We're in the hood! SanChong is home to the Taiwanese Mafia. It's such a BUSY area. The traffic is super crazy, and my little green trainee almost got killed a couple times this last week! It doesn't get much more fun. The one investigator left to us is actually doing really well. We went to visit Brother Huang again a couple times this week. He's got such a big desire to quit smoking and get baptized for his family. It's actually been such a blessing teaching him, I feel the spirit so strongly when I'm around him. We wanted to share with him about 1 Nephi 3:7 and how the Lord promises us he'll provide a way for us to keep his commandments, and as we began getting into it he got really excited because he remembered the story. He was like a little 10 year old primary child as he excitedly summarized Nephi and his brother's story. It was really great, and the more I teach him the more I have a desire for him and his family to be eternal. He was able to attend the afternoon branch this week after he got off work. I'm really excited for his potential.
This last week we prayed especially hard to be able to get people we met within the week to attend church. It's not the easiest task but we prayed for it and were really blessed to have a couple other people attend sacrament meeting. However, they weren't exactly what one might call golden.
The first one was a college kid I met on the street. We began contacting him and he couldn't understand why someone could be Christian. He talked about how Christianity caused the crusades and so much more war and violence in the world. I looked at him and said, this is why I believe in Christ and shared Alma 7 about the atonement. He completely changed and wanted to come to church, it was a really cool miracle. He came to church and brought his girlfriend. We were super excited and they attended sacrament meeting. Then we went to attend Sunday School. Suddenly he asked if he could leave early. We said that's fine if he has to go, and asked if he had other plans or something, he then replied "No, I just have a strong discrimination against women and I can't accept sitting through a class taught by a woman." I was completely shocked. He agreed to come back again next week to the Sacrament meeting. We're also meeting with him again this week, but I've never heard anything like that. I'm thinking I must change our lesson plan to just talking about the priesthood.... Just kidding!
Our other guy that came to church might be homeless, might have killed somebody before, and might be crazy. It's all still up in the air. He has no family name, because he feels like his family wronged him and they ended up disowning him. He also claims he has a ton of people who owe him money. I asked our Ward Mission Leader to help us sit down with him and determine if he's crazy or not. Our ward mission leader kind of liked him. Needless to say I just invited him back to church and didn't set up a time to share the discussions. It was such an interesting day at church. However we're thankful for the many miracles we've had this week. We've been blessed to find some amazing, prepared souls who I know have a good chance at entering into the waters of baptism.
I'd like to share my favorite finding miracle of the week. I sat down with bishop and identified some less active Melchizedek priesthood holders, and we began visiting them throughout the week. We went to visit one who lived on the fifth floor of an apartment building. We accidentally ended up knocking on his neighbors door before his. We tried to strike up a gospel conversation with the neighbor, but he wasn't having much of it. So then we went to the less active's home. Upon leaving the less active's home I was prompted to talk to the neighbor one more time. I had no idea why. He had made it very clear he had no interest. I talked to him again for about 2 minutes, nothing came of it, and then we began descending the stairs down to the exit of the building. At the door of the building we met Mister Zhang. We would have been on our bikes and gone if we hadn't talked to the non-interested neighbor for an extra 2 minutes. We began talking with him and he was polite and listened. We began talking about Heavenly Father and prayer and said a prayer with him right then and there. As soon as we said "Amen" he immediately asked "Why are there so many different sects of Christianity?" We began sharing about the apostasy, Joseph Smith, and restoration. As we shared the first vision the spirit was so strong. He said "If this is true, this is HUGE!" He was super eager to set up a time to meet. So we set up a time and showed him where our chapel was... then the best part happened. He said "I work in that building." Such a huge miracle! He works in the same building as our chapel, and we'd never have found him if we weren't on the other side of our area, and if we hadn't listened to the spirit and talked to the guy that rejected us again. It was such a big miracle and it was exactly what we needed to happen to get our area off to a good start.
We had a great week and were truly blessed by the Lord. My trainee is a really good missionary, but even better is that we get a long great and he's got a good attitude. I know we're going to see miracles and we're going to baptize. The Lord sent us to open SanChong at this time because there are people here who need the gospel. There are people here who are ready right now. We need to trust the spirit to help us find them. I love this opportunity to finish up my mission in this manner. It's going to be fun, it's going to be hard, it's going to be TIRING, but I know it will be worth it and I know SanChong will grow and have success because the Church is true.
Pray for SanChong, Pray for Elder Peterson and me.
I love you,