So to begin off most of our area is the Feng Shan District, we are out in East Gaoxiong. We have the big Metropolitan Park north of us by like a minute which has been a good spot to try and find people to teach and talk with.
That's way cool that Elder Stark and Elder Wood both had their talks together. We do get asked sometimes if we are here doing college or are working. But we tell them that we are simply serving. Sometimes people are even surprised and aghast that we are only 20 and 21 years old. It's cool though talking to all the different people. We still bike around a lot. We bike everywhere. The church building is just north outside of our area, and we are much closer towards the south west side or our area where we live. But yeah every stop light there are scooters, so there are opportunities everywhere to talk with people because they are just sitting on scooters.
So my bike and luggage got here not last Saturday but the Saturday before. So I was only like a day without my stuff. It was Elder Dailey's stuff that didn't come until Monday because Move Call happened Sunday night and the missionaries call up KJ Logistics Monday morning to move missionaries luggage and bike to the area they are going to. But that was a huge blessing that we didn't get the SIM card for our cell phone until just last Friday. So We haven't had a cell phone. Elder Dailey's companion had sent his stuff along through the moving company, but there wasn't any cell phone to contact us. Apparently because Elder Dailey pays the moving truck when it arrives but they didn't have any way to contact us, was going to pretty much leave and Elder Dailey would never see his stuff again. But we so happened to be up on XinFu road, around the corner from our Apt. and were in a stationary store, that when we came walking out some guy from a KJ Logistics truck came walking across the road saying Elder Dailey. He told us he would meet us around the corner in a few minutes at our Apt. complex. We didn't know this at the time, but later when we had talked with the ZL they told us that right before the moving truck guy had been on his phone saying that since there was no way to get a hold of us to drop it off and have us pay, that he was just going to leave and take Elder Dailey's stuff. That was a miracle right there that we were at that Stationary store and came out when we did and that the truck was pulled off across the road right in front of the store.
So Elder Dailey and I are the only ones in our Apt. It's way nice and a good set up too. I forwarded along the move call that was sent. But so we have a large zone. There are 6 districts, and we are in the largest district. There are 12 in our district, 2 being senior missionaries. But so we serve in the Feng Shan district and attend the Feng Shan Ward. There are 2 Sister missionaries that are also in our area as well. Elder Turner is in my district as well, his companion Elder Vandiford is the DL. Their area is just north of ours.
I don't really feel like I have a profound influence on the YM. I just do what I can and strive to be a good boy each day. The Taiwan Taichung mission blog is more just all set up for you, the parents, to see. They showed us during the meet your trainers meeting a whole slide show they put together with the videos and pictures from the Dan Jones experience. So yeah I have seen it.
Yeah both Elder Dailey and I are really hoping that we can use tablets soon because it would make the work so much more effective. We haul around with us a big binder that lists all the members of our ward, where they live, and there phone numbers (of course there are maps with it, I think google maps printed off). But so our ward maybe has like 45 or 50 percent retention or active rate. Yesterday there was maybe 60 people at church, but there are much more people then that. So we are really working hard on RC and LA. We met with both the Elders Quorum President and Bishop this last week to talk with them what they want and what we are thinking as well. The EQP gave us a list of several Less Actives he wants us to go visit. Both us and him also talked a lot about home teaching and its importance and what we can do to get people to home teach. It's literally been like 0% people home teaching. So any thoughts being EQP on what we can do to help get home teaching going? Then with the Bishop he talked a lot about how the members don