Thursday, April 15, 2010

5 August

Hello everyone! Welcome to the hottest month of the year! The good thing is I have been terrified about the Taiwanese summer since I got on island and it is here and even half over, so I don't have much longer to go before I can start thinking about Taiwanese winter! :) Sometimes when it gets so hot I think about lots and lots of water and ice and Russia. In the middle of the winter.

There are lots and lots of exciting things to report on this week. On Saturday Zheng Zheng Rong is getting baptized (our other investigator said she needs more time...welcome to the life of a missionary!). We are so excited! We went to a fireside and a counsellor in the mission presidency, President Zeng, was telling everyone about the interview with Brother Zheng that he had conducted. He said that he asked him why he wanted to be baptized and he said that his wife's example has changed him and he wants to go to the temple and be sealed to his family and be with them forever in the celestial kingdom! He doesn't just have a baptismal goal, he has a celestial kingdom goal! He is so awesome and I am so excited to see where this family will go. They have the capacity to contribute so much to the church in Taiwan and I am so blessed to be able to know them and watch them progress. The gospel has changed their family so much and they are a different family than the one I started teaching.

Secondly, last Saturday was the big stake activity. Last year I was in the same stake (when I was in Xindian) and they did a Christmas activity--does anyone remember the fiasco with competing Christian churches at that one? Well, thankfully this one went without any fiascos as it was inside. Each ward had about 10 minutes to do something--some wards did skits about the plan of salvation and missionary work, FHE, etc...but our ward, Tucheng, did a native Taiwanese dance and it was awesome. It was actually the best number--which is good because they have been working on it for several months now! As missionaries we also participated in the program (we sang with--get this--the Primary children and then with the YM/YW!) and invited our investigators to come and sat with them, which was great because we helped the ward so much in the preparation process! They also made their own native Taiwanese clothes and we helped them make those too (every week for more than a month) and so I was really grateful that I got to watch it. I would have attached pictures but unfortunately the internet cafe didn't have any computers with USB ports left. Whatever. (Oh, and did you know that I am in the Church News? It was from last month I think and it is about Taiwan--and there is a picture of a bunch of missionaries and I am in the front. I would attach the picture, but again...).

Hmm, what else. I know--this morning I was reading in the New Testament about Paul and how he had a vision to go to Macedonia. So he did and he found people that were prepared to hear the gospel and were baptized, etc. It reminded me of an experience that we had on Monday. We were supposed to have President's Interviews in the morning and District meeting in the afternoon, so we obviously didn't plan any lessons or anything else for that time. Well, then our district leader calls during companionship study and moves district meeting to Tuesday, and then calls at 10:29 (our language study ends at 10:30 and we were just about to go to President's interviews) and said that there was a big mix up at the mission office and they moved President's Interviews to next week. Well, now we had a large block of time with nothing planned and no time to plan anything. I was frustrated and was sitting at my desk praying and asking Heavenly Father what He wanted us to do, and the only thought I had was "Go to Shulin". And do what, I did not know, but I knew the Lord wanted us to go to Shulin. So we planned to stop by and try to make contact with some less actives out there and also take a note by our new member's house. So we start riding out to Shulin and my back tire goes flat. So we stop by a gas station--and their air machine is broken. So we walk to the next gas station--and they don't have any air. By this point I am really frustrated and trying not to cry, we go to a small grease shop (I don't actually know what they do there but there were some car tires and a lot of grease) and they pumped up my bike tire for me and then we ride out to Shulin.

So we are in Shulin writing a little note for two less active sisters and I had my companion write the note while I was going to call someone. So I was dialing the number when this woman rides by on a motorbike and shouts something at me in English. I thought she was crazy but felt like I should go and talk to her, and the conversation went something like this.
"Were you speaking English to me?"
"No, I was just talking."
"No, that was English."
"No, it wasn't. I bet you couldn't understand me, could you?"
"Yes, I could understand you, and you were speaking English. Do you want to come to our free English class?
"It is too far!"
"No it isn't!"
"Do you want to come inside and sit down for a minute?"

Yes, the conversation was very odd. And I did think she was crazy, but she invited us into her house--when we discovered that she had two children, 9 and 10, who were definitely sane and they listened to us talk about prayer, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. They have a lot of problems which are too numerous to be named here but we are going back on Friday and they seem to be in a preparation to hear the word. As we left I said to my companion, "Well, now I know why the Lord wanted us to go to Shulin!" Isn't it amazing that despite our inadequacies and weaknesses, the Lord is still guiding this work?!

Love you all. I have lots more to write but no time to write it. Maybe you will have an excuse to talk to me when I get home so you can get the "full story." :)

Sister White

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