Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Taiwan is the BEST!

Wow, another week has come and gone, and I'm excited to share some of the great experiences from the week. We have had to work really hard this week in contacting, and I've never been so exhausted in my life. On the other hand, I've never been so satisfied. It is so amazing to wake up every morning and know I have nothing to focus on besides building the Kingdom of God. Being a missionary is so much fun, and its been amazing to see the changes in myself and others. 

The week started off pretty great with the older Elders taking us to a shitou. It was an all you can eat place where you cook your own meat. (Probably one of the greatest moments yet, but also not the cheapest, I don't know how much more we'll do that haha) Have I mentioned how cheap the food is here?? Basically no matter where you go on the street, you'll spend under 100 kuai for a meal. (30 kuai is a dollar). We're super lucky here with food, its both delicious, and we can basically have as much as we want because its really cheap. I tried to take pics of some of the good food I've been able to have here. Although its good, the members sometimes give us really weird stuff (A really old member took us to this place to get eel, which was interesting..) Regardless, I don't know if I've ever loved meals so much, and am eating some of the best food in the world! (It's a good thing we have to bike so much everyday, or I'd probably start gaining a pretty good amount of weight).

This week was kind of a struggle, because we got cancelled on by a ton of potential investigators. We usually meet at the church, and a lot of times, they just don't show up. Thats always frustrating for me, but its cool to see the blessings of diligence when we go out and contact as our backup plan. I really think the Lord has blessed us with extra success because we're willing to go out and work, even when things don't go exactly according to plan. I especially saw this on Sunday, as we were fasting, and absolutely exhausted. We had people set up to meet with after church, but none of them came. It was a super hot day, and both me and Elder Pearce were not exactly enthusiastic to go to the area we wanted to contact at. I was joking with him that maybe the Lord would have more people would talk to us because we were so tired and hungry, and I actually think he did. I swear almost every house we went to/ person we talked to was at least a little interested. We got a bunch of numbers and lessons set up. A way higher percentage of people talked to us than usual. I'm starting to see that success has a lot to do with hard work. It doesn't always mean you'll do well, but I feel like God will help you a lot more when you show faith by going out and working.

We also had our first Zone Training meeting, and it was really fun to see a bunch of the missionaries all together. We focused a lot on how to help get investigators to church, because that coupled with Book of Mormon reading usually brings the most conversion. I've really tried to focus on my own testimony of this. Its cool to be able to have a really strong belief about church attendance and Sabbath Day Observance when inviting others to church. I feel like I actually mean what I'm saying, and believe that it can help the investigators. It's cool we have one investigator named Sister Li. Shes absolutely golden, but can't come to church because of work. We fasted for her yesterday, and she's going to try and talk to her boss about it this week. Its awesome to see someone who knows so little about the church really want to attend, and have so much faith to try. 

Church this week was so much better than two weeks ago. I feel like I finally have the Chinese to understand the general subject of whats going on. Its so much more fun that way, and I love actually being able to talk to the members and get to know them better. Our church is pretty far away from the apartment (I think it takes about 15 if we go super fast, but can be twice that if we hit lights bad or contact super hard. We also have a really big area, so we're doing a lot of biking. Its nice, because we're usually out doing things, so I can't get drowsy. At church its a struggle though, because I'm sitting down for so long. It was kind of funny yesterday when I started nodding off during the sacrament meeting. We were sitting next to this family, and one of the little boys poked me and yelled "Ge Zhanglao, ni bu keyi shuijiao!" (Elder Gilbert, you can't sleep) haha everyone kind of teased me for it, but I'm glad I've got ward members watching out for me :) Our ward is super big for Taiwan, but its getting split in a few months, sop it'll be pretty small then. They really are trying to increase the number of stakes here, so apparently whenever a ward gets to a decent size, they split it. Its a really good thing, because the members have a lot more opportunity to lead and serve. Its inspiring to see all the ward members making so many sacrifices for the faith. On Saturday they all made a temple trip to Taipei. They do this once a month! (4 hour drive) They take so much time out of their busy schedules to worship and build the kingdom. They also help us as missionaries so much in lessons and fellow shipping investigators. I think it really helps me to work my hardest as a missionary to see such commitment from the members here. 

I'm absolutely loving it here, even the hard stuff. Taiwan really is the best, and I know I'm where the Lord wants me to be. I'm having so much fun, and learning so much. I'm so grateful for this chance to improve and build my testimony in order to help others. I miss you all so much, but I know that this is the most important thing I could be doing. Love you guys :)

-Elder Gilbert
Calpis in the Tokyo airport on my way to Taiwan

Kind of cool to see all the missionary bikes lined up by the church at ZTM

Huang mama giving us mangoes

Playing tennis with a less active part member family.  Elder Pearce is so good!

A ward member Ricky taking us to get dumplings.

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