MOM, HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK! I LOVE YOU!!!!!
Another quick week in Taiwan has gone by! This last week I finished my 2nd transfer in Taiwan. Crazy! I am now out of training and living it up! OH: And, I passed off PHASE ONE with my zone leaders!!! (Language study thing.) So, I am now on Phase 2 where it is 2000 random every days words. Transfer meeting was this last Friday! I am staying in TouFen and I got a new companion! Her name is Sister Cardon! She was in the MTC the same time I was so I was able to get to know her a little bit there and now we have the wonderful opportunity of being companions in the field! She has been in Taiwan for 6 months and is a huge example to me! She is amazing! I love her so much already!
As for this week...
Last Monday, Sister Fisher and I went to Zhunan and spent the day eating Taiwan ice cream and hanging with our zone. We were going to go to the beach but it was too windy...
Towards the beginning of the week, our lessons with Lai Ming Jin were amazing. Tuesday night we discussed Tithing and Fasting and he was super willing to pay his tithing as soon as he found a job. Thursday night, we reviewed the baptismal interview questions with him and he was really excited to be able to have his interview to be baptized. Friday, Lai Ming Jin called wondering who my new companion was (Thursday night we told him Sister Fisher was getting transferred) and he got really nervous and wanted to meet with us on Saturday to meet her. So, Saturday, we took him to Akin's home and he had the opportunity to meet her. During our lesson with him we were just correcting any concerns he had when he said, "Sister Haacke, I need to tell you something." He proceeded to tell me that the night before, Friday night, his friend called him and asked if he would go drink beer with him and his friend would pay for it. He has been sober for 9 months and he to pushed into peer pressure and drank beer. We talked to him a lot about it and he felt really bad. He knows it is bad for his body and he doesn't even want to drink but is nervous he will lose a friend if he tells his friend no. Yesterday was the first Sunday he missed coming to church and so during lunch, we decided to call him and see why he wasn't there. He had to go to NanZhuang and his bus left during sacrament meeting but he proceeded to tell me again that Saturday night he went and drank because his faith was really really bad. He again felt really bad and guilty. He is relapsing and it is honestly the hardest thing for me. I love this man. It is so hard for me to keep inviting him to quit drinking and he agrees and then that night, he goes out and drinks. We invited him to read, pray, and call us when our faith is bad and that he needs to turn to Heavenly Father instead of drinking. This week was really sad with Lai Ming Jin. His original baptismal date was for this coming Saturday and he was so prepared until he relapsed. Because he drank Saturday night, he won't be able to get baptized this Saturday because he needs to be sober for at least a week. But, I have the faith as we continue meeting with him and helping him through his issue, he will be able to be baptized soon.
On a more exciting, happy note...We continue to see miracles every week!
Last week, Yellisha brought up her concern about her job requiring her to work on Sunday. Sister Fisher and I were praying for a way she could find to talk to her boss and see if by chance she could come in late or not work at all on Sunday. Well, and answer came to our prayers...an answer we never thought we would get..she got fired from her job...:/ I would never wish that on anyone but when we talked to her about it, she seemed okay and she was excited that she would be able to come to church now. The job was to mostly keep her busy until she goes to school at the end of the summer.
Friday was transfer meeting in Taipei so we got up super early to get there on time. Two missionaries got transferred out of TouFen. Sister Fisher being one and Elder Marks being the other. Elder Dixon is now training a brand new missionary straight from the MTC! His name is Elder Merrell. He is from SPRINGVILLE, Utah! He also went to Art City Elementary! But graduated High School in 2015 (a semester early). The only person I really remember from Springville was my friend Scott but he didn't know him. I'm pretty sure he was in Kindergarten when we moved..ya? So super young.
Friday was when the rain started and it has never really stopped. It is supposed to rain all week this week. But, we still found many miracles in the rain! Friday night, we met with Li XIanShang and he is continuing to read the Book of Mormon. We taught the 3rd lesson with him and he continues to progress each time we meet with him. His 9 or 10 year old son is now also sitting in on the lessons. He was waiting by the door for us to come. It was the cutest thing! We recommitted him to June 27th for his baptismal date due to church attendance--that will be his hardest thing. Especially because his wife is Muslim, he is really busy during the week, and Sunday is his only day he really has to spend with his family. I know the Lord will provide a way though! He always does!
Saturday as we were knocking doors, the first door we knocked on in an area, this grandma answered the door. We told her who we were and she let us in automatically. She said, my grandson is Christian! I think he would want to talk to you! We ended up being able to have a short lesson with Chen XianShang and his grandma, Chen JM and place a Book of Mormon. Chen XianShang is half Christian and half Buddhist. His grandma (dad's side) is Buddhist so he bai-bai with them but his mom is Christian so he also goes to church with her. He is preparing to go to college, just graduated from high school, and is super willing to meet! We hope we will be able to help him come unto Christ before he leaves for College in TaiZhong.
Church was great as always! Qiu DiXiong came to church without a wake-up call! I believe his heart is starting to soften. I think he wants to change, but he 1. doesn't know how; and 2. it will be really hard to give up smoking and drinking and he knows he needs to do that to get baptized. I think his desire is really starting to grow. Zhou JieMei (Su Jing Xuan (9 years old) grandma) and Su Jing Xuan (Less actives) also came to church today! It was really good to see them! Zhou JieMei expressed in Relief Society how she has realized she needs to become the example in her family and she wants to start coming back to church! We were able to meet shortly with Liang Man Ting after church. I am really hoping she will be able to be baptized in June! She is SO prepared but just really busy and hard to meet with. BUT, she comes to church every week!
I love being a missionary. Despite being soaked, tracting in the pouring rain, trying to ride our bikes with yuyi on...I can really feel God's love in my life everyday. I have never been so close to the Spirit and I can honestly say I have never been so happy. I know without a doubt this Church is true. This work is true. Heavenly Father is our Loving Heavenly Father. Christ Lives. He Loves Us. Serving is honestly the best!
I hope you all have a great week! I love you all so much!
Wu Mei Yu (an investigator we are working with) and I.
Sister Fisher, Gan Qiu Yi (investigator) and I.
Sister Fisher, Huang JieMei (member who is absolutely amazing and peike for us all the time) and I.
Sister Fisher's and I last picture together right before transfer meeting!
Saturday night, the Elders and us went to go have a lesson at a investigators home we are both working with. It was both of our first times to his home...so it took us a while to find it. It was also pouring rain so it was really fun! But really wet!
Elder Merrell, Sister Cardon, and I waiting for Elder Dixon to get instructions outside of a 7, when we found his home!