Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mission Letter 9/14/2015

Dear family and friends,

It's been a wonderful week! It's been lots of fun, and a little crazy. 

First off, Nathan was baptized this week! We were so excited! He's a ten year old kid, and his parents are members. He's been living with his grandparents, but his Mom just came back from Canada. While with his grandparents, he didn't go to church (they oppose it a little bit). But when his Mom returned, she started bringing him to church again, and now, a little over a month later, he's been baptized. He's a really cool kid, with a really fun personality. He has several friends at church, kids the same age as him, so that's really good. 

All of our good investigators, and the ones that had baptismal dates, have either been baptized or disappeared from the face of the earth. All of our other investigators are also really busy, or not answering our phone calls. So, we're back at square one now, in a sense. We will have tons of finding time in the coming couple weeks, as we try to find more investigators again to be baptized. 

But life is going really good! I'm happy, and the weather is getting better. It's been so comfortable this past week or so. When the summer was really hot, every time our ward mission leader saw us he would tell us hard we were working. He would tell the ward (during announcements, etc.) that missionary work during the summer was really hard because it's so hot and nobody wants to talk to you. But now the weather is better. Hopefully we can find more people will to stop longer and talk to us.

The Jin Hua ward where I'm currently serving wants to split by the end of the year. The only thing that's holding them back is a lack of worthy, full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders. Once they have enough (it's a ratio, but I'm not sure what the ratio is), the ward could split immediately. Wards in Taiwan are much smaller than those in the US; here, about 120 people is considered a large ward, ready to be split. Quite the difference from Utah. So we're doing our best to help people get the Melchizedek Priesthood and also find the less actives around here.

This week, we also had Outdoor Zone Conference! This is the first time I have ever gone to an "Outdoor Zone Conference;" the last time they had one was right before I arrived in Taiwan. We went and hiked up this mountain called Yang Ming Mountain. It's simply gorgeous! I have never hiked up there before. We all arrived at the Mission Office before 7 in the morning, and at 8 AM we finally departed. It was about an hour drive up a mountain, and down another side (many missionaries started feeling somewhat motion sick, including me, because it's been such a long time since I've been in a vehicle for an extended period of time. I never realized that after a while of not driving, you actually aren't used to driving again). Wherever we started the hike, it was close to the base. Either I've gotten really fit, or the mountain wasn't terribly tall. Still, it was a good hike, and we stopped at various points along the trail for some trainings. It was one of the best training meetings I've ever been too, and nature was simply stunning. It was nice being out of the busy, noisy, bad smelling city. We were originally scheduled to arrive home at 5 PM and then go back to our areas to keep doing missionary work, but we got back down at 7:20 PM, and then we went back to our areas. President Jergensen is very laid back about some things; he's an awesome guy. He's very on top of things, and very loving.

The time has flown by. Next week is transfers, and in all likelihood, my companion will transfer. If so, this will be the first time that I stay in an area for more than two transfers; up until now, I've been like a hot potato that just won't stay put. At the start of the next transfer, will be the start of my 10th transfer, and Elders in Taiwan have a total of 16 transfers during their mission. The time really is going by fast.

Scripture of the Day:
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission