Hey everyone! Elder Gilbert here reporting on a roller coaster of a week...
The week started out pretty rough. We had one investigator that had a baptisimal goal and all the time in the world (which almost is never the case in Taiwan). At the beginning of the week he told us he doesn't really have that much desire to change some of his habits in order to be baptized. We were kind of depressed, we were already struggling, but then our one bright spot just completely fizzled out. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty bummed most of this week, but there was no way to get through it besides working and relying more on the Lord. So thats what we did. We got to work and started really trying to find those that were prepared and willing to accept the message.
As the week went on we were blessed with a few miracles. I honestly think what got it started off was the worldwide mission broadcast. We got to hear from Some of the Apostles and other church leaders. It was awesome, felt like we had a whole session of general conference. It answered a lot of personal questions as well as helped highlight some new things I can work on. I really enjoyed the messages on teaching repentance and baptizing converts. The influence of the spirit and finding were also themes that were very helpful. That afternoon, we went out to Dong Gang and met a really cool new investigator that ended up setting a baptismal date! He could tell how much God had blessed us, and said that he wants to be able to have God's blessings as well! It was super sweet, he is a really cool man and I can't wait to see how he progresses.
Saturday is when Taiwan started getting weird on us. Its absolutely FREEZING here! I realize its probably colder at home, but I'm dying. The sad thing is we are the second to most southern missionaries on the island. People have been showing us pictures of Taipei and there's a bunch of snow! I'd actually rather have snow than just the pouring rain like we've had here, because snow is at least cool. I'm now feeling pretty stupid about my new raincoat with short sleeves. Haha...All the hot weather for the last few months has kind of made me a baby! I don't know what its going to be like when I'm home for a real winter in awhile.
The worst part about the weather is that it really encourages people to not go outside and not want to do things. We were super mad about the weather, because a few days before we had just met this family that was really interested. We were going to play basketball with one of the sons on Saturday night in Dong Gang, but because of the weather, we couldn't! We were worried that the cold was going to give him an excuse to not meet with us, but it actually turned in our favor. Instead of just being able to meet with him and play basketball, he invited us over to his house where we met him, his older brother, mom, and dad! They were all so cool! They already read the bible sometimes and the the Book of Mormon could really help. The mom thinks her sons need to be better people and the family needs to be happier. Even the dad seemed to like us! Such a miracle! We were able to set up a more formal lesson with them next week, and can't wait to see where it goes!! As we were leaving the rain started to pick up, and it was probably one of the most physically miserable 30 minutes of all time on our way home. We were absolutely soaked and freezing, but were so happy! It was so weird, neither of us were complaining at all, and were just pumped out of our minds! We had also had a couple of people tell us they would come to church, it felt like we had gotten out of the hole we felt we were in. That night was one of the happiest nights I've had in a while :)
We were kind of brought back down to earth the next day at church. It was even colder on Sunday... Only one investigator came to church (she's actually pretty cool, she's a young girl that goes to the sisters in the other ward's english class) It was a pretty bad day at church to say the least. We had 29 people at sacrament meeting total. A lot of the time our ward feels like a branch with a bishop. It didn't help that one of those 29 was this absolutely crazy girl that wouldn't stop yelling at the 1st counselor and basically everyone else while they were speaking... Like she was absolutely nuts, she kept trying to get us to give her book of Mormons and other church materials we didn't have with us. She caused quite the scene, and maybe it was a good thing that some of the investigators didn't come. Crazy people are pretty rough, there are a ton in Taiwan, and for some reason it feels like almost all of them are attracted to the church... Haha it was actually pretty funny and our one armed 1st counselor did a really good job dealing with her. The ward was joking about it later on, the members that we have are awesome!
So ya... that day was kind of sad, but that's ok! The struggles in this area made me realize something. I'm relying more on Heavenly Father than I probably ever have. My prayers are more earnest, I'm noticing tender mercies that before I hadn't, and I feel so grateful to know Him. I am loving sharing about His son Jesus Christ. I think one of my favorite activities we did this week was going to the night market with a huge book of Mormon poster. There were so many people that probably thought we were so weird, but I loved it! i was able to share with so many people my testimony of Christ and The Book of Mormon. Being a missionary is the greatest! I love this church and know it is God's! Love you guy, hope its another great week!!
|Elder Cook and I with our big stuff in the night market!|