Anyways, I have now spent a full week in my first area! Good old Qishan. It’s an adventure here. I enjoy every day. And its super hard. Let me tell you a little bit about my area. It has a reputation of being hard for missionaries. In fact there’s a saying, “In Qishan the non-members are more friendly than the members.” Ouch. Yeah. Since I’ve gotten to Qishan I haven’t taught a single investigator, unless you count English Class which had a whopping 4 people. We’ve had a handful of appointments fall through. The only people we’ve taught have been recent converts and less active members for a grand total of 3 lessons. The Taiwan Taichung mission has a mission standard that every companionship should baptize or reactivate every single month. Here in Qishan there have been 3 baptisms in the last year. So its pretty rough. My companion and I have spent a TON of time contacting and trying to find people to teach and not a single person we’ve talked to over a week has been willing to meet. But you know what? I love it. I love it because in a way, this has been an answer to a prayer. I wanted my mission to be difficult. I wanted to learn diligence and hard work. I wanted to learn to rely completely on the Lord and His way and not my own ability. Because of the difficulty of this area, I’m starting to learn those things. For that I am really grateful. I know the habits and attitude I develop here in Qishan will affect the entire rest of my mission. I’m doing my best to do everything the Lords way because I know that if I do, I will find success.
This week I got my bike!!! For a while I had to ride this little tiny bike that didn’t really have good brakes and that had a really uncomfortable seat while I waited for my bike to be shipped to Qishan. It finally came Friday night!! It’s so beautiful. I think I’ll name it Jessie.
This last week we had a few adventures. We received a referral quite a while back for a Filipino member of the church who wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. She lived in our area but she had never come to church because she didn’t know where it was. My companion had been trying to get in touch with her for several weeks, but she never answered her phone so last week we decided to track down her address. It took a good 30 or 40 minutes to find the address we had for her, but when we knocked on the door, a Chinese lady told us that no one like that lived there and she didn’t know who we were talking about. Strange. So we went to the nearest 7-11 and decided to make some calls. I said a prayer and asked that we’d be able to find her. We ended up sending her a text, and SHE RESPONDED! And as it turned out the address we had was the right one so we went back and there was that same Chinese lady standing by this member! I guess that lady was her boss. This member had been in Taiwan for about 10 months working as a nanny and never really left the house. But we found her!! And hopefully she’ll be able to come to church soon. God answers prayers yall. Especially when you’ve done everything you can do.
I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my relationship with my companion this week. He’s not a super talkative guy but we’ve been talking more, which is good. I’ve been speaking a little more Chinese when we go contacting and we’re starting to become more unified. So that’s pretty awesome. And I’ve seen a definite change in our ability to invite the Spirit when we talk to people on the street. This was super evident last night and might be one of the highlights of my time here in Qishan so far. Even though we didn’t get any appointments or anything, I could feel the Spirit as we bore testimony of our Savior and the restoration of His gospel, and I could see the people we talked to think and process our message instead of saying the usual “bu yong! Xie xie.” We talked to one lady last night at her banana stand on the street and she was so interested!! She asked questions and we taught her how to pray and everything! I hope that when we go back she’ll be willing to meet with us. That would be awesome.
Tonight we have an actual appointment with an investigator, Pong Shao Yu. He’s a 17 year old kid who has been taught by missionaries for almost 6 months now, but he’s super busy and hard to meet with. I’m really excited to meet with him and teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Next week I’ll let you all how it went!
I’ve made a personal goal that I hope will increase my faith in my Savior. The goal is to look for and work for miracles. I want to expect them to happen. I read a quote recently where the author said he believed that God is more willing to provide miracles than we are to receive them. I want to have enough faith that I will see miracles happen in Qishan. I want to show that faith by a constant enthusiastic and positive attitude, and through hard work. I believe that if I have the right attitude, have faith, and expect miracles, that I will see success here in Qishan. Our attitude is a reflection of our faith. Faith has everything to do with success. So in order for me to be a successful missionary, I must have the right attitude.
I love you all. You’re all wonderful. God is wonderful and He loves all His children immensely. That love is evident in everything around us. Look for it and you will find it.