On Tuesday I took a 4 hour train ride down to the east coast as part of the “tsunami”! (they sent a bunch of extra missionaries farther south to help them try to find more people to teach) The train ride down was absolutely gorgeous! I kept getting distracted from my studies by the beautiful scenery out the window! 28 missionaries were sent to various areas- I was assigned to YuLi, which is between Hualien and Taidong, with a super cute Taiwanese companion, sis Zhong.
There is not a single place on the island of Taiwan that could be MORE DIFFERENT than Taibei!! YuLi is a little town with maybe 2 taxis, no buildings taller than 3 stories, and 2000 people, max. There is no one out on the roads. The town is surrounded by mountains and there are lots of open spaces with farms. People would just chat with us, even if they weren't interested in our message. In Taibei you have about 30 seconds to get in a message and let people feel the spirit.
We spent most of our time in another small town called RuiSui (which is actually a 20 min train ride away from YuLi but still part of the YuLi sisters' area) knocking doors. We never knock doors in Taibei because it is just not productive: as soon as we say into the little doorbell thing that we are missionaries, they say "bu yong, bu yong, xie xie" (no use, no use, thank you) and hang up. In YuLi we would walk up to a house and call in through the screen, "you ren zai jia ma? (anyone home?). People would just let us in to their house before they even knew who we were and would give us fruit and water. Completely opposite of what I am used to! We spent all day finding and talking to people. President Day's goal for the whole tsunami was to find a total of 110 new investigators of the Gospel. As a group of 28 missionaries, we found 171!!! So cool! The whole 14 companionship group contacted 3256 people, got 572 phone numbers, placed 144 copies of the Book of Mormon, set up 217 appointments for the local missionaries, and taught 226 lessons! It was exhausting but it was really a great 4 days! I was actually super popular there.......with the bugs! They have these little tiny dark mosquitos that are vicious. One afternoon I forgot to put on bug spray and got literally hundreds of bites! Hahaha! Luckily they have stopped itching, so I have my sanity back. :D
When I got back on Fri night, Sis Roy told me that we had been chosen to get two duanchuans (short term missionaries) for a week starting the next day! The east stake is doing an activity where the youth could sign up to be missionaries for a week. So, we have two 17 year old YW staying with us this week and following us around.
One of our coolest investigators right now is C DX. I met him a couple weeks ago on the street. We shared a little bit with him and set up a time to meet. Honestly, I didn't think he would show up, but he's met with us 3 times and is reading the Book of Mormon every day and writing down what he learns! He is super humble and asks really great questions. I taught him the Plan of Salvation on Saturday with my duanchuan. After teaching that lesson, I always like to ask people. "how do you think knowing about this will influence your life?" Usually they say they don't know or don't think it will influence them. When I asked C DX, he said he thought it would change his life's purpose- that up until now it had been mostly about him, but know it would be more about God and other people. Yeah! He really just got it. That was a neat moment. He has a baptismal goal of the 27th, and we are working really hard with him to make it to that goal.
Love you! Thanks for all the prayers! I pray for you every night!
From the other side of the world,