Wow, can you believe that January is almost over? Only 2 weeks left of this transfer and then we are into the Chinese New Year celebrations! :)
This week a lot of things happened that I said, "This is going to make it into my email home!" So if this email is random and scattered, I apologize.
First of all, this last Tuesday was really cold. Really cold. And unfortunately I was about as prepared for a cold day as Utah is prepared for a typhoon. :) At least I had a coat. But we rode our bikes from the Tao2 chapel to the Bade chapel, freezing all the way. By the time we got to the Bade chapel we weren't freezing anymore, but the sweat was freezing to us. It was really cold. And as we got to the Bade chapel, we saw our zone leader and one of the assistants getting out of a car. (The assistants are the only ones that drive in our mission.) And the assistant, E. Scott, started jumping up and down and rubbing his hands together. "It's cold!" he said. I looked at him and then started laughing cynically. What did he know about cold after just getting out of a heated car? The office that the assistants work in is also heated! I told him I thought it was hysterical that the assistants could drive around in heated cars and sit in heated offices while the sisters were riding bikes all over freezing cold Taiwan. :)
What else? Oh, there was the day when we went to contact a member referral. We had set up an appointment to go to her house and, when we got there we found a rather poor family. Two sons and a single mother who is looking for a full-time job right now. The situation was enough to tug at my heart strings--until the dog came running into the living room! He was a small little thing but in need of a good whipping. While we were trying to teach this woman about prayer, the dog would hide under the bench we were sitting on and then run out and bite our legs. After once or twice of this (the first time I yelled because it startled me so badly!) I realized that this was going to end. So much of the rest of the short lesson was me holding the dog at the neck and trying not to get bitten. Sometimes he would escape and run around and come back and bite our legs again, and he went to the bathroom on the floor twice (we were only there for 20 minutes!). The closing prayer was more than a little comical. I asked my companion to pray because I was struggling with the dog (holding his neck was the only place you wouldn't get bit) and during her short prayer I must have gripped the dog too hard because he started wailing. Wow, I don't know what will happen next week but all I know is that I almost killed that dog during the prayer. I never really liked dogs!
I am trying to think of what else interesting happened this week but it was just a normal week. We went to visit one of our new members, the amazing Sister Lin (Wan Ting) and her testimony is so strong and so amazing! Many people have a problem giving up tea here in Taiwan when they join the church and sometimes they drink it once after their baptism. But once is all it takes before the guilt is unbearable! Sister Lin said that she went to the store to buy some tea for her husband (because he is not a member) and she said she tasted it because she wanted to know if it was good for her husband. And she said as soon as she drank one mouthful she felt an immense guilt--she said she had never felt such guilt before! The Spirit is so powerful! And repentance is so real. It is amazing that the Lord takes care of all of His children individually and so very personally.
Oh! And one last thing. The other day we went to contact a referral and the referral's store was right by a member's house that had given us dinner the month before. So we went to drop a card off at their house to thank them and this older woman was standing outside the gated complex. We started talking to her, and she didn't seem interested in the gospel but she said, "Would you like to come in and have something to drink?" Well, there was no way we were going to pass up an opportunity like that so of course we said yes. She invited us in and went and squeezed oranges to give us fresh squeezed orange juice! She said once again that she was not interested but it was a beautiful experience to get to know her sing to her.
Hope you are all doing well. And congratulations Brittany, you enter the MTC this week! I would love to be on your email list!
Sister Breanne White