Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Week 4 in Taiwan!

Hello all!
I can't believe we are already over halfway done with June!! Time is just flying by! I am on week 5 of 6 weeks of my first move call, and in just 10 short days, my "younger siblings" in the MTC will be here! (They are the group that came in after me in the MTC). I am so excited to see them and to see how they have grown in 6 weeks! I am also super excited to see them do Dan Jones!!

So this past week was a rough week. We didn't have any progressing investigators all week, we didn't add new people (actually, not true, we added 2 self contacts...sort of), we had a few lessons, but more with recent converts than anything. Overall, it was probably the slowest week so far. And we felt bad too because this last week, the invitation from our mission president was to fervently find, and we didn't necessarily succeed in doing that. So, we will do better this week and take every opportunity to talk to people! We desperately need investigators, but we've discovered the only way we will really get them is by finding them (since I got to Tawain, all our new investigators have been self-contacts and we've been so busy with them we haven't needed to go finding). This week the invitation from our mission president is to break our current "add" record. When you add a person, you met them on the street (or call them if they are a referral) and set up a time to meet with them to share a message about the gospel. Seeing as I've only added one person my whole mission so far, it shouldn't be too hard to break that record =] The key is, when talking to people, get them to pull over (if we are bike contacting) or get them to write down their information so we can call them and set up a time to visit them and get to know them. So we really need to work on that this week! So that's a little how our last week went.

Story time!
*Gone to Tanzi #1
*Sister Exchanges - Tanzi #2
*Super prepared investigator, Melody
*Super awesome, hopefully soon to be baptized investigator, Tiffany
*Relief Society Activity
*How is Chinese coming along?
*English Class*

*Gone to Tanzi #1*
So last Tuesday my companion had an all day training meeting. Originally I was told I was going to go to Beitun (the area next to mine, but not in my zone) with a duan chuan (a local member who is a short term missionary) but when I got to the church, they had me be companions with my older sister in the MTC, Sis. Mitchell. Neither of us were prepared for this, and so neither of us had a schedule planned for the day. We decided to go back to her area, Tanzi, and do some work there. So we took a 30 minute bus ride there, planned, ate lunch, visited some members, got back on the bus and went back to get our companions =] That was fun. Except not. I didn't realize how spoiled I was being in Beiqu! Our area is the smallest in the mission, and we hardly have to bike and we walk a lot because everything is so close. In Tanzi, they don't even live in their area, so they have to bike 20 minutes to their area, and then their area is big and so its a ton of biking! Not to mention I wasn't riding my own bike (for anyone who has seen Avatar, our bikes are like the avatar's "things" that they fly...your bike is yours and you hate riding anyone elses!). But thats ok, it was a good experience and I will never complain about being in Beiqu again =]

*Sister Exchanges - Tanzi #2*
So tomorrow is sister exchanges! The sisters in my zone and another zone will be changing companions. The senior companions are all staying in their areas and the junior companions are all moving. And guess where I'm going...back to Tanzi =] I will be with Sis. Mitchell's companion. We leave tomorrow morning, spend the night and come back Wednesday afternoon. So, it will be interesting. I'm excited to see how another missionary chuan's the jiao (preaches). I'll report back next week =]

*Super prepared investigator, Melody*
Melody was a phone referral. She was supposed to come to church last week, but didn't come because of the rain (the Taiwanese don't leave their houses in the rain unless its a life or death wasn't even raining that bad =] ). We called her and set up with her for this past Tuesday. We came, met her, and it was so incredible! She is so amazingly prepared! She had met the missionaries a long time ago, and when she went to the church to meet them, they weren't there. She didn't have a mobile phone and she was never able to get in contact with them again, until now. She came with some great questions she wanted answered that we were able to help her answer because we have the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel. She accepted a baptismal date of July 21, but we think she will be able to get baptized much sooner than that. She came to church on Sunday and we are pretty sure she loved it (she had to leave early so we didn't get to talk to her about it). The gospel principles lesson was on The Word of Wisdom. She was asking questions, but overall seemed pretty receptive to it =] Can't wait to meet with her again this week!

