|The perks of taking train rides to Taidong!|
So for the past 3 or so weeks, our area has done nothing but stand still or fall backward, right? And I'll say it hasn't been the easiest phase of my mission, and it's difficult to not immediately blame myself. But once again, being put into a difficult, uncomfortable situation has really humbled me and taught me how to keep going. The Brethren of the church have the standard set really high for the Zone and Sister training leaders to have a "model" area. An area that makes all of the key indicators every week. An area that helps at least one person be baptized per month. An area with a HUGE teaching pool of investigators all progressing, and always teaching people and preparing them for baptism, etc. It's put some stress on Sister Haupt and I, but we came into this transfer with a lot of faith. Yet, as week after week passes, and we feel like we've made zero changes in our area, it's been harder to believe that our area will start progressing.
This week was exactly what we needed though. We had another one of those weeks where we spent most of our week traveling to and from places to do Zone Meetings, and then exchanges with the Temple Sisters up in Taipei, and it was hard to believe that we would still be able to help our area with the amount of time we actually spent there, and especially with how the past weeks have gone down recently. We got really good training from our Temple Sisters and came back Saturday night with a LOT of energy and motivation to apply the things we learned. We had some more people talk to us, but no one set up. And then Sunday came and we had no investigators to invite to church, and our only lesson planned for the day cancelled. Nonetheless, we went out to find more people, and to start off we just kept getting rejected over and over. So we stopped for a second and Sister Haupt began to cry. I've never worked so hard at being completely obedient, full of faith and positivity, studying and praying for help, going quicker from door to door, etc. and I've never seen so little results from it.
The cool thing was, even though it was difficult, I still really believed deep down that it was going to work out and we soon would be seeing the fruits of our labors. I really had faith that God would step in once we had learned all we needed to learn. So, we got ourselves pumped up and excited again and said a prayer and got to work. And I can tell you that our entire area changed in not 3 hours time. We taught a total of 10 lessons one after another and 5 new investigators. Not to mention that we had a member tell us she could come finding with us last minute, so she was able to see so many miracles on her first time going out to work with the missionaries. It was literally the last day of the week to make our goals and we almost made every single goal for the whole week.
I'm not saying any of this to boast. In fact the complete opposite. I have been completely humbled by the power of God. Anyone who's served a mission or is on one right now can too testify that God is really a God of miracles. With the results of our efforts from the past 3 weeks, it would seem completely impossible to have the kind of day we had yesterday. Seriously, with every person I talked to I wanted to just cry as we prayed with them. Sometimes I feel we take for granted the opportunity to pray with people on the street. But let me tell you, I took every single contact to heart and wrote down each of them in my journal. This lesson has taught me so much. Never give up. Never lose faith. Appreciate the small things. and of course, God lives and He loves us. I know it's true! And I've never felt so blessed in my life to be here, doing what I do.
Love you all!
|TaiDong Zone Meeting! I love these missionaries :)|
|Cute puppy that was following us around the other night haha|
The bad cat sat on a box in the mud.
The rock hit the cat.
Fill the box with mud.
He sat in the mud, that's bad luck.
Let me hop on the cat.
So this is what we teach our poor english students.. We had literally NO time to plan for English class this week, so we planned for it on the train ride back to HuaLien right before English Class. I think the sentences we created perfectly represents how little sleep we've had the past few days.. enjoy.