My dear friends and family!
Good morning from the Internet Cafe in TouFen, Taiwan where the man next to me just tried to express his love to me in English.
First, and probably what you are wondering about the most: TYPHOON! So yes, this week Taiwan experienced one of the largest typhoons in 20 years. I'm not sure all the damage or anything that really happened. It started on Friday--TouFen is on the western part of the Island so we didn't get hit very bad on Friday. We were told we were able to go out and work but we needed to stay close to our apartment or church building which was hard for us because our apartment and church are both in the Elders area but we filled our time with doing Secret Service for some members! Friday evening, the winds starting to pick up a little bit and we were informed to make sure we had a 72-hour kit at our home. Friday night at 8:51 was when it started to rain as our branch mission leader would say, Elephants. We were just about to pull into the road where our apartment is so it was perfect timing. We spent a few minutes outside dancing in the rain--taking a few minutes to enjoy God's beautiful creations. Many were looking out their windows--probably thinking we were crazy.
The typhoon hit TouFen during the middle of the night. So we were sleeping through the entire thing--but we really weren't sleeping. Our entire house was shaking. The first time I remember waking up was about 2:20 AM and I felt like we were experiencing an earthquake. I got out of bed and watched from the window for a few minutes. The wind was absolutely insane! The trees were being forced from left to right and the rain was coming down even harder than at 8:51 and horizontally. It was insane!
After waking up from a sleepless night, we looked outside and there were thick tree branches all over the road and signs blown off the side of buildings. Large trees were uprooted! It was still raining a little bit but it wasn't as bad as during the night.
We couldn't go out and proselyte at all on Saturday. Although Saturday was pretty calm here on the West Coast, Taipei and the East Coast were still getting hit pretty hard. MiaoLi County is a mountainous county so the mountains protect this area a lot! So, we stayed busy inside by cleaning up our apartment, going through and organizing our Area Book, and having some extra study time.
We got permission to walk to a members house Saturday night to eat dinner with them. Since we couldn't really do any missionary work, we spent some extra time with Yang JiaTing. It was a lot of fun!
So sadly, the typhoon hit here during the middle of the night but it was still pretty neat to experience one.
Also, my camera I believe got some water damage and has been sitting in Rice since Friday night...It started working a little bit this morning but the buttons are all not working. It turns on by rotating the settings...so I might be purchasing a camera today :( but, we used Sister Cardon's so I'll get all the pictures from her memory card!
Today, I want to share a really neat experience that happened to us Monday night. Last Monday after preparation day, we had a night full of finding. We went to the area where our investigator, Zhang JiaTing lives and knocked in there for the entire night. Our original plans were to be there half the night and then move areas. We were there for about an hour and a half and met a few neat people-none that really had much interest or agreed to having us come back again but we felt it was pretty successful in being able to teach a couple of people to pray and teach them a little bit about Christ. At about 7:30, we went back to our bikes to bike to the next area. We were biking down MinZuLu and I had this impression we needed to go back to that area. I ignored it and kept biking I got it again and then the 3rd time, I'm pretty sure the Spirit was very frustrated with me and kinda yelled saying, "you need to go back". So, about half way down MinZuLu, I turned back to Sister Cardon, and asked, "What are your thoughts right now?" She said, "I don't know I was just thinking about Chinese." I said, "Well, I feel like we need to go back." She agreed and we went back. As soon as I turned by bike to go back to where we were before, the nasty feeling left my body and I literally was filled with peace. We went back, parked our bikes, set goals and prayed. We went knocked a few doors and then we knocked on the last door of a certain road. A woman answered and told us to wait just a second and went and grabbed her husband. Normally when this happened, the husbands comes to the door and tells us they are not interested and to leave but this man saw us and seemed somewhat excited. He got his shoes and came outside and talked to us for a good 10-15 minutes. We prayed with him, explained the Book of Mormon, and talked about Christ. As we went to set up a return appointment, he said, "I am leaving on Wednesday morning for a business trip to China but I'll be back in two weeks and want to meet. Will you call me then?" We agreed and told him we will see him in two weeks. This man, Liao XS, is so amazing. And, the crazy is when we were going to come back on Thursday to knock more doors in this area, he wouldn't have been home. Now, who knows what is going happen in a week when we call him but I know this is the reason why we were supposed to go back to this area. The rest of the night was just the same, and no one was very interested but It is ALL worth it for one-for the ONE that is prepared.
I am so grateful for the Spirit--especially in missionary work! This work wouldn't be His work if we didn't do it with the Spirit.
Saturday night, we also got a call from the Assistants to the President and they told us Sister Cardon will be training in Toufen! So, I am going to be what is called a dad! My current companion is going to be training!! haha. So, this means I will probably be getting the call on Wednesday night that I am transferring out.
I said goodbye to lots of members yesterday at church and to a few investigators we wont be seeing in the next few days. It is really sad!! I love these people to death! But, I know I will see them again!!
This morning, I spent some time in Personal Study reviewing my Patriarchal Blessing. What a great tool and blessing we have been given from our Heavenly Father. I invite y'all to review your Patriarchal Blessing this week and take a moment or two to reflect on your life. Ask yourself if you are keeping your life in harmony with the Lord's. Are we living up to the covenants we have made? Are we worthy and able to receive the blessings the Lord has in store for us?
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!! Happy Fathers Day Dad!! Saturday was Father's day here in Taiwan--all the dads--well most of them enjoyed their day being home from work due to the typhoon!
P.S Family, I loved reading the family letter!! Mom and dad, the pictures are AMAZING!! I am so glad you had a great time in Europe!!! Marissa, Lachlan, and Alexa and I glad you were able to enjoy the various places you were-Marissa at home, Lachlan&Alexa at grandma&pa's homes.
P.P.S: Please tell the ward primary thanks so much for the adorable letters I got from primary children! They are so cute! I'm pretty sure, if my memory is correct, Melissa Reed sent them :)
Post typhoon damage.
Xu JieMei (Branch President's Wife) and I.
Zhou JieMei (Mia) and I. Elders investigator I have gotten pretty close to.
Walking to Yang JiaTing.
Some more damage from the typhoon.
How they clean up all the trees.