*Super awesome, hopefully soon to be baptized investigator, Tiffany*
I think I mentioned Tiffany last week. She came to church last week, but only stayed one hour. She seemed super nervous or jittery or something and we were nervous, especially when we called her every day last week and her phone was always off. We were at a relief society activity on Saturday night and our zone leaders called and said, your investigator is at (some other chapel) and so we are just going to do her baptismal interview. Sweet!! (We actually had another investigator [our 7 year eternal investigator] in a baptismal interview at the same time...but she isn't ready to be baptized, and we never see her). So she passed her interview and said she'd see us at church the next day, but she didn't come and her phone is still off. So I don't think she will be getting baptized this weekend, since she hasn't been to church in our ward enough (or for 3 hours) so hopefully the week after that! We are confident she will get baptized this month though!

*Relief Society Activity*
The relief society planned an activity specifically so the sisters in the ward can get to know our recent converts and investigators. Sadly, we don't have any investigators really right now, and the ones we do have couldn't come, but we have a great number of recent converts come! It was a cook off kind of thing, so everyone brought food and it was so good! We felt like we began to build some great relationships with the ward and we really got to know some of the sisters, which was exactly what we needed to have happen!! So, super success in our book! And there were a handful of kids there that my companion and I had so much fun playing with =]

*How is Chinese coming along?*
Great! I've passed off the first thee lessons in my Phase 1 and the mid-term. I'm working on lesson 4 this week, will pass it off on Sunday, then do lesson 5 the following Saturday and the final evaluation the next Sunday. And then I'll be done with Phase 1! So happy! My speaking still isn't great, but my listening comprehension is a lot better. I need to start speaking more Chinese with my companion so my speaking will improve.

*English Class*
I've been meaning to write about English class for weeks. Every week the missionaries teach a free English class. We have a kids class, beginner, intermediate and advanced. And yes, I teach the xiao peng you (kids) class. Its fun but crazy! The kids don't listen all that well, and there isn't any kind of schedule or any kind of program to, if anyone has any ideas for what I can do to teach kids english (I don't have any resources either...) let me know!

Well, that is about it! I'm super impressed with anyone who reads all my letter =] I hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions, feel free to email my mom and she can ask me them and I'd be happy to answer them!
Thank you all for your love and support! You all are so wonderful!

Here are some pictures:
#1: My little buddy at the Relief Society Activity - We played and played, but he wouldn't come anywhere near me. He even cried when I walked away. So funny!

#2: All the food at the activity! So good!

#3: Our recent convert, Tony (orange shirt) and his mom sitting next to him. We are trying to get her interested in the Church.

#4: The little girl on the far left is our primary president's daughter. I try to get her to like me every week, she is so cute! The other little girl is Sophia. We met her that night and she attached herself to us! She has a twin sister, Sophi =]

#5: Elder Hansen and Chen (our office Elders, and Elder Chen is our district leader). When our eternal investigator showed up, we called them to come do her baptismal interview (we were surprising her and putting her in a baptismal interview =] )

#6: We went to an outdoor market this morning to buy fruit and veggies. So fun!

#7: I got brave and bought shrimp and made it! Super good!!

Ok! Love you all! Thanks for all your love and support and letters!!!
Sis. Busath
Taiwan Taichung Mission
#498-11 Wu Chuan Road
Taichung, 404-46

Friday, June 8, 2012

Week 3 in Taiwan!

