Sunday, August 21, 2011

Almost a Month in Taiwan

The View from my Apartment in Fengjia
Hello family and friends,
Wow it is so good to hear from all of you!  This time last year I was getting ready for college.  Don't have to worry about that for a while.  But the rest of you do haha!  School starts up today (probably in the morning for you guys).  First day of high school for Julia!  Oh you're gonna love it!  Especially with volleyball.  Spencer, live up your junior year and have a party.  Landon is in 6th grade.  Wow! You've grown up so fast Lando.  Keep up your humor.  It's funny!  Anthony, keep working hard.  Sounds pretty rough with the situation that happened previously.  I know you can work everything out and help those come back to church.  Mom, crazy week!  You can rest now that the kids will be in school.  The bbq you guys had looked sooo good!  I can't wait to have my first steak when I get back.  Dad, thank you for your letter.  I couldn't get through all of it because of time, but the parts I read we awesome! Thanks for your story. So on with the week
So last Monday we met with a really awesome family!  We met them while we were on Assistant exchanges.  When they met with us they told us they wanted a good environment to help their 2 year old child grow up in.  I think the church would probably be the best environment for them and so that's what we told them.  We gave them the 1st lesson and I felt it went really well.  They said that they believed our message to be true and so we'll be meeting with them more.  We'll see how it goes.
Tuesday was exciting! I passed off lesson 2 in phase 1.  Improving with the language is always exciting!  So funny story... We were given a referral and so we tried and tried to get a hold of him and meet with him.  We finally set up a time and met with him.  He had had some lessons previously and so we just talked with him for a bit to see where he was at with the gospel.  The more we asked, the more we found out that he had a pretty good relationship and knowledge of the gospel.  We eventually asked him the baptismal questions to see where he was at on everything.  He answered correctly for every single one.  We were like "what?  How is he so golden right now?" We were so excited because we were thinking we were going to baptize this man.  Talked a bit more and then he finally told us he had already been baptized and was a member.  What?? Haha why didn't he tell us this beforehand.  We all had a nice little laugh and then just made sure he was keeping all the commandments.
Wednesday, we just tried to have as many lessons as we could.  Didn't matter who, where, or anything, we just needed to teach some lessons.  We talked to everyone possible and tried to meet with them then and there.  Didn't get much success out of that, but we added some new people as investigators.  We then tried to go sit down with some people at the park.  The first people we came across were these two drunk guys.  We taught them the 1st lesson and they were amazed at everything we talked about! haha it was so funny.  We left and then worked our hardest on finding people. 
Thursday we had a lesson with a friend Tu Dixiong.  We felt we needed to focus on the Restoration, and so we felt we would show him the Restoration film.  His computer wouldn't play it and so we unexpectedly taught him about faith, repentence, and baptism.  It went really well and he committed to baptism which was so awesome!! 
Friday we met with our most recent convert Lin Dixiong and taught him the follow-up lessons.  I don't know what he does but he knows like everything now.  He understood the plan of salvation perfectly.  He has really progressed a lot since we first met with him.  He is now sharing scriptures and insights with us. 
Saturday we decided to go visit some old investigators that previous missionaries forgot about or dropped.  We were in a certain area and there just so happened to be an old investigator in the area.  We got to the door and told his mom/sister that we were "old friends" of his.  She let us in and we met with this kid.  A few minutes after we got there, a man that my companion recognized walked in the door.  It was our ward's Elders Quorum President.  We were wondering why we were there, and we asked him the same question.  Apparently the Elders Quorum President is this kid's uncle.  He sat down with us and encouraged this young man to come to church and learn from us.  I think without his help, he wouldn't have gotten far with this kid.  This kid ended up coming to church and we'll continue to meet with him. 
Sunday was probably the longest day I've been here.  It was my first Ward Council Meeting.  Two hours of not understanding a single word makes it very difficult to stay focused, and awake.  However, I did my best and tried to pick up new words and phrases from them.  All the lessons we had the rest of the day fell through and so we spent the rest of the time trying to find new people and to sit down with them.  One lesson in particular, we asked this man his religious beliefs.  He had none.  We asked if he thought we had a Creator.  He said no.  We asked him why and he said he believes we evolved from sea animals.  We got talking for a bit and then he changed his view right then and said he believed we evolved from rocks.  So…we didn't get very far with this man.
Sorry if it feels like I'm just throwing everything that happened during my week at you.  I have so much to read and so much to write in such a short amount of time.  But the work keeps moving forward.  We are working our hardest to find to teach.  The Lord truly has a part in this work.  It is his work.  I had an opportunity to see that happen this week.  The church is true and the Taiwanese people NEED it in their lives.  Have fun this week!  Be safe! Love you all, Elder Smith
p.s. So a few questions you asked.  The area I am in is called Fengjia.  The only airport I know of here is abandoned…I'm pretty sure there is another one nearby cause he always see planes flying super super low.  I'm not sure what my address is, just cause its all in characters.  Some land points: I'm near are Fengjia University, and Fengjia Nightmarket.  Hopefully that will help you kind of see where I'm located.  The speakers and cd player are working awesome.  I haven't been able to listen much.  We have switched off listening to my stuff and my companions stuff.  I am currently in a ward, but it is super small.  The activities they let us they let us attend FHE every Sunday and last night we played dodgeball--it was alright.