Hello everyone! Long time no write. It's great to talk to you all again and see how you're all doing.
This week was a lot of hard work. We're still trying to build this area up from nothing, but all throughout the week we've been seeing little tender mercies of the Lord. I have been praying all week and fasted yesterday that we would be able to find a family to teach and baptize, and this morning we received a referral through the phone from a member in Gaoxiong. She already talked to her family members (four of them) and they agreed to have the missionaries come visit them. It's too early to tell just yet, but this could very well be the answer to my prayers and fasting.
It's pretty interesting; I've never white washed an area before. I think I was expecting all these things to start happening all at once, but I just needed to take a step back and realize that I must have faith and patience. It will take some time to get this area rolling, so I can't get impatient or frustrated when we end the week with low numbers. We're improving, which is the important part. Just like all spiritual things, I need to help foster steady growth. That was something the Lord revealed to me during personal study a few days ago. Sometimes He has to remind me not to be too hard on myself or expect too much. Instead, I started to look at what He has given us. We have an investigator who is going to be baptized on March 17, and he was found on our second day in the area. That's a huge blessing! Some people go weeks without a single progressing investigator, but we were blessed to have someone who is very desirous to be baptized right from the start.
The members here in DouLiu are just awesome. The Branch President, President Li, is especially great. He's very supportive of missionaries, he's very friendly and loving toward everyone, and he has a "get it done" type of attitude that really influences the whole branch. Every member we've visited this week has offered to help in any way they can, including showing us which members live on our side of the city, where some good places to eat are, etc.
I'm not sure what else to write. We worked hard all week, but there weren't a whole lot of stories to tell. We did meet this less active member who was really nice and seemed to still have a testimony of the gospel. The only things keeping her from activity in the church were 1. Her daoist mother and 2. Somebody offended her at church. These two things are, tragically, big causes of inactivity in Taiwan. I still can't understand why somebody who is an adult with kids of her own would stop going to church just because her 70-year-old mother makes a fuss about it. And leaving church because you're offended...that's just like punishing yourself even more for someone else's sin. That's why in D&C the Lord says that He will forgive whom He will forgive, but of us it is required to forgive all men.
Well, that's about it for this week. I'll talk to you again next week!