This week was insane. I don't know where to begin. I've been pretty sick as of late and this week I finally started feeling good, so I felt like I was released from a cage and set free. I finally had enough energy to go crazy in the work. I was so happy and we saw so many cool miracles and blessings this week!
The zone as a whole is doing amazing things, however last week we realized to meet our monthly new investigator goal as a zone we needed a huge week of finding this week. So I called out Monday and announced that it was "Finding Week" and our wonderful zone all got on board. We worked hard, Heavenly Father blessed us so much, and we crushed our goal with an absolutely amazing week of finding. I love TaoYuan!
This transfer is going to be crazy. Because of the new mission president switch, this transfer will only be 5 weeks. However, we still have to go on the same number of exchanges. So it's going to be crazy. This week I only had 2 hours of proselyting time with my companion until Saturday afternoon. Lots of exchanges, lots of traveling, our zone got 3 new district leaders, so we exchanged with all of them this week, and tried to train them a bit. It was great. Our zone is young, but we've got FIRE!!!
This week I set a personal goal that has changed my mission for the better. Before I tell you the goal I'd like to give you some background. Last week on P-day I purchased frozen yogurt at a self serve kind of place. They completely ripped me off because I'm a foreigner (happens a lot if you're not careful) but because I had already served it up in a cup, I paid... Because of how ridiculously expensive that frozen yogurt was I decided to eat as cheap as possible the rest of the week. Saturday I was in the store buying my dinner when a man I had contacted on a bus 1 month before came up and started talking to me. He remembered me and wanted to buy me lunch. I was excited, but I did the polite thing and said "oh no, you don't have to do that, it's not necessary" and so he said, oh, ok, and left. I found out that in Taiwan the culturally acceptable thing to do is just accept the offer the first time. I really wanted to save some money and let this man pay for my lunch, but I failed... Fast forward later that day. We are watching "Finding Faith in Christ" a DVD about Christ's life, with an investigator. In the movie Jesus helps a man selling fruit and the man gives him a piece of fruit. Jesus doesn't decline, just willingly accepts and eats the fruit. I'm trying to be like Jesus, so I set a goal that anytime anyone offered me something, I'll just accept. So far So Good. Here's the list of things I've been given in the last 7 days: A calendar, a peach, a drink from a drink shop, an entire cake, Sushi, soy milk, a chicken, 2 bracelets (given on separate occasion by different people), another cake, a chicken sandwich, and a guitar. Yes that last one was a guitar. This personal goal is amazing!
This week was full of great miracles. Too many to possibly count and write about them all, but I'll tell you one of my favorites. I was talking to a man on the scooter next to me at a red light. He was having nothing of it. After being rejected by him the light turned green and I started to ride off. As me and the rest of the scooters at the light began driving off I looked around and yelled to a man a couple scooters away saying "Hey! Pull over." To my surprise he did. I was excited. So the first thing I said was, "Why are you willing to pull over so suddenly." His reply "I've really been wanting to come back to church, but haven't been brave enough to." I said "what do you mean come back?" and then I found out he was baptized 3 years ago in another ward in TaoYuan. He was active for 1 year and then fell into inactivity. He had really been wanting to come back, but had been scared of what others might think, and feared not knowing people, because he has since moved into our ward boundaries. We set up a time to meet the following night. He brought his girlfriend, she became a new investigator, and they both attended church together yesterday. Such a huge miracle, all from talking to the 1 extra person after the light has already turned green.
Another blessing of staying in TaoYuan is watching my recent converts progress in the gospel. Brother Chi got the Melchizedek priesthood a couple weeks ago (I don't know how, it hadn't even been close to 1 year, but maybe because his baptism was the last day of 2011?) Brother Chen Nature got the Aaronic priesthood this week. Everyone else is doing so great. Brother Tsai ran into a huge temptation this week. He had some old friends making fun of him and trying to do everything they could to get him to smoke. He said it was super hard and he almost gave in, but he said he overcame the temptation and resisted! This week's best recent convert story is LiAn. We attended the combined young men young women Sunday School because we had an investigator in there. And LiAn shared a scripture in Mosiah 27:3. She said she likes this scripture because she feels like everyone needs to know the gospel. Then she got emotional and talked about how badly she wants her brother and mom to get baptized. She's great, she really encourages them at home to pray and read. She really is setting a great example for her family. After hearing her testimony I became even more determined to help her mom and brother get baptized. Her mom paid tithing yesterday, she's living all the commandments, including tithing, despite not willing to be baptized right now. It's really funny, when I first got to Tao3 the area had really been struggling with teaching lessons with members present. That's all changed now and a big part is the fact that all our recent converts help us. I love this place, and all these converts are a bunch of my best friends.
The Lord is continuing to bless us here. I'll be honest I had a couple thoughts of doubt at the beginning of this week, I've been here so long now, I had found so many new investigators, I was feeling like I was just tired of the area and had found all that could have possibly been prepared. Those are not faithful thoughts, those are not thoughts that lead to success, those were selfish and prideful. I said a prayer and went to work. The Lord taught me a lot this week. I really feel so blessed to be here, in TaoYuan, in Taiwan, on a mission. This mission has been so amazing, I've learned things I couldn't have learned in any other way. I know without a doubt the gospel is true, there is nothing in the world more important to me right now than making that known to the people of Taiwan. I love the Lord. I love his gospel. I'm thankful for his sacrifice.
I love each of you, you're in my prayers,
Also, My 22 year old companion shaved for the first time this week!!!