This week really has been something else. And exciting is one of the words you could definitely use. This last week was zone conference. Monday morning our district met up at the Zhongli train station and headed off to Taipei. Zone conference was really good, but I have to admit I was a little apprehensive initially at the message, but now I'm really excited. We talked about how President Grimley had went to this conference last week in Hong Kong, and they asked them, "Have you Become it?" So President asked us all if we had become it? So that's something I've been pondering lately. They also talked a lot about the baptism commitment. With the converging of Xinzhu to our area, we got a lot of missionaries from Taizhong into the Taipei mission. Taizhong does things a little differently than we had been and I think they want us to be bolder missionaries, so they had 2 of the Xinzhu sisters do a role play, then our zone leaders E. Worthen and Lu on how to invite someone to baptism on the street. They talked about make commitments as a tool to bring souls unto Christ. They taught us how to help someone understand in 3 minutes the importance of the Restoration and being baptized with correct authority. It was really amazing, because actually people have had a lot of success with it.
I'd never even THOUGHT about ever explaining the purpose of baptism and starting to prepare someone for that ordinance in my initial contact with someone, but I started to see how that could be very effective, that they were working towards their first covenant with the Lord from the very beginning. Especially since some of our biggest problems are a lot of our investigators who we end up stop meeting with is due to the fact that they are too scared of that first covenant and as that fear gets stronger, they lose hope and stop keeping commitments at all...so we end up having to spend less time meeting with them and focusing on people who are keeping commitments, and hope they will keep coming to church and one day be willing to make that jump.
So yeah, I have to admit, when I first heard them giving us these examples I was apprehensive, but they had us do roleplays, and Sister Andreason who was with me in the MTC was my partner. She was great for me because she knew me and she's similar to me in personality. She got transferred to Xinzhu this transfer, so in the 3 weeks she's been with her companion she's gotten a lot of practice on this kind of contacting, so she gave me a really great example, then I was able to do it following her example. It made me excited to have a new way of contacting, and I told my companion yesterday (Tuesday) we should invite at least one person to baptism. So even though we barely had time for dinner at all, we grabbed a really fast meal, and invited someone to baptism on the side of the street before we went back into the church to shove the food down really fast before MM meeting. It was cool. She didn't accept, she was too busy with school, but I think maybe one day she'll remember that when she has more time and maybe come back. I invited her to English class if she ever needed help with her English, so maybe we'll see her again! She said her brother is a member who stopped coming because of the lifestyle of a student in Taiwan. But the point is, I felt good about it.
It may sound like some crazy thing us Taiwan missionaries are doing, inviting people to baptism on the street...but its an effective way to find people genuinely interested in learning about the gospel and getting to know their Savior Jesus Christ. And fulfills our purpose to invite people unto repentance. It's not like I'll use it every time I contact, especially not when I have maybe 15 seconds on my bike talking to the scooter next to me to get out an invitation, but now that I know, I can use it and slowly ease more into letting the Spirit tell me which way to use to contact each person. My goal is eventually be able to have a different contacting experience with every person I contact, but right now my Chinese isn't all that great, so a pretty similar one each time is okay, adapted to their comments and questions. And as my Chinese improves, I'll be able to be molded into a more effective tool in the Lords hands.
So in other news besides a new contacting method I thought Dad would be interested in hearing, yesterday we went over to Huang Yujun1's house and met with Petrea and her sister Leilani. Leilani has been coming to church with her little sister most of the time and has been progressing, just a little slower than her younger sister. Yesterday we talked to her and she decided she also wanted to be baptized. So we moved back Petrea's date a week to help prepare her sister to do it with her. Mom is very excited. Leilani is a very sensible girl. Yesterday when we invited her to be baptized on a Friday, because the mom said that's the most ideal day for a baptism for her work...Leilani was like...Hmm I get off school at 4:45, then I have to do some homework so I won't have too much over the weekend and I need some time to watch TV for about 30 minutes, since I'll be very tired...baptism at 7..."It won't go over an hour will it?" She also had a quick conversation about baptism with her mother I really expected. She asked if baptism would be good for her? And her mom said, yes. And she said, " Super good?" And I told her, oh yeah, you weren't here last week when we taught the 3rd lesson to your sister, let me tell you about the gift of the . So yeah, that's why it's pushed back for a week. She needs to hear the 3rd and I don't want to rush it too much. But she's awesome, she was willing to keep every commandment we taught, and totally had a testimony of and everything. Leilani reminds me a LOT of Francesca. So yeah! Now if only Jasmin, the oldest would listen to our lesson and just even try to see what it's like to pray...but I think she'll start coming a long a lot more when her younger sisters both are willing to keep commandments and pray together.
This week was a lot of fun with Sister Chen. We laugh a lot together and just have a lot of fun doing normal missionary things. Also it is always fun to go to Taipei and see missionaries who I was in the MTC or in my district or zone in the past. See how they are doing outside of Zhongli. I'm lucky to have spent my whole life in Taiwan in Zhongli, but a little naive in some ways because I've never experienced leaving one area. I was just put here, and have been here since. I'm sure I'll get that experience one day, but for now, I'm happy in Zhongli. We have a lot of people progressing and doing really awesome, and I know Heavenly Father left me in Zhongli to help my new members continue to endure to the end and to help people I've known since transfer one, especially Gu Junru, and the Ge sisters (Jasmin, Leilani, and Petrea) my four kid investigators with mother members prepare to make their first covenant with Heavenly Father. Maybe I won't see all of them baptized, but I know they all will be one day, and I'm glad to be working with them right now.
Also! Chen Yiting is doing great! She's going to come with us on Preparation day today and hang out with us and the Elders...she's really excited...so yeah, now we have to go catch a bus! Later!