My mission now has a mission blog! it is taiwantaipeimission.com
This week has been a great week. It has honestly been a life changing week!*
A lot happened this week so I hope I can sum it up :)
First, mom and dad! Tell Lindsay Loveland hi from me! I love her! She has always been such an amazing example to me! And now she lives in our home ward! Aw so cool! Also, tell Tyler congratulations and I am so excited for him to enter the field! What a neat experience he is going to have.
As for my week, we started Monday night by visiting a less active and his family and shared the plan of salvation! It was a great lesson--the kids especially loved it! We have these fun circles for every step in the plan and they had fun moving their body and spirit along the path. We hope as we continue meeting with them, Wang DX can remember the feelings he had at church and have a desire for his family to also one day join. They are the family who Wang DX wife's parents oppose to the church. Monday night we also met with our most progressing investigators, Zhang DX and Jiang JM. When we first got there, Zhang DX told us he looked our church up online--so he had several questions about the things the internet says. We promised him that if he prayed, he could know for himself what things are true and what things said are false. He was very open and really wants to know for himself what is true and what is false. We taught the message of the Restoration Monday night and focused mostly about Christ and his earthly ministry.
Monday night was also a really sad night. Similar to what Bryan experienced a couple weeks ago. One of our investigators, Huang Qian Wen sent us a text while we were on our way to Zhang DX and Jiang JM's home informing us that she was very grateful for the time we were able to meet with her but that she no longer can meet with us. We called her to see if we could meet with her just one more time to say goodbye. She accepted and we met Wednesday afternoon. We were very confused because we had confirmed with her 2 hours before she sent us that text for our appointment with her on Wednesday. But when we met with her on Wednesday, we couldn't even go to her home. We met at a bakery and she wasn't very open like she normally is. We shared Moroni 10:32 with her and invited her to continue coming unto Christ. She didn't tell us why but we believe her husband has now opposed to her taking the lessons even though he was very excited about it in the beginning. It was a hard goodbye but knowing that this is God's plan for her, I hope and pray she will have an opportunity in her future to accept the Gospel.
Tuesday we had a great zone meeting and practice teaching in Zhunan which took the majority of the day. Tuesday night, we met with Lai Ming Jin. He is continuing to struggle finding a job but is hopeful God can and will help him. The Gospel has really changed his life and I am so grateful I have been able to be apart in him coming to know our Savior and His teachings.
Wednesday--other than meeting for the last time with Huang Qian Wen, we met with a member in the morning-Chen Ping Rong-and our investigator from China in the afternoon. Chen Ping Rong was baptized a couple years ago and her daughter was baptized a couple weeks ago (she just turned 8). Chen JM has a huge testimony of the Gospel. It is so powerful. She is a huge example to me. Zhang Li Mei is continuing to progress. She comes to church every week and loves it. However, she is 7 months pregnant and is probably going to have to wait until after she has her baby boy to get baptized. Her husband returns at the beginning of August from working in China so we are really hopeful we can start teaching him here in a few weeks.
Wednesday started our search of Less Actives. This week we really spent a lot of time going to the less actives homes that live in our area. There are a lot! Our ward list is about 8 pages long--about 450-500 people and about 60-70 of them or less are active. We came to realize our ward list is very very outdated...individuals are on there that moved 10+ years ago. But, this was a great finding tool. Since we went knocking with a name to find, so many people--mostly family of the individual let us in and we were able to have a short lesson with most of them about Christ. Although most of them didn't want to set up a return appointment, we were able to plant another seed for the future.
Wednesday night, we have our English class. Lai Ming Jin's son who lives with his aunt has been coming for a couple weeks and we gave him an English name tonight! We gave him a couple choices, and he chose Bryan! haha So, I told his dad we named his son after my younger brother :). Hopefully Lai Wen Yi as cool as Bryan is :)
Wednesday night, Fan Zhu Song also told me he is preparing to go to the temple on July 18th!! He will be able to go to baptisms for the dead! It brought music to my ears! I am so so so excited for him. The temple brings so many blessings. Fan Zhu Song just graduated from college so he will be returning home to TaoYuan in the next month to start his required military service.
Thursday-Thursday night we met with Lai Ming Jin and Chen Wen Xun our two recent converts. They are both doing well. Tuesday night, Lai DX told us he is worried Chen DX has started smoking again. It was cute, because Thursday night, Lai DX like drilled the word of wisdom at Chen DX. So Sister Cardon and I just sat there and Lai DX was a great teacher :).
