Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mission Letter 8/3/2015

Hello, everybody!

It's been a most wonderful week! Lots of things have been happening, and also nothing at the same time. But life's good! And I'm happier in this area than I have been in... just kidding. I love all my areas. But I'm truly "satisfied" right now, in this one.

I guess the title of this email ought to be, "Then two became three!" Sounds like a post-wedding announcement, doesn't it?

So on Thursday, during Weekly Planning Session, we got a phone call from the Mission Office, and the Recorder told us, "Come to the office RIGHT NOW, we have something to give you." So like obedient little missionaries, we went straight outside, got on our bikes, and rode as fast as we could to the mission office. When we arrived, all sweaty and tired, Elder Shelton was like, "Your new companion!" 

His name is Elder Chen, but we call him "Shuai Zhang Lao," which basically means Elder Handsome. It's not as weird in Chinese as it sounds in English. Don't worry. But he's a visa waiter for New Zealand; he got on a plane to Hong Kong to transfer to New Zealand, but in Hong Kong, they stopped him and put him on a plane right back. So now he's with us until his visa gets cleared up. He's awesome! He's so full of energy and is very enthusiastic as a missionary. We love having him around. 

In the next three weeks, we should have three baptisms at the rate of one per week. First, a Sister Huang, who is a girl whose mother is a member of about two years, and this girl has attended church for about half a year, so it's about time she met with the missionaries and got baptized. She was introduced to us when a member dragged her over to us halfway through church and said, "This is Sister Huang, she wants to get baptized, will you meet with her after church?" Basically dragged, but only because she's shy and a little immature. But she passed her interview yesterday, so all is well!

Next, we have a Brother Li, who's met with missionaries for like two years, and his girlfriend is a missionary in New York. He never really had interest, but in the past month, he has started meeting with missionaries, and preparing for baptism. He says he's prepared now, and has been for a long time. Anyway.

Then Sister Ju will be baptized this month. She's truly awesome, and we've become such good friends with her. She's really cool. She says that getting baptized for her isn't a question at all. She's very prepared, if you ask me. She's really cool, but will be going out of the country for a week next week (she's a flight attendant, so she's always on the move, with the most awful work schedules, too).

This morning, for exercise, our whole district, and some members, went to a nearby park to play Ultimate Frisbee. We play three times a week. But today, even President Jergensen and Sister Jergensen came (as invited). It was a ton of fun, though in total we had 20 people on a relatively small field. Still a party. The President and his family have fun; they build really good relationships with people. I probably mostly feel this now that I live like, next door (figuratively, but only barely) and see him like every other day.

I have gone on so many companion exchanges in the past three weeks. Like, around six times; twice a week, which makes you feel like you're barely even in your area. But it's good. Exchanges have been really insightful.

Thought of the day: 

Judges 7:21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp...

In this story, Gideon leads an army of 300 men against the Moabites, described as "innumberable grasshoppers." And they had victory, because the Lord helped them accomplish an impossible task; they would have had no chance on their own, but as they all "stood every man in his place," they had success. As they did their own duty and job (and not someone else's), the Lord helped them and they accomplished the task at hand. They weren't looking at the bishop and saying, "If I were him, I would do this," or, "If I were the bishop, I could have more of an influence." Or anything like that. As they do their part, they work together, for the success of all.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission