This last week was really fun!! Last Monday was when we had our branch activity to 三仙台 (Sān xiantái) and then over to 八仙洞 (Bā xiān dòng) to eat lunch.
Later that day we ate with this super nice family 禚家庭 (Zhuó jiātíng), who really likes missionaries. They’re still not members yet, mainly because everything in their lives is going perfectly, so they don’t really have a big motivation to change. We hope to keep seeing them and be able to share about how church can help our lives go from good to better to best!
The next day, though, was our stake exercise activity! It went from Tuesday at 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, and had all sorts of events, ranging from track events, like running, to random things like how far you can throw a softball.
It was a lot of fun, plus we got to see lots of people from both 花蓮 (Huālián) and 台東 (Táidōng). Overall, though, the activity was super fun and tiring! We ended up with some sunburns afterwards since the sun decided the best time to come out was for the entire activity. Of course, afterwards it changed its mind and went back to being cloudy and rainy.
(Upper left – 吳振偉, Upper right – 羅傳柔 (Janet), Center – Elder Simonson and 陳元怡(Andrea), Lower left – 王姐妹 who finished her mission several weeks ago. She served in the Taipei mission but lives in the other Taiwan mission’s boundaries (Taizhong), Lower right, 陳元怡 (Andera) and 羅傳柔 (Janet). We can see you, Andrea! lol)
I have a super awesome friend named Chloe, who sent me some Jelly Beans that she brought from the US…except these are the scary flavored ones. If you’re not careful, you’ll eat some with flavors like booger, earthworm, and vomit!
I took this stake exercise activity as a great opportunity to share this nice American treat with the Taiwanese people…and other missionaries. Needless to say, it was a worthwhile experience – for me at least. Sharing is caring! (Poor Sister Lin – it appears the jelly bean she chose was “vomit” flavored.)
(More unsuspecting victims – uh, I mean recipients of random jelly beans!)
This week, we also acquired a 15 pound bag of protein powder. According to our calculations, in about a month, we’ll be needing to buy a whole new wardrobe since we’ll be too big. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been following the workout plan in a book that my companion has that actually makes a lot of sense. Yesterday, I also made protein bars with peanut butter, protein powder, vanilla, oatmeal, milk, honey, and flax seed oil. They’re surprisingly pretty good. The flax seed oil, protein powder, and honey cost an arm and a leg, but it’s all in the name of good nutrition, right?
On Sunday, we had a total of six people that we were able to get to church. There was a church member who came down from Taipei to visit our neighbor, Chen Mama. She’s not a member, but since she lives next door to the missionaries, she talks to us everyday and is super helpful. The combination of us wanting her to go to church and her friend’s persuasion, got her to finally come! She has a caretaker from Indonesia named Andy, who also came with her.
In addition to them, we had 謝弟兄’s (Brother Xie) friend come with him, our investigator 沈家銘, and also two of the customers at his business come! They actually came because when we went over to visit 沈家銘, he introduced them to us and invited them to go to church too. He’s really awesome because although at the moment he hasn’t made the changes he needs to to get baptized, he still ends up sharing stuff about the church with lots of people!
We also made bread with our investigator, Andy! Originally I planned to make chocolate zucchini bread, but I couldn’t find any zucchini, so I ended up using what they called a pumpkin, although it was closer to a squash overall. It ended up turning out well though!! Yay!
– Elder Austin Simonson