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.
I feel like my trainee and my teaching together has gotten quite good, and we had evidence this week. We did a practice teaching situation where we taught a sister in our district the Word of Wisdom, but we talk the "higher law of the Word of Wisdom, a.k.a. pescitarianism." (not eating meat, just fish and seafood) We convinced her just like the law of consecration is a higher law to tithing, that the current Word of Wisdom is like a mosaic standard of what the Lord REALLY wants us to do. Long story short, we committed her to try and live it and she hasn't eaten meat in 6 days. Haha, all the while Elder Peterson and I are out eating snake! The best part is she's a General Authority's daughter! Don't worry we'll tell her this week at district meeting. If only Elder Peterson and I could teach that well to our investigators...
Another great thing happened this week. I've been hoping and praying to be able to do something meaningful with my bike when I leave. Leave it to someone who needs it. It's a really nice bike and I didn't want it just getting sent to the mission home and being used for parts. This week we were visiting Brother Zhang, the 13 year old less active we've brought back. HE'S SO COOL by the way. We were meeting with him when unexpectedly Bishop came over to visit too. Bishop was talking to him a little bit about how he can start seminary when he turns 14 in January. Seminary here is at the church and starts at 5:30. Brother Zhang was really excited about it because he knows it will help him prepare for a mission, but was a little sad because the church is a bus or a subway ride away from his home. The buses don't start until about 5:20 and he doesn't know the route and would have to pay to ride the bus everyday. The subway doesn't open until after 6. Right then and there I felt like I had my answer to my prayer. I told him if he's willing to actively attend seminary daily I'd leave my bike to him so he can go attend. He was thrilled. He doesn't currently have a bike and he comes from a very humble, single mother home. I'm so excited I was able to find a way to do good with my bike once I leave. It will be a big blessing for Brother Zhang and I know it will be put to good use. I'm so happy I can leave it to such a great person who I so dearly love.
This week was also a great week as our investigator Brother Zhang (another one) made somewhat of a comeback. After finding his job it's been tough to meet with him and he'd been going to other places a lot with his family on Sundays. The last little bit he's been able to find time to meet and we've had some good lessons. This week we called him Saturday night and he committed to come to church. He hadn't been in 6 weeks. He came, had a good experience, and also shared some great personal testimony in Sunday School. I think we cleared up some misunderstanding that was keeping him from coming and now I think he's back on the right track, a track that leads to baptism!!
This week another great miracle came through my personal prayer. The ward lacks priesthood and as a result, the 3rd hour church (priesthood) all the young men, elders, and high priest's are together. We've got a young man coming back into activity and a few investigators who are young men, and I was praying for ideas on how to help them have a better church experience. I had the prompting to call bishop and see if we could teach a young men's class this week. HE WAS THRILLED. We taught the class and it went really well. Bishop was so happy, he came and sat in on the end of it. I later found out in ward council he'd been stressing over this quite a bit prior to my call. He's been unable to call a young men's president, because the ward still doesn't even have an elder's quorum president. They just barely got a 2nd counselor in the bishopric. He had been praying about this for a while before I called him. I told him I'd be willing to teach every week until they got a member called or until my mission ends. He was thankful, and I'm excited because we've got some good young men who just need the proper guidance and example. I don't think the ward has a single priesthood holder who is a returned missionary. I'm excited for this new opportunity and to work with Brother Zhang, our less active, our recent convert Brother Huang's son, and some good investigator kids. I felt like the Lord really heard not only my prayer but Bishop's prayer also.
It was a great week. I'm super happy!!! I've really enjoyed training Elder Peterson, we spend most of our companion study or planning times laughing and joking. It's been a fun couple transfers kicking it in our haunted apartment in SanChong together. My training him will conclude this Friday, and I will meet my new and last companion. Hope he's a good one. Time has gone so fast out here. My MTC companion and good friend Elder Vandenberghe goes home this Friday. It's been a wild trip. I've got 7 more weeks of work the Lord needs and wants me to give. It's so amazing! I love this work and I love the Lord.