Week 30, Qishan week 21

Feb. 5, 2017

John Sullivan came to church.  Let me say that again.  JOHN SULLIVAN came to church.  Blows my mind.  This is so awesome!  He stayed two whole hours!   This is the first time that man has ever come to church in the 12 years he has known missionaries.  One small step for a man.  This is so exciting!!!  The sad part though, is that he was able to come because his wife and daughter were out of town.  In the past he hasn’t come because of his wife.  Which is so ironic because his wife is a member!  But its okay, because HE CAME!

This week was good.  Lots of stuff happened.  Guo Nian and stuff like that.
I can’t remember if I mentioned this last week but I made a risk board.  You know, like the board game.  That was fun.
Let’s talk about Michael, the crazy one in our ward that always comes to English class.  He’s nuts and I love him.  But anyways this week we found out he had a record collection.  So one day we went to check it out.  My companion is a huge music guy; he even has his own record collection back home.  Long story short, I bought 5 records for about 7 US dollars.  That’s a dang good deal.  Fun fact:  3 of them are ABBA albums.  😀  AND to all of my YMCA friends out there, I bought a Village People record with YMCA on it.  I’m going to have to send all of them home though, otherwise I’d carry them around for another year and a half and that’d be obnoxious.  So we often see Michael on the road, sometimes like 5 times a day.  We saw him this Saturday and he pulled over to say hello.  When he asked us what we were doing we told him we were trying to find people to teach and then we asked him if he had any friends we could teach.  He did!  He had us follow him to this 80 year old woman at her house who was a friend of his.  She’s Christian and has been for like 40 years or something crazy like that.  We then proceeded to sit down with her and have a pretty good lesson!  Thanks Michael!  While she is pretty old, she’s actually got potential as a good investigator.  It was super evident that she has a lot of faith and trust in Jesus Christ and she recognizes that the Book of Mormon is good, otherwise good people like us wouldn’t be out on the streets sharing about it.  (she said that not me)   So I’m definitely excited to continue to meet with her.
So lately I’ve been working pretty hard on learning characters.  I’ve been learning 40 a day and reviewing about 150-200 a day.  I can read pretty well actually!  This last Monday I read like 5 chapters in the Book of Mormon and I understood probably 80% or so!  I was very impressed with myself!  I got kind of emotional too because it was such convincing evidence of the power of God.  I’ve been in Taiwan less than 5 months!  I can more or less read!   That’s insane!  Talk about blessings!
Also this week I did something I’ve never done before.  I visited a less active family’s home.  My ward currently has a sister missionary serving in England and she sent us an email last week asking us to visit her family.  Her dad used to the branch president of Qishan years ago but for a long while he and the rest of his family hasn’t gone to church.  So because she asked us, we called him and set up a time to meet.  This man actually was a person I wanted to meet like 3 or 4 months ago but I was told it was no use.  Anyways, we met with him on Friday.  He’s a quiet guy but we got him laughing within 5 or so minutes of being there and the whole time it went really well!  He got to tell us about himself and why he joined the church and we told him about our families and our mission and stuff.  AT ONE POINT I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK WHEN HE SAID AN ELDER WESTOVER BAPTIZED HIM.  But it wasn’t my dad.  His name was Brandon.  But who knows!  Maybe he’s related to me!
Well little old Qishan is trucking along.  I’m grateful that I can be here to watch it grow.  Sarah made it to church this week as well, which means she’ll likely hit her baptismal goal later this month which would be awesome!  There’s talk of the mission sending some sister missionaries back into Qishan just because of how many women have gotten baptized here lately.  I think 5 of the last 6 baptisms have been woman or something like that!  There’s also talk of moving us out of our house and closer to Qishan because it takes so much time to bike everyday.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
I love you all!  God loves you all!  I want to issue you all a challenge.  Pray to Heavenly Father and ask if you can love everyone the same way he loves you.  Pray for opportunities to show that love in service.  Imagine if everyone did that.  Kindness, love, charity, and service would prevail over hatred, close-mindedness, and selfishness.  The world would be a much better place.  And guess what?  You can help that happen.  You have within you the power to make the world a better place.  It can start simply with the way you think of others.  The next time you start to get frustrated with someone, try to imagine yourself in their shoes.  Maybe they’ve had a crappy day.  Instead of blaming others or expecting others to cater to your needs, figure out what you can do for them.  Smile at people.  Offer them a helping hand.  Give them a reason to be nice to you.  Give them a reason to be nice to everyone.  Spread kindness like a cold.  I can promise you that your life and the lives of those around you will be far better if you do so.  And God can help.  All you have to do is ask Him.
-Elder Councill