Monday, July 6, 2015

Mission Letter 7/6/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week's letter is a little late in coming (like, three hours later than normal), and pretty short, because today a member from one of my companion's former areas came and took us out to a extremely fancy buffet. I know, the words fancy and buffet don't normally go together, but my goodness it was amazing. I am so literally full.

This week has been going pretty well. Our new Mission President arrived. He's so cool! President Jergensen brought half of his children along, too; the younger ones. He has 15 year old twins, and it's so strange seeing American teenagers. So totally completely different from the Taiwanese teenagers. President Jergensen's sons seem older, and more independent... perhaps it's just the culture. But yes, they are identical.

As for the new Mission President...he's younger. He acts younger, and has a much louder voice. He's a really fun, awesome guy, and it's totally different... he's like someone I imagined being one of my Young Men's leaders, and that's pretty cool. It's very different from President Day. They're both awesome, but they definitely do things differently.

We also had Mission Leadership Council, which is where all the Zone Leaders and the Assistants and the Mission President meet together, and basically tell the Zone Leaders how to do their job better, and what they want the mission to do. It was a pretty good meeting; lots of awesome trainings that I got to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There are a good deal of zone leaders from my "generation," meaning those who came out to Taiwan at the same time as I did. Probably about 40% of the Zone Leaders are just new ones, and pretty young, mission age wise. So that's cool.

Yesterday, on Sunday night, the mission held an Investigator and New Member fireside. This is a monthly fireside, and at the end, all the missionaries perform a choir musical number. The chapel that the fireside is held at is probably the only chapel in Taiwan to have an actual organ (all the rest just have pianos), so I literally grab every opportunity to play the organ as possible. And since I was asked to accompany for the night, I totally wrote up my own arrangement of "Come, Follow Me," and played that on the organ. You have no idea how happy it made me. I'm still smiling.

Yesterday at the church, we got a new investigator in a most interesting way. This 15 year old girl, who's mother is a member, was dragged by the arm after sacrament meeting to us, and this woman told us, "This is a Sister Huang, she wants to get baptized, will you please take her to Gospel Principles class and then teach her the first lesson after church?" The girl was being completely awkward about the whole thing, and we weren't entirely sure how to react. However, after church, we got to meet with her, and she opened up a bit more, and she actually does want to be baptized, which is good, too.

But other than that, this week has been pretty normal. Nothing terribly special, nothing terribly strange. It's been very hot. Very hot. And my bike has disappeared in the mail, it seems; it got sent from one place a week ago, but it has not yet arrived at my new area, and I'm a little concerned. We can still get around because I'm using a recently gone home missionary's bike, but I prefer mine. I don't like his. It's not extremely comfortable or smooth. But that's okay.

Scripture of the Week? D&C 50
 13 Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained?
 14 To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.
 22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

When one preaches/teaches by the Spirit, and feels the influence of the Spirit, you can be assured that the other party is feeling it, too; perhaps they just haven't recognized it. 

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission