It was another amazing week here the TuCheng. The Lord loves this place, as do I. The biggest highlight of this week was hands down the baptisms of Andy Huang and Wayne Yang. These 2 brethren are so amazing. We have two completely different backgrounds here. Andy had been investigating for over a year and a half. Missionaries had actually stopped meeting with him, although he was coming to church, FHE, ward activities, and institute during that time. I felt prompted to begin meeting with him and in the first time sitting down with him told him he'd be baptized while I was still in Tucheng. I will be moving out of TuCheng in just a short 5 days after his confirmation. The Lord really touched his heart over the last little while and I feel like he was one of the biggest reasons I was called to serve in TuCheng.
On the other hand we have Wayne Yang who was an investigator for just under a month prior to being baptized. The Lord knows him and prepared him prior to his even becoming our investigator. Over this summer vacation his older sister died of a stroke. It was an unexpected death because his sister was still in her 20's. He was feeling blue one day when he ran into a happy missionary. He said the happiness of that Elder made him willing to give his phone number which was then sent to us here in TuCheng. We shared the plan of salvation, promised him families are forever, and shared the other wonderful truths of this perfect gospel. He felt it. He prayed and felt it. Heavenly Father heard and answered his prayers and he was baptized. It's amazing the Lord gave him this right after the tragedy of losing a loved one. We took him on a tour at the "Taipei Temple square" yesterday after church. The temple tour sisters talked about baptisms for the dead. Something he's very interested in. It was wonderful. Also, he wants to serve a mission!!! He's 21 years old right now so he's got time to do so. I hope he does it after he continues to grow in the church. I love the opportunity of working with so many amazing people. It's been a blessing to be here in TuCheng. We've brought 9 brothers into the church through baptism in the 12 weeks I've been here. HOORAY for potential priesthood!!!
My time here in TuCheng is ending. I will be leaving this Friday to go open a new area with a brand new missionary I will be assigned to train. I'm not supposed to know until Friday where I'm going but I've already figured it out, and confirmed it. I'll be headed to the SanChong branch in the Central Taipei Stake. It will be pretty nice to have such a central location as my last. I don't know much about the ward or area. I just know they don't have Elder's right now and they're in desperate need of priesthood holders last I heard. There were Elders there about 6 months ago who got closed down, and I heard that they were a little bit of "problem missionaries.'' I hope when we get there we can be welcomed in a positive manner. It's going to be a great adventure opening and training but I'm super excited. I couldn't think of any better way to finish out my mission.
Another great miracle this week occurred while on exchanges. I ran into a less active man who I taught when I was on my 3rd transfer. At that time he hadn't been to church in over 5 years and came into the chapel just looking for hope. We met with him a couple times and then after finding out he lived in another ward, referred him to the missionaries in that ward. I never thought much of it. Now, over a year later I went on exchanges in that ward, and I ran into again, but this time he was much happier and much more active in the church. It was a cool blessing to be able to see him.
Another great miracle took place Saturday night. We were on the street when out of the corner of our eyes we saw this man decked out in all sorts of bling and wearing a fedora hat. We knew we immediately had to talk to him, although we didn't have much time. We went up and engaged in conversation, after brief introductions, due to time, we exchanged phone numbers and said we'd try to find a time to meet. Then right at the end I invited him to church the following day, not giving it any more thought after that. The next day at church in walks Brother Jiang blinged out in his jewelry like a Chinese Mr. T. Hahaha he's pretty cool! We've set up a time to teach him again this week.
But wait there's more... I have an English student named Neo. He met with us after English class to learn about the gospel 2 weeks ago but didn't have time after English class this Wednesday. Needless to say we didn't expect to see him at church at all, however he unexpectedly showed up Sunday... with his entire family!!! His Father, Mother, and Sister. He himself is in his late 20's his sister is in her mid 20's and their parents all came. It was such a huge miracle. They had a great experience and said they want to come back every week!!
But wait there's more... Last week we began meeting with a Brother He, and he came to church. This week I taught him the restoration and he committed to reading the Book of Mormon. When I opened the missionary closet to give him a copy I found out we were out. Then I told him I'm sorry, and we'd get him one the following day. His reply was "It's okay, take your time, I'm only half way done with the gospel principles book." HAHAHA my face lit up. The teacher had let him take it home and he had already read half!!! That's so amazing... once he finishes that teaching him with be a breeze! He's super Golden!!!
This week, just like every other week, had its fair share of laughables. My favorite took place last night. We had this rather peculiar English student call us last night and ask if he could meet. We'd set up him up before and then had him stand us up, but we had to go to the church later anyway so we agreed on a time. He came. It was weird. We determined his interest wasn't in the gospel and simply testified that the gospel could help him and that Heavenly Father loves him and exists. In closing we invited him to say a prayer. What came next was unexpected. What followed was a literal 10-12 minute prayer. The first 6 minutes or so were stereotypical Buddhist worship (a common thing to hear in peoples first few times praying here, but never for that long of time), then he went on apologizing to Heavenly Father for being a Taiwanese person who didn't speak Taiwanese well. He apologized that he only spoke Mandarin Chinese, and told Heavenly Father it's because he grew up in Taipei where Taiwanese is used less. He also told Heavenly Father his parents are from the south of Taiwan, so their Taiwanese is really good. He pleaded for Heavenly Father to forgive his Taiwanese deficiencies. Then the last few minutes he prayed for world peace. He prayed for world peace because if there is a war he's not able to participate because of health reasons, and he really wants to participate in war, but because he can't, he wants world peace. Then he ended. It was painfully hard to keep from laughing during that prayer. But we made it out alive.
Overall it's been 2 great transfers here in TuCheng. It was a wonderful way to leave on these 2 great brother's baptisms. I love this work. Being a missionary is AWESOME!!!!
Also, I've determined that dragonfruit is the best fruit on earth.
I love you all.