Thursday nights we also meet with Zhang DX and Jiang JM. Tonight we taught the 3rd lesson and invited them to baptism. They loved the lesson, had so many questions, and were willing to be baptized if they come to know the church is true but they don't want to set a date yet. I love how open Zhang DX and Jiang JM are. They ask the questions they truly are thinking--they asked about baby baptisms (they loved the fact we don't get baptized till we are 8). about worshiping ancestors and cleaning graves (here in Taiwan, when they go clean the graves of they ancestors, he believe it is part of the worshiping part when they go to worship them. We we explained how the States has a holiday for us to visit and clean the graves of our ancestors they were shocked. They only thing we do that is different is that we don't ask for blessings from our ancestors. They seemed to not have a problem stopping the worshiping part from ancestors! ) It is also really cute-every time we go, they are always so nice to have fruit or drinks for us and they always ask before they give it to us if it is okay for us to have. They are very aware of Word of Wisdom and don't want us to 'break it'.
Friday we went to ZhuBei and met the Jergensens! Presdient and Sister Jergensen, our new mission president and his wife are AMAZING! As I was talking to Sis. Jergensen at the beginning, I asked if she by chance knew Tonya and John Brenchley and she did! They said they have been good friends with them forever! It is such a small world!!! They also have 15 year old twin boys who will be here with them and a 19 year old daughter will be here during her breaks from college at BYU. They have 3 older kids who are married. They have info about themselves on the new blog you can read :)
Saturday was another great day. We had a lot of less active finding time and we also met with Lu Pei Ling. We haven't been able to meet with her in about a month. We really feel like giving her another week or so before we stop making contact with her. She seems to be doing really well and the only two big issues we need to solve with her is her desire to give up tea and how far away the church is from her home. She just needs to build her faith and then she'll be good :)
In the afternoon, we met with Gan JM and had a really good lesson on 2 Nephi 31-33. She finally told us the full truth as to why she isn't coming to our church**. She told us how much she loves the doctrines of the gospel. She believes they are pure and simple. Hopefully her issue can be solved so that she can start attending church.
Saturday night, we visited a less active and it was a correct address!! Zeng XS is an active Christian in another church that meets in XinZhu. We were able to talk with him and give him a new Book of Mormon since his got destroyed in the last typhoon I think a couple years ago. He got baptized in his current church last September but is willing to meet with us. We have a return appointment with him this coming week.
Sunday was a great day! Church was great. Sacrament meeting was all based on homosexual relationships and mostly they talked about how America legalized gay marriage and they talked all about the American government but other than that, it was great! Zhang DX CAME TO CHURCH! It was his first time and the members welcomed him in and talked to him every second they could! He asked great questions in Gospel Principles and was really involved! A member, Lin Zhi Qiang, came and talked to us after church and told us how in priesthood he got to know him and thought how great of a man he is and that he really has interest in the church and the church's teachings. It is great how the members are seeing his potential and almost all of them invited him to invite his wife and bring his daughter next week! I can't wait to see what happens with them!!
During our less active finding on Sunday, we went to go visit Liu Qiu Yi. She wasn't home but her mom was SO excited when she saw us standing outside her door! She let us in and fed us pizza that had been sitting on the counter for who knows how long and told us how much she loved when then Elders used to come over to her house. She talked about Liu Qiu Yi who is about 34 years old and is not yet married she said that her daughter doesn't think she can get married because she is fat--so a self confidence thing. Liu MaMa was so excited when we asked if we could come back a later time to meet her daughter! She told us how much she liked when her daughter was going to church--so at least we have the family supporting us?!
Well, congrats to whoever made it through all of this!! Sorry its so long!
Overall we had a great week. And like I said up top. It was a life changing week for me. I realized how happy I really am on my mission. Yeah, it is sometimes hard that I have been serving in the same area my entire time since I came to Taiwan but I love this area and learned more this week that it doesn't matter where you serve, just that you serve. I love the opportunity I have to serve my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is such a blessing. So hard. But So good!
I love you all so much!!
Sister Cardon and I way out in the country contacting a referral.
Funny Story: We went and ate at Hope Noodle this week and We had the option between small or big bowls. They big bowls were only 10 kuai more so I thought why not? Yeah, it was a HUGE bowl of beef noodle soup! But, I ate it all and enjoyed every bit :)
Huang Qian Wen and I.