Wet, wet, wet. The rains be comin' down. It's amazing to me how fast the weather can change. One second we will have bright, cheery sunshine, and the next the winds pick up and the rain comes down in buckets. I love the sound of the thunder in the storms. We had a good amount of flooding over the last few days, but it's funny to me how that didn't even faze the Taiwanese.
The last week we had a decent amount of miracles! For one, tons of people fed us, which is pretty rare. Out of the blue, we were getting calls from members, asking us to come over and have lunch or dinner with them. One person was a random guy on the road who insisted on treating us to lunch. We also got to go to a far off secondary and visit a wonderful family, plus we got to meet their neighbors who loved us and fed us lots of expensive peaches. On Sunday a random man came to church with his family, who introduced himself to us as a less-active member who wanted to become active and see his wife and daughter baptized. We will be meeting with them soon.
Perhaps the one event this week that was the most special, though, was the etiquette dinner that the missionaries threw for the ward on Friday night. Sister Sears is a fantastic cook, and they went all out on dinner preparation. We didn't expect that big of a turnout, but a solid 30+ members came, and the response was fantastic. They enjoyed learning the rules of American etiquette, and I heard more than one member say to their friend quietly, "Wow, this is good food!" The missionaries also acted as waiters and waitresses, which was enjoyable for us and left a good impression on the members. We also had 10 investigators in attendance, one of which brought her boyfriend who was originally a little antagonistic towards religion. We closed off the night with me singing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul", and "76 Trombones" for the encore. More than one member asked us when the next activity was going to be.
We were wondering previously how we could improve our relationship with the ward, and the activity really got the wheels turning. Members were much more friendly during church the following Sunday, and we felt like mutual trust and understanding was on the up-side. We're having fun!
We only have one more week until the next transfer. President hinted that I'd be staying in the area, and that my companion will probably leave. But we'll see, nothing is really that solid when it comes to transfers. I will definitely be sad to part with my companion. Elder Hintze has a fantastic, strong desire to share the gospel and to serve those around him, including me. He has been an inspiration to me, and I have learned a lot from him. I may not have been the best senior companion and trainer for him, but he showed me that the Spirit is the real trainer and teacher, and that we are truly both juniors! He learned much more than I could have ever taught him. I'm grateful for this experience, because it really humbled me and helped me fortify my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
Have a wonderful week!
Me and Elder Hintze
Elder James and Elder Tolman
Elder James, Elder Hintze, and Elder Casperson
Me with Elder Jensen—my District Leader
Tanzi-Fengyuan District (we have a senior couple too!)