So, church was great! we had 4 investigators come. And now I'm really excited to be helping some of these investigators progress towards baptism! It's been a long long time since I had a baptism, and now we're looking like we might have some in december. Yesterday was a day of miracles.
One of our investigators is a wonderful young man named Zhang Yu Cheng, We met with him friday at his parents noodle shop. Then he left to school. We were riding off to the next appointment when I got the feeling that something wasn't right. But I didn't know what. So we rode back, and a pulled out the strength of Youth pamphlet and talked to his mom for a couple minutes about what we were teaching her son. We also asked if he could come to church this sunday. She appreciated it, but said the family already had plans this sunday and he couldn't go. Then on sunday morning, we got a call from Yu Cheng, and he said, "I'm here at the chapel!" He took the bus 20 minutes by himself to get to church! HIs birthday is the 3rd of december. We'll have to move fast, but I think he might be able to get baptized on his birthday!
We also brought the Wang Family to church! We went over to their house sunday morning, and they were all sleeping. We yelled and hollered till we woke up some random girl that was at their house.??? And she let us in and we chased down the rest of the kids and rounded them up and stuck them on a member's scooter and hustled them off to church. (We found out later there are two orphan girls there that the uncle lets live there because they don't have anywhere else, that's who the girl was. I bet she gets baptized too. At least least the sisters won't have to worry about parent opposition while teaching her, hahahaha. okay that wasn't a funny joke). We made the oldest ride bikes with us though, and he rode really really slow. It was stressful, we ended up a little bit late, but it was worth it! next week we'll go do it all over again, but earlier. Getting kids to church isn't easy. I can't wait till I have 13 kids of my own, and try to get them all rounded up and to church on time! I really love these kids though. I'll tell you a little bit about their situation:
They are yuanzhumin, which means native taiwan aborigines. So the children are really cute, but the parents don't do such a good job of being parents. The Father and Mother got a divorce a while ago. Nobody knows where the Father is, there's five kids, the oldest is 15, the two youngest are babies, and got taken by the government to be fostered in another home. The Mom works in a different city and only comes home maybe once or twice a month and sees the children. They live with an uncle who is single and he's actually really nice, but struggles to give the kids anything else to eat besides rice. He's a christian too, so we were worried he might not allow us to take the kids to church. But he said that his church is too strict to take the kids, and I think he appreciates somebody looking after the kids on sunday morning. Anyways we were going to leave the little five year old at home and take the older two, but then there would be nobody to take care of him, so we just took him with us too. He was really scared at first of the different environment. But he'll get used to it. So I went to primary with the younger two, and turns out they were practicing for the primary program that day, And I had brought my violin, so I helped them with all the songs, and now next week me and our two little investigators get to perform in the primary program next week!
Our other investigator was a man who read the book of mormon all the way through in a week, backwards. (He said he always reads from front to back). We asked him if he would be baptized, and in answer he took us to visit his house. His house was very very well furnished and fancy. It was apparent that his family had a lot of money. Beware of being too comfortable, now he's forty and not married and still lives in his home. Too comfortable. He told us if he joined the church his family would probably kick him out of the nice house. I told him "Good! Get baptized and now you can get on with your life." I don't know if he liked that. We shared the story of Lehi leaving his comfortable house in Jerusalem to wander in the wilderness for 8 years, to keep the commandments of God.
I'm also getting closer and closer to the Bishop of the ward. He is so amazing. I really really hope I don't move. I want at least one more transfer here in zhanghua with Elder Zhuang. I would love to stay here. Because I'm just barely starting to see some results. The ward is starting to focus of home teaching. They are calling more ward missionaries. Saturday we ate with the bishop, Yesterday I went on exchanges with him. (It was such a miracle, we went to our secondary area, visited a member who hadn't been to church in 10 years, and he immediately agreed to come back this sunday!) and this morning we played tennis together.
He tells us more and more to just get to know the members of the ward, and once they know me they will be more willing to help. He's also invited me every week to play violin as prelude music to sacrament meeting. I think my music is a really big help in getting to know the ward. As I visit members, and play violin, I become a specific individual to them, and they remember me. I'm not just another Elder, but it opens a little window into myself and they feel like they know me better. So I always take my violin around on sundays when we visit members.
That's about it! I'm doing good!