June 30, 2014It makes me so happy to hear from everyone
Thank you so much for being so good at emailing me every week! It makes me so happy to hear from everyone and know what's going on back home! I miss you all a lot, but there is no where I would rather be right now than Taiwan! I love it so much! I'm making the most of everyday :)
I'm really sorry I totally forgot to bring my camera with me this week, so I won't be sending any pictures. Next time!
This week was SO crazy. Let's start at the beginning...
On Monday, we had dinner at Li Jia Ting's place. I love them!! They were baptized several years ago, and they've been married in the temple. They like to have us over for dinner a lot, and we always share a spiritual message with them after eating. We were talking about the power of the Book of Mormon, and Li Mama talked about how amazing it is how every time you read the Book of Mormon, you get something out of it. You even notice verses in the scriptures that you didn't notice before. As we were talking about this, and how clearly we can see that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God, I remembered a speaking from the MTC. I remember she was speaking about this exact topic while she talked to us. She told us about experiences she has had reading the Book of Mormon and getting things out of the scriptures that she had never before. The Book of Mormon speaks to us differently each time. I thought it was so powerful that in America, I could hear someone explain this concept, and then I could come to Taiwan and hear someone express the same understanding. It's amazing how universal this gospel is. It touches the lives of people all around the world. I'm so grateful that I can see the gospel bless the people here in Taiwan!
Tuesday was super perfect, we had four lessons, english proselyting, and a relief society activity, but everything worked together perfectly, and our schedule was just packed. I love days like that, when everything works together as we plan! But at the same time, I think this week I learned the importance of back up plans. When I was on exchanges, ALL of our lessons fell through. No one was able to meet with us, so we were left to follow our back up plan. It was then that we were able to find three people who were willing to listen to us and expressed interest in learning more about the gospel. We went tracting, and weren't sure if we should turn right or left. After saying a prayer together, Sister Packard asked me what I thought, and I said "choose the right." Towards the end of the road, we tracted into a family. The son came to the door and told us he didn't want to listen to us, and started walking away from the door. Sister Packard kept talking, and offered to give him a tract. He opened the door and took the tract, and then let us into his house. We sat down at their table, and talked some more. Then he told us to come over and sit on the couch because it's more comfortable. We got to tell him a little bit about what we do as missionaries and about Jesus Christ. It was a good experience to see someone open up a little, and express some interest in learning more. I hope he gets a chance to learn some more about who Jesus Christ is and how He can help his life. After tracting, the next thing on our back up plan was to do phones. We went to the closest 7-11 and sat down. There was a couple sitting next to me, and they started nudging each other and talking to each other about english in Chinese. I just said hi and started talking to them in english. People are usually really awkward and uncomfortable when they try to speak english. I'm not really sure. I think it's cute. We just chatted for a while in english/chinese and got to know each other. Before we left, I told them about how we are missionaries and explained that we want to share with them more about Jesus Christ, and asked if they were interested. It was really amazing because they whole time we were talking before, it just felt really awkward. But once I started talking to them about the gospel, everything felt so natural and comfortable. The Spirit was really strong, and it was a really cool experience.
On Wednesday, we met with a new investigator, Cathy! She has been to America, so she has pretty good english, but she never really has a chance to speak very much english. So one day, she was just looking online to see if there was a free english class nearby, and came to ours! After english class, we met with her and talked to her about prayer and the Book of Mormon. We taught her about baptism, and how this decision is a completely new start to life. We explained the importance of baptism, and she expressed that it's really something she wants to work towards. That was so neat - I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ's example and for the blessing that we have to follow His example and start new.
On Thursday, we went street contacting and talked to a lot of people. We came up to one girl on a motorcycle and asked her if she wants to learn about baptism, and she was really interested! She pulled over on the side of the road and we exchanged details. Sister Chang was doing most of the talking, so when I introduced myself, she goes "wow, you speak Chinese?!" (In Chinese). I really love talking to people about baptism. Helping them understand this important step we can take to becoming more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I love how many miracles we have seen this week with teaching people about baptism.
Friday was like the craziest day EVER. We were doing personal study in the morning, and we got a call from this random person. She sounded pretty frantic and worried. She needed us to come over to her house to help her clean up. We came and she explained that she met with missionaries a long time ago. At that time, they asked her if she needed help with anything, but she said no. That day, she remembered those missionaries, and decided to call us. She had to clean the whole house because she had to move out at the end of the day. We came into her house, and it was completely COVERED with junk. We soon realized that she's a hoarder, and that there was no way we could clean it all up ourselves. We called the elder missionaries in our district, and we spent about five hours in there cleaning up her stuff. It was my first experience with a hoarder. It was a lot like the things you see on TV. Luckily, she wasn't watching us to see everything we threw away, but she would go through the trash sometimes and pick out the things that she still wanted. It was really nasty. She had had the apartment for about four years, and from what we saw, we really think that she just used it as storage. Everything was super dusty and dirty, and there was no way someone could be living there. I thought it was fun, but really nasty, too. Here in Taiwan, they don't really believe in air conditioning. Most homes just have fans. So the apartment was super hot, and we were working really hard, so by the end, I was soaking wet with sweat!
We quickly ran home, rinsed off, and went to the church to go on exchanges! I went with Sister Packard. We traveled to DaKeng, and had a really busy evening. I was so exhausted by the end of the day, and slept super well! Saturday was really good. I FINALLY PASSED OFF PHASE ONE!! Sister Packard did my evaluation during companion study and language study...it probably took like two hours. I taught her ten principles from the lessons, and she tested me on my Chinese. I'm so glad to have it done!! :)
We had dinner with Joelle - hot pot. Sister Chang had me try pig butt. Gross and squishy. Hahaha. We had Huang Jia Ting come with us. It worked out super well, because they also just moved her several months ago from GaoXiong, like Joelle. They talked a lot, and became friends. I really think that's what she needed. With less actives, they just need friends and a chance to get to know members. It doesn't help when people bug them about coming back to church, but everyone needs a friend. It was so good to see her warm up to them! I love Joelle.
Last night at Family Home Evening, Sister Chang and I were in charge of the spiritual share. We did an activity where everyone sat in a circle at Elder Ng was in the middle. Sister Chang would ask everyone if they wanted a candy. Whether or not they said they did, Elder Ng had to do ten push ups for each person. There were about twelve people in the circle, and towards the end, he was struggling to do it. When we were done, he shared his feelings, and we talked about how this represents the atonement. Christ has sacrificed and suffered for each one of us, whether we want to accept it or not. He loves each one of us, and He was willing to die for us. It's up to us to accept or reject the sacrifice that He made for us.
I'm loving Taiwan! I'm so happy and learning so much about my Savior and about myself. Love you all!!