Hello All!
This past week has gone by so fast, even without having a preparation day on Monday! I don't even remember what all went on!
Last Monday (the last one in May) we had our pinata party. My companion and the elders had been planning it since before I came, so it was much anticipated! The reason for the activity was to get investigators there, and to get more referrals and it worked! We had about 60 people there, and about 22 were investigators! It was so great! We also got 30 referrals from members and investigators, so that was so awesome! We were so happy! I've included some pictures too =]
4 elders, 3 investigators, Sister Lee and I
At the end of last week, we had 9 investigators with baptismal dates! It was crazy! Sadly, 4 of them dropped us this week =[ BUT! I'm not sad, because that allows us to focus on the invitation our mission president gave us for the month, which is to find FAMILIES! So, by having 4 less investigators, we have time to go tracting and contacting and finding families! We were so crazy busy! We had 8 progressing investigators and another 5 or so people that we met with occasionally. So this has opened up our schedule to allow us to go finding! And I'm so excited! We were referred a great mom who is completely and totally prepared to hear the gospel! She has 3 kids and they are all coming to english tonight, so I am excited to meet them! We also went and met with a less-active mom yesterday whose family isn't baptized. We talked about eternal families and how the gospel has blessed our families and helped our parents parent us. Her mood really changed by the time we were done with our lesson. She said she wants to change and she wants to have her family be an eternal family, so I have a lot of faith in her family as well! We also had another family walk up to the church and said they wanted to get baptized! We taught them about the Book of Mormon but sadly they don't live in our area, but that's ok =]
We also had a crazy cochroach infestation last week. We had been killing small little cochroaches every night, but not a huge deal, we had an appointment set up with the bug people to come spray later in June. We woke up one morning and our counter and cupboards and sink and dishes and dry food were all covered in cochroach larvae!!!! It was DISGUSTING! We called the operations elder and asked him to get a bug person out that day. We cleaned out all the cupboards, threw away the food and then went to chuan the jiao (proselyte =] ) We came home and I told Sis. Lee, be prepared for a mass of dead cochroaches all over the floor. And sure enough, there was probably 50-100 dead cochroaches all over our floor. So nasty. But. We've only killed probably 1 a day since they sprayed. Yay!
See those white dots? Ya, those are cockroach larve...

The aftermath... Ew.
I also passed my Phase 1 Lesson 2 language evaluation! So happy! And we have a sister coming from the MTC to shadow Sis. Lee and I on Sunday. I was part of a pilot program, so the MTC/Church wants to see what kind of impact that's had on me...Pray for me!
Sister Lee and I
Us with Elder and Sister Liston, the office couple

Practicly everyone in the Taiwan Taizhong Zone!

Today we went to the temple! It was so great! I loved it! It was about a 2 hour bus ride up to Taipei and that was fun =] I got to know the missionaries in our zone, and that was super fun! The temple is such a great place and I love it so much!
Me in front of the Temple

Both of us in front of the temple
Sorry I don't have much time to write! I have gotten letters from several people and you don't know how much I appreciate it! I was shocked to see that people love me enough to write me paper letters all the way in Taiwan! So thank you!
Love you all! Thanks for your prayers, letters and thoughts! All are felts!
-Sis. Busath
Taiwan Taichung Mission
#498-11 Wu Chuan Road
Taichung, 404-46

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week 2 in Taiwan

Hello Everyone!!!
I've made it another week in Taiwan (well, almost 2 full weeks =] ) And boy have Sis. Lee and I been blessed this week!!! We have seen amazing success, I don't even know where to begin!
So before coming on a mission, I'd heard how, in Taiwan, there are a lot of self contacts: people just walking up to the church saying they want to attend or learn more or get baptized! I didn't really believe it, until this week!!! We had 6 self contacts this week! Granted, 4 of them weren't originally self contacts, but the ended up being =]
-Tuesday, we were at District Training Meeting (DTM) and right after had a appointment set up with a less active we are working with. She came in to our meeting at the end and was like, there is a girl here who wants to talk to the missionaries and learn about the church. Uh...for reals??? So we go and talk with her and she just opens up! It was so amazing! We set up another time to meet with her, but found out she lives in another area, but works in our area. We decided to still met with her on Thursday though. She called us at 10:30 and said she couldn't come then, but could she come at 2? Sure. She called at 2 and said she couldn't come, but could she come at 6? Sure, but we figured she wouldn't really. Well, she did! And we talked with her and she said she had prayed and she loved it! And we gave her a Book of Mormon and was so excited. She was also going to come to church on Sunday, but something came up and she didn't come. Hopefully we can  meet with her this week.
-Monday, there were two elders in the parking lot talking with this group of girls who had come up to them, wanting a picture. The elders didn't really want to take picures with them, so they took pictures with us =] We invited them to English on Wednesday, and they came! Afterwards we talked with them and taught them about prayer and invited them to church on Sunday. And they came! Well, one had to work, but the other three came! We gave them Book of Mormon's and they all seemed pretty interested. We also invited them to be baptized, and while they didn't necessarily say yes, they didn't say no either =]
-Saturday: We were in a meeting with our 10 year old recent convert when a member from another area came in saying there was a lady who wanted to come to church =] So my companion went out to talk to her while I finished our lesson with our RC. The lady had seen the church often and wanted to come, and she did come to church!

