That means happy new year. :) I hope you can see it, and it's not just a bunch of white boxes.
Hello everybody! Man, it's hard to believe another week is gone. I'm glad to read all of your fun stuff that happened this week.
One of my goals for my mission is to baptize a whole family before I've been here a year so that I can see them sealed together in the temple a year later. I know exactly what you meant when you wrote about entire families being special. It seems that's harder to do in Taiwan, though, because husband and wife are more independent of each other. Missionaries often baptize people whose spouses have no interest at all in the church, and it takes them a few years to finally come around and be baptized.
This week (name), who has been an investigator for a couple years, finally agreed to be interviewed for baptism. He's always told us he doesn't want to be baptized that fast, but never told us why. On Thursday and Friday we had two extremely powerful and spiritual lessons with him and he agreed to have an interview. While he unfortunately did not pass because he's still not quite willing to make some of the changes in his life, he's made a lot of progress, and I feel like we can help him be baptized at the end of February. He now believes in God. We just need to continue to help him realize the importance of keeping God's commandments. I think as we help him develop true friendships with the ward members he will realize he doesn't need to break God's laws just to have friends. We were truly blessed this week to see his change of heart, and I know we can continue to help him.
We also saw some miracles at church on Sunday. (name) came for his third week, and he said he really likes coming to church meetings. The only thing stopping him from being baptized is that he doesn't know enough of the doctrines, so I think he can be interviewed this week. Also, (name), the crippled father of one of our recent converts, came to church for all three hours. He even walked up the stairs for sacrament meeting. It was so great to see his desire to come and hear our message. I don't know if he's really felt this is the one and only truth yet, but I love this man because he is so humble. He was willing to open his heart to our message and give it a chance to grow, just as in Alma 32.
That guy that read the whole Book of Mormon in two days is still meeting with us, but he's...ahm...not getting a few things. For one, he's been looking up all kinds of junk on Wikipedia and the internet about the church, asking us about unimportant details like the exact timeline of the Book of Mormon. And when he prays he says "God, if you're there, appear in my presence ba." (ba at the end of a sentence is sort of like a suggestion, or you're unsure about something) And he prayed like that after a half-hour lesson about how God won't appear to us and we need to be humble and accept whatever answer He wants to give us. :P But I think he's progressing.
So it's been a great week of missionary service. I've really seen some incredible blessings and miracles from our Heavenly Father. I'm starting to not be as terrible of a senior companion as I have been. And I learned how to type Chinese characters, as you saw in the subject line. :)
So now for the stuff you've all been really wanting from me all along--what happens in Taiwan during Guo Nian (Chinese New Year)? I'll forward to you a letter of Guo Nian trivia President Bishop sent us. You can do with it as you wish. Other than that, the ward put up a sign-up sheet to treat the missionaries to lunch and dinner every day during Guo Nian. Nobody signed up. :(
There are lots of firecrackers going off at random times during the day (and night). Nothing's really happened yet, so I'll have to tell you more next week.
And that's about it for this week. I love you all so much, and I wish you all a Happy New Year!