Happy Chinese New Year!!! The year of the Snake has arrived!
We have had a good week here in Taiwan, though a bit slow, thanks to Chinese New Year =]
We had a great last week with our investigator, Wang JM. Last week? What does that mean? Well, Wednesday night she came to English and we introduced her to President Chen, the first counselor in our mission presidency. They were talking and he asked her where she lived. She told him and he was like, oh, that's actually ZuoYing ward. I almost started crying right there. We went home and checked a map and, sure enough, she doesn't actually live in our area. We are devestated!!!! But before discovering that she didn't live in our area, we taught her the word of wisdom, and she was willing to live it! So last Friday we met with her and explained about wards and boundaries and how where she lived is actually considered ZuoYing ward, and we had the ZuoYing sisters come so they could meet her, and then we handed her off. I am still so sad over it. But she asked if she could still keep coming to our English class, and we said yes, of course =] So hopefully we will still get to see her. And we will be going to her baptism!!
Speaking of English class. Last Wednesday was the first time we implemented our new English class! And while things were a bit rocky, being the first time we did all these new things, I think it was good overall. We had great book sales, and people seemed really excited about our new program! As a result of the new program though, I am actually not teaching English, but evaluating the other teachers and finding ways to help them improve, or ways that the English program can improve. I'm sad to not be teaching English, but it was fun watching the Elders teach last week, and I hope I can come up with some good insight to help improve our specific English unit.
Thursday was fun too! Thursday morning we had planner and area book checks, as well as interviews with our mission president, and a bit of instruction from him. All went well! The planner and area book checks are with one zone leader and one assistant. I love area books. I think they are so important and so are teaching records, so I always make sure to keep good, detailed teaching records. The zone leader and assistant who checked ours were super impressed. And then when my zone leader was checking out my planner, he was like, um, I don't know what I can tell you to improve on. He asked me about my daily goals though and I was like, to be honest, I'm not motivated by them very much. So he invited me to have some fun with the goals and when I set goals for new investigators or roadside lessons, or referrals, write down a last name (that's the nice thing about Chinese, they only have about 100 last names, and really only about 30 super common ones =] ) or a place I want to send a referral to. So we've started doing it, and its been working!!!! Several days in a row, we've gotten referrals to places we wanted to send them to, or one day we wanted to have an unplanned lesson with a Chen Family, and we found a Sis Chen and had a lesson with her! One day we wanted a new investigator named Wu, and while we didn't add anyone with that name, we got information from only one person on the street that day, and her last name was Wu, so we plan to work hard to help her become one of our new investigators! So that has been really, really neat to see. The elders are having some success with that as well =]
On Thursday we also met with our recent convert, Liu JM's mom! Her mom has been curious about what Liu JM does every time she goes to church, so Liu JM set up a time for us to come over and introduce her mom to the church. She isn't totally interested right now, but she is willing to let us come back and start teaching her what Liu JM learns at church. So I'm pretty excited!
Friday began our meals! The Taiwanese eat a lot of meals during Chinese New Year, so in turn, the missionaries also get fed a ton during Chinese New Year! Friday night we went to a members house with both sets of elders for dinner. It was super fun and we learned how to make these little greeting cards as well (I'll take a picture of one and send it next week).
Then Saturday we had no lessons planned. I repeat, NO lessons planned. I was a little bit nervous. But we set some goals and made some plans and wrote down some names and looked up some less actives and former investigators and set out to work! We very rarely go to the far edge of our area so we decided to go over there. While none of the formers or less-actives we visited were home, the mom of one of the less-active sisters was, and she was our Chen JM that we had a little lesson with. She is super nice, but Buddhist. I want to go back and visit her again. She was really touched when we prayed with her and for her. I know she felt the spirit. An experience like that makes a day with no lessons a great day. For lunch that day we were treated out to lunch by Pres. Chen, our mission presidency counselor, to a very delicious buffet at a hotel, overlooking our whole area. It was really cool to see our whole area like that. It really is a beautiful area. Then that night we had dinner with the elders and another ward members home. Saturday night dinner was the most important dinner of the year for the Taiwanese, so we were grateful for their hospitality in inviting us over for dinner. And we estimated that we rode about 15 miles total on Saturday...we were exhausted!
Sunday was great too! We only had one hour of church, and while only 1 of our recent converts came to church (they were all out of town or had to go "bai bai" with their family) we did have 3 investigators at church! One is actually an investigator from TaiZhong who was down here for CNY, and one is a former investigator that we've sort of picked back up (but she comes to church every week anyway). The third investigator, Lin JM, is our miracle tracting find. She came to church and I was so happy! The talks were all on the Book of Mormon, which was exactly what she needed to hear! She has started reading the Book of Mormon, and she has such a great desire to change, but she is just scared. We hope we can help her come to undertand Christ's Atonement, and how, through His Atonement, we can overcome all fears. She really is a prepared soul! After church some members invited us over to eat, and then Sunday dinner both sets of elders and us went to my Taiwanese mom, Zhang JM's house for dinner. I love Zhang JM! She really is like my Taiwanese mother! She takes such good care of us and I love going to her house for dinner.
We have several other dinner appointments scheduled for this week too. I love the members here. They are so good to us missionaries. I don't know that there is a better ward =] They are just so incredible!
Well, I think that is about it! I am excited for this week of Chinese New Year! Today is Power Cleaning day! The Taiwanese all clean their houses before Chinese New Year, so our whole mission is doing a huge, deep clean today, all day long. And then next Monday we are all heading up to BeiQu in TaiZhong, my first area, for a mission tour! We have two members of the Quorum of the Seventy coming to visit our mission! I am so excited!! So preparation day will be on Wednesday next week instead.
Last Monday we went to this food street so my companion could buy some CNY goodies. I'm including some pictures from it. Hope you all are having a fantastic February! It's almost halfway over already!
Love you all!!! Thank you for your love and support!
389: That would be dried squid. And other dried seafood. I'm not sure how they eat it, whether they eat it dried like that, or if they put it in soups and it becomes rehydrated, or what...
390: The area we went shopping at: San Feng Zhong Jie. There were so many people there, and so many shops. Most all sold the same things =]
391: Dried sausages. Their sausage and American isn't the same. Theirs is super sweet and so yummy!