How great it is to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's such a blessing.
We had some pretty big changes this week in the mission. We said goodbye to 18 missionaries--most of them I have either served with or have become some of my very good friends. Included in that group was Sister Cardon and Elder Payne who was serving here in SanChong. It was weird to say goodbye. I don't know if you remember but about 2 years ago I was at Lachlan's football game with dad and we were driving to go get some food and we read on the news that 2 missionaries in this mission has passed away to Carbon Monoxide. Well, the one who was from Springville, Utah, Elder Thredgold would have finished his mission this transfer. He was Elder Payne's companion in the MTC. SanChong was also the area in which the Carbon Monoxide accident occurred so he was talked about a little at church and remembered. I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation.
The Elders area in SanChong also got whitewashed and so Elder Luther is training a new missionary, Elder Smith (who is from Highland, UT). It is fun to have two training companionship's in the same ward!
And with the new transfer, this starts my 12th and final transfer of my mission. It is so strange but I am looking forward to the next 6 weeks and the miracles that will come.
Some neat miracles from this last week:
Last Monday, Sister Wong and I were at the dongxi store (a store full like STUFFED of random stuff) we were there buying a goodbye gift for Elder Payne and as we were checking out, Sister Wong was in front, then a couple, and then me. This couple was speaking perfect English to each other and it sounded like the man was from America. Well, he turned back to me and asked if we were the LDS Missionaries. He went on to say that he is a member of the church but hasn't been to church in an extremely long time. He is from Hawaii and is currently working here in Taiwan. He doesn't speak any Chinese but his girlfriend is Taiwanese so translates everything for him. :) As we got talking, he said he knows a girl from our ward who is about to get married and it has brought him to think about possibly coming back to church! We invited him and his girlfriend to come. Later that night, we sent him a text telling him we were so grateful we were able to meet him. And he responded by saying that it was such a coincidence that we met and that he and his girlfriend might come to church in 2 or 3 weeks! We found, well really he found us, a long lost LA!
It sounds like the weather was about the same here as it was in Idaho. This week was pretty rainy. So not many people were out on the street. BUT, Sunday afternoon, there were a few hours where it was really nice. So, we hit up our favorite finding spot by the CaiLiao MRT station and we ended up having a pretty long lesson with the cutest Liu JieMei I have ever met. Liu JM has been handicapped her whole life. She has a bone disease and is in a wheelchair. She has no legs, lives on her own, does everything on her own too--showers, cooks, etc. She has no family to care for her. She has the cutest personality. From the second we said hi to her, her face lighted up! We shared with her the Plan of Salvation. At first, she told us that God doesn't love her because she is constantly in pain, and hasn't had a very happy life--it has just been really boring. She thinks that God hasn't been very fair to her. We shared the Plan of Salvation and really emphasized the point that she will be able to be resurrected and receive a perfect body. This brought her to tears. I love this woman more that anything. We are scheduled to go to her home this next week. Such a wonderful opportunity and miracle Heavenly Father gave us!
This week we also had our big English Party. We went all out this transfer--making a big story line, dressing up, having props and decorations, etc. It took a lot of time to put together but the results were incredible. So many people posted about it on FB and other internet sites which really advertised our English Class and the church! We had students telling us they will be bringing their friends and family next week! We had a cowboy themed party.
Funny Story: Sister Bowman (dad you ate with her that one time with Sister Wright) is currently serving in SongShan and Sister Wong and I helped out with a big Temple Tour on Saturday for their ward. On Friday when we were training for this tour she told me that just a few days ago as they were contacting on the street, she started talking to a woman and she said that she knew about her church, and that she said that she knows a man, (Dad, she called you the Melaleuca Man) who has a daughter serving in Taiwan and that he told her that whenever she saw missionaries that she needs to take care of them and protect them! Thanks dad! haha
AND on Saturday as we were in Taipei doing the temple tour, GUESS WHO I SAW?!?!? FAN ZHU SONG! He is my first convert. The man who I taught with Sister Fisher in TouFen and then got baptized! I haven't seen him in so long! He has changed so much. He had just gotten doing baptisms with some members in his ward. He is currently living in Taoyuan.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. It has strengthened my testimony so much. I have learned and grown in ways I never knew I could. I love studying the scriptures. They are such a strength to me and teach us what we must to in order to have the most joy and happiness on earth and what we must do in order to receive eternal happiness. I love this work. I love Taiwan!
Have a great week!
Dinner on Tuesday.
Dinner on Thursday with the new Elders.
English party (above and below).
P-day last week!
After church yesterday.
FAN ZHU SONG!