We didn't even feel the earthquake, so you’re email asking if we are OK is the first I heard of it.
The missionary tsunami was somewhat successful. Through all our work we taught five new potential followers of Christ! A lesson for us means a face to face discussion with someone who is unfamiliar with the Gospel and usually has an opening and closing prayer and some kind of spiritual discussion - typically starts with families and how we are all His children. So far we have only one person out of those 5 who actually met with us on the day we set-up after our first meeting. Judging from the other companionships this sounds like it was the about the average.
So we had four additional missionaries with us during the tsunami this week - so if you’re keeping track that means 10 teenage young men in our 4 person apartment, including one of President Day’s assistants. The whole time they were with us they kept discussing how much different Taidong is for doing missionary work compared to the ‘big’ city areas farther north. This actually
made me feel a little better,
as I often feel I haven’t had too much success here the past 2 months.
|Finished Paint Job|
Some of my concerns are that every Sunday I look to see how many people attend sacrament services and honestly I have been thinking, especially as I do more prayers and reflections, that we should be focused more on strengthening our existing members. To help make my case - an example - one of our less active members has, for about the past month, been coming to church regularly, attending all the meetings, connecting with the full time missionaries, and helping us teach and go on splits when we have these extra lessons. He told us this Sunday he now has his interview to receive the Aaronic priesthood. There is one other new priesthood holder who is on the path to becoming a Melchizdek priesthood holder. I believe that is really to the key to everything in "building" the kingdom and expanding the faith and blessings of the people in this area. Of course what I am writing is probably all xie du (blaspheme), but these are just my thoughts. The branch technically has over 200 members but only around 50 come on the Sabbath so this is why I feel we should really be focused on strengthening from within.
In other news, I have a pretty bad sore throat, and am trying to cope with that now, while speaking Chinese - a little more challenging and pretty interesting sounding like a frog, but hey now I kind of sound like everyone else!
|Soaking Wet - All Day - But Still Smiling|
The weather report you quoted was very accurate - it has rained here - downpour almost every day this past week. All the rain and being wet all day doesn’t help with the sore throat. Other than weather challenges nothing really new here somewhat feels like the same day over and over again, especially with the rejection and resistance in all things Christ. Feels like I rarely get anything done, but it’s where I am supposed to be so I'll just keep going.
Certainly glad to hear about Luc Besson - kind of cool that he is shooting a movie here and if you are correct the movie’s release date will coincide with my release - so maybe I can sit in a warm and dry movie theatre and watch Taiwan on the big screen when I return.
I've been asking all the members here their opinion about where I could do my best work in helping the Church to grow and they all think I'm leaving this next transfer and will head up to Taipei - not sure if that means they want me to go or they really think that is where I can magnify my efforts. Taipei - who knows, but I guess I will in about 2-3 weeks where I am to be working and who my new companion will be.
Hope everything back home is good, and just think of me at Thanksgiving, with no mashed potatoes, or cheese. Our local ward is trying to do a thanksgiving party - everyone here seems to love US culture, but the food is always Asian based - always - so I hope to experience Thanksgiving like in the movie “A Christmas Story” - and hope the “turkey” is not smiling at me : )
At least there is always hope...Love you all and miss you all lots.
P.S. You asked what you could send me - does chocolate count as necessity? Pretty sure mom thinks it does...so anything chocolate would be great! You also asked why my bike looks so horrible - it’s supposed to look horrible so it doesn’t get stolen!