My dear family!
I am now writing you from Taizhong! That's right...I got moved up north! After an hour bus ride and a two and a half hour train ride I am finally here! I'm actually serving in the area that our mission home is in, so that will be interesting. My district actually has the other office missionaries in it, and we will probably be seeing a lot more of President and Sister Blickenstaff. It should be fun. The area is called the Beiqu area of Taizhong. My new companion is Sister Schultz from Oregon and she already seems awesome. This is her last move-call, so I'll be "killing her off," and will probably be here for at least two move-calls.
I am so excited for this new opportunity to serve in Taizhong, but I was really sad to leave Qishan. I love that area so much. I have grown so much and learned so much because of that area and the people I met there. Sister Anderson will probably be there for another move-call and I know that she will do great and see so many miracles in the coming weeks.
I feel like I'm going to be in a little bit of culture shock for the next week or so. Haha. I am now in my first city area and it is in the middle of the city no less. This area is also one of the smallest areas in our mission. Nantou and Qishan were both enormous! I never had to worry about going out of my area, but I hear that in this area you can bike from one end to the other in about fifteen minutes. It will be an adventure that's for sure. I'm so excited and know that I will be able to learn so much here. I finally get to learn how to be a city missionary!
With all the excitement of move call I can't even remember what happened this past week, and I forgot my planner from last move call so I can't even look to spark my memory. Oh well...I'll try my best.
As far as your questions go this week was incredible! Heavenly Father really has been so merciful to us and has allowed us to see so many miracles. This week we were able to set a baptismal goal with Cai jiemei (who did come to the last hour of church again this week) and zi yu (the nine year old).
We went over to Cai jiemei's and had decided to teach about reading, praying, and coming to church and focus the lesson on how these things help us develop our faith and our belief in God and Christ. We shared a few scriptures then started asking her what she felt and if she believed in God. Her reply was a little unexpected, but she exclaimed that she "really really believes!" We invited her to be baptized and she was a little worried about it being too close, but in the end she agreed to try for that goal and is now determined to be really dedicated in reading the Book of Mormon. She really has been a miracles and has progressed so much! I can't wait to hear about her progression in later weeks.
I said we also set a date with Zi Yu and planned to ride our bikes with her to church so she could come (because her grandma doesn't come because of work), but they ended up having extended family come overmorning so that plan fell through. Hopefully the sisters will be able to take her next week.
I can't remember what day it was...friday? But we had almost everything fall through and by about four in the afternoon we still hadn't had any lessons. We did end up contacting that morning and were able to get a lot of numbers for potential investigators. Anyway, we were a little discouraged, but of course we kept going. Our evening lesson fell through as well, so we decided to find somewhere to go tract. As we were biking i saw a woman walking on the side of the road and knew I needed to contact her. I slammed on my breaks and when I turned around to look at her face I was it was Angel (the sister of one of the Elder's LAs). I had contacted her a few weeks ago and she was never home when we tried to go meet with her. She immediately invited us in and we were able to sit with her for a little bit.
She told us about her brother and then went on a rant about why she stopped going to church (she's not a member). Basically one of our members hit her and she got really offended and wouldn't ever come back. I know the member she was talking about and I could never imagine him doing what she described, but i remembered a talk his wife gave a few weeks ago in sacrament meeting about how he used to not be a very good example. She described his condition and how it got so bad they were thinking of divorce. But then she talked about how this gospel has completely changed him, and all the blessings it has given their family.
So when Angel started talking about this experience I felt like i knew exactly what to share with her. I talked about what his wife had said and my own perception of this member and talked about how the gospel really can change us. When our time was about up we asked her to say the prayer. She talked to Heavenly Father and told Him how if what i said really was true then her perception toward this member had changed and that she hoped she could go back to church and see the gospel bless her family even more. It was a beautiful prayer, and I am so grateful i had listened during church (sometimes its really tempting to write or read something else rather than listen to the speakers, but i always feel I'm going to miss the things I need to learn or the promptings of the spirit if I don't listen). So moral of the story....listen in church, it can bring miracles.
Right after we met with Angel we had just enough time for one more lesson so we decided to try and go back to the investigator from 30 years ago that we had tracted into. I was really nervous about going back, afraid of rejection i guess, but we did, and she let us back in. We established more about what she still believes and why she met with missionaries in the first place. She still remembered how to pray and still believes Heavenly Father exists. She is incredible! I know the sisters can help her as they keep going back.
The guy who came to church last week didn't come again, but I have no doubt he will go again.
As for the rest of the week we had so many things happen and i don't even remember it all! We drank watermelon milk and ate doughnuts to celebrate the 4th of july, ate at the Food House (which I've wanted to go to since I got to Qishan, it felt like being back home. It was a little bit of a shock stepping back outside to taiwan), had an incredible english party with waterballoon sports, biked for an hour only to get stood-up and have to bike back, had a farewell barbecue with the members, sweated a lot, prayed a lot, and saw so many miracles.
And we have a new rule change!!! We can now take pictures on days other than Monday!!!!! (As long as it doesn't interfere with proselyting.) We were all so excited. So you can probably expect more pictures. I know that will make Nicole happy. :)
Speaking of pictures the ones you sent this week were so cool! It I were still with Sister Anderson she would have freaked out! Haha, she's a huge Lord of the Rings fan. It looked like a lot of fun! I kind of want to go to something like that when I get home just to see.
I'm so glad to hear about all the happenings back home and how you are helping the ward, our neighborhood, and even just our family grow closer to the Savior. It really is the most important thing that we can do here on Earth. We are here to strengthen each other, lift others up, and be lifted up in turn by those around us. We have the most precious gift we could ever ask for, we should be willing to do all we can to share it with others.
Well I love you all and can't wait to hear from you next week and tell you how my fist week in the city goes! Pray that I won't get hit by a bus, and that I won't be in too much culture shock. Haha.
As always keep your heads up and remember there's always another miracle just around the corner.
With all my love,