So, needless to say, its been a pretty amazing week! We had 7 investigators at church and we have 6 investigators with baptismal dates, and 7 progressing investigators!! It is just all so amazing and Sis. Lee and I are very grateful for the Lord's help in finding all these marvelous people!

I also added (this means that we talked to someone and set up another time to meet with them) all by myself this week! My goal this week was to get over my hatred of the phone. I can speak Chinese ok, but I have a hard time understanding them, especially on the phone because I can't see their lips. So the phone freaks me out. But, we had a lot of referrals to call, so I sucked it up and started calling people. Most people didn't answer, and few call back. We had finished calling them all, and later on, the phone was ringing, but I missed answering it. I looked through our referral cards and found who it was. It was like, 8:30 at night and I didn't feel like calling them back, but I did. And by the end of the converstation, I had set up my first appointment with someone who wasn't already meeting with us, and I was so stoaked! My companion freaked out =] Its great!! So we are meeting with her tomorrow =]

So that's a lot of what we've been up to this week =]

A few other cool things:
We have a deaf family in our ward, and I was noticing on Sunday how different Chinese Sign Language is from ASL. Its kind of funny =]

I got my hair cut today! It was needing it badly, and as much as I loved it super long, it was a bit too long and its been super hot. So I cut about 3 inches off fo it =] Our most recent convert does hair, so I went to her, and she was just so amazing! She was super awesome to us, and didn't charge me full price, yet I still got the head massage/wash, plus a hair cut and she gave me some product for my hair because, oddly enough, my hair is super dry. So that was so fun! I am including a picture =]

Yes, its been super hot here! It hasn't rained since my second day on Island, but it started raining again today. Not a huge deal, but I prefer when it doesn't rain =]

I'm enjoying biking! Our area really isn't that big at all. We rarely bike for more than 5 minutes to get anywhere. If we hit all green lights (which we normally do) it only takes 1 minute to bike to church, and we often bike there and leave our bikes and walk around. We run 3 days a week, around this park, and its about a mile. I don't necessarily mind it, but we go at 6 AM, so I'm never fully awake =]

OH exciting! So the mission has a language program that we do, and it contains 3 phases. Phase 1 is learning vocab and such, and to move onto Phase 2, you have to pass off evaluations for Lessons 1-5 in Preach My Gospel. My goal is to have phase 1 done by the end of my 1st move call (transfer - 6 week period). So, last night I passed off my Lesson 1 evaluation! I was so excited! All the elders in my district were like, you already did lesson 1??  Yes, its so great =] I'm excited to get through phase 1! I don't get to start characters till Phase 3, so thats my motivation to get through Phases 1 and 2 fast!!!

Also excited, our carbon monoxide alarm started going off at 10:10 PM last night. I was sitting in the kitchen writing in my journal and my companion was on the phone with the office elders and it beeped and I went into the room and was like, what was that...The office elder heard it over the phone as well and was like, oh no. I guess it had gone off a few weeks ago too. It went off 3 times and he said to call the mission secretary and her husband, since they live in our building. We did, they came down, gave us their alarm and said if it goes off again, we were going to sleep in their apartment. Thankfully, it never went off again, and we all woke up fine =]

Well, I think that's about all! We are having a Mexican Party tonight complete with a pinata! It is a referral party so we encouraged all the ward members to bring their non-member or less active friends, and we've all invited our investigators, so we hope it goes well. And we are praying that the rain stops! Since the pinata part is supposed to be outside, since our building doesn't have a gym.

Oh and I get to go to the temple next week!! I am so excited! We are going on Wednesday, which means that Wednesday will be my preparation day, not Monday, so no one freak out when you don't get my letter on Monday =]

Thank you all for your love and support! I am so grateful for it! I love being a missionary and I am absolutely loving serving in Taiwan! The Taiwanese people are so amazing!

Love you all!
-Sis. Busath
#498-11 Wu Chuan Road
Taichung, 404-46
Taiwan, ROC