Hey there everybody,
Well, things have been going pretty well. We had a great zone conference about the power of the Book of Mormon, and it really helped me strengthen my testimony that that book has a power far beyond the words of men. It invites the Spirit because it talks constantly about Jesus Christ. Actually, President Bishop challenged each and every one of us to read the Book of Mormon in three months, marking four things in four different colors: names of Christ, directly quoted words of Christ, attributes of Christ, and the gospel of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, endure to the end). I'm only about 20 pages in, and it already is astounding me how often the Book of Mormon talks of Christ. Truly it's as Nephi said--they talk of Christ, they teach of Christ, they prophesy of Christ...It's really a testimony builder to do this activity.
We've had ups and downs this week with our investigators. Some of them who seemed so close to baptism have backed away yet again. I think that (name) and (name) are alike in that they are afraid to jump into something unless they're 100% sure they can go through with it. So they both have been shying away from baptism for quite some time. But Elder Turk and I feel like we've really received some revelation as to what we can do to help them and our other investigators trust in God and follow Him. Faith, after all, is not to have a perfect knowledge of things. You receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. So even though they've both seemed to take steps backwards, I am still hopeful that we can help both of them be baptized. I know they know this is true, so we just need the Spirit to touch their hearts and bring about a miracle.
We're also working with (name). We found him as a result of trying to visit one of our recent converts who hadn't been coming to church for over half a year (his son). This man is incredibly humble and willing to try the things we tell him without hardening his heart. His obstacle is just that he has already pledged himself to Daoism, but I think as we continue to emphasize prayer and studying the Book of Mormon he will see that this is the only true religion and he will have a desire to be baptized.
And this week we have our POWER WEEK. We leave the door earlier, eat faster, and work harder to preach and teach and work as missionaries do. I'm actually really excited. It's probably going to be exhausting (if we do it right), but the times you work the hardest on your mission are the times it means the most to you.
Well, let's see...there's also not much to report on in terms of Chinese New Year. Not much really happened, except for most people telling us they didn't have time to meet with us because they had family over or they were leaving to visit family. Actually, last week the Bishop treated us to a Japanese restaurant, so I tried sushi and such for my first time. It was really good. And we were invited over to dinner with one of our investigators and his parents. That went well except for when I took a bite of some chicken which tasted kind of sour, and our investigator leaned over and said "that was marinated in sake." I had to spit the chicken into my napkin, which was a big loss of face, to say the least. heh. But the parents weren't offended. Just probably a little confused at my overreaction. :)
So I'm including some pictures from last preparation day. We visited this place called Anping Tree House. When the Europeans came here they built a big house for their trading company, but they eventually got driven out of Taiwan, and over hundreds of years the house got overridden by the surrounding banyan trees. It's really cool stuff.
Well, I hope things are all right with you all. I guess I'll find out next week. :)
I love you all so much! Talk to you next week.