Before I forget, Mother's Day: I can Skype Home either Sunday, May 10th, or Monday May 11th, my time. I will tell you next week the time I will be calling home.
And, thanks dad. haha great way to start your email...You made me cry! And then I got to the end...and it was a lie! I'm glad your healthy and not in the hospital recovering from a heart attack! It sounds like the rest of you had a great week with all the activities Marissa, Lachlan, and Alexa had. Love reading about everything :)
The reason why our preparation day was on Wednesday today was because we were able to go to the temple this morning! It was a great experience! There truly is so much peace and comfort when attending the temple! It was super neat because there were so many missionaries there. Being able to see everyone, especially in the temple, is priceless!
This week has gone by pretty fast. Last Monday, April 20, we were able to go to Lions head Mountain with our Mission Leader, Jeffrey, and the elders. It was beautiful! Being in the mountains is so peaceful-especially here in Taiwan because you are getting away from all the noise and craziness of town.
On Tuesday, we were able to meet with a new investigator, Zhang JieMei. She is Christian and when she was in college many years ago attended an LDS church in southern Taiwan with one of her friends. She is so sweet. We shared with her the Because He Lives video and she told us she doesn't want eternal life. She wants that when she dies that her life is over. She believes that eternal life is just the same as earth life where we will have homework and have to cook all the time. We told her that Heavenly Father has given us a plan and in that Plan, The Plan of Salvation, we can be happy and Eternal Life is a peaceful thing. We have plans to share the Plan of Salvation with her this coming week. We have been able to meet her husband and he is also super sweet. This is both their 2nd marriages but they are so happy. He told us he wants us to continue coming to their house because he says that when we are there, he feels really good. So, there is a lot of potential with this family! Tuesday night, we also had two dinners. One was with our Landlord and their family. They had the daughter that just returned home from her mission. She actually already left on Wednesday to go to BYU. It was a great dinner where we were able to get to know her family well and create relationships with them. After, we biked quickly to Xi JiaTing where we had tacos and Apple crumb pie! We were also able to meet a family in which the Elders are going to start teaching! It tasted so good to have some American food for a night! :)
Wednesday, we were determined to find a less active Melchizedek Priesthood holder we could start working with. We were asking everyone on the streets if they new of this road where a less active lived and everyone kept telling us different areas. A mailman on his scooter randomly came up and asked us if we needed help finding a road--he was truly heaven sent. We talked to him for a little bit on the side of the road and exchanged phone numbers. He said he has interest in learning about Christ but that he is really busy with work. It is so neat to see how Heavenly Father puts people in our paths to talk to. One thing I have learned is that nothing happens for a coincidence or 'fate' everything happens for a reason.
On Wednesday, we got a call from a member in ZhuBei and she had two referrals for us! Another really neat miracle! One of them, we met on Thursday at the McDonalds and the ZhuBei Sister was there as well. Ye XiaoJie moved from ZhuBei about a year ago and when she lived in ZhuBei, her and Zhang JM (ZhuBei member) were neighbors. Ye XJ has previously met with missionaries in Zhubei many years ago and had just one or two lessons. She couldn't remember really anything. She stopped because she was too busy with her daughter. Now, her daughter is in kindergarten and she doesn't work so all of her mornings are open. We were able to meet with her at McDonalds and then on Monday, we met with her in the Morning. She lives in the Elders area but we are not quite sure if they will start teaching her because it is hard for them to find a member to go with them in the early afternoon. We brought Xu JM with us as a member present and it was so amazing! Ye XJ asked really good questions and has so much interest in coming closer to Christ.
One concept I learned this week was how there are prepared people everywhere you go. The hard part is that you just have to find them.
The rest of our investigators are doing well. We had some really good lessons with Wu Mei Yu and Lu Pei Ling this week where we figured out their concerns about getting baptized. Wu Mei Yu still needs to create a desire to come to church and come to know for herself if the Church is ture. Lu Pei Ling is nervous about getting baptized. She has noticed that getting baptized is a big promise that we make. She also needs to create the desire to come to church. She reads and prays everyday and loves the feelings she feels when she reads from the Book of Mormon. She lives pretty far from the church though and only has a bike. There are no members out where she lives so I feel like that is why she doesn't want to come to church. We were also able to meet with Yellisha and taught her the Plan of Salvation. She loves the Resurrection part but still is confused about why baptism is important because when she was 17, she was baptized in Indonesia.
Oh, Friday, we had Specialized Training, and Elder Gong & Sister Gong (of the seventy) came and spoke to us. We were reminded of the power of the Joseph Smith experience, importance of teaching families, the gathering of the saints and importance of stakes to build temples, and to be spiritually bold. Another Stake was formed in the south mission this last Sunday. The work truly is moving forward in the Asia area.
Lastly, as we were sitting in the chapel waiting for church to start on Sunday, we had no investigators there yet and Wu Mei Yu said she was coming and also Yellisha. I was praying for a miracle and next thing, Lai Ming Jin and a friend came walking in! He is a investigator Sister Smith and I met with when we were on exchanges and he kept telling us during the lesson he wanted to continue to bai-bai (worship his ancestors) and believe in our church. Leaving the lesson, we both thought it would be better to give him some time and maybe visit him in a couple months or so but when he came in, he seemed really happy! He ended up staying the entire 3 hours and learned so much. During gospel principles, he started talking about how coffee and beer are bad for our bodies and he doesn't know about the Word of Wisdom. Also, Yang DiXiong, in the branch presidency knows Lai Ming Jin from work or something. When we talked to Lai Ming Jin later about church over the phone. He told us how grateful he was that he was able to see a friend and then meet so many more friends.
So, I figured maybe I was wrong, and Heavenly Father is giving me a second chance with Lai Ming Jin! His friend who he brought to church with lives in Taipei so the Elders got his information to send to the missionaries in his area.
Overall, this week has been really good. It has definitely had its' ups and downs. The language is still manman lai...and sometimes I get frustrated and down on myself but when I do that, I just remember Heavenly Father sent me to Taiwan knowing that I could overcome the challenges that I come in contact with! I love being a missionary. I know without a doubt in my mind this church is true. I love serving my Heavenly Father. It is such a blessing to see his hand in my life everyday. I love you all so much!
We were able to do service for Liu JieMei (less-active) where we helped clean off her roof.
Lin JieMei, a member in our branch, and I.
Sister Fisher and I this morning after our session in the temple.