Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 36: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!! 

Well, the big news of the week is I have a new companion! Today we had mini-move-call and my companion got moved, and I have a new, wonderful companion, Sis. Gibson! She is from Conneticut. She actually only has 4 more weeks on her mission, so I will be getting another new companion next move-call as well. But I am so excited for these 4 weeks with her! 

We actually did have some cool things happen last week. Last Tuesday we went to meet with a less active and when we got there she was like, I made a new friend who goes to church and I want you to meet her, so we are going to her house. Ok, cool! So we get there and our less active is like, hi, these are my missionary friends. The lady looked at us like, uh, ok. So we went up and were talking and soon another lady comes. Except she is a white Australian. So that was cool. We are talking and eventually I asked the Australian what church they go to, and she says they are Jehovah's Witnesses. I had never met one before. So we talked a bit about missionary work (since they are missionaries in Taiwan as well) and we talked about why we love serving missions and such. It was super interesting. She actually reminded me of how great it really is to be a missionary, because we get to constantly think of Jesus Christ because we are teaching about him and talking about him all the time. She also helped me to remember that Jesus Christ should be the focus of all I do as a missionary. So as interesting of a meeting as it was, I am super grateful for it because she helped me to refocus my missionary efforts and make sure they are centered on Christ. 

Wednesday was mission tour! We had Elder Larry Wilson from the Asia Area Presidency come visit our mission. We got to spend the day hearing from him and learning from him! It was so great! He invited us all to think of 5 things that we will change to be better missionaries, so I am super excited! This was also where my companion and I were singing. We sang "Search, Ponder and Pray" from the children's hymnbook, since scriptures was kind of the theme. The only problem was that my companion got really sick on Tuesday and didn't have a voice and we were super nervous. She got a blessing and we asked lots of people to pray for us. Needless to say, she was even sicker on Wednesday morning. But, we got up there, and I know the angels were singing with us. My companion didn't cough once, my voice didn't crack, and everyone gave us huge compliments. I know the Lord answers prayers, even if it is just so that we sound good while we sing. So that was super great and fun!

Thursday my companion was super, super, sick. She had a fever on Wednesday night for quite a while, and so we stayed in for the morning on Thursday and she slept while I organized stuff and called lots of people. 

Friday night we went out to dinner with our ward correlator and his mom. We went to this great place and it was like a 6 or 7 course meal! And I had steak! It was so good! But we were stuffed by the time we were done eating. So good though!

Then Saturday was a great day to! Why? Because Liu JM had her baptismal interview and she passed! If all goes well this week, she will be getting baptized on Saturday! We are so excited and she is so ready! We are also hoping my companion will be able to come back for it. We'll see! 

I am excited for this week! Sis. Gibson and I are ready to work hard and see miracles! 

Since this week is Thanksgiving, I want to tell everyone how thankful I am for all your support! I am thankful that I have this opportunity to serve my Savior and Heavenly Father here in Taiwan and be able to bring people unto Christ. I am thankful for the gospel and the blessings it brings to me and my family. I know that this gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that because of His Atonement, we can become clean from our sins and return to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father again when we die, and for this, I am so, eternally, grateful!

#1: View out my window on a super clear day. The tall building is the Taiwan 85 - the second tallest building in Taiwan.

#2: The view out my window on a cloudy, rainy day. I liked it because the 85 is sticking up through the clouds. And yes, I was missing photography so I took the picture in black and white =]
#3: Sis. Gibson and I! Not the greatest picture, so expect more of us =]
#4: My zone and the East GaoXiong Zone at Mission Tour. 

Love you all! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Week 35: Miracles of the Week

Hello Everyone!!!
I can't believe we are already almost half way through November! Time is just flying! Its already been over a year since I got my mission call! I can't believe that. 

