Wow, blink and another week goes by. This week was so interesting. Overall it was really good, lots to be thankful for, but it's a little bittersweet because all of our best investigators that we wanted to meet with got really busy so we weren't able to meet with them this week. It's definitely a week crammed with good and bad news.
I'll start on a piece of good news. All 4 of my converts here in TaoYuan attended the temple yesterday. That is such a huge blessing. They are all growing and maturing in their testimony and in the church. They are all such solid members and they all went to the temple for the first time yesterday. I'm really excited about this.
Another great highlight was Nami's baptism this week (Sister Jiang, the English student) She was really happy and the baptism went really great. Afterwards she shared her testimony. It is really strong. Another cool part is that I baptized Nami, the sister's investigator, and the other Elders in our ward had someone getting baptized that night. Guess who baptized them? Brother Cai Duo An, our 17 year old. Hahahaha, It's so great. He is just months removed from being a punk at school, smoking, and getting in fights. Now he's blessing the sacrament, going to the temple, and baptizing people. I LOVE IT!
Some of downs... Brother Tsai's boss took back his word and made brother Tsai work this weekend, which means that he couldn't have a baptismal interview. His boss, who had originally said he'd let him start resting in April, now said "I promise in May you can rest." It's ridiculous and the workers in his line of work are treated so poorly. It's really sad. I want it so badly for him!
We also had a really great investigator this week call us and inform us that he didn't want to keep meeting. That was really hard. I begged and pleaded with him, but he said we could come back in a couple months when he's got more stuff worked out in his life. Most of the time on my mission I've been so busy that I've got to kind of pick and choose who I want to continue working with, determine who is progressing and not, but when someone who is really great quits on their own it hurts.
Enough of the sad stuff. The week overall had a lot to be thankful for, including some cool finding miracles. One involves a brother Sao. I ran into Brother Sao on the street. He's a 17 year old, and I taught him a lesson and set him up to come to the church. I invited him to pray and read a little flyer I gave him before he comes. To that invite he replied "I'll read it tonight." and he did. Then he came to the church a couple days later to meet. I finally placed who he was because he rolled up on his super cool fixed gear bicycle. I had seen him on his bike when I first got to TaoYuan and always wanted to talk to him. I finally got the chance a couple months ago, but it was 2 minutes before we had to be home, so I invited him to English class. He said he had no interest and then I said, well we also teach the Gospel, but don't have time at the moment. Can we call you another time? He said sure. I wrote down his number and then forgot about him. When I contacted him last week I didn't put it together that it was the same kid, but when he rolled up on the bike I got it! I feel bad I needed that much help from Heavenly Father to find a prepared soul, but I'm thankful for a patient Heavenly Father who still guided me to this wonderful soul. Brother Sao is now reading the Book of Mormon and praying daily.
Another cool finding miracle was a man named Peter Yang. My companion found him. When he came to the chapel to meet with us we asked him why he was willing to meet. He said because he had seen the movie "Yes Man" the day before my companion contacted him. It's really funny but because he's been willing to say "Yes" he's getting a testimony of the restored gospel and progressing. I wondered if that was pure coincidence, or a way that the Lord was preparing Peter for the gospel.
The Huang family all came to church this week. They're doing great. Looks like they'll all be baptized in this next upcoming transfer. Crazy to think another transfer is almost over. I've really enjoyed working with Elder Hauter. Time flies.
We ran into some members of another church last week. They were pretty anti-Mormon because their church has a list of bad churches in the world, and our church was on it. Pretty ridiculous, but we were able to meet with them and clear up some of the lies about our church that they had heard. It was pretty amazing the lies they'd heard. Including that we don't eat garlic. Direct quote "You guys are the ones that don't drink tea and coffee or eat garlic." I don't know where they got the garlic bit, but it was nice to be able to testify of the truthfulness of the church as well as answer some questions.
Overall the work is great. The TaoYuan zone is doing great. One crazy thing that happened this week was that I didn't see the inside of my apartment from Friday morning to Sunday night. Friday we went to do baptismal interviews in a town called Longtan, the farthest area away in our zone. We had president's permission to be out 30 minutes past curfew to get home, or if we would be later to sleep down there with the Longtan Elders. The interviews went longer than expected so we spent the night on the floor of the Longtan apartment Friday night. Then Saturday we got a call from one of the companionships in our zone saying that they wouldn't be able to do our exchange at the scheduled time this next week, so we changed it right then and did it from Saturday to Sunday. So I was away again. It felt nice to have my bed last night.
This work is great. My English is getting bad. I feel like today was especially bad, so be patient.
I love you all. CTR