20 in Taiwan and Mid-Autumn Festival!

It has been a fantastic week here in Taiwan! As of yesterday, I’m 20 which is weird and fun haha. This weekend is the Mid-Autumn Festival which is a huge holiday in Taiwan, so there have been lots of fun things going on. There have been a ton of fireworks the last couple of nights that we have seen out our window while we do our planning and who doesn’t love fireworks! Everyone is out cooking and eating moon cakes and there’s cool Asian music playing everywhere. It’s just the best. 

This week has been really great! I’ll tell you some highlights.

Last P-Day we went to COSTCO with the Nantun sisters and ate COSTCO pizza and mango bing and bought normal American food. It was a really enjoyable experience. 

Last Tuesday we had Zone Training Meeting! It was super exciting because I got to see Sister Murdock (my fantastic MTC companion!) and Sister Cosby from the MTC too. We set our zone goals for the month and did some training together. It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot together. Then Tuesday night I had my first experience teaching the Word of Wisdom. My testimony has really grown that we gain faith by obeying the commandments. This is one of the hardest commandments, particularly in Taiwan. Our investigator is wonderful and committed though and it’s amazing to see how her faith is already beginning to grow.

Wednesday was great! One of our investigators accepted a new baptismal date and we are really excited for her! Then we saw our investigator who had just learned about the Word of Wisdom and she had kept it for a whole 24 hours! SO. GREAT. English class Wednesday was good, but it was also SUPER stressful. Almost all of the kids had their moms in their with them, so it was a lot of pressure and the kids didn’t learn very much because their moms just told them the answers to our questions. I’m trying to work out a way to prevent that in the coming weeks…

Thursday we did a lot of street contacting and tracting and calling phones. We didn’t have quite the success we would have wished, but we were able to share our testimonies with SO many people regardless of whether or not they accepted it. That night we met with one of our new investigators from last week and we gave her a Book of Mormon. She’s the one we ran into last week after getting stood up and is so golden. She has such a desire to learn about the gospel. 

Friday night was pretty exciting. There’s this awesome family in the ward who takes the missionaries in the ward out for pizza the first Friday of every month. They’re so sweet and they even let us bring an investigator! Anyway, we were on our way there and I managed to jam my finger and scrape the back of my hand on my bike. Not a big deal at all, but my hand was bleeding a little bit. I just kept going and then went to talk to someone on a scooter at the next light. I started talking to her and she just said (in Chinese), “You NEED to go to the hospital!” And I was just kind of like, “No I’m good. I’ll put a band-aid on it…” She was SO super insistent though and said like 15 times in the 45 second light that I should really go to the hospital. It was super funny. That’s kind of how everyone is here though. If you stub your toe, you go to the hospital. I got a good laugh out of it though. Anyways, then we went and had pizza. It was about the weirdest pizza I’ve ever had, all covered in things that I didn’t quite know what they are and seaweed and mayonnaise. It was an eventful night for sure. Then we went home a little early to call some phones because 2 people texted us and cancelled on us for Saturday, so we only had 1 lesson planned for all Saturday and we were a little nervous. So we were both calling through all of our contact cards and all of our investigators to try to set things up and within about half an hour we had 5 lessons set up for our Saturday. It was a real miracle and we were both really grateful! 

Saturday was a really great day after that miracle planning session. One of the plans fell through, but two more came up miraculously throughout the day. It was a super solid day. We met with a new family that is half Irish and half Taiwanese, which is not something you run into everyday. We also had a chance to meet with the wonderful investigator we had just given a Book of Mormon to. She had already read SO MUCH. Like half of First Nephi and a whole bunch of the index. She had questions about everything and she just really truly wants to understand and know everything she could possibly know. She is amazing and I’m so excited for her. 

Yesterday was my birthday! I opened the package that I got in the mail from my lovely family last week and that was exciting! You’re all the coolest! My main birthday present was that we had 4 of our investigators come to church! It was the best! Some people sang happy birthday to me and that was fun! And last night President and Sister Blickenstaff called me to wish me happy birthday which was the sweetest thing!

It was a solid week. Other events include killing a cockroach larger than my big toe, and getting hit by a bat while riding my bike home one night. TAIWAN!

I have really been working this week (and will continue for the rest of my mission and my life) to follow the promptings of the Spirit. I read an awesome Ensign article from President Uchtdorf this week. In it, he quoted President Marion G. Romney, saying, “You can make every decision in your life correctly if you can learn to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” What an incredible blessing that is. It is amazing to realize what an impact the Spirit can have on every decision. I love the scripture in D&C 84:85. As we work hard beforehand and listen in the moment, through the power of the Holy Ghost, we will really be given what we need to say. 

I love you all so much! Thanks for your support and especially your birthday wishes! 

 

Here’s that talk! It’s a good one. 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2006/07/on-the-wings-of-eagles?lang=eng

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This is in the more rural part of our area. A rice field and some lanterns and a sunset! SO BEAUTIFUL AND SO TAIWAN!

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This is our apartment door. This was just today. Mostly I just wanted to take a picture of my new birthday shirt!

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The bike box!

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Me and a couple of our adorable English students!

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This is us at COSTCO! Best.

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This is a really bad picture of a firework show on my birthday for Mid-Autumn Festival!

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