Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Round 2

Well great news! Elder Larsen is staying here with me! He's been here since September, and usually missionaries don't stay this long. We were both super surprised, but PUMPED! 

Good thing Elder Larsen's staying because in all honesty it would have been a pretty bummer week to end on. It seems like ever since since we had our baptismal interview fiasco last week things have just been falling apart left and right. One of our most interested investigators failed some really big test he had, and now is super depressed and doesn't want to meet with us. We had another cool one who just stopped answering our calls. It just felt like all the work from the last couple weeks had just fallen through. As the week was coming to a close I was pretty frustrated. Both Elder Larsen and I have been working so hard and trying our best, but just keep hitting a brick wall. As I was kind of grumbling internally and thinking about all the problems we were having I was just totally smacked in the face by the spirit with this: " He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." then basically the thought that I need to get more lost in the work and not worry so much about the outward results. Pretty cool. What I kind of hate but love about the mission is how everything is just so dependent on the Lord. After that experience and some pondering I realized that the only things I was frustrated about were things that I can't do anything about. That kind of changed my outlook on things, and I swear that right as I realized that things started to turn around! 

We met this guy last week that told us he's super interested in the latter day saints. This caught us off guard because almost nobody knows that we are called that. They usually think that every church is all the same and its juts one big church, or they think we're "Mormons" (we have a name in chinese too) and don't really get it. But this guy has a friend who is in our church and has been interested for a while. He came to church for all three hours and loved it! He stayed for like 45 minutes afterwards and just got to know members and talked with them. He's pretty into it so we'll see how that goes.

Our ward's really warming up to us as well! Sunday was by far my favorite one yet. The members were great to our new investigator and super nice to us. I went up to one of the brothers that gave a talk and told him I really liked it. He responded that he wants to take us out to Mcdonalds! Haha He was so happy that someone liked his talk! 

We also ran into one of our old investigators yesterday! It turns out that it wasn't because he wasn't interested that he stopped answering our calls, just phone problems. SO we're going to start meeting again!! 

Hard week, but so good for me, awesome end as well! Loving it!

Elder Gilbert

Monday, February 20, 2017

Bouncing Back Strong!

Well.. to be honest its been a pretty rough week (I'll explain) but right now doing super good!! 

Let me start by explaining how crazy Saturday was... We get a call from President Teh during dinner and he tells us Sister Bonnie Cordon's in town and wants to say hi! I just lost my mind! I didn't really look at the sign that was hanging in our chapel, I thought it was just some broadcast, I didn't actually know she was coming to Taiwan, let alone in the chapel where I was serving! Super great to see a friendly face in her and Brother Cordon! We were so hyped because right after they all said hi to us we had our investigator coming for a baptismal interview, but....  Brother Li is not getting baptized this week.... He has kind of got some problems and didn't show up, we're worried its because of his little brother who is a member of another church. Not really sure what exactly happened, but he didn't come for his baptismal interview... So that was a super bummer way to end our week. Elder Larsen and I were so dead as we went out to proselyte after that.. But we have recovered!! 
Besides that it was an awesome week!! We found some cool new people and I love working down here with so many amazing missionaries.

This is crazy: in the past week two elders in our zone have gotten in super bad bike accidents. One fractured his arm yesterday and another broke his collarbone in three places. Pretty crazy right? Both times it was because their back brake was out and they did a front flip off their bike and got destroyed. The only reason I bring this up is to tell how legit our missionaries are. The one with the broken collarbone got surgery a few days ago, and as soon as he was allowed out of the hospital was out proselyting and working with investigators! That got me so hyped to do missionary work, and don''t worry about me getting in a crash. I'm super safe. 

Transfers are next week and I can't believe it. My time with Elder Larsen is most likely up (he's been in this area for a really long time) and we've had such a great time working together!   He's down to just pound the streets and find people to teach. He's also such a great teacher and has the best Chinese of anyone ever. So glad to have such and awesome comp and friend! 

Even though we had a pretty rough Saturday, yesterday was so good! A super cool newer investigator came with us to church, and we met with another guy right after who loves the Book of Mormon! We had planned to go to this one part of our area for about the last hour of the night, but we only had about 15 minutes when we actually got there because we met so many cool people on the way that were own to talk. Got some great people set up for the coming days!! 

We're going to a super nice all you can eat buffet today with Elder Cole and his comp! 

Despite the setbacks, life could not be better!!

