I have been called as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve in the Taiwan Taipei Mission for 24 months. (Sept. 2016-Sept. 2018) This blog is a compilation of the weekly e-mails I send home, which contain my experiences, thoughts, and feelings in the mission field.
Chinese New Year 2017
HAPPY NEW YEAR... again
So its Chinese New Year here in Taiwan and like every other Chinese place, and its so much fun.
The whole island kinda like shuts down. All the stores close and everyone just stays inside with their families. So on Friday we took a train over to Taipei for a mission conference and the Taipei main station was like empty at 7:30am which is usually the busiest time of the day. And when we got on the MRT (subway) there was actually room for everyone to sit down. It was crazy.
But yeah probably the best part of Chinese New Year is that we get fed by the members everyday for lunch and dinner. There's so much food! Its a super great time to just sit down and talk with members about their efforts in sharing the gospel. And the members have been really good about inviting less active and non members. So yeah so many opportunities to spark or respark the light of Christ in peoples lives during this super happy time of the year. And yeah there's just SO MUCH FOOD.
But anyways, the most important news of the week was the Liao family set a baptismal date for February 25! We're so excited to be able start meeting with them again after they come back from all their New Year activities around the island.
From Elder Aiono's email
So this past few days have been the start to 過年 Or the Chinese New year. EVERYONE goes away to their parent's home usually in the south of Taiwan. There has been like no one outside to talk to, BUT members will treat us to lunch and dinner every single day! We've been finding so much through the members lately and it has been awesome! Also Elder Erickson and I are getting really fat! Everyone keeps telling me I can only go back to America after I get full. Haha. We have been writing notes to everyone that feeds us and encouraging them to share the gospel and we have seen so much success lately! It is awesome and I love being a missionary and serving the people here in Taiwan!
Thursday with theLiao Family Somehow Andrew's former companion Elder Aiono received this today and forwarded it to Andrew's dad. These men love this family so much and you can tell from looking at the picture.
I continue to be amazed at how the Holy Ghost inspires people! Today we went for a follow up appointment for this missionary with a hurt ankle. Imaging study showed he needed a cast for 3-4 weeks, but can't walk or bike with a cast and it rains frequently. I asked if he could get a brace or boot and Dr. Su said it is more expensive but he could then walk and possibly bike. We asked how much and he said $1200NT ($360US) I don't carry that kind of cash around and I know the missionaries don't either. I asked if they would take my credit card. Dr Su made a call and asked for a discount for "personal friends" and price became $8000NT! I had $4000NT($120US) and as the missionaries pulled out what they had...Dr. Su said "I will lend you the money!" I declined his offer but he insisted and asked "Won't I get blessing?" I couldn't refuse! We accepted his offer and I asked if I could take a picture and he sprung from his chair! What a wonderful…
So last week was Christmas and it was lit. We had 10 investigators at church! And then the super cool Sister Ni had a super cool caroling activity at her house and she invited like 3 families and let us go door to door with like 25 members/nonmembers in her neighborhood, which is a neighborhood that would never be allowed in if we didn't have Sister Ni. So it was just an wonderful day full of wonderful people.
But anyways, last Wednesday during lunch Elder Hammond and I got a little surprise phone call from the mission president. And after making sure we weren't busy and then said he was "about to flip our world upside down." He then proceeded to ask Elder Hammond to come be his assistant in the office and my new companion was going to be Elder Aiono, the AP Elder Hammond would be replacing. Because we were in the middle of training which is two transfer, we were supposed to be guaranteed 2 transfers together to complete training. So this came as quite a surprise, bu…