Monday, December 31, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
This week was probably one of my favorite weeks since I've been in SanChong. It started out on a great note and was miracle packed and full of fun. I don't know where to begin.
How about last Monday? We went to a special night market in a really old part of Taipei last preparation day. Our purpose in going there? It's the only place in Taipei that one can legally eat SNAKE MEAT. We went and ate snake meat. Snake meat was only part of the deal. Our meal also included weird snake gall bladder which was quite disgusting. Overall it was a unique experience. Snakes have a lot of bones, as do their meat. Snake blood, surprisingly not too shabby.
The real highlight Monday night was meeting Brother Li. Brother Li has an interesting situation. He and his ex-wife were baptized in central Taiwan one year ago. They unexpectedly moved to Taipei on a whim the following day and never ended up being confirmed. Now one year later and a week off of a fresh divorce, Brother Li's wife entered the waters of baptism again, this time to be confirmed (baptized by fire) the following day. Brother Li recently moved into SanChong as did his recently baptized ex-wife, (not co-habitating) and now he wants to prepare for baptism. We met with him Monday night and he is great. The biggest obstacle is he's in a tough financial situation and is working on Sunday. Other than that he's reading and praying and I think has a lot of potential. We met with him 3 times this week and all 3 meetings were very spiritual. The 3rd of the 3 meetings he brought his ex-wife (they had just been out on a date?) and we met with them both. It went so well and we talked about how God is a God of miracles. He committed to begin praying for work off and committed to act on any promptings God gives him about his work situation. It's been a big blessing adding him to our investigator pool.
This week we also were privileged of meeting an amazing kid named Jackie Zhu. Jackie was contacted last week by an Elder in our neighboring area. He felt prompted to give Jackie a Book of Mormon and invited Jackie to English class. He came this last Wednesday and after class we sat down with him to meet for the first time. Jackie had read and prayed every day for over a week. He already read to 2 Nephi. He also already received a spiritual witness of it's truthfulness. WOW! This was all before the first official meet. At the beginning of that lesson we sang "I am a Child of God" I asked him what his favorite line in that song was. He replied "lead me, guide me, walk beside me." I asked him why. He said he really wanted to follow Jesus. We committed him to keep the Sabbath day holy on the spot and he said he would. He came to church this week for the first time and it was the primary program. He said while the kids were singing he had a really good, warm feeling. SO GOOD!!! Such an amazing miracle.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Wow. This week was exceptionally fast. It feels like a complete BLUR to me. I really don't know where to begin. I think I'll take things from the start, meaning last P-day. We went down to my favorite place in all of Taiwan! The TaoYuan 3rd ward. It was really great to get to see some old member friends and converts. I was also able to spend some time with Elder VanDenBerghe (MTC companion) before he goes home in a couple weeks. We ended up going to the Costco down there and bought a PUMPKIN PIE! I thought I'd have to go another year without my favorite Thanksgiving food, but such was not the case with the new TaoYuan Costco. Costco is cool here, because it's exactly like Costco in America. Built the exact same, stocked the same way, carrying the same items. With the exception that everyone in there is speaking Chinese and speaking mandarin, it was like a step back into America. CRAZY! It was great visiting TaoYuan again. I really loved that ward, and it was great to see so many of them. It's amazing how much I've come to love the Taiwanese people. I'm very grateful I've been called to serve in this amazing land.
Our biggest miracle from last week continues to be our biggest miracle this week. We visited a less active last Thursday named Brother Zhang who ended up being amazing! He's such a cool 13 year old kid. He ended up attending our ward activity last week, meeting with bishop, and passing the sacrament. But the miracle didn't stop last week. He's on fire!! This week we went and did a temple square tour with him, giving him the desire to get a temple recommend. We also learn in Preach My Gospel that an indicator of true conversion is a desire to share the gospel with others. In the last 10 days Brother Zhang has given us four referrals of his friends, three of which we've been able to meet with us multiple times now, attended a baptism and the Christmas choir activity, and best of all, they attended church with him this last Sunday! He's been an answer to prayers here in SanChong.
Another answer to our prayers is our recent convert Brother Huang. He's doing so well!! He actively attends all of the meetings and activities. He's still strong on his abstinence of cigarettes. He's doing and looking so great. He's feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost strongly in his life. I'm so blessed just to know him, let alone to have had the chance to teach and baptize him. Another cool thing about Brother Huang is that his work is selling fruit at the morning markets. It's a really tough job, he wakes up between 2 and 2:30 a.m. every morning. His stand he works at sells only imported fruit, and often he gives some to us when we visit him. He's been giving us the biggest, ripest, Washington apples I've ever seen lately. So juicy!! We've also got to eat some Japanese and Korean fruit while over at his house. It's pretty great. I continue to love the food and fruit here in Taiwan. I'll definitely miss it in a couple months.
I'm excited to finish out strong these last couple months of the mission. The mission president sent out an e-mail talking about how December and January have a tradition in Taiwan of being the least fruitful months with regard to missionary work. That will not be the case here in SanChong. I won't allow it to happen. I'm going to give everything I have left in the tank these last two months and try to work hard for the ward and the Lord. Sometimes I feel as if I'm running on fumes, but I know I can rest a bit when I知 back home. I'm excited for the miracles still in store as we have faith and work hard here in SanChong.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support.
I love you all!