The Work Goes On
Hey there everybody! I'm finally getting around to email for this week. My companion and I just got back from a little day trip town to Kending, a really famous beach at the very southernmost U of Taiwan. We met the two Elders down there and had some pizza, went exploring by the beach, and stuff like that. I'll send you the pictures next week; I left my camera cable at the apartment.
As for luggage and bike, when you move the mission pays to ship your bike and two pieces of luggage to your new area. However, it looks like the pattern in Donggang is that everyone stays for at least two move calls, so I don't know if I have to worry about that until October.
The date sounds fun. That movie wasn't out before I left, but the previews looked cool--lots of awesome shots of China. And it has Jackie Chan. It's funny Megan mentioned Spongebob in Chinese, because Spongebob characters are all over in Taiwan. I had no idea it was this big. I even see stuff like sponge-shaped wafer cookies in 7-eleven and such. Weird. As for the Chinese and subs, I sure hope I'd understand it! The Beijing Chinese has a really thick accent... As for the Church News article, I agree. At the MTC they warned us that this language is a gift from the Lord and we better not go and forget it after these two years.
Megan--I've got a little bit of disappointing news about your kimono. Kimonos are Japanese. Um....but I'll sure look for one. I hear the last day on island (long way to go, I don't think about it yet) they take you to the Taibei Temple, Taibei 101, and lots of tourist shops, so on that day if I see a kimono I will definitely buy it. And squeeeeeze it into my suitcase. :)
Ok, I don't think I missed anything. As for what's been going on here in Donggang--we almost had a baptism. Don't worry, he just moved it back to this coming Saturday since he was going to be out of town on Sunday. And our mission wants to avoid like the plague baptizing someone and waiting more than a couple days to confirm them. He's awesome though, and the branch loves him. Our ward mission leader came with us the last time we met with Lin HongWen and gave him a triple combination with his testimony and a nice new tie. So great. He really was a golden find. He really didn't have any problems accepting anything. We were a little scared he'd reject tithing, but we taught him and he said sure, it made sense to him. Love it. So you really can expect an account of the baptism, and a picture of said baptism, next preparation day.
The trip to Kending (first syllable rhymes with gun, ding sounds like it looks) today was kind of fun. It was a super long bus ride, but we went down by the beach and explored some of the big rock formations, took some cool pictures, and such. People were giving us funnier looks than usual seeing us in our missionary clothes down by the beach. This Australian guy commented on our being all dressed up and asked if we were working there somewhere. One of the other Elders said "Sort of--we're missionaries." The guy said "Oh, cool," and walked speedily in a different direction. :o)
This week I want to share a testimony that the Lord truly does see fit at times to try our faith. On Sunday we were having a real struggle to add new investigators. We felt like we were working really hard and everything, but nobody wanted to add. Several people on scooters choose to run red lights rather than talk to me. Others resolutely ignore my existence. I still love those people, but it was kind of getting us down. In the last twenty minutes of the day, however, the Lord sent me a family and a group of four friends--six new investigators right in a row. That was a witness to me that the Lord will always bless us, but it may not be until we've proven to Him we're willing to do absolutely everything it's humanly possible to do. Then He steps in and you achieve far beyond the level of "humanly possible."
Megan and Dillon kind of expressed some worries about school. This is my advice right here. If you manage your time well and do all you can do, the Lord will consecrate your efforts for righteous purposes. Just remember what President Hinckley said--pray to the Lord as if everything depended on Him, and then go out and work like everything depended on you.
Well, it's about that time again. Before I close, though, I have one commitment nobody has mentioned--who read that Elder Bednar article? It's from the June Ensign, and it's entitled "Things As They Really Are."
I love you all so much. Please continue to keep me posted on things that are going on there, especially spiritual experiences. Share with me how the Lord has been blessing your life! That is, along with the fun stuff. You notice I do that, right? A little of both?