We took chairs on the subway, got a lot of funny looks
Last p-day we had a billion missionaries at pizza hut
A cool place we stopped for lunch on exchanges with elder phelps (from alpine UTah)
Coolest bakery ever
"White's pastry shop"
Pics of our Thanksgiving activity.
Me and Brother Huang. He and his family are doing so well
Me and my comp laughing it up
Me and Brother Zhang (in the Knicks shirt, as well as his friends who are
now our investigators)
At our Thanksgiving, party we found out an hour before it began that they wanted us missionaries to do some kind of musical number... like sing a hymn. That day there just happened to be a guitar at church that the missionaries in the neighboring area were giving to us because neither of them play. Instead of just singing "Count Your Blessings" we decided to write a song about Thanksgiving and perform it. We wrote the chorus lyrics on the board so they could sing along. I don't have all the lyrics but I wrote the chorus and I can tell you the lyrics to the verse I wrote.
Food, Football, Friends, and Family
Indians, Pilgrims, Turkey.. it's Thanksgiving
Thankgiving on the mission, it's just not the same,
No friends no family, just me in the rain,
And my companion, we're both wet and cold
Just trying to bring lambs back to the fold,
Climbing stairs knocking door after door,
I'm thankful my fist isn't too sore.
Thanksgiving dinner, It just feels wrong,
No turkey no stuffing, just another BianDang (really cheap Taiwanese little boxed meal they eat all the time)
Then hit the streets again, no one wants to hear,
Pumpkin pie and an afternoon nap? Maybe next year.....
I'm thankful for all of you!! Sounds like things are good.
TIME FLIES. 2 Months left. Hard to believe. It was a really good week here in SanChong. I was healthy!!! The work moved forward. It's amazing how much more productive one can be as a missionary when not throwing up every few hours or drowsy on medication. It was a very good week and I reflected a lot on what I'm thankful for. I've realized Heavenly Father has blessed me so much. First and foremost I'm so thankful for my family. I can't express how much I love them and I'm grateful for their love and support. I'm so grateful for my parents' example and for teaching us and raising us in righteousness but allowing us to develop our own testimony. I'm thankful for my friends. I'm so thankful for the opportunity I've had to come to Taiwan. I love it here. I'm even more thankful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission here and represent my Savior. I'm so thankful for the success I've been blessed to have as a missionary and the miracles I've been blessed to see. I don't know why I've been so blessed but I'm super grateful. I was sitting in the Huang family's home this week and was overcome with a spirit of gratitude, just at the fact that I'm sitting with these wonderful people I love, it's a blessing to have been able to meet them, it's a blessing I'm speaking Chinese with them. What a great blessing it is to learn this great language. I'm so thankful. The thing I'm most thankful for is actually a person, to whom I'm most indebted, my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. He is so amazing. I love Him. He lives, He loves, He changes lives. He's changed mine for the better and I've watched Him change and touch many more over these last 22 months. I'm so thankful for His gospel and His example.
This week was such a great week. There were some special miracles, and overall there were a lot of fun things that happened. I'll start with Thanksgiving day. A day full of proselyting, rain, proselyting and more rain. There is no celebration of Thanksgiving here. It wasn't until late afternoon I realized it was Thanksgiving, nevertheless, it was a great day to pause and reflect on the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me. Thanksgiving dinner? 3 slices of wheat toast, and a candy bar.
However, Thanksgiving night brought probably the biggest miracles this week. We were out in the rain contracting. That's where you pick a street, and then simultaneously contact people on the street while tracting doors on the street you are on. Then I suddenly had the feeling that I've learned to love as a missionary. It was the "there is something else we should be doing right now'' feeling. I love that feeling because it usually precedes a big miracle if we're able to effectively follow the Spirit in order to do what Heavenly Father wants us to. With a prayer in my heart I decided we should go knock the door of a less active member the bishop had said we could visit when we first got here to SanChong. Bishop had actually never met this person, and the first 3 times we visited he was not home. We had forgotten about him and hadn't returned in quite some time, but that night, we were in the neighborhood and I felt the Lord wanted us to go pay him a visit.
We might have forgotten about him, but the Lord hadn't. We knocked, he answered, and invited us in. We then met Brother Zhang, a 13 year old kid who was baptized 2 years ago in a city on Taiwan's east coast. Probably the coolest 13 year old kid I've ever met. He's a Taiwanese aborigine and he's in a big budget movie they made about his tribe. He's lived in SanChong for a year and a half and hasn't been to church since moving here. He was so happy to meet us, and talk with us, and committed to come to our Thanksgiving activity Saturday and church Sunday. At the activity Saturday, he brought a friend, who's now our new investigator. He also met a lot of members and the bishop. He was able to go up in the front and introduce himself, and while introducing himself he said he's sorry he hadn't been coming to church and he won't miss another Sunday! He met with the bishop that night who invited him to pass the sacrament that Sunday. He came, fulfilled his priesthood duty, and loved church! We met with him after church and talked about missions and invited him to start preparing now, for a future mission. He said he really wants to serve. It was an amazing miracle, this lost lamb who's coming back to the fold.
The Thanksgiving activity we put on Saturday was a big success. A great turnout and lots of food. They assigned us missionaries a missionary performance and we wrote a song about Thanksgiving. (see above) My companion and I decided to make mashed potatoes. We bought a big bag of U.S. imported potatoes at the market and then boiled and mashed them up with tiny forks. They turned out great though and were the only authentic Thanksgiving food found on the entire table. The activity was really great and lots of fun. We had 5 less active priesthood holders come!!! 4 of which came to church the following Sunday! Such a huge miracle. Our first week in SanChong there were 6 priesthood holders in Elder's quorum. I'd say the average is more like 10-12, so you can see what a big influence an extra 4 or 5 can have. 2 participated in blessing or passing the sacrament, and another one of the less actives we've helped back taught the Elder's Quorum lesson.
Another great miracle this week was helping one of our ward missionaries. Her name is Hana or Sister Tsai. She's really cool and really good to us missionaries. She is a convert of a little over a year and was baptized while backpacking in France. The missionary who baptized her was a friend I made in the MTC going to France speaking Chinese. So cool. She used to be a crazy party girl and has tattoos all over from all the different countries she's visited. Now she's a crazy good convert endowed in the temple and helps us missionaries so much. I suggested once to her to go on a mission, but she was really hesitant. Lately a member of the bishopric also encouraged her to go, but she wasn't sure. Then she lost her job and was really unsure about what to do at this stage in her life. After having ward mission meeting, we and the sister missionaries shared a little bit with her. The Spirit was really strong and we invited her to go to the temple and pray about what Heavenly Father wants her to do. She went to the temple the next day, and then decided she would go "Duanchuan" It's a common thing in our mission where if there is an odd number of missionaries then they will have try to find worthy members to serve for a few weeks or a transfer. Our mission needed a Sister DuanChuan and so right now Sister Tsai is off somewhere in our mission, being a missionary. If it goes well, she'll be a lot more likely to start papers and prepare to serve. It was a really cool miracle!
There were some really good miracles this week, and overall it was a really fun week. We also now have a guitar in our apartment so companion study just got a whole lot better as we've been writing songs for our ward mission leader as well as others!
I'm just thankful to be here in Taiwan serving my brothers and sisters and serving my Lord.