I'm so glad to say that New Years is finally over!!! I've eaten so much food this past week, I feel like im going to explode. But it was all really delicious. :) No one was on the streets and everyone we talked to was like we are too busy. It's okay though. Now they can't use the guo nian excuse. We basically went finding all day every single day since no one wanted to set up with us. It was fun. I went on 3 exchanges this past week and a half too. No more exchanges until next transfer! Actually I have one tomorrow night again but thats it! The transfer ends next Friday. I will be getting a new companion since Sister Ashcraft is dying (going home).
I'm emailing today since our pday got switched to Wednesday for this week only. We had temple day today!!!! I had to get up at 4:30 AM and take a taxi to the bus station...my tire has a hole in it. It was raining last night and when I got home and parked my bike, there was a loud noise coming from my tire. What good timing right?! Not! We couldn't go anywhere to get it fixed since it was still New Years. No one was opened. And it had to be the night before temple day. Currently my bike is getting fixed while im emailing you guys. BUT I was SOOO happy to go to the temple this morning even though I'm super tired. It was my FIRST time in Taiwan FINALLY. Since ive been serving in the east coast all this time, i never got to go. What a great day. I love temple. We had brownies at the Bu afterwards. Dad, I think I saw your friends from the chinese branch when i was little. Brother and sister Li? Im not sure though. they were in the same session as me. We also got to see the NEW video. yay! It was kinda weird but cool.
Good news...on Feb. 22, an APOSTLE, someone from the seventy, and presiding bishopric is coming to Taipei and giving us a devotional. cool huh? ALL the missionaries in the taipei mission get to go. We get to shake all their hands too. yay!! I'm so excited.
Not much else happened this week. Last week had amazing weather. I got sweaty one of the days! It turned cold and windy again yesterday. Hopefully it wont last long.
How was everyone's new years? Did you guys all eat a lot? SEND ME PICTURES.
okay the part of the update on the work:
Sister Ashcraft and I have noticed that on all the exchanges we go on, the sisters all have the same need, which is being more bold with introducing our purpose especially baptism. We find that they will mention it real quick and then switch the subject. After each exchange, the sisters would always say that they want to be more bold in introducing baptism. I think they are doing better with it but we will continue to work on it this next month/transfer. They are all great missionaries though.
As for Xinzhu, we went finding a lot. We only found 3 new investigators. I was a little bummed because I know we can do better. However, during one of our qing ke's at a member's house, we were able to start teaching our member's grandson. He is about 30 years old and doesn't believe in God. He is a little difficult to teach but I know that his faith can grow. We invited him to read and pray, which is really hard for him to do.
We found a miracle boy this last week. He is 14 and he accepted a baptism date! He was so willing to do everything we asked him to do. He seemed like he really liked our message. We have a set up with him this Sunday. I'm praying that his mom will let us meet with him. I don't want another family fandui. I know it is out of my control, but I'm still hoping for the best. We have met so many AMAZING youth, but their parents won't let them meet with us. Let's hope this one will continue to be a miracle investigator.
We also decided to go visit this LA Yao JM during guo nian. We were by her house and decided to knock her door. She was home and wasn't doing much for guo nian. We asked her if we could serve her in any way and she said no. But I could tell that she needed help with something. I finally got it out of her and we were able to help her clean up and paint this new apartment that she recently bought and is re-modeling. What a miracle. I think this helped her trust us more. She promised she would come to church but she didn't come. I'm hoping she will come next Sunday.
Our investigator with a baptism date for the 22nd dropped us. Huang JM texted us on Sunday saying that she wants to investigate her other church more. She has been talking to the other church the whole time she has been meeting with us. We were really sad to hear the news. She was really great and we were planning for a baptism. Maybe she will change her mind.
We have another investigator who has a baptism date for the 15th. Luo JM has come to church over 5 times but she is just afraid to commit. She is also really hard to meet with. Basically just afraid of any sort of commitment, so that's been hard. I know she is ready for baptism. She keeps all the commandments. We are hoping she can get baptized soon!
Lida finally got baptized during Guo Nian!! It was such a good baptismal service. She has such great faith and it was good to see her so happy. What a great day.
We are currently struggling with getting people to church. Our investigator pool isn't that big so we spend a lot of time finding. It's been a little difficult for me personally not seeing anyone at church or looking at our board and not seeing very many people progressing. I know Heavenly Father is really trying my faith right now. It's so different than Taidong but I remember when I first got to Taidong I felt the same way. But when I left, I felt so happy with the work that happened there. I remembered it took about 2 transfers for it to turn into a standard of excellence area. I want to do the same here in Xinzhu. I know it may be difficult at first but I know the fruits of our labor will come. I really want to make Xinzhu 1st ward a standard of excellence area. I want to reach all the standards of excellence with each key indicator. I know there are prepared people out there. I just need to find them, also find the people that will STICK. It is taking a lot of prayer and patience. I'm learning a lot though.
Okay love you all!!!