 "Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free." -Doctrine and Covenants 128:22 

Love you all!
-elder gilbert

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Gaoxiong is GOLD

Amazing week!!!

I feel like I start my letters the exact same way every time, but really I'm just loving it here. Crazy to hear the new announcement about Dad.  I can't believe we're going back to Utah! For me, its almost like we never left.

We've been really working hard and are seeing some really cool things come of it. I feel like the Lord is always blessing us so much, but a lot of times not really in the ways I expect or want. Elder Larsen and I have been SO tired this week. It's so satisfying though and I just feel so good about how its all going. Elder Larsen and I are really excited for our investigator Li Jian Zhi (李建志). He should be having his baptismal interview on Saturday, things looking great for him! We have a couple really supportive ward members, but still working on others.... Our ward mission leader just got that Power of everyday missionaries book by Clay Christensen and he's going nuts about missionary work.  We all hope the whole ward gets on board with his same enthusiasm! 

We got awakened by an Earthquake in the middle of the night as our apartment was shaking like crazy! That was pretty fun! 

Another highlight we've discovered is this huge morning market.  We started to go out on an early run and then on our way back buy super cheap veggies and fruits!

A slight disappointment of the week was finding out that one of our investigators, "Name", is moving. Ya his English name is literally Name! He speaks really good English. He knows almost everything and was super excited to get baptized. He is moving up north and at first was planning on driving down twice a week to meet with us and come to church!  We explained to him there's other missionaries up there and are getting him hooked up with them. Should be a smooth transition! Not really a disappointment I guess, but he was really cool.  I'm sad that we won't be able to see him make the last few steps before baptism! Oh well, team missionary I guess? 

We were able to find some really great people though, we have a lot of newer investigators coming up! We met with this mom and daughter the other day and she's already read to the Words of Mormon and loving it! Another guys stopped us in the middle of us sharing about the gospel and asked us what he needs to do to meet Heavenly Father.  He seemed super pumped about everything! Just a lot of miracles, the people of Gaoxiong are the best, so many prepared people! I'm honestly just having a great time being out on the streets and talking with everyone. It's just a blast to serve with Elder Larsen.

Having the time of my life,
love you all so much!!

-Elder Gilbert

ALl of us go home together. Probably can recognize a couple familiar faces. So many awesome elders and great friends!! (Elder Cole, Elder Wilkinson the one who was on that j jazz team with me, my comp elder Larsen, and I'm standing right next to Elder Trotter greatest mtc comp of all time)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Back to normal:))

I just absolutely love it here!!! The city of GaoXiong is just about the greatest in the world. The weather is perfect right now, the people are so cool, my comp is the greatest ever, and we're having an absolute blast preaching the Gospel. 

It was very bittersweet to have the week of Chinese new year celebrations come to an end. Sad, because that means I don't have any more Chinese new years on my mission, but mostly sweet though. Its good to be back to normal. Some of our investigators have come back, and we were able to put in some really good work. I love being with Elder Larsen. We think pretty similar in a lot of ways, and its honestly just been super fun to proselyte with him. 

We felt like during the new year we worked about as hard as we could, but it didn't feel like we got much progress. This week all that hard work paid off. We found quite a few new investigators that are willing to come try it out. In addition to that we are working with a SUPER golden investigator thats on a date for the end of this month.

Church yesterday was really good/funny. Last week we just had a big sacrament meeting with all of the wards because of the New Year, so yesterday was my first real day at church. It was fun to see the ward all together, and get to know some of the members we didn't get a chance to meet during the New Year meals.  I think one of my favorite members is our ward mission leader brother Wu. He is crazy intense! He tries to talk and follow all of our investigators on social media and is super good at talking to them at church. He was making me laugh so hard yesterday as he was talking to our investigator Brother Li. He just started going off about how when he gets baptized he needs to get married and have a bunch of kids as fast as he can. Because most Taiwanese people don't have more than one or two kids he thinks right now is the church's big chance to get powerful by all the members having lots of kids. Apparently the gospel principles class the week before I got here was all about that. He was just going off on the members telling them to have more children. Hahahha He cracks me up. 

All in all it was a great week. I know that when we follow the advice of our leaders and work as hard as we can, the Lord will give us the results that we need. Sometimes not exactly what we want, but what we need. So grateful for HIM and how good He is to me.

Love you all,

Elder Gilbert

Pictures: Look at the familiar faces:  Sister Cordon will be here soon for a fireside and splits with Elder Pothier

There's this huge science museum in our area. Went last p day with some other elders in our district.