I had another solid week out here in Taiwan! That’s how I’m going to preface this entire email, because we had so many great plans, but sometimes the Lord has different plans and makes everything into a great learning experience.
There have been a few times this week when we seriously biked for hours and miles out to a lesson, only to find that the house was empty, they were not actually interested, or [their] plans [had] changed. We get rejected all the time. In Taiwan that usually happens with them being really nice up front. It’s sad, but it’s also a great reminder that even though we can do everything we possibly have control over, they still have their agency. And we still love them 🙂 so much. It is less a question of how often it happens, and more of a question of if we are willing to just stop, turn around, and find whoever we are supposed to find there and learn whatever we are supposed to learn. When you look at them as lessons to be learned and children of God to be found, it’s a lot easier to keep pressing forward….rather than lessons to teach or people to be taught…we are bringing a message of JOY to the CHILDREN OF GOD. This work truly is amazing!
On one never-ending bike ride, we went out to find a [person] that we had an address for, but no other contact information. When we finally got there, the house straight up looked abandoned… and no one lived there. We were devastated. As we said a prayer and went to bike back down the hill, a member from our [congregation] stopped next to us on his scooter and said he was going to visit a member [who hadn’t been to services in a while] and he wanted us to come with him. When we got to this lady’s house, she was so happy to see us! She committed to coming back to church and bringing her less active daughter with her too. And while the daughter wasn’t at church this Sunday — she was — and we were so excited to see her!
On a different bike ride this week, we biked for what seemed like years out to a members house/bakery to visit her less active daughter. When we got to the door, the daughter wanted nothing to do with us and wouldn’t even talk [with] us. So we sat down with the member and she gave us some homemade cake as she told us not to feel bad. Haha as we sat there talking, a man from Germany walked up and asked us why we were in Taiwan. We told him about our message of Christ and the truth and he committed to meeting with the missionaries. So he now has an appointment with the Elders which is super cool! Then on the way back from this encounter my companion and I witnessed a scooter accident in the middle of an intersection. We pulled over to the side of the street to say a quick prayer for everyone’s safety, when we got approached by the police officer to be a translator. One of the ladies involved in the accident didn’t speak Chinese, but had pretty good English. We were definitely glad we could be there to help.
One last bike ride from this week was taking us to the house of a new friend we had just set up to start teaching. We had had one lesson with her prior at the church, but she said meeting at the church was inconvenient for her, so we offered to go out to her house. Well, her house was a two hour bike ride away, through wind that was always against you, no matter which way you turned, and up some pretty steep hills. We got very lost, accidentally rode through a Buddhist temple and a night market, turned around probably 30 times, and asked 8 different people for directions. When we got there, she sat us down and told us that she couldn’t listen to us. I was like, couldn’t you have just told us that before we biked all the way out here? But we sat and listened as she explained that we didn’t truly know who Jesus Christ was and that the church needed to change how we thought about numerous different things. It was a trainwreck to say the least. As we left that “lesson” with our spirits a little crushed, we got to our bikes. My bike had been blown over in the wind, and the chain was knocked off the gear. I flipped my bike over and pretended like I knew what I was doing to fix it, when a stranger pulled up on his scooter, got off, fixed the chain, and then just scootered away without a word. I had to call after him to say thank you. Talk about a little miracle. We caught up to the bike fixer at the stoplight and invited him to church. He showed up and now has an appointment to meet with the Elders. It’s amazing!
So this week, was definitely not perfect, but I truly believe we were in the places we were supposed to be at the right times. This truly is God’s work, and I love that I get to be a part of it.<
Funny things that happened this week:
1. Playing ultimate frisbee for exercise time is always just a party and a half Haha
2. After English class, one of our students (Dinosaur) and I started playing a game where we were trying to blow a paper boat across each other’s goal [line]. Haha it was so funny 😂 I will try and send a video because his laugh is contagious!
3. We had a Christmas concert with all the missionaries, and one of them translated Feliz Navidad into Chinese and sang it on his guitar. It was so funny!
4. At [sacrament meeting] this Sunday we [were] given six bags of groceries (four of them being fruit from a guy named Kevin, who is someone the Elders are teaching) and a sugar cane stick. We then had to figure out how to bike home with all of it. It was really funny as our bike boxes and handlebars were filled and the sugar cane stick was held as if we were jousting. Haha
That’s about it from me! I also passed my ‘Book A’ language test this week, so I have now moved on to ‘Book B’ which is common every day words! I’m super excited!
I love you all so so so much!!!