First off, thanks for all the birthday emails. I will get to spend my birthday in a meeting all day in Taipei. yay! I feel so old.
I finally got kicked out of the beautiful east coast and into the city. Well, not in the heart of taipei but I moved to Xinzhu and Xiangshan! I have two areas and two wards. Yay for 6 hours of church on sundays. The second sacrament meeting was rough. Anyways, I also got called to be the new sister training leader in the Xinzhu and Miaoli zones. Basically the female version of zone leaders, but they have a little more work to do. :) My companion and I get to take care of 12 sisters and go on exchanges with them. When I saw that my picture came up under the new sister training leader, I was so shocked! I'm still a little baby missionary! And I've never served outside of the east coast so it is totally different! I don't really know what I'm doing and I'm still adjusting to city life and all the CARS. yikes. also the fruit is way expensive here and there aren't very many good vegetarian places. oh well. ill find good places to eat soon. :) I always feel lost on the roads though. I think it will take awhile to connect all the roads here. Hopefully I'll be able to do that soon because my companion is dying this transfer (she is going home). So i get to take over next transfer. But we have a ton of meetings in taipei that we have to go to so we don't spend that much time in our areas. also we have to go on a ton of exchanges this transfer. I'm just a little overwhelmed but hopefully i'll get used to it soon. It has been a little difficult moving from a really successful area with lots of investigators and people with baptism dates to somewhere where there is maybe 5 investigators total. It's okay though! It's all going to change soon!!!
The goodbyes in Taidong were so sad!!!! I never thought it would be so hard to say goodbye to those people there. I loved them so much. My R.C. Lily that you met was really sad to say goodbye. She was going to taipei two days after I was going but she decided to change her plans and ride the train up with me and the elders. haha. She couldn't leave me. i love her oh so much! also, saddest story, my R.C. the gangster, Chen JM, was going to say goodbye to me at the train station but she was too late and i had to catch my train. I knew she would be so sad. She called me right when the train was leaving. She was crying and couldnt stop crying talking to me on the phone. I didn't know a gangster could cry that much. I had to hold back my tears. She just kept saying how grateful she was to have met me and all this nice stuff. I felt so bad that the train left right when she got there. Oh and I also had to say goodbye to my eternal investigator Becky. She is hopefully getting baptized this month. She has been investigating for almost 2 years now. she is soooo close!!! She almost cried too. ahh. Anyways I know I'll for sure see these people again. I'm just needed somewhere else now. Oh and the R.S. president made this super cute card with all the pictures she had of me from members from FB. She posted on the R.S. FB page that I was leaving and they all left comments and she made it into a card for me. So nice. Also she bought me taidong's famous sweet potato and taro chips. yum. And she made me do a goodbye message to the branch on her phone. i had no idea what to say and she posted on FB. ahhh. haha.
Anyways this is what I sent to president:
Happy New Year! I don't even know where to start. Let's back track to before I got transferred and start from there. :)
Well, Becky finally called me again. Remember how she sent me that sad email and was acting all weird? She called me and sounded like everything was okay again. I met with her one last time before transfers and we talked a long time about church and people and why this Gospel is so important. It was a good discussion. She felt better about it afterwards. I heard she went to church yesterday so that is good. As my goodbye, I told her that she needed to pray about her baptism date everyday and read the Book of Mormon everyday. She said she would. I'm so glad since I was afraid that she wanted to cancel her baptism date. She still might but I'm praying she will hold out strong and succeed this time! I know she can do it. Goodbyes are always hard but i know she will love the new sister that is in Taidong.
We had an awesome lesson with our investigator Gu JM. She is progressing so much! She has already read up to 1 Nephi 22 in ONE week. We had this lesson an hour before I had to leave for the train station and it was by far the best lesson. We set a baptism date with her and she accepted. She feels like her daughter is really happy in this church. What a miracle. Even though I won't be able to attend her baptism, I have complete faith she will make her date. She is so great and so prepared. Such a great last lesson in Taidong. It was a good ending to my time there. I know Sister Singh and the new sister will take good care of her.
Saying goodbye was hard to my R.C.'s Lily and Chen Shi Yun. However I know I'll see them again. You really do create such strong relationships with members and investigators when you spend such a long period of time in one area. I will always remember the miracles and people in Taidong. It really is the "promised land."
Anyways, now I'm in the beautiful and busy city of Xinzhu and Xiangshan. What a huge change from the east coast. I thought it would be a hard transition but it has been fairly alright so far. All I can say is, it is completely different. I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve here. It is a new challenge but i'm so excited. I feel like i'm supposed to be here and help the people here. I know I'm not supposed to compare, but going from somewhere where the numbers were mostly always really good and high to a place where the numbers are not that good made me realize that I'm here to help this area grow and have more baptism dates. Also, I'm here to help the sisters of the Xinzhu and Miaoli zones. I still feel like I don't know much more than them but hopefully I can offer something to them and help them. I pray for them every night even though I don't know some of them. My head sometimes feels like it's going to explode because I've never been a sister training leader before but Sister Ashcroft is great and has been a great help. Hopefully I will be able to take over this place when she leaves. When I first saw my picture come up on the screen as the sister training leader here, I was super surprised and terrified at the same time. My thoughts were, "Are you sure President Day?! Are you sure I can do this?" But I have faith in you and the Lord. :) I've never covered two areas and two wards before. The members are all really nice. I hope to see more members in church on Sundays. From the past few days of being here, I've already seen so many little miracles. We met so many incredible people or people who just needed someone to talk to and cry to. I love finding! My companion was really surprised when I said I LOVE to find. I don't know why, but it is a good opportunity to meet awesome people. Even though they don't always want to set up with you again, you still plant that seed in their hearts. We don't have many baptism dates or investigators, but I'm determined to find them. They are out there. There are so many people here! It's so cool! Also, there are lots of cars, but hopefully I'll get used to that soon. :)
Happy New Year!!!! love you all!