Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Taiwan, Taichung Mission

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Blinders on

I can honestly say I've never felt so good about the status of an area as I do right now! San Min is ON FIRE! Things feel so good right now. We have been able to have a steady flow of new investigators, progressing ones with baptismal goals, and a lot of people actually coming to church. The wards even been giving us some referrals! It is just so balanced. A couple of guys are looking really good to get baptized in the coming weeks of July.

It was such a good feeling to get done with all the exchanges with the Elders in the zone this week! We've been going on a ton the last couple of weeks. Its a great training opportunity, but also hard to get a good rhythm going. One of our biggest goals this transfer was to have really good workouts when the elders come over to our area (how it works now is both missionaries come to our area, we don't usually do a one one switch.) Normally on exchanges workouts are super lame because theres just too many people in the apartment, so we started taking companionships out to the track and putting together these cross fit workouts. Haha Elder Coats and I have gotten in really good shape the last couple months, and have just been pounding the other elders with these workouts :) In a good way, missionaries need to exercise better! Everyone is so inspired now!

Well.. the ward finally found out that I'm going home next week.. I've really been trying hard not to let anyone find out, but it happened. They've been going crazy. Literally every single member I have seen in the last week has made a mention of it. The young single adults had a big dinner/going a way party the other night. We met with the bishop yesterday and at the beginning he says "We'll keep it quick, I know you need to go home and get packing" Oh man, they're so nice, but I don't like all the special treatment!

Here I'd like to share an idea that has affected me more than almost anything else. Its actually some of the lyrics to Hymn 263 Go Forth With Faith:

Go forth to serve and do your best
With no thought of reward;
Then you shall know the boundless joy
Of serving Christ, the Lord.

What a great equation! When we participate in the Lord's work all we need to do is our best and have a humble attitude. As simple as that. While I have found that the pattern is simple, its not easy to do. There are so many things that can distract and make it hard to have that "No thought of reward" attitude. Something that has helped me is to realize that the true reward for serving is just that: the opportunity to serve. Only when we lose ourselves in a cause greater than ourselves can we truly feel the "boundless joy of serving Christ, the Lord."  I've learned that this joy is real. My favorite scriptures is in John 14:27

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.

The peace and happiness that comes from focusing on others and our Savior IS the greatest thing we can receive for any kind of service, on a mission or off. No one else has to see it or tell us. We will feel it. That has come to be the greatest joy for me day in and day out. I love being able to go out and forget about myself. I will be forever grateful for this lesson learned and the opportunity I have to serve. I'm looking forward to a lot more of it.

See you in a few.

Elder Gilbert

We met with this new investigator (Nelson) at his restaurant the other day. Pretty cool story. He's already Christian, but started this business and got really busy. We had started to feel like he had gotten really far from God, so he had been praying to find a way back. We were biking to a members house early in the week when Elder Coats asked if we could turn around and go down this alley, on the other side of the alley was this guy with his 4 year old daughter! Crazy!  He told us all this our second time meeting. He also came to church yesterday! The woman is the co-owner of the business. They treated us to gelato!

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