Monday, June 30, 2014

White-Washing, Temples, and Culture

Aloha Family and Friends,
We're getting more and more settled in our area and I love it! So just to recap a little of what's going on. My area is Guishan (south) in the Tao-1 district, in the Taoyan Zone. It's to the left of Taipei. My companion and I are white-washing the area because the sisters who were assigned to this area before and who opened the area got sick and one went home. The other is all better now but she's in a different area.
I finally got my bike! For the first few days we had no bikes because we were no longer using T-join, I guess it's a moving company who would normally transport missionaries' luggage and bikes on transfer day. But because of a little mishap with losing a missionaries' belongings, we're not using that company right now and the office elders are dropping off the bikes individually to the missionaries who couldn't get their bikes. My companion still doesn't have her bike but we found some old missionary bikes in front of our apartment that weren't lock (and weren't stolen!). The ward mission leader offered to get them fixed for us and now my companion has a bike! The members here are sooo loving and charitable!
Let's talk about some investigators and miracles. Because we're trying to get our area back on its feet while at the same time trying to learn about our area, things have been a little slow but we've been working very hard! We met a young boy named Hunter outside our apartment just as we were getting ready to leave. He was very willing to talk to us and he knows a little bit of English. Well, he committed to baptism on July 26 (Fabian's birthday!) and we have a meeting scheduled with him. To be honest, I don't really know how he's feeling but I hope that when we meet with him tomorrow, he'll be even more excited for his baptism. We even talked to his mom afterward. She's seen missionaries before and she even encouraged her son to talk to missionaries and attend our English class. Hopefully his mom will be willing to meet with us as well!
We have this golden investigator named Yo-Yo who the Tao-1 elders taught before there were no Guishan sisters. She's already attended a baptism and she has a baptism schedule for July 26 (those two baptisms are my gifts for Fabs on that day). We really have to do our best to help her feel prepared. Yesterday we read the Book of Mormon with her. She's keeping her commitments so for now things are going great with her!
I am very grateful for the culture in which I had growing up and my rich cultural experiences that I've had in my life. I can already see the miracles from them. Saturday we had the opportunity to do Temple Square tours. When we went out contacting, I decided to turn around and talk to a sister sitting on the stairs. We talked to her for a while and just as our lesson with her ended, I noticed two Filipinos in the distance. I immediately asked them if they were Filipino and told them that I was too! We later found out that the Filipino sister was inactive. She actually was living in my trainer's last area and that she only didn't go to church because she didn't know where the chapel was. We got her contact information so that we could refer her to Sister Porter and Sister Van Tonder (the Xuanjing sisters!) We also found out that her sister was strong in the church and she was just waiting for her to get out from doing an Endowment session. I hope that my testimony and through our efforts, she will come back to church.
Another cultural experience was on our way back from the temple. On the crowded train, I heard a familiar language coming from behind me. I noticed that it was Spanish!!! In my best espanol, I turned around and asked them where they were from. They said Mexico! Well, the guy was from Mexico but the girl was born in Dominican Republic but she's full Taiwanese (kind of like my Filipina born in Hawaii situation). Well, they were there just for school at the university. We later got to talking about the gospel and I asked if she wanted to learn more. She said that she was interested so I got her contact information. Unfortunately she she doesn't live in my area but I definitely can't wait to refer her to the missionaries!
My Chinese is getting better! I understood the lesson and participated in the Gospel Doctrines class! :) I know that the Lord has a reason for everything. "The Lord has given us all the source of hope as we struggle to help those we love accept their eternal inheritance. He has made promises to us as we keep trying to gather people to Him, even when they resist His invitation to do so. Their resistance saddens Him, but He does not quit, nor should we. He sets the perfect example for us with His persistent love..." -President Henry B. Eyring

I love you all!
Sister Sagisi
Xia4 Jie3Mei4

 After emails last week, Sister Koch and I went to get mango shave ice!

Sandra, Aska, Sister Wu and Sister Hu. And Elder Chen and Elder Nelson.

Such good food!!!
 Hope Noodles!

Sister Liang, Sister Cai, her little sister, and her two friends in the back. Too bad they aren't in our area (they are investigators).
 My new bike!!!!!

 Painting because it's Fabs' fave color...and I like red.

 All done! Does it look bad enough to not be stolen?

 Okay, my two favorite things in ONE!

 Brother Ye and his mom and Lu JieMei (our Ward mission leader's wife and children.)

 I've always wanted to go on this!

 Hey look mom, we made our way to America!

 I spy a Texas license plate. I win! (inside joke)

A map of Taoyuan in regards to Taipei.

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