Monday, February 29, 2016

Zone Leader Training...

Hi Everyone,

  It's been another awesome week in Ping Dong! The temperature is still the warmest and nicest on the island so I'm ok with that! We had a pretty busy week with exchanges and going to visit other missionary's district meetings, so this week we traveled quite a bit. This week I went over to a place called Chao Zhou with and Elder Cook. We had a good time and went and visited a new member that was baptized a few months ago. As soon as we stepped in the door, the first thing he did was offer us tea and alcohol! I wonder how well he was taught.... haha. We worked with him to resolve those misunderstandings and it was a good lesson. 

  On last Monday night, we had a little activity at the church with some members and our friend H.... He's a really awesome guy in the Air Force! He's been investigating the church for a while now and hasn't really felt that this message is true. He says he hopes that what we are sharing with him is true, but he can't bring himself to believe. And he hasn't really been doing the necessary things (reading, praying, going to church, etc) to understand these things. But after the activity, before we all went home, he started asking us a bunch of super awesome questions about things that he read in the Book of Mormon, things like the resurrection and judgment. He is really sincere, and I really hope he can continue to grow!

   On Thursday we had a big training up in Taichung for the Zone Leaders and Sister Training leaders. It was a really good training and we learned a lot of good things. I went into the meeting praying really hard that Elder Lin and I would be able to know how we should help our zone and what direction to take it in. It's a brand new zone, and the needs of the different districts are very different. It's been kind of stressful to figure out what we need to do. During the meeting we learned a lot of good things that might be able to help. We are going to try to put a bigger focus on working with the wards, and alongside their ward mission plans. This week we are meeting with the Stake President here. He is also a brand new Stake President (because Ping Dong just barely became a stake a month or so ago) so we are going to try to work with him on how to do missionary work with the members. (Dad if you have any advice to give on this from the perspective of a Stake President, please let me know!) After the training, we took the long 3 hour train ride home and made it home at 9:45pm! We woke up at 4:45 am and made it home at 9:45! That's a long day! haha. 

  We also received training on the new way of doing exchanges. In the past, zone leaders would go on exchanges and one of us would get to go to the other missionary's area and travel around a lot. But now, they want us Zone Leaders to leave our area as little as possible and to just stay and work here. So now all of the people we do exchanges with will be coming to our area instead. Which is a little sad because we don't get to see other parts of Taiwan and see cool places. But it's also good, because it helps us to be able to take care of our area more instead of leaving it 2 or 3 days out of the week! 

  We also had stake conference this past weekend, which is Ping Dong's first ever stake conference. It was really great. Elder Lin and I got roped in to sing in the stake choir so that was actually pretty fun. Thanks for all the training that you gave me Grandma from singing in the church choir back home. A member of the Seventy, Elder Zhou, from Hong Kong, also came to speak along with President and Sister Blickenstaff. They all gave great talks. Elder Zhou's native language is Cantonese so his Chinese still is not perfect and he felt a lot like us missionaries do when we have to give speeches in church haha. It was a great time though. The Elders from Hengchun came up for the Saturday night session and then spent the night over at our house before we went to the Sunday morning session, so that was fun!

  Oh other good news, we discovered a really nice gym about 5 minutes from our house so today we woke up at 5:50am to go there and work out. It's only $50 Taiwanese (about $1.66 American) for every hour so that's super nice. I am hoping that I'll be able to get back in shape a little bit before I come home haha. Oh and yes mom, those granola bars are great. I'm not really a big fan of the plain peanut butter ones inside the tan wrapper. That brand of bars isn't my favorite. you can send me the new kinds that you found and I can try those!

  Well that's all I got! Have a great week! Love you!

Love, 

Elder Stevens

Our Home Ward Building


Beautiful Mountains In Our Area


Paintings Of Native Mountain People


Home Sweet Home!



Training Meeting




First Stake Conference In Our New Stake


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