I don’t think I have ever been more exhausted at the end of a week. We had such an incredible week! If only you could stand in my shoes and see how truly amazing the work of the Lord is!
Taiwan is getting hot. There were some days this week that were so hot and humid my glasses fogged up every time I stepped outside. It didn’t matter weather you were standing in the sun or in the shade you couldn’t escape it. Other days rained, but not like a drizzle or a light patter kind of rain. I’m talking about a waterfall from the sky that doesn’t ever stop. Haha it’s always an adventure! Last night was one of the most intense rainstorms I’ve ever been in. I was so wet, if I had jumped in a pool and gotten back out I wouldn’t have been any more wet than I already was. And the best part is the looks of people’s faces when they’d see us on our bikes just laughing in the rain. The Taiwanese hate the rain. It totally ruins their day, and they’ll do anything to stay out of it. When they’d see me talking with them and completely soaked, they’d look at me as if I was a barbarian at a fancy dinner party eating with my hands… haha they seemed terrified that I was okay being wet. There were some places in the street that were so flooded as we biked through it the water splashed up and completely soaked us…or cars that were not very nice haha. However, because of the rain and the humidity, my glasses fog up so bad that it’s easier to see without them on. So I just put them in my bike box and bike blind Haha But wow, it was a great day!
Now I could be the kind of missionary that turns biking blind into an analogy of allowing God to be our guide and relying on Him when we can’t see the eternal picture, but I’m just gonna leave it at that Haha
However, I do know that amidst some super disappointing moments, relying on God and trusting in Him was how we saw some pretty incredible miracles this week!
These are all about the same person, so I’m just gonna tell you her story. 李姐妹 (Li JM) So we had a member in our ward tell us about an awesome lady who works at this drink shop that she goes to all the time! (side note: drink shops are a big thing here! You could have 5 shops right next to each other all selling drinks, and they would all always be busy) She said she had had a few conversations about the Gospel with the owner of this drink shop before and that she wanted us to meet her. Referral=MIRACLE!
So on Tuesday we went with the member to the drink shop, and as we sat down to start talking, our member already had her committed to closing her shop on Sundays so she could come to church before we even got more than 10 words out of our mouth. MIRACLE! Getting people to come to church is a very hard commitment in Taiwan.
We set up a return appointment for Saturday, but decided to do a quick stop by on Friday to buy some drinks and see how she was doing. We got some AMAZING watermelon juice, and turns out when she had downtime at work she would just read the Book of Mormon. She was already about halfway through 1 Nephi. MIRACLE!
So we went back on Saturday, and Saturday was an incredibly full day of appointments, so we were a little pressed for time. But wow, wow, wow, wow. We have been taught a lot recently by leaders to teach towards baptism. They even had us do an activity once where we connected every Gospel principle in Preach My Gospel to baptism. Anyways, we decided to take a bolder stance on teaching towards baptism while sharing the Restoration, and at the end of the lesson we were able to set a baptismal date with her! MIRACLE! (Now this is just a goal, not an official day, but it definitely shows people’s commitment and progression towards conversion which is awesome!)
We are teaching someone who we met through English class named Nami. Now, she has already come to church twice and has been reading the Book of Mormon as well which is amazing in and of itself. However, we also decided to take the route of teaching towards baptism. After a great discussion of the Plan of Salvation, Nami also accepted our baptismal invitation and set a baptismal date!
Alright, now for probably one of the biggest highlights of the week…President Ballard came to our mission, so the entire mission got to get together to hear from him! He talked a lot about the importance of prayer and being good teachers. It was an AMAZING Conference!
Funny things that happened this week:
1. “Wake up every day with a smile on your face and when you see it pouring rain outside the window, look at your companion and say, ‘Hooray, we get to be persecuted all day!'” – President Ballard
2. We walked into a restaurant one day and the lady goes, look out while you’re eating, there have been a little bit more cockroaches than usual. Haha and every Taiwanese person just kept going about like it was completely normal. Haha they have the best fried rice though!
3. We were calling with a member reviewing some ‘recent convert lessons’ in the middle of a Seven and just happened to be on reviewing the law of chastity. Haha you should’ve seen the look we got from this 13 year old boy hahahaha
4. We went to try and start teaching a family that had been taught in the past. Only the oldest two kids were there when we went and knocked, so after setting up a time to come back when more people would be home, we invited them to start reading the Book of Mormon again. We asked them if they still had a copy since it had been a while since missionaries had met with them. The little sister ran into the other room and came back holding five of them. Haha yep! They definitely still got one. And then when we were about to bike away we hear her yelling to her Sister from the other room that they still had even one more hahaha
What a good week!
Also, to close it all up, transfer calls came out last night. I will be staying in 台東 (Taidong)! Looks like a hot boonies summer is in store for me! I will be getting a new companion though! It is Sister Concardas from my MTC district. She is from the Philippines, and I am very excited for another amazing transfer!
I hope you all have a great week!
I love you all so so so much!!!