We've had a fantastic week here in Taiwan! Why? Because we have an investigator getting baptized on November 24th!!! Liu JM had a baptismal goal of Nov. 17, but we had never really talked with her about it beyond extending it to her. So this week we talked with her about being baptized for real and she was like, I've already been thinking about being baptized and I've prayed about it already. So yes! She is so ready and we are so excited!! She is so amazing and I'm grateful we were able to meet her. I don't know if I've ever shared the story, but she was contacted by a previous sister missionary (who happens to have been my MTC companion!) but she was too busy then to meet. We have what are called "dead stacks" which are contact cards with people's information, but either they weren't interested or were never able to get ahold of them. So we perodically will call some of these cards when we have time. So I was calling a stack and she answered and said she'd meet with us, and the rest is history! So exciting!

Our second miracle of the week is that we have a new, fantastic investigator with a December 15 baptismal goal! She is 16 and she started attending our English class a few weeks ago, after having received an English tract from the elders. She is super cute and we are really excited! And even better, we thought she lived in one ward, which is the ward that all of our investigators have been in recently, but we found out she is in the other ward, which is the ward we've been praying to have investigators in! So we are so thrilled and so excited for her!!!

Beyond that, this past week was pretty uneventful. Last Friday night, Sister Mary Cook of the General Young Woman's Presidency and Sister Linda Reeves of the General Relief Society Presidency came to Taiwan and we got to go listen to them speak. It was so great! Then this week we have mission tour and will be having a zone conference with Elder Larry Wilson of the Asia Area Presidency, so that will be exciting too! And my companion and I are singing a musical number at it...pray for us!

Sorry this is kind of short, but I have pictures to make up for it!!

#1: Bobbing for apples at our English Class! The lady is Zhang JM, one of our members! It was so fun watching everyone bob for apples!

#2: Elder Sanford carving a pumpkin while the bishop's son watches on =] 
#3: Fishing for candy. That was fun =]
#4: Doughnut eating!

#5: We went up to this mountain with a recent convert that overlooks GaoXiong. It was beautiful. And there was this "LOVE" sign that of course we had to take a picture of =]
#6: So, in this apartment that I live in now, there is no dumpster or anything, so we have to take the garbage to the garbage truck when it comes every night. Unfortunately it comes at 7:30 PM, which is too early to come home but the garbage still has to be taken out...so it tends to collect for a few weeks before we have the time to take it out. So this is 3 weeks worth of garbage. We have two boxes of recycle, 4 small bags of garbage, and one huge bag full of food from the freezer or fridge...yup. That's garbage for you in Taiwan!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Week 34: 5th Move Call

Well, hello everyone!
I have made it to my 5th move-call! Today is the beginning of a new move-call (transfer). I am staying in my area, as is my companion. So no changes for us this move call! Our zone has a lot of changes though, and I'm excited to get to meet some new missionaries! This move-call lots of exciting things will happen! I will hit my half-way as a missionary mark (not halfway on island, just from when I went into the MTC) and we will also have mission tour (Elder Larry Y. Wilson will be coming to speak!) and Thanksgiving! We also have a member of the General Young Woman's presidency and General Relief Society presidency coming to GaoXiong this weekend! So lots of exciting things happening!
This past week was pretty good. We have one fantastic investigator, Liu JM, who is just rock solid! She has recently gained a fantastic testimony of prayer, which is so awesome! We are hoping she will get baptized in the next few weeks! She is really our only progressing investigator right now, but that is ok =] I hope this week we can find some more great investigators!!
This past week we had a Halloween party at English! We had fishing for candy, doughnuts on string, carving pumpkins, bowling and bobbing for apples. It was so much fun! We had a really great turn out. We watched The Restoration DVD (about Joseph Smith) and that was really good too. Yay for having a successful English party! So fun!
Next week we have mission tour and I'm super excited! My companion and I were asked to do a musical number, so I'll talk all about that next week. I don't know what we are going to do yet, but we'll do something good, I'm sure!
Well, I think that's about it. Sorry this last week wasn't too exciting. I had lots of pictures from the Halloween Party, and from a mountain that we went to recently, but this morning was kind of crazy, and when we left the house, I though I'd be coming back before we emailed, so I didn't take my camera with me. And we haven't been back home yet. So sad. But next week I will have lots of pictures!!!
Thank you everyone for your love and support! The work is going forward here in Taiwan, and I love being a part of it!!!
Love you all!