Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mission Letter 1/25/2016

Dear family and friends,

Can someone please turn the global warming back on? It's been one of the coldest winters in history here in Taiwan. Snow, falling in places it hasn't fallen in over 100 years. Temperatures just barely above freezing. And hundreds of missionaries still outside, stalwartly pressing forward, talking to the few diehards still out on the street. And you know what they say to us? 辛苦你! Which translates roughly to, oh, poor you guys! Working so hard. Out in the cold. And then you know what they say to us? 趕快回家! Go home quickly! That's what I'm doing! Bye bye!

​CAPTION: Not necessarily the best picture of the snow on the mountain. It comes down a little lower than it looks there. Or that's one of the shorter mountains. 

But it's been super fun. I've discovered that in this area, I have had a lot more success knocking on doors than I have ever had in my other areas. So we do a combination of knocking on people's doors and talking to them on the street. But things have been a little deserted these past days. 

We had the opportunity of eating dinner at the restaurant of a potential investigator this past week. One of the members in our ward took us there to meet the boss. And you know how she came to have this acquaintance? Simply by eating at the restaurant previously, and by becoming friends with them. She has a little bit of a reputation of getting to know people, just all the people around her, not matter if it's a neighbor, co-worker, or the boss of where she eats dinner, she becomes their friend, and then, when she feels that the person is ready, she brings the missionaries. She's very upfront and bold, too; as we were eating, she dragged the boss over and was like, "Come here! Come meet these people, my friends, they are missionaries. They are going to share the gospel with you." And thus it started. That truly is the best way of doing missionary work; way more effective then trying to meet people on the street. 

CAPTION: Selfie Sunday, courtesy of Curtis, the investigator taking the selfie. From left to right: Curtis, Elder Bellingham (ZL), Elder Wei (mini-missionary), Elder Ploeg, Elder Falck, Elder Roe (ZL), and Elder Griffin. ​

We're trying to help all of our investigators progress towards baptism. They're all in the beginning stages of the teaching process; Lesson 1, or 2, that kinda area. In total, there are 5 lessons, which sometimes become more (because all of the commandments are in lesson 4, and that usually becomes 3 or so lessons). But, we have many who are willing to try the "experiment," and see if it bring results. They've set a potential baptismal date, with the condition being they feel the truthfulness of the gospel. So we're trying hard to help them. 

Transfers are this week. There will be no meeting. Missionaries will simply go to their new area. I am almost definitely not moving, because we're still in training. But life is going awesome. I love my area. It's the promised land. I feel like every area in Taiwan seems to be the promised land. Super excited to keep working in Sanxia. Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission