Kingdom Builders Incorporated
Wow, what a week! To start off with, I've been transferred! After about 4 months of being at the very top of the island I have moved down to the East Coast! I'm in Hualien, every missionary's dream location. It is right by the ocean and it is so beautiful here! I was very surprised when I got the move call, and a had a lot of different feelings about it. I was very sad that I had to leave this ward and family that I have fallen in love with. I have gotten so close to Angel, and she really didn't want me to leave. So that was hard. But I was very excited to have a chance to see another part of Taiwan!
The most surprising news was that they called ALL of the missionaries out of Dan Shui. There used to be six companionships, but now there are only two and they are white washing the area. Jiayou to them!
So I have a new companion: Sister Howell! She was my first sister training leader in the MTC. She's a transfer ahead of me and I have been wanting to be her companion since I met her in the MTC! She is seriously the cutest thing ever! Her Chinese is fantastic (thank goodness!) and she is so willing to talk to everyone! I can tell this is going to be a super fun transfer(: I also live in an apartment with the Sister Training Leaders. So that's fun. I love it here already!
Some differences about the East Coast from the Taibei area: There are about 13 companionships down here. I have never met most of them because when you get sent down here you are basically isolated from the rest of the mission haha! It's about a 4 hour train ride from Taibei to Hualien, and then another couple hours to Taidong if you're serving down there. There is no one on the streets, so you are knocking doors all day. Everyone is a lot nicer down here and more willing to talk to you. And as of right now, there are no wards; only branches. But this is the exciting part!
When we all got our move calls President Day called a special meeting for the Taidong and Hualien districts. He told us that an member of the Quorum of the Seventy wants to take the papers to the First Presidency to make Hualien a stake by the beginning of April! What does that mean for us? Well, in order to be a stake you need to have 1900 members. As of right now, we have 1890. WE NEED TO FIND 10 MORE MEMBERS. That's it! So pray that we will find the prepared people! It also means that there needs to be 130 active, tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders attending church. So we are on the hunt for those less active members and we are trying to help other active members advance in the priesthood. We have a month to do all this! President Day told us, "You are part of Kingdom Builders Incorporated. You have been hand picked at this time to serve here. It's time to suit up. We can't be jogging anymore; it's time to sprint." I walked away from that meeting feeling so empowered and motivated to do this work. Please pray that we will have the faith to find those prepared people, know what to say to bring those less actives back to church, and have the faith to trust in God's will and plan!
I love the members here already! On Saturday we had a chance to go to Yuli (about an hour south of us) and participate in an outdoors sporting activity with all of the Taidong, Yuli, and Hualien church members. It was so fun! At one point I watched as all these people started running the track, and I could tell my companion really wanted to be a part of it, so I suggested we jump in (thinking that we would just be running around in circles and I could go at my own pace). Well, all of a sudden they left the track and I was running a 3K haha! That was fun! ;) We went home that night nice and tired.
Yesterday was a miracle day! We went out to do some finding, and Sister Howell felt prompted to visit this less active. Well, the less active wasn't home, but we had a lesson with her mom and set up to meet with her again! And then we visited an investigator that they haven't been able to get a hold of and he was home and we set up with him for this week! Then we went to another less actives house and he wasn't home but we also had a lesson with his mom and set up to meet with her again! Finally, we went to another less active's house, who wasn't home, but you guessed it, we had a lesson with his granddaughter and set up to meet with her again! Miracles! I'm so grateful that God is still a God of miracles today! He also protects us so much. Last night I was biking home and slipped off the path a little bit in our apartment area and the bike slid out from under me and I just crashed. Haha! I'm completely fine, don't worry. But it was quite the adventure ;)
So yup, I'm so energized and excited to be in this new area! I know that God gives us tasks to push us and make us stronger. Sister Williams shared this story with me the other day: "God told a man to push a boulder up a hill, and said He would return in a some time to check on his progress. The man felt empowered and knew that because God gave him this goal he could do it. So he pushed and pushed and really felt like he was making a lot of progress. God returned, and the man discovered that the boulder hadn't moved an inch. He said, 'God, you gave me this goal, and I really felt like I could do it. What happened?' God told him, "Son, look at your arms. Look how strong you are.'" Goals push us and help us to grow! They make us stronger. I know that without a doubt. If we exercise our faith and work hard, God will make up the rest.
I love my mission! I love Taiwan! I love my companion. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love my Heavenly Father. And I love you all so very much(: Have a wonderful week!