Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Happy belated Thanksgiving everybody! Thanksgiving day didn't really feel all that special, and even though we were planning on doing something fun for food, we just ended up getting noodles...Then, at the end of the night we went over to meet with this part member family we started working with. They totally treated us to KFC! It was one of the best Thanksgiving dinners I can remember having :)

I've never been colder in my life!! On Sunday it was raining and just got freezing. I wore a big jacket to church yesterday and kept it on the whole time. All the ward members were making fun of me and saying that I wasn't even from America. I was pretty embarrassed, but seriously cold! I guess I just got way to used to all that hot weather.

This week actually went by pretty quick. We had a lot of lessons, which is always so nice as a missionary, but sometimes can be a little stressful. We found a lot of new investigators as well as Have a few that are so close to baptism, but just have a problem or two! Super exciting to have a baptism coming up in the next few days. Seems like we've got people at all different stages of the progression process. Keeps the days interesting :)

We're totally teaching this super sick Croatian right now. He's studying at the college in our area, and has already come to church twice. The problem is he doesn't really speak Chinese and Church gets pretty boring for him! Haha we're working on it.

I went on exchanges with Elder Cook this week. It was pretty fun to be with him  (he used to be my comp and we also lived in the same four man like a year ago, so I've pretty much been around him my whole mission).  He's been a really good friend for me, and I always have such a great time doing missionary work with him.



Quick thought on a scripture that I absolutely love: 

Moroni 6:8 But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.

I love this for two reasons. 1: Really helps us understand the mercy of God. He's not going to hold things over our head, and he really wants to forgive us. 2: He's also a God of high expectations. We need to sincerely repent with "real intent" if we want to fully partake of that forgiveness. 

Love you all so much, hope you're as excited for Christmas as I am :)

Love,
Elder Gilbert
jgilbert@myldsmail.net

We asked him what is one of the things he likes most about being a missionary. This was his response:

One of the things I've noticed lately is how grateful I am for little things. I don't have many things right now and it makes me way more grateful for what I do have. I find joy and excitement in tsimple things. I really am grateful that I've been able to realize how many blessings I have. My capacity to not take things for granted has increased a lot and my sense of entitlement is lessening.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Blessed



Another great week has come and gone! I as I was thinking about it this morning, and I honestly don't know what happened this week... I feel like not many exciting things, but then again this is missionary work so I guess it should all be exciting!


So our investigators our doing great. Evan is looking fine to get baptized next week and the others seem to be doing great!



We had a cool miracle happen Saturday night. We were literally 1 minute away from our house and we stopped by one last 7-11 by our house. We ran into a guy Elder Seoane had talked to a while ago that we hadn't been able to get in contact with. He was so happy to see us, and we invited him to come to church the next day. He said he was really touched, and is totally on to start meeting now!


The college in our area has a lot of foreigners, they're usually the worst and really weird. We ran into this German atheist guy that was super interested in what we do as missionaries. He was down to meet, but sadly didn't actually have a whole ton of interest in doing anything. As we were talking about the plan of salvation, he brought up that he believes that after we die there's nothing. Then he just got really quiet for a sec and said it again kind of depressed. I just had this profound feeling of gratitude come over me as I thought about how lucky I am to have the testimony I do.


We also had interviews this week. President is super awesome, always gives so much good and loving advice.


Lastly I'd just like to share this quote from one of my favorite talks. Elder Renlund from April 2015 conference.



As we try, persevere, and help others to do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints. 
As we change, we will find that God indeed cares a lot more about who we are and about who we are becoming than about who we once were.



I'll leave it at that :)


Love you all so so much!!
-Elder Gilbert




Sunday, November 13, 2016

Smooth Sailing

Wow, what a crazy awesome week! I say crazy because we found out Wednesday afternoon that Donald Trump won! What the heck?? People are going nuts over here! I remember a few months ago Taiwan had their presidential election and I swear Trump winning is bigger news then when their president won back then! People are literally losing their minds, they all hate him! I have literally no idea why people get so angry about all this, I personally have absolutely no idea whats going on. 


Missionary work wise it was a great week! Evan is so cool! We went over to their house to teach the
My companion Elder Seone & our investigator Evan
restoration, because we actually haven't had a chance to teach him it yet. When we asked him if he knew who Joseph Smith was he just goes off "Oh ya, he's that guy who didn't know which church to join so he prayed and had Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared and called him to be the prophet..." Then continues to talk about all the facts of the restoration like Moroni appearing and the translation of the plates and even the timing of when it all happened. He knew so much I honestly couldn't stop laughing! It was such a good moment, and so cool to see him progress :) Their family is doing so good! Sister Ji actually got to attend Gospel Principles for the first time because her 3 year old daughter finally likes the ward members enough in nursery to let her mom leave. They are literally my favorite people!


Steven and Miranda are also doing good. Steven had a business trip yesterday, but Miranda came to church! They're progressing a lot. Steven absolutely loves reading the Book of Mormon. We shared Moroni 10:4-5 with him this week and the scripture really seemed to connect with him. He really liked the promise Moroni gives and is really excited to pray with "real intent" so the power of the Holy Ghost can "manifest the truth of all things" to him. Fun to see a scripture I've read a million times affect someone else so much. It brought a lot of new meaning to me. The only problem is his wife is obsessed with learning English and just signed up for this English cram school which takes up all her free time! We're trying to help her realize that the gifts of the spirit are 1000 times better than any English class! We're working on it.

My thought for the week kind of has to do with that experience sharing a scripture and getting a chance to re-appreciate it in a way I hadn't in a while. I've been thinking about that a lot lately that there are so many things we take for granted!  President Monson gives a talk called "The Divine Gift of Gratitude" which I highly recommend in light of this Thanksgiving season. President Monson teaches:


"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, 
to enact gratitude is generous and noble, 
but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."

I know that this is true! just stopping and being grateful every once and a while makes life so much better! I'm so grateful for the blessings this Gospel brings and for all the things I'm learning right now.

Love you tons,
Elder Gilbert
jgilbert@myldsmail.net



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Getting chilly

It's honestly getting cold here. Being down in the south of Taiwan for so long, I think I've kind of become a wimp when it comes to the cold. I'm always freezing when the sun sets.  Thats ok though, because missionary work wise, the Feng Jia ward is on fire :)

Greatest thing of the week probably came hen we stopped by our RC Sister Ji's house. When we got there her son was waiting outside and super excited to see us. Then one of the first things he told us was that he's made a really big decision. then he said "Its such an important one that I'm scared to say it, I want my mom to tell you." Then she told us that Evan wants to get baptized! Everybody was super pumped, and we talked about the plan to get him ready. (He's already ready, but he picked a date for a few weeks from now. At least its a date his family feels good about.)

We just had two new sister missionaries come into the ward, and it got everyone hyped for missionary work! It also helped that yesterday we were able to have a pretty good number of investigators at church. Our gospel principles class has never been more crowded, such a good feeling :) The ward is so great! Bishop sat by me in priesthood and he even joked around with me a little, Then I read this sentence in Chinese on the board and he was in disbelief that my Chinese is getting better!

We've got this married couple named Steven and Miranda that we're working with right now, and they seem to be progressing nicely. We met the wife through English a while ago, and we've been telling her we want to meet her husband really bad. We asked her for every lesson forever, and finally she brought him the other week. The member we brought with us to the lesson last week was talking about the changes that the gospel has brought in her life and then all of a sudden Steven stops her and says "This church is sounds really good for my wife, she needs to get baptized!" haha it was awesome. They both are really good at reading the book of Mormon, and Steven came to church for the first time yesterday. 

Things are going great here, couldn't ask for any more :) Love you guys so much!

-Elder Gilbert
jgilbert@myldsmail.net