hello back and they are started laughing and like ran away..haha it was cute. We also went to a ghost temple and Jeffrey, mission leader, explained the meaning of a lot of the Buddhist Gods in the temple. We found some MUG root beer too! Overall, it was a great day!
Preparation day ends at 6. We were calling referrals/potentials for about 30 minutes in our apartment and there was an earthquake! We live on the 4th floor of our apartment and our clothes were swaying and everything. It freaked me out! haha I guess they occur often in Taiwan?
So, last Sunday, we were making less-active calls and we called Wu Jia Wen. When we talked to him, he was really excited and wanted to meet with us the next day, So, at 7, us and the elders went over to his house together to meet and get to know him. His wife left him I believe about a year ago and since then, he has fallen away from the church and has been really depressed. When we went over, he was so happy to see us and talked so much! We went in prepared to share a spiritual message about faith but Sister Fisher was prompted to share Alma 36:19-20 as soon as he was done reading this, he looked up and said this is exactly how I am feeling and I feel now like I want to slowly start coming back to church. He said it is going to take some time but he feels like he is finally at a time in his life he wants to turn around and come back! It was so neat! His wife also took his Book of Mormon when she left him so we were able to give him a new one and he was so happy!
Tuesday we had district meeting and a lesson with Fan Zhu Song. He is such a golden investigator! Today, we had our lesson at Akin's home and we discussed the Plan of Salvation. His favorite part is the Celestial Kingdom because it is a really happy place! He read 1 Nephi 1 as well before we met and he had really good questions! We can tell that he is really studying it out, marking stuff up, and trying to come to the knowledge for himself if the church is true! Tuesday night we also went English boarding for English class at the night market.
Wednesday: We had a really good member lesson with Akin where we discussed the Book of Mormon and the things she is currently studying. We did a lot of tracting and knocking doors and then Wednesday night, we had English class. I teach the most advanced class (since I am the newest missionary in our area) and tonight I was teaching them about how to use a, an, the. I felt so bad because none of them understood it...so this week we will have to go over it again...teaching English is so fun though! It is a good service opportunity and quite a few people come!
Thursday we had our weekly planning session and just a normal day of missionary work. Thursday night we biked out to visit a Less-Active and we stopped by a 7 near her home to make a few phone calls before going to her home and while we were there, we started talking to an older man who has never heard of God or Christ and doesn't have any religious background! He seems somewhat interested and said he would try to come to church on Sunday but he wasn't there. We got his phone number and address and so hopefully we will be able to help him come to know who Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are. We also had a really good lesson with a Less-Active Huang Qi Wang. She is about 40 and extremely depressed. She is the only Christian in her family-the rest are Buddhist. We reviewed the Plan of Salvation with her and she told us when she was in her 20's she loved going to church and reading the scriptures but now she feels like her family members are really mad and disappointed in her because she went Christian so she now is by-bying them to 'make up' what she thinks she did wrong...We were able to bear testimony about how they are able to come to know Christ where they are right now in their life and hopefully that cleared things up :) She was so grateful when we left! It was super cute!
Friday: Had a lesson with Wu Mei Yu (NuSkin lady). We brought a member with us and Wu Mei Yu talked for half the time to this member right in front of us about our Chinese and how she can understand us but we have a weird accent and when we leave her notes on her door, they look like children wrote them. haha Sister Fisher and I just sat there. We told her that we have weaknesses and our Chinese is still not very good and we are learning how to write characters but it takes time...haha Our member was so good to also back us up. So long story short nothing really progressed in our lesson with her. However, Friday night, we had a lesson with Fan Zhu Song. The Elders were our member present because we can't meet with males alone and they wanted to meet him. We were able to discuss his Book of Mormon reading and what he needs to do to more fully prepare for baptism. We helped him make a more detailed plan as to how he will be able to start coming to church. (Oh, we also found out he has two houses. A dorm in Zhunan and a House in TouFen, so we get to keep teaching him here!) His big issue is work. We discussed it with him and he has a huge desire to come to know the truth! In 2 weeks, he will be able to start coming to church. He has a new baptism date for May 16!
Friday night we were able to meet with a potential investigator. She met us at the church and she thought we set up the meeting to teach her English and that is all she wants to learn from us. It took us a whole 20 minutes to explain to her that we can only teach English on Wednesday and that we can't have one on one lessons...Friday was a day of weird lessons..haha
Saturday We had a great lesson with Lu Pei Ling. Hong JieMei was an awesome peike (member present)! We discussed 1 Nephi 20-where she is in the Book of Mormon. and taught her more about the Atonement and Faith. We also had a lesson with Gan JeiMei and she asked us why so many people persecute the church and why our church is the only one that so many people talk bad about but that when she sees the members of our church and us as missionaries-we are so happy. It was neat because she wants that happiness as well. We were also able to discover some of her needs as to what is holding her back from getting baptized. We also did some tracting.
Saturday night was Henry's baptism!!! Sister Fisher and I were asked to sing during his baptism program. His favorite song is We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet so we sang that. He was so happy and it was so awesome to see him get baptized and bear his testimony about how the church has changed his life. His wife has been a member her whole life and also served a mission when she was younger but has never come to found the truth until he was in Taiwan! Gan JieMei also attended the baptism and she brought her three little kids! It was so neat!
SUNDAY was amazing!!! WE had 3 investigators at church!!! Wu Mei Yu, Lu Pei Ling, and Liang Man Ting!! It was amazing!! Wu Mei Yu was only able to stay for sacrament meeting but Lu Pei Ling stayed the entire time and for the most part I think she really enjoyed it. It definitely is a new experience though when they come to church! It is so neat to also see people change for the better and have a desire to come unto Christ. After church, we were able to meet with Liang Man Ting and teach her about the Restoration. She is 13 years old. She is so cute and loves church. This is her 3rd time at church and she wants to keep coming back-her aunt is a recent convert about a year ago.
Sunday night, we had dinner with Hong JiaTing! They are the cutest family! (Go on Facebook to Peter Qiu and I think he posted some pictures.) Gan JieMei, our investigator, also came to dinner and brought her three kids, and one of Hong JieMei friends, Mandy, came. She is in Taiwan teaching English and is from Ohio and not a member of the Church. Hong JieMei knows English-she studied at BYU and also served a mission in Taiwan when she was young. The main topic of conversation over dinner was Thailand and riding Elephants! Haha. One of my favorite experiences from traveling when we lived in China. Gan JieMei, Sister Fisher, and Mandy have ridden elephants as well! haha
Overall, it was a great week other than the rain almost everyday!!! I love being a missionary so much! It is so great! I learn so much everyday! It is the greatest thing I have ever done!
I was studying in 2 Nephi 9 this week and I absolutely loved verses 21 and 22:
I am so grateful we have this time, Easter, to really celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because He Lives, we can all Live! I love you all so much!!!
If you haven't already, watch the Because He Lives video. It is amazing!!
Sister Fisher, me, Elders Marks and Dixon and Jeffrey!
Last Monday in Xinzhu.
Sister Fisher and I with Gan JM last night at Hong JiaTing.
Fan Zhun Song, Akin and Us.
After Henry's baptism at a member house.