Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Asian Invasion

Wow, crazy changes going on! It has been a great week! I was sad to say goodbye to Elder Cook, but am super excited to tell you guys about my new companion Elder Huang! 

So Monday through Thursday were pretty crazy as Elder Cook and I finished our time together. I was really nervous the whole week leading up to finding out who I'd be training. I knew there were 4 elders coming, 2 of which were native Taiwanese. All four of us training Elders are white people so I had a really high chance of getting one of them. 

On Tuesday we got to drive down with President Blickenstaff to a center point in our mission for a trainers meeting. It has been a really great opportunity to be here in Taichung at the end of our mission president's time here. Before being in this area, I had been pretty far south the whole time, so I never had a whole lot of chances to interact with him and get to know him and sister Blickenstaff. It was really a fun time to go on the hour and a half car ride with them and learn from all their life/mission experiences. They will be going home this Thursday, I'm going to miss them a ton! They were so good for this mission! It will be really fun to have the chance to welcome in President Teh this week! Since we are right by the mission home we'll get to help throw a little welcome party for them! 

Anyways, had a good last few days with Elder Cook. He was a really hard working missionary, and I learned a lot about being patient from him. On Friday morning it was really weird to be in reverse places of about 10 months ago as I first came to Taiwan. I think I was more nervous this time than I was back then! We had a little training an then President revealed who the companionships were going to be...... I got assigned to Elder Huang from Kaoshiong! Super crazy! He is an awesome companion, and already super good missionary. He is going to be in this mission anywhere from 1-3 months until he gets his visa to go to Provo MTC and the Eugene Oregon Mission. This is a lot different than I thought it would be haha. It'll be kind of sad not to get the chance to see him around the mission after I get done training him (I'll most likely be his only companion). Its also really weird, because normally you get a companion who has spent about 2 months in the MTC getting used to missionary life and learning from Preach My Gospel and the scriptures, but he literally got set apart 6 days ago and was with his family! Sometimes I forget and have to remind my self, he is definitely the greenest comp I'll ever have haha. Its super crazy, but he's been a champ in adjusting. I'll tell you a little bit about him: He's 20 years old, he just got done doing hi mandatory military service, and has been working to save money for his mission. He's from the QiShan ward in Kaoshiong (actually where my old companion Elder Stoddard is right now, small world). He's the oldest of 5 boys, which is a HUGE family in Taiwan. They're all members. I'm super impressed with the way he prepared for him mission. He already understands a lot and makes a huge contribution in lessons. I was nervous if I got a visa waiter that they would be super mad they weren't going to their real mission yet, but he is really happy he gets time to serve here before he goes to America. He doesn't really speak much English right now, but we are working on it :) I'm really excited, this is going to be a really big blessing for my Chinese and his English!

We've started doing a thing where every day we switch which language we speak to each other. Today, we're only speaking English. Since I've been with him, I've really realized my English has gotten pretty bad... I'll always speak English so awkwardly to him or use Chinese grammar or whatever hahah. This is a really good opportunity for both of us, and I'm super excited!

THOUGHT: As I was reading in Alma 7, I'd like to share verse 15:

15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.

So, verses 11-13 are the classic ones that are shared to explain the atonement, but the next few are really powerful. We are going to share this with our investigator Brother Tsai tonight. (he's doing awesome by the way, will probably get baptized in mid July if everything goes smoothly).

 I think This scripture has relevance for us all. I love how it says "fear not" This gospel has given me so much comfort in knowing that no matter what, I have Christ on my side and he is with me through it all. I know He can help us overcome our sins and weaknesses, and His Atonement is the greatest gift I could ever ask for. 

I pray for you guys all the time, Love you so so much!

Elder Gilbert

Found this weird abandoned amusement park

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