Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 54: Lots Of...

Hello Everyone!
Where is the time going!! It is going by too fast!! I can't believe March is almost over!

We've had a good week here in Zhang Hua! Lots of bike riding and talking to people and visiting less-actives. Our investigators are doing well which is so great! Our mom, Wang JM and her son are doing so well! They love what they are learning. Sadly they weren't able to come to church last week, but hopefully next week! We will go visit them tonight. Our other investigator, Liao JM is also doing great! She came to church yesterday and we have her baptismal interview set up all ready to go for this week! So exciting!

Last week we had a fantastic training meeting on teaching people, not lessons, and how to have the spirit in the first visit with a new investigator, and how to get to know them and help them have a desire to meet with us again. We learned a lot and I hope that we can implement what we learned into our lessons!

We used what we learned on Thursday when we were driving down the road and saw these two kids playing outside. We had seen them last week, so since were weren't in a hurry anywhere, we stopped to talk to them. Their mom came out and we asked to come in and share with them a little about us. She wasn't too thrilled but let us come in, while saying she only had 10 minutes. Well, 30 minutes later we were all laughing and we had gotten to know them and they knew us. The mom has 5 kids, 4 of whom we met. She is super cool. We plan to go back and visit them this week. 

We spent a lot of time tracting and calling phones on Friday. We met a young woman who had just gotten home from work. She was really cool and we are hoping we can go visit her again this week! She is starting a new job soon, so she's going to start being really busy, but we hope we can spark an interest in her before so she'll be willing to still meet with us!

New missionaries are coming this Wednesday! So crazy! We had a short transfer this time because we needed to realign our transfer dates. So we'll see what happens with this next move-call. I'm pretty sure I won't be going anywhere, since I just moved here, but you never know!

I am loving my time here in Taiwan! It is such a wonderful experience to be able to serve a mission for the Lord! My testimony is reenforced everyday as I share what I know with those around me. I love my Savior and all that He has done for us! I love that I get to share with others everyday that we have a Savior! It is such a wonderful knowledge and I'm grateful I have this gospel in my life!

Thank you all for your love and support! I feel it daily! I hope you are all doing well!

#1: The view out one of our windows. Though that isn't actually our area (maybe a small part of it is)

#2: The kids I teach at English class

#3: This is what my area looks like. Yup. Those are rice fields. And that is mostly all I look at all day =]

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 53: From the Rice Fields

Hello from the rice fields of Taiwan! Yup, I am in the countryside. Not as country as some missionaries, but definitely more country than my last two areas!!!

I have have had a wonderful week this week getting to know my new area. It is HUGE!!! We went on Saturday to one of our furthest areas, and it was almost an hour of biking...and that wasn't the furthest! So definitely different than what I am used to, but I am loving it. I have lots of time to sing as we are biking places =] 

So, highlights of the week. We have some great investigators! And boy do I have a wonderful miracle to share. We have an investigators who is a mom of 2 boys, 10 years old and 1 years old. So we went to visit them last Wednesday and we had been told the 10 year old was a bit of a handful, but we were like, no worries. So we get there and he was so excited for us to teach him! He was asking questions and he was so excited to get his own Book of Mormon that he started reading right then and there. We taught him to pray and he said the closing prayer for us. His mom was astounded. She was like, where did you learn to pray? Sadly, she said they weren't going to be able to come to church this Sunday. So on Saturday we went to visit her sister who is a less-active and she was like, a miracle has happened. We asked what it was and she said, normally my nephew is so active and misbehaves a ton at home, but since you came on Wednesday and he started reading and praying everyday, he is a new child. He is so much more well-behaved. And then she said the greatest thing - her sister saw this change in her son and knew it was because of what we taught him to do, and so she was going to bring them to church on Sunday! And she did! And she and her son LOVED church! I am so grateful for the Spirit and the influence it has on people when they have an open heart and are willing to keep the commitments we give them. And this is a huge testimony that living the gospel, regardless of how old you are, will change you. We are so thrilled!!!

We did have another investigator come to church as well. She is super awesome! She and Wang JM and her son all have April 6 baptismal goals. 

I also started teaching English again this week! I am teaching the children's class, and wasn't too excited about it. The last two times I've taught it I have scared the children away...but last week went great! The kids are super great, and I'm so grateful the Lord gave me patience to be able to teach them =] 

I also got to meet our recent converts this week! We have 5: Chen JM and Chen JM. They are twins and were baptized 3 months apart. They are so funny =] Qiu JM was baptized about 2 months ago. She has a son and a daughter who we are working with and teaching as well! Liu JM has been baptized for a few months. She is super sweet. And then Xie JM. She is 10 and super funny. She lives really far away and her dad isn't super keen on bringing her to church, so we are trying to find other ways to help her get there. 

My new ward is fantastic. They are super willing to help with investigators and they love us missionaries. I am so grateful for such a wonderful ward! 

And the best news is: I can now send and receive emails from anyone, not just family! I don't have a ton of time to email, so if you email me, I will most likely write you an letter back, and not an email, but I would love to hear how you all are doing! 

I hope you all have had a wonderful week! I have and am so grateful for this opportunity to share the gospel with the people of Taiwan!

Love you all!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 52: 1 Year This Week

Hello Everyone!!!
So the news of the week (which shouldn't be a surprise since I was in my last area for 6 months) is that I moved!!! I am now in Zhang Hua 彰化 which is in the middle of Taiwan. I am about 20 minutes train ride from my first area, so I count as being the northern part of the mission now! My new companion is Sis. Jian (簡姐妹). She is from Taibei and this is her third transfer. Funny thing is that this area is my last companion's last area. And my last companion and current companion were trained by the same sister =] I am super excited to be here! I am going to miss GaoXiong so much, but I know I will love it here!

So our week. Last Monday we went to ZuoYing to celebrate a member's birthday! It was fun =] We went to an Italian food restaurant with her and the elders and a few other members. It was so much fun! Then we did a bit of shopping and then headed home. 

Our GaoXiong investigators are doing really well! We moved Chen JM's baptismal date back to March 23, but we know she can get baptized that day! And we are hoping Lin JM can also be baptized that day! So that is all super great!!! Xu JM is also doing well! She is learning and remembering what she is learning, and that is so great! I love them all and will miss them!

We had English class this past week, and we did a St. Patrick's day party. It was a huge hit! We had 50 people at English, which is a RECORD! We had them broken up into 6 groups and each group made a leprechaun trap. They had a ton of fun with that, then they left to go do another activity, and we destroyed two of the traps and left a pot of chocolate gold. It was so much fun! And all the english students are such good friends! I just loved it! I will miss them all!

Then Sunday was super awesome too =] Sunday night, our Taiwanese Mom, Zhang JM, made dinner for all us missionaries and many recent converts. Since each companionship in our district had a missionary leaving, many people wanted to come see us. So we just all ate together at the church, and then had Family Home Evening. I loved it! 

I loved my time in GaoXiong, and will miss everyone dearly. But I am so excited to be here in ZhangHua and meet new people, and learn a new area, and I know its all going to be so great!

I hope everyone has a great week! I know I will! 

588: Celebrating Zhang JM's birthday: Back Row: Elder Jorgensen, Elder Dailey, Li DX, Elder Chen, Elder Chia, Sis. Busath, Liu JM, Zhang JM

662: All the people who came to eat dinner with the missionaries our last night. I love them all!!!

691: My new companion and I!

682: Goodbye GaoXiong

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 51: Ni Hao!

Hello everyone!!!
We've had a good week here in GaoXiong, complete with sister exchanges, investigators with baptismal goals and a trip to the island! (well, another island, since I guess technically I'm on an island every day =] )

We'll start with sister exchanges! I got to leave my area and go to DaLiao, about 30 minutes south of my area. And what is super cool is that my trainer was trained in DaLiao, by my MTC teacher! So it was a super special place to visit! I have now been to all of my trainer's places (she only had 3, I was in one with her, and went on sister exchanges to the other two). I had a great time with Sis. Cole (she was my younger generation in the MTC!). We met some great people, one of who is an investigator that my trainer first taught and almost baptized two years ago. This young woman's mom wouldn't let her get baptized at that time, but now she is old enough that she doesn't need her mother's permission to be baptized. I hope that she can be baptized soon!

Then on Wednesday we went to visit our investigator, Chen JM. We first started meeting with her back in October. One day when I first got to GaoXiong, I called a few phones. That day I set up three people, a Liu JM, Chen JM and Zhang JM. All 3 became investigators. Liu JM is my recent convert who was baptized back in November, Chen JM has been an investigator since then, and Zhang JM decided not to keep meeting with us in December. And now, Chen JM has a baptismal date!!!!! We are so excited! She's always had a desire to be baptized, but the timing hasn't been right, but it is now! Her current goal is March 16th! We are so stoked! How grateful I am that I called phones that morning =]

Then on Saturday we went to visit a member and a few less-actives and former investigators in Qi Jin, which is a small island. We have part of it in our area, and part of it is in another area. It was so crazy! Normally there aren't a ton of people there, but there was a "miao hui" that day, which is like, a temple party. One of the temples there (or several...) was celebrating the god's birthday, so there were parades and firecrackers and people galore!!! It was so packed!! But really cool to see the culture of Taiwan and the Buddhist people. So fun! And it was great getting to know the member we went to visit better. Sadly though, neither of the less-actives we went to visit were home. Next time =]

All of our investigators are doing really well! We have three investigators with baptismal dates right now, and all are progressing really well! We will be having baptisms in March! Yay! 

This week is the last week of the move-call. I am anticipating moving next Monday; we'll see! We only have 5 new missionaries coming in this week, but then 3 weeks later we have 24! So exciting!!!!!

Well, I think that is about it. Not too much has happened this week. I don't have any pictures this week, since last week all we did on preparation day was sleep =] I hope you are all doing well! I am loving being here, and can't believe my time is going so quick!!!! Thank you all for your love and support!!!