Monday, September 21, 2015

Mission Letter 9/21/2015

Dear family and friends,

This past week was awesome! Fall is in the air... so it's still like, upward of 30 degrees Celsius during the day, but there's a cool breeze that just makes a missionary feel happy.

This week was different than most weeks. Because our investigator pool was pretty low (they all got baptized or vanished), we had lots of finding and street contacting to start our week off. But we saw some pretty cool miracles throughout the week. The first couple days of the week, we had hours of straight finding without anything to break it up, and by Saturday, we were scrambled to start and end each lesson on time, travel across the city in ten minutes in order to get to the next appointment and stay on schedule, etc.

One of the highlights of this week was that we met with a 72-year old Amah (grandmother) referral. Someone had met her on the street (and the reason she agreed to meet again was because she sees young people, wants to treat them as her own children and let them come inside an air conditioned home and eat food. So she met with us, gave us a bunch of food, and spake some Taiwanese to us (an old language in Taiwan, different from Chinese. All the older generation speaks it). She has a friend who often takes her to a church, but at that church they do what they consider the "gift of tongues," where they all seem to scream and wail and make their tongues do strange things and then say that they're speaking prophecies and revelations (but no one knows what they mean). She was kinda making fun of them and trying to imitate what they did for us by trilling her lips at a high pitch, shaking her arms, and nodding her head, before she would lean back and start chuckling. (An active, chuckling 72-year old Amah is quite cute.) But she came to church this week, asked if she could come back next week (of course, we said yes), and we're really excited for her! She also wants to take us out to dinner this week.

We bumped into an LA on the street. We've been trying to meet with her mother. The one we ran into is actually a student studying her last year of high school. Normally, on Sunday, she also has classes that don't let her come to church, but everything else had fallen off the radar, too (studying the scriptures, praying, etc.). But she was happy to see us, let us share a scripture with her, and set up to meet with her again. We've been trying to set up with the family forever, but the Mom has always been like, "we'll see you at church and set up a time then," or "can we just meet when church ends?" But now, we've found a way to go and meet them at a different time, something we've been trying to do for weeks. Another miracle.

One miracle we saw last night as we were trying to finish our week well was a lady who is not baptized but considers herself Christian and is willing to do basically everything we asked. We met her on the street, as she was going to get dinner. She has attended different churches in the past, but has not been baptized mainly because her father opposes it. But we had a lesson with her on the street, invited her to church (she said she'd come if she could this week), gave her a Book of Mormon (she said she'd read it), invited her to be baptized (we set a date for 11/4), and asked if we could meet again (we set up for tomorrow). So, basically, she's awesome.

Sometimes church is really boring. I probably shouldn't view it that way as a missionary, but in Taiwan, all the people here LOVE to tell stories. FOREVER. On, and on, and on, and it may not even be relevant. But if you ask one question, you should find yourself a chair, because they may embark on a 20 minute story. And the ward I'm in, Sacrament Meeting is notorious for going overtime, every week, by like 20 minutes. For some reason, this past week they set up 4 speakers. And by the time the first two were done, Sacrament Meeting should have been concluding. But they still let the other two speak, and so Sacrament Meeting just kept going and going. Both the investigators we brought to church fell asleep. But whatever. The classes were better, and they were able to stay awake in those.

Transfers were supposed to be this week. But because some missionaries have visa problems (again), and they're not sure when they're coming (a week, or maybe a whole transfer later), they'll probably push the transfer meeting back a little bit. It throws everything off.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission