Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The HAPPIEST week of my mission!

Roof of our chapel :) this is the coolest place of all time
Oh my gosh, I promise my subject title wasn't a lie! My new area is far and away the coolest place in the mission. So how it works is its all kind of centered around this feng jia university/night market. There is such a perfect mix of everything. The college has got to be one of the coolest to go in taiwan, there are so many students always walking around (good for finding people to meet with) and there's always these parties and activities going on. SO much fun. besides that there are just a million apartment buildings in our area, and I've never seen so many skyscrapers in my life! We have like three malls in our area. The coolest part about it is that I swear almost every one we run into lives in our area too (we had a big problem with that in my last area). Except we learned the hard way this week that we have to avoid the night market on weekends. I'll take a picture next week. It looked like an anthill of people.

My area. I've seriously never seen so many skyscrapers in my life
Elder Seoane and I have been getting to work here, and I'd be hard pressed to think of many weeks that have been more miracle filled. For example: we got cancelled on for a lesson we had at 8:30, but by the time he called us it was basically time to go home. We literally had 10 minutes to hit our back up plan, which was just go into this park by our house and do some finding. We said a quick prayer, and asked Heavenly Father to bless our diligence with a quick miracle. Literally, right as we said amen, this girl walked right past us. We started sharing with her about our purpose in life, she loved it, set up to meet with us, and then our time was up and we went home. It was literally the most efficient finding I've ever done in my life! Sounds like a little thing probably, but when you're a missionary it gets you PUMPED! There's just been a ton of little experiences like that this week. I think that one of the main reasons it this: we're just having a blast out here together. I'm so happy right now, and not to sound arrogant or anything, but I don't know how you could resist talking to us:) We've got the spirit, we've got the greatest message this world's ever heard, and we're just dripping with happiness. Plus, all the Taiwanese people think that my Mexican comp is super cute. Hahaha and not in the way where they're necessarily attracted to him, but like how you think a child or a dog is cute. Literally every comes up and says "oh, you're so cute" and I loose it every time and then make up some weird facts about mexico and tell them about it. He hates it :)

So in closing here I'd just like to share the scripture I talked a little bit about with the ward when I gave my little opening talk in sacrament meeting yesterday. 

Alma 26:37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of everypeople, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

I shared it for three reasons: 1 its a great missionary scripture, and Elder Seonae and I want to get the ward HYPED for some good missionary work. Secondly, we had a 'gator there who is struggling with her belief in God, so I kind of spoke to her for a little of it. Third, is because I'm just so happy right now!! I know I said it a couple times already, but I'm just loving life right now! I can't stop giving "thanks unto my God!" Missionary work is so fun. Love you guys so much. I love hearing about with going on with everyone! I'll be writing back in a quick 7 days :)

Elder Gilbert

Monday, September 19, 2016

Moving on!

Hello everybody, my time is up! I have left Dakeng, and am moving onto the Feng Jia Ward (逢甲支會) I'm actually really pretty close to my last area! We're in like the coolest part of the city. One of my old comps served here, and its the only place in Taichung that i've ever wanted to go! Taichung is kind of the lamer part of our mission, but not Feng Jia! We have the second biggest night market in Taiwan, and apparently the most heavily populated area in the mission! We are not going to run short of 'gators here :)

My new comp is named Elder Seoane! He's sick! He's from Missouri, but originally born in Mexico! he moved to the states when he was 11. I'm totally going to re learn all that high school spanish again! He's relatively new on island, and I'm excited to see what I can learn from him! I still don't know a ton about him. We kind of did a little intro of each other and so I know a little about his background. he's starting his 4th transfer on island. He's going to BYUI when he gets back!! His brother is there right now! He's only had two comps, and they were both studs, so I'm assuming he's going to be awesome! oh my gosh, speaking in english again is such a relief, you have no idea how hard it is to always be speaking Chinese! I'm excited.

I'm also in a new zone (taichung has 3). Our ward is about average, 60-70 people. We meet on the 19th floor of a skyscraper!! 

It was a great last week in Da Keng and the members were really good to me! We got treated out to restaurants a lot. It was Mid autumn festival this week and the tradition is to have barbecues, so we went to a super fun barbecue with a bunch of the members! The members of the church in Taiwan are so good to us missionaries! I'm so grateful for them and their Christlike example! 

I was studying Charity this week and I read the words of paul that say If he has not charity he is nothing. (1 corinthians 13, great chapter on the value of Charity) As I read that, I had this thought come to mind that said "that also means that if you have charity, you are something." We learn that Charity is the "Pure love of Christ" (Moroni 7:47) I really have felt my Savior's love, and I know that even if we feel like a failure, if we're trying our best to emulate his example, its enough. 

Sorry its short this week, I'm excited to give you an update of my new area and comp! I am so happy with my situation!

Things are really looking up, love being a missionary and all the really cool things I'm learning!! 

Elder Gilbert

Sunday, September 11, 2016

God's hand in all things

Hello! What an exciting week back home! Hope Paige and John had good birthdays!! I sent a little something something in the mail, but I don't think it got there yet :( Also in tears about the BYU game, but I guess every year we lose the odds of us winning the next year just go up right? I love BYU.

This week was awesome! A couple cool miracles: So a few days ago we were just kind of walking the main part of our area in the middle of a blazing hot afternoon. Afternoons here are not the most lively at times, and I was kind of getting mad because in the afternoon you tend to run into a lot of the crazier people that don't have work or anything to do. Anyways, I was a little frustrated and didn't really feel like I was actually helping anyone when I saw a guy in a wheelchair that got stuck on a big crack in the road. I got pumped because I finally saw someone that actually needed my help, and ran over to help him keep moving. As we offered to push him home we were able to talk a little bit about what we're doing as missionaries, and he actually invited us over for lunch the next day. He got in a pretty bad car crash a few months ago and can't use his left arm or leg anymore... But it was really cool to be able to meet him and share a little. We should be going back over in the next few days. 

Then yesterday we had a lesson set up at this family mart, and we got fanged. The guy didn't show up... it actually happens a lot. But anyways, while we were waiting for him, a guy that I had contacted a month ago showed up and we were able to talk again. He was really cool, and this time around a little more interested! We set up to meet with him this week. 

Prayer has had a special meaning to me this week. I've really been able to learn recently what sincere prayer really means and I've had so many comforting experiences talking with my Heavenly Father. I really do know he hears and answers our prayers, we just have to be humble enough to listen. I think that Paul said it best: "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) It really works, super grateful we have that blessing. 
Love you all, 
Elder Gilbert

Monday, September 5, 2016

It's getting real

Wow, welcome to September! It's been a great week that has absolutely flown by. 

For P-day we went to the bat caves on the outskirts of the city.  It was probably my favorite p-day since I've moved to this area! It was nuts, there were so many bats that just attacked us. What a great way to get ready for a great week of proselyting!

Honestly not a ton of crazy success this week, but we are working thorough it and staying positive! The people of Taiwan are so great and it always seems like we can find new investigators that will meet a few times. Our problem lately is that they seem to just not be able to help them progress past those early stages! Its bound to happen eventually! All we can do is just keep getting better ourselves, can't change anyone else! 

I've actually been thinking about that a lot this week. Kind of just about change and what the Savior expects us to eventually become. I think one of my favorite parts of the Book of Mormon is when he speaks to the Nephites in 3rd Nephi 27. He talks a lot about His Gospel and pretty simply states what he wants us to become:

 27 Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.

I know that as we repent every day and try to become more and more like the savior, the power of His Atonement brings real change. I see it every day, and I'm so grateful to be a part of this marvelous work. 

Much Love,

Elder Gilbert

A few additional questions he answered that I think give a little more insight into what he does:

Q) What finding approach are you using now that works the most effectively for you?
A)  I like when we bike to each 7-11 or other places like that and just talk to everyone outside and sitting down. most people usually contact on their bikes to people on scooters, which I like a lot, but is not as natural is talking on foot.

Q) When you get people past a street contact to a first lesson, do you do it in their homes or at the Church?
A) Nobody lets us into their homes, and President Teh really doesn't wan't us to go to the church because its a waste of time. Usually we teach in Mcdonald's or 7-11 (which are really classy here).  It's not quite as spiritual but we're working on trying to teach in member's homes more often.

More pictures from the P-Day adventure: