Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

Hey everybody!It's been a good week here, but weird. I've been in this area for what feels like such a long time! The weeks really feel like they just roll together, its becoming a struggle to find the differences. Hopefully I can hit some of the highlights! 

It helped that today we were able to go to one of the coolest place in Taiwan for p-day today!! It's called Kending, it's considered the Hawaii of Taiwan and was super beautiful. We had such an awesome time today, I'm excited to send home some pics. I think today was my favorite p-day of all time, it's going to be hard to get one that passes it up. I think I got a little sunburned though haha I've gotten super white!

We've kind of seen a little bit of digression with our investigators this week. People are so busy in Taiwan! It is so hard for people to come to church, ahhhh it's killing us!!! We're trying to help their base of faith by focusing on reading and praying daily. On the other hand, the reactivation work has been going pretty well! We've really seen some progress with some of our less actives, the members are helping fellowship them back into the ward. That's been good to see, I'm really grateful for my increased ability to see the tender mercies in the Lord and find the silver linings. Haha this area is awesome.

Oh man, one thing I've got to mention, we had the strangest lessons of all time. We have this one member that always gives us referrals, he's super awesome, but sometimes they are a little weird... We went over with him to his neighbors house to meet with him, and this man was more addicted to cigarettes than anyone I've ever seen! We came over and he started shaking like crazy, pulled one out, then kinda calmed down... Then like 10 minutes later, he went crazy again and had to take another smoke! It was ridiculous and one of the strangest things ever, elder stoddard and I were just absolutely appalled. Hahaha it was hilarious, this dude literallly could not go 15 minutes without smoking, it was so bad! Advice for the week: don't ever smoke, the Taiwanese are all hooked and it's the worst! 

Spiritual thought: I read a talk about the atonement this week that brought up a real cool point. Elder Gong gave it, he was talking about how becoming perfect in Christ doesn't mean never making a mistake, how making mistakes is actually how we eventually achieve this perfection. Even the Savior had to learn and grow! Don't focus on previous mistakes, just how we can move on and get a little better every day :) 

Love you guys, constantly uplifted by your emails and updates from the real world!!
Elder Gilbert

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Taiwan, man...

Hello everybody! I'm sorry that apparently my emails did not go through last week, I apologize.. I just resent them. So you'll be getting two emails from me this week, hopefully I don't bore you to death haha! 

I don't really feel like anything that special happened this week, especially compared to last week with all the crazy celebrations. It was still pretty good, we're just trying to get the area better every day. Actually now that I think about it, we were pretty dang busy! So since like a million people they'd be willing to talk after the new yer, we finally met with them this week. we had a bunch of lessons set up. Sadly, we also got "fanged" a lot. I don't know if I have explained before, but what happens in this mission all the time is you will call/talk with someone who will tell you they can meet with you at this time and this place. Then they just won't show up! They're too scared to tell you straight up because you're white, but will just plan on not showing up. Its literally the worst! especially the times when you call them right before, they say they're on their way, then they don't come! haha thats called getting "dirty fanged" Ya so that happened quite a few times this week... 

Thats ok though, we met some cool people as well! Its been really nice to have a week thats a lot more normal. We had whats called "power week" I guess they do it the week after Chinese new year. The mission basically has all these really high, hard to get goals that we try do do every day. This included talk to a certain number of people, or set up this many people to meet, etc. Elder Stoddard and i tried pretty hard to hit some of these, and actually didn't get a single one... haha it was pretty sad. The cool thing, though, was that as we were looking at our numbers this week, they were pretty good. Better than we usually have. Another funny thing was we got like 3 times as many referrals as normal! I kind of feel like the Lord was blessing our hard work in kind of unconnected ways. I really keep noticing that on my mission, when we are willing to work and serve, we see blessings in really unexpected unrelated areas! So ya, thats kind of my thought for the week, if you feel like you're not getting a blessing you feel like you should be getting, try to find where you really can see the Lord's hand in your life! I promise its everywhere! 

Love you guys, thanks for all the support! 


Elder Gilbert

They have so much fake stuff here 

My new/old suit

Surviving Chinese New Year

Hello everybody, Elder Gilbert here after surviving one of the worst but really best weeks ever here!

The week of Chinese New year was absolutely crazy! I only spent money one time the entire week because members have been giving us food and meals like crazy!  I've eaten so much this week, so thats one of the reasons it was the best! To be honest though I'm pretty glad its over, its a super hard week for missionary work, nobody wants to do anything. I guess I don't really blame them, if some weird foreigner walked up to me on Christmas and asked me to hear about a church I'd be pretty annoyed too! What we really tried to focus on was getting referrals from family members and friends of people we ate with as well as inviting our progressing investigators to eat meals with us and our members. We got a few nice referrals, but what was best was two of the dinners we had where our investigators were able to eat with and meet some of our members.

On wednesday our bishop's family invited over this woman and her granddaughter that we've been working with. The lady, Sister Wu, has gotten to be pretty good friends with our bishop's wife. Turns out that the wife actually is a return missionary, and she was the greatest help ever as we talked about the church! We even ended up setting a baptismal goal with her! 

The next day we were able to eat over at a bishopric member's home with our super awesome investigators,the hong family! They hadn't met any members yet, and it was super good for the parents! we were actually also able to set baptismal goals with three of them! It was actually a great week for them, because the two sons weren't in school. We were able to stop by their house a few times and meet with them. The sons are super cool, and obsessed with basketball!. Since it was chinese new year they got a ton of new basketball gear. They were so excited to show us their new jerseys and shoes, and always try to show us NBA highlights on their phones. Its super funny. 

So those two experiences were great! Our members are so awesome, it really helps with the work to have nights like those! The rest of the week is a little painful, I'm pretty excited for everything to get back to normal :)

Ya thats basically it, nothing really crazy happened outside of the new year, which I guess was actually pretty crazy! haha loving it here so much, hopefully everyone's having a good valentines day!

Elder Gilbert
Crazy huge market for the new year right by our apartment, a million people, but everything super lame.

Elder stoddard and I wishing you a happy guo nian with our dope chinese new year jerseys! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Shake it off!

Helllo everyone! This is Elder Gilbert coming to you on Chinese New Year day!! It is absoulutely nuts here! I have no idea how we are going to survive this week, its going to be very rough haha good thing we had a pretty good week to prepare! By the way, my subject references the earthquake that happened a few days ago! I and all the missionaries are ok, but they are also freaking out about it too.

Although this week was pretty good, finding has been an absolute nightmare! Every single person you talk to has no care in the world except for Chinese new year... Let me tell you, if had a dollar for every time someone has told me 
"after new year" I would be rolling in it! Seriously, every single person says it! It's been pretty rough to set stuff up, but thats ok, we worked through it, and actually found some new people! Even the church members are going crazy! Somehow, they just had an hour of church yesterday (I'm not sure how that's allowed), plus I'm pretty sure no one fasted. Within 15 min of church being over, everyone was completely gone from the church. They take this stuff seriously! The members go crazy about giving the missionaries food, so we are going to be fed well this wee! Literally every breakfast lunch and dinner for the week is scheduled with someone. Just before I started writing this email we left a steak all you can eat buffet! It's awesome, but I am probably going to gain a lot of weight... It's really hard to actually go out and find people this week, so our mission really wants us to focus on trying to get lots of refferals from our members at all these meals, and maybe meet some of their family members that could have interest. Something super awesome that just got set up yesterday was that we have two of our investigators coming over for dinner with us to our bishop's house! Its perfect! The mom has gotten to be good friends with the bishops wife, and the daughter is friends with the bishops daughter! It's so awesome when the ward helps like that!!

A report on the earthquake: At like 4 in the morning I woke up and everything was just shaking like crazy! I thought I was dreaming for a little while, but when I heard the door swinging and creaking like crazy I decided it wasn't a dream. It was actually super fun, and I was really out of it, so I just kind of started laughing and enjoying the ride! Then I just kind of fell asleep again. In the morning we got a text from the mission president asking if we were ok. We didn't realize it was so bad in other places. It was crazy bad in my last area, Tainan. Some buildings collapsed, and its been all over the news and everyone been talking about it! Glad to see that the Lord is protecting His missionaries! 

One other thing, the dude that hit me wanted to meet so we could sign a contract saying we weren't going to sue each other. His mom and sister came, and they felt awful! They gave me this big box of cookies, and tried to pay for my new bike box. The guy was pretty weird, I think he got a really bad concussion, because he didn't really know what wat was going on, and they said he had gotten hit in the head super hard. His hands were pretty messed up too! He was doing better though, so thats good! The funniest part was that our member that was with us the night of the crash came again and was super bold. He kept asking the family why they thought I was ok, and telling them they should come to church! He was so blunt, it was awesome!  The sister said she would come, but she didn't :( we have her number though! I was telling Elder Stoddard a few weeks ago how maybe purposely getting in a crash could be a good way to find a new investigator! My theory could be correct! (Except I didn't do it on purpose, and it wasn't my fault) haha ya so that was an interesting experience.

Thought: The Book of Mormon is awesome! We are working with this family that has 13 and 15 year old sons. The younger one i having a hard time understanding the scriptures, so we showed him on lds.org the cartoon ones he can watch (those ones we used to read as a family back in the day). He loved them, and has watched a ton of them, and now has a lot more interest in it!! Its super awesome to see how people can come to learn about The Book of Mormon and its truthfulness, even if its by not quite so normal a way. I love that book, and love how I can apply its principles daily to become a better missionary and a better person! 

Love you guys!

Elder Gilbert

We got a bunch of new Book of Mormons and stuff from ztm

A member from Tainan visited me and Elder Stoddard this week!  Fun to see him!

Me with the contract and cookies that the family of the guy who hit me gave me