Monday, April 11, 2016

Miracles, Family History...

Hey Everyone!! 
Well my first week with Elder Steele was super busy and stressful, but now it's all done and it turned out to be a pretty good week! On Monday and Tuesday we were at the big cultural center helping out with the family history activity. The activity was pretty fun and was a great opportunity to let other people learn more about our church through helping them with their family history. It was a big success and each day there was over 6 thousand people who visited the exhibit! We didn't do a ton to help out, but we gave people maps of our exhibit and told them to go check it out. We weren't allowed to proselyte at the cultural center because it is a government owned facility, but we were there to make friends and encourage people to start doing family history work. It was fun having the whole zone at this activity participating and being able to meet all of them. Because we just had a movecall, most of people are new to the zone. Actually, half of the zone members are new to the zone, and 3 of them are brand new to Taiwan!

  Our Zone Training Meeting went well. I was surprised how well it went because it was only Elder Steele and I's second full day together and we had done all the planning in a cafeteria at the cultural center during the activity on Monday and Tuesday haha. Despite the challenges, the meeting turned out pretty well. We have a lot of young missionaries in the zone, (I am the oldest be at least several months to a year!!) so we really focused on the basics; what is a successful missionary, what is our goal as missionaries, and how to find people to teach. It was a fun meeting. It was fun especially because Elder Grisenti (my trainee) is in my zone!!! He moved to Hengchun, the area at the very bottom of Taiwan. It was fun seeing him again and having him at the meeting (although he didn't do much to help out, he just made fun of me haha). 

  I have some good news!!! One of the investigators that we found when I was over in Xihu is preparing to be baptized this Saturday!! His name is H... and I was very surprised to hear that he wanted to be baptized. During my first or second week in Xihu I randomly grabbed a handful of records with phone numbers of people who had met missionaries before and left a phone number, but then had no interest. We call these records, the "dead stack" because missionaries never have success calling those people haha. We had nobody to teach so I called those numbers and called H.... He didn't want to meet at first but I was a little pushy and got him to come. He came and literally had no desire to do anything in his life. He said he doesn't care about his family, job, friends, or even his own life. He didn't want to change or learn anything. We met with him a couple times, but we literally had no idea what to say to get him to want to change because he just didn't care. So we stopped officially meeting with him and just would talk to him when he came to English Class on Wednesday nights. Then I left and my MTC companion replaced me. And he said that H... has changed a bunch and already passed his baptismal interview and is excited to be baptized! That is a huge miracle!!! I'm so very grateful that my work in Xihu was not a waste!!

  We are still working hard in Ping Dong and are starting to find more and more success. X... came to the Saturday morning session of General Conference and really enjoyed it. He still has concerns and struggles to believe in God, but he's improving. We had a great lesson with him last week. I love him and really hope that he can come to realize that God is real and that He loves him!

  K... (the guy who likes to weight lift) came to the Sunday morning session of Conference with his girlfriend. We had in our previous lesson shared about Lehi's vision of the tree of life in Chapter 8 of the Book of Mormon and in that session two of the speakers talked about that so he really enjoyed it! It was his first time coming to church and it turns out that a super awesome family in our ward (the old stake president's family) is actually his next door neighbors! So he knew several of the people at church and really enjoyed it.

  Things are going well here and I'm excited to be here serving. I love you all! Hope you have a great week!
Love,

Elder Stevens

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