Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mission Letter 4/4/2016

Dear family and friends,

This week was pretty good. Sometimes weeks feel so long and so short, I don't actually remember what happened.

So here's a quick summary of this week:

Monday: We were going have a dinner with our Stake President's family. They are one of the biggest families in Taiwan, 6 kids. Typical Mormons (which is not so typical in Taiwan, they still only have two to three on average). But the Mom just had her sixth child about a month or two ago. So, when we were asking if we could go visit them, somehow we offered our service as chefs for the family for the night. They accepted, said, "send us the list of ingredients, and then we'll get them ready for you." So we spent last week trying to decide on a menu. It was super hard. Finally, I decided to make a meal that Dad often used to make at home: steak, mashed potatoes, and boiled sweet carrots. 

But we wanted the meal to be good and very American, so we went to Costco for the steak (Costco is literally the best place on earth, it's like walking into America but you don't need a passport, just a membership) because at Costco, everything is imported from America. We bought the smallest pack they had (it had 8 thick slabs of meat in it). Then we cooked steak for the Stake President's family (get it? Elder Reintjes and I think we're so punny). Mashed potatoes with butter and milk, and boiled carrots (with sugar instead of salt). They loved it! They were like, how did you make the mashed potatoes so good? The steak is so juicy! Sweet carrots? It was all so foreign to them. But we had an excellent meeting with the family, and an excellent discussion with the Stake President about how to get missionary work moving. 

​CAPTION: My companion and I in our house. Yes. Cute.

Tuesday: we met with our favorite investigator family. They are the ones who have been christian for over 25 years, but are starting to learn about our church. We had a good discussion, sharing about the plan of salvation and continuing to answer many of their questions. Hopefully the kids enjoy it, too. 

Wednesday: English Class! It's struggling. Not many new students come, sometimes old ones leave. We just can't seem to get over 20 students. But we keep advertising it! Every time we talk to them, we give them an English flier. Especially if they're not interested in the gospel, then they definitely get the flier.  English Class is still one of the most effective missionary tools in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. It brings so many baptisms. 

Saturday: We met with an LA referral from another city. He's come to our patch of the garden for college. He was baptized a year before he moved here, and when he came, he stopped attending church mainly because he didn't know where it was. But now he's been found! And he's super cool, and he loves church, and he's going to be fully active again real soon, I'm pretty sure. 

Sunday was the new member and investigator fireside the mission holds every month in Taipei. Originally, the Elder in charge of the music said to me, "You've probably played the music at every fireside you've ever attended. So I don't want you to play anything this time so you can have a break." About a week later, he called again and asked me to play for the whole thing and accompany a couple other performers. I didn't mind. It was fun. And I got to use the organ, which is always a treat.

The sun was out this week. At least, it didn't rain. That was a blessing; there were so many more people outside on the streets (at any time during the day), so finding was much more effective and not so draining this week. I love being a missionary. I am so excited for a couple of our investigators as they continue preparing to be baptized, especially the family.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission