Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Whole New World!

My new companion Elder Cook with Elder Cole in the background.
WOW!! Taichung is crazy! I literally feel like I moved to a whole different country!  Before, I was biking through rice patties and not seeing buildings over 8 stories high. Now I'm in the heart of Taichung with 4 million people and live in like a 25 story apartment building! It is super different, I was almost as far as you possibly could get from the mission home and am now like a 10 minute bike ride away, and see a ton of missionaries every day. I'm also in the same building as Elder Cole for church, so I see him every day, that's fun :) We play basketball in the mornings with the office elders and others in the area, so that's also a new plus. I'm really sad to leave Dong Gang, it has my heart, but I love the opportunities and blessings that I have before me! My new comp is a beast! I've basically served around Elder Cook my whole mission, and its been really nice not to have those first few awkward days where we're feeling each other out. He's really excited to work hard with me, and we've seen miracles every day! The people here are awesome, there's so many more people, and I feel like we have met a bunch of cool/funny people.

We were biking around a huge park and basketball facility when we ran into a nice old man named Bruce. He was walking around the park punching and kicking the air. When we talked with him he just exploded in energy. His English is super funny and he uses such intelligent words with bad grammar and it just sounds hilarious. We fell in love with him so fast... then he said he doesn't like Christians anymore because his Dentist is a Christian and ruined his teeth. (There is a dental place here called Jesus Dental: He Uses Me. As in it is Christ doing the dental work. Its in Chinese and it makes more sense) Bruce said "I saw Jesus on his business, I TRUSTED HIM!! See my teeth? These are fake because of him. I trust a Christian and this is what happens. Never in a million years would I think this would happen to me! Never! He made me ugly and I cannot forgive him. Next time I see him I want to punch him right in the mouth. He should go kill himself!" After his rant we got to fit so much gospel answers into what he just said and we calmed him down to the point were we prayed with him and he said he will go to the Dentist and tell him how he feels without getting mad. :)

Oh and my testimony of talking with everyone went up a whole ton this week. Elder Cook and I were taking a little break because it was pouring rain and contacting wasnt going so good. We decided to talk to a guy at a drink shop and get a drink from him. After a minute it was clear he didn't really like us, and I debated in my mind whether or not I should give him one of our soggy church tracts. I decided why not and then gave it to him. Anyways, a little while later we realized I lost my wallet, and got a call from the mission office saying that it was at the drink shop! It turns out the guy called the number on the tract, which was incredibly lucky because I didn't have a number to call in the wallet. It was a miracle! That would have been super bad to loose my wallet, and I was super grateful for that! 

We don't have a ton of investigators here, to be honest its pretty dead. But thats ok! We are on the rise and Elder Cook is really excited to rebound from his last companion and help out this area with me! The exciting thing is we have a clean start and an opportunity to talk with everyone and bring those who are ready into the fold of Christ. 

For my spiritual thought, I'd like to share a cool experience I had reading Elder Holland's last conference address. If you remember, he was talking about how general conference is a spiritual high, and soon we will all return to the real world. I feel like that has kind of happened to me, not because its really bad here, just because of how good it had been in Dong Gang and how many incredible experiences we had seen. As I read the following words I felt inspired and invigorated for a new start and for the challenges that lie ahead: 

Now, with that majestic devotion ringing from heaven as the great constant in our lives, manifested most purely and perfectly in the life, death, and Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can escape the consequences of both sin and stupidity—our own or that of others—in whatever form they may come to us in the course of daily living. If we give our heart to God, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, if we do the best we can to live the gospel, then tomorrow—and every other day—is ultimately going to be magnificent, even if we don’t always recognize it as such. Why? Because our Heavenly Father wants it to be! He wants to bless us. A rewarding, abundant, and eternal life is the very object of His merciful plan for His children! It is a plan predicated on the truth “that all things work together for good to them that love God.” So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.

I love you guys and hope that all is well at home! Keep doing great things! I am loving my mission! It is the perfect thing for me, and I am so happy top have this oppurtunity to grow and better know my savior. Time to get to work :)

Elder Gilbert

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