Oh man, how time flies. It feels like just yesterday that I was in this email cafe writing in Taoyuan for the first time...now we are officially half way done with the transfer. In start, I didn't think this was going to be a very easy transfer for me, to be back in Taoyuan, probably just Satan telling me that, because I'm not even sure why I felt that way. I'm glad that was just a weakness/fear of mine. Lately I've been having a lot of fun!
Taoyuan is slightly a place with stress because the ward puts a lot of stress on the missionaries, but it's due to their mission ward program being the best mission ward program I personally have ever seen...so good stress! What both (not just one) of the wards here do, is that everyone has a "tithe" of their time, and once a month, they put aside a couple hours to do missionary work...this may mean visiting inactive members, accompanying missionaries for lessons we have scheduled if we have some at that time, inviting the missionaries to share the gospel with their friends, etc. So here, we work with a lot of members. At first I was worried about how intense the ward missionary program is, especially if my companion leaves next transfer, since Sister Tedjamulia has been here 7 transfers...but I'm realizing that things will take care of themselves, and I'm just doing my best to memorize peoples names and get to know the members since they are so great about working with us. The investigators we do have are very well taken care of in both the wards in Taoyuan. It's really awesome. I've had really good wards before, but usually if you have 2 wards, one is stronger than the other, but here in Taoyuan both ward programs are pretty similar, the differences exist, but both programs are awesome.
In mission news for this week, we had a really great week. We really saw a lot of miracles with how many people ended up attending church yesterday. We had set a really high goal at WPS and we followed up on getting people to church really well, but the 4 of the people we planned on told us they couldn't come, so we figured there was not much way of accomplishing our goal for that week, but Heavenly Father showed us that if you work hard he prepares a way. Despite the many people who couldn't come to church, we had some miracles and still had our goal exactly accomplished. It was pretty amazing. Sister 邰 Tai and I are just doing our best. And things are going well.
With investigators, 周静阑 Zhou Jinglan or Vera...came to church. We have pretty much taught her almost all the missionary lessons are are just focusing on overcoming the Word of Wisdom trials she's facing. She is really great. We feel the spirit really strong with her every time we meet. She has a lot of faith, but it's not easy overcoming an addiction of almost 20 years. We are trying to be as encouraging as we can. We know she can do it. Her goal is 4/24, so her goal is to quit this week so that she can be addiction free for a week by baptismal interview, and 2 weeks by her baptism. It's not an easy process, but she's doing what she can. She's really amazing. She has read the Book of Mormon, twice I think, and loves to read it, and reads a lot at once...she's also , finished reading the gospel principles book. This week I lent her my English copy (because her English is really good)of Our Search for Happiness and she called us this morning, and was like, "where can I buy this book?" and we told her we could buy it in Taipei next Saturday when we went for tour...and she said that was so long away! So I told her she could just mark in my book. She loves to mark stuff up. I've never even read it before all the way through...I'll have to. I'll probably just end up giving her my copy and buying a new one since she thinks next week is so far away.
Also, we have an 11 year old investigator named Zhang En1lin 张恩粼, Crystal, who came to church yesterday. She also has a goal coming up, so since today is Tomb Sweeping Day and they have school off, we are going to go visit her and her member older sister tonight and teach her some commandments. She's come to church a lot, but she just can only meet once a week on Saturday, then if family stuff comes up she can't even meet then, so we are excited we can go over tonight.
We've also been meeting with a Ji rushuang 纪如霜 she works in a dry cleaning clothes place...and lives there...so we go visit her at work. She was a little hesitant to make a goal, but she did in the end with the 陪课 (peike--member accompanying our lesson) really encouraging her. She is a little scared to keep commandments (before we've even shared any with her) but I know Heavenly Father will help her out a lot. She's already went to church once in Zhongli, and she liked it, so that's really great. She's been progressing and I'm excited we can keep meeting with her.
We have started meeting with a 14-year-old named Li yijing 李怡静, Melody,she met with the Bade Sisters for awhile, because she has friends in the Taoyuan 2nd ward, but lives in our ward boundaries...so her mother, and everyone else just tell her to come to this ward because the church is closer and we can go over to her house to teach her...so they had given her to Bade, but they passed her back over. Her mother is SUPER supportive, although not too interested herself. She even tells her to read the Book of Mormon every day. Shes a really good mother, and we even sat down with the mother, and shared. She was touched and there were a couple tears as we read the family: a proclamation to the world. It is wonderful to have an investigator with such a supportive parent. It is a rare parent who is so supportive of their children taking the missionary lessons.
On exchanges (which exchanges were TOO fun this week with Sister Messenger, we just were really good friends instantly, so it was a BLAST) we met with a lady named Sun Beibei 孙. She has been Christian> for many years. She is a member referral. She was a woman with a lot of character. We taught her about the Restoration...and she was so excited to hear there were living prophets, when we told her about General Conference, she immediately penciled it in. She is really sad about the loss of her husband in recent years, and says she doesn't understand why he had to go so early, so I'm glad we can teach her the plan of salvation and give her comfort this week.; She is already a little scared about meeting with us because she says she is too sad and reliant on certain things you'd have to give up to obey the word of wisdom, but I told her not to worry about that quite yet, but about reading the Book of Mormon, and listening her her answer. She was willing and promised to read a little in the Book of Mormon daily.
Last one I want to talk about is a Li Jinlin 李金琳，Joline. She is a mother with one son. We have taught her the 1st and 2nd. She is Christian and attends another church, but she is willing to take the missionary lessons, because when she was young she ran into some missionaries, who eventually lost touch with her, and she is really receptive to what we teach. She is really nice to us and we really enjoy our visits with her. She wants to share the plan of salvation with her mother, who recently came to believe in God because he answered her prayers. We will continue to teach her and help her understand the blessings of the Book of Mormon and a living prophet.
That's not everyone, but I haven't done a real solid investigator update in a long long time, so I thought I'd do one today...That's what we are doing lately. Today we are going to Longtan and 小人国。 I went back in transfer 2 when I lived in Zhongli. It's a lot of fun, so I'm happy to go back. Today should be a lot of fun. I'm excited, and for the night too, to see Crystal and her family. They are really great. Yep yep. Can't remember anything else for now! I love you guys. Happy Easter and Happy birthday a couple days ago Franny...how old is she now? Is this 16?? I've been gone too long, I don't know how old anyone is after Annika these days. I forget. But don't worry, I still remember all your guys birthdays! Easter is my favorite holiday, next year though, I'll be around. ba. :) Oh. p.s. in 3 days, I've been in Taiwan for 1 year. Crazy crazy.
Sister Flora Bruno
傅文馨姐妹 Fu wenxin jiemei
Day 78, Ogden Enterprise
11 months ago