Well, we all survived the several earthquakes (地震) that hit Taiwan. Of course, they were all only around 5.8 magnitude so it wasn’t a *huge* deal, but it was my first one here in Taiwan, so it was an adventure.The first couple quakes hit while we were at home, and then another one hit about an hour later while we were out eating lunch at a restaurant. They were showing lots of videos of it on the news and then ended up showing a live shot of the studio shaking when the second set of them hit. I’m not positive on this, but I don’t think anyone was hurt from them since they weren’t too strong.
This last week has been an awesome week for us! Although we didn’t get as many lessons with members accompanying them as we had originally planned due to various reasons, we still were able to end up with about 17…while still having time to work on other tasks, like finding. But even better, we were able to find 13 new investigators this week, which is an all-time high for both Elder Chia and me. As long as they all continue to meet with us, it will be amazing!
This week was also great since I actually saw two people that I met in LuZhou. One of them was a high school girl from Nigeria who’s been living in Taiwan for most of her life. Elder Anderton and I met her at an MRT station and got her phone number, but she was just visiting LuZhou to see a friend, and we never ended up seeing her again. When we were biking around finding one night here in TianMu, she saw me and recognized me – we were able to set up a meeting with her since she lives here in the area. We’ve already met with her twice and think she definitely has the potential to be baptized.
My other friend is this Italian guy named Luca. He lives in LuZhou and Elder Anderton and I took him on a temple tour with his Taiwanese girlfriend, but apparently they haven’t met again recently. Elder Chia and I went to go visit this less active member in our area who is Brazilian (Reinaldo) and owns this nice pizza shop. When we walked in, I saw Luca cooking some food there! Apparently he and his girlfriend (she speaks Chinese, English and Italian) are going to visit Italy for 3 weeks next month, so they both had to quit their jobs – he’s just working part-time in the pizza shop making pasta on the weekends in May so it’s a bit of a break before they leave for Italy. It was great – we were able to have a lesson with both Reinaldo and Luca! Reinaldo speaks fluent Portuguese, fairly good Italian, not bad Chinese, and okay English. He has his scriptures in Portuguese and has a pretty strong testimony, but it’s hard to teach him well because some things he’ll only understand if it’s in Portuguese. Luca wanted to take a selfie with us so we did! I’m pretty sure it made the photo smaller when he emailed it, so it’s not super clear, but it’s still awesome!
I was reading through one of the international version Liahona magazines that we have here and I read this article that actually talks about something from Taiwan! It’s called the Jadeite Cabbage. I don’t have much time left to fully explain it here, but here’s the link to the full article – www.lds.org/liahona/2014/10/the-jade-cabbage. Just like the last paragraph in it says, “We are all like this piece of jade, except that we are still in the process of being carved. We must trust the master carver, Jesus Christ, who will take our weaknesses and make them strengths. We, in our imperfect view, sometimes focus on our imperfections and then despair because we think we’ll never measure up. But our Savior, Jesus Christ, sees us as we can become. As we allow His Atonement to work in our lives, He will shape us into masterpieces who will one day live with the King of kings.”
– Elder Austin Simonson