Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Lighting it up!

What a week! Possibly the best one Elder Larsen and I have had together! The area has been steadily improving and a lot of really exciting things happened. I'll try to give a good quick recap.

Finding just went really well this week (most of the week we didn't get much finding in because we were in lessons with newer investigators/had a zone conference that took up a day) but, every time we actually were out finding we ran into really cool people! I've felt about as busy as I've ever been in this area and am loving it :) We have a pretty good looking week set up already and excited to see where everything goes.

Zone Conference was so good! I love hearing President Teh give trainings, it's just like a mini version of General Conference every time. Some big changes were made and I loved all the stuff we talked about. I really liked President saying "If we continue to do the things we've always done. we'll continue to have the results we've always gotten." He's made a lot of changes since he's gotten here, but I really feel like he's inspired! Its a good lesson for me personally to always be analyzing my life and seeing where I need to make changes.

We got to meet with a lot of cool newer people this week (I probably say that every time, because our newer investigators keep dropping off soon after we find them). Elder Larsen and I are really working on that. Helping our newer investigators not drop off, particularly be helping the realize the importance of church attendance and the sacrament. Its at least worked with Brother Chen, one of our investigators who has a baptismal date coming up soon. He always talks about how he's excited to come to sacrament meeting, not just church in general. He actually has his baptismal interview coming up this week, so hopefully it all goes smoothly (or at least better than last time haha) Elder Larsen and I feel like he's ready!

Random LA miracle: We don't do much work with less actives because thats not really the focus of the mission right now and LAs are usually the worst, but something really cool happened! We were outside one day contacting and started talking to a guy leaving on his scooter, at first he was super awkward, but then he told us that he was a member! He just moved here, and had disappeared from the church for a couple years, he said his info is still in a different ward in Taiwan. We set up to meet with him, and could tell he knew it was time to come back. He used to be super active, but then slowly just completely fell away. The best part was that as we were leaving the church we ran into a member who knew him from like 3 years ago when he was active in another ward. She got super excited when she saw him and took him with her to institute that night. He's starting to attend regularly! That would be a huge boost for our ward if he got active, because we're kind of lacking on the younger male members!

Read this scripture the other day, one of my favorites:

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

-John 14:27

I love how every day I can just put it all in His hands, get out and work then leave the rest up to Him!

Elder Gilbert

This is Elder Westcott (Garth Pickett's grandson)! He is awesome, one of the best exchanges I've ever been on!
We've become great friends on the mission, he's a great missionary!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Lots of monkeys and tender mercies!

Hello, happy P day! I cannot BELIEVE how fast the last weeks gone by. It honestly freaks me out sometimes, Elder Larsen and I will be contacting or something and before I can even blink we have to move on to our next activity or lesson. The days are just slipping through my fingers...

Here is a some picture of last p-day, we went to this big mountain full of monkeys. Easily one of the greatest p-days of my mission. I took this package of crackers with me and tried to mess with the monkeys as best I could. It got pretty scary though! Every time I opened the bag tons of them would start flowing out of the trees, haha good times.

The other week in interviews President gave some advice I really liked about being balanced in our finding efforts and not just mindlessly street contacting every time we have an open block. Elder Larsen and I have tried to put that to use and its really going well! We still do a lot of plain street contacting, but we've also had a great time just talking with everyone as we visit former investigator's homes and stop by members. I feel like we've been blessed with lots of cool miracles and it hasn't made the day as much of a grind as normal.

Investigators are great! have a bunch of newer ones, and a few that are progressing nicely.

Brother Chen told us this week as he read the Book of Mormon he felt like he was "Full of Power"

We have another cool high school age kid named Danny that walked all the way from his house to the church in the rain to meet with us. Usually Taiwanese people freak out when it rains and don't want to do anything (which is weird because it rains all the time here) but he was super excited to meet with us! Had a great lesson where we read the Book of Mormon with him. We read scriptures about the plan of salvation and he told us he had never even thought about there being life after death. Super cool to see his heart open up

I've been thinking about this scripture recently:

"The tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

Pretty cool that Nephi tells us this in the first chapter of the Book of Mormon after all the hard things he went through.

There were so many tender mercies and miracles this week and every week!

Elder Gilbert

Got matching 2 dollar ties last week.

A sketchy alley

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Getting work done

This is one of the greatest members of all time! Brother Su.
He took us to this mini amusement park and mall thing last p day!
Hey hey hey, another great week! What makes it even better is that the Lord blessed us with some pretty sweet success and it wasn't quite as much of a grind as the last couple weeks have been! 

We were able to teach quite a few lessons this week! The coolest person we're meeting with right now is named Chen shi ming, he's really been keeping us going! The wards super pumped about him too! We met with him twice last week and he's really excited to be baptized! His goal is coming up in a couple weeks and he's progressing nicely. I think the best part is at church he's super outgoing and the members love getting to know him. 

To be honest when I got here I was a little worried about the ward. Most members didn't seem to excited about missionary work and were just kind of going through the motions. It has been cool to see the impact good leaders can make on a ward. The ward mission leader, bishop, and stake president have really been stressing missionary work and its seemed to help a lot. We had the stake president at church yesterday and his whole lesson was about how people can help the missionaries and how they want to split the ward. Their theory in Taiwan is to split the wards as soon as possible so they don't have a lot of people, then the members will feel desperate for more people to come so they'll actually do missionary work! Kind of a risky theory sometimes (I've seen it backfire pretty bad) but yesterday everyone seemed pretty excited, even our investigator at church was pretty interested in the growth of the church! 

I love the san min ward! Bishop was helping us teach a lesson to an investigator the other night. This guy has been struggling to read the book of Mormon consistently and bishop wasn't having any of it. He just tore apart all of his excuses haha, but it was in a nice way. I actually think he opened up to us a lot more because of the stuff we talked about. Great to have awesome people here on our side. 

I was reading a talk from General Conference by Brian K. Ashton. When I first heard the talk, it didn't really have a special impact on me, but reading it over again was a great experience (that seems to have happened a lot to me on my mission). I like what he says at the end:

So how can we apply the doctrine of Christ more fully in our lives? One way would be to make conscious effort each week to prepare for the sacrament by taking some time to prayerfully consider where we most need to improve. We could then bring sacrifice of at least one thing that keeps us from being like Jesus Christ to the sacrament altar, pleading in faith for help, asking for necessary spiritual gifts, and covenanting to improve during the coming week. As we do so, the Holy Ghost will come into our lives to greater degree, and we will have additional strength to overcome our imperfections.

So ya, super great week! 

Much love,
Elder Gilbert

An old Buddist temple that the Catholics bought and turned into a church. Super Taiwanese.
Having dinner with all the YSAs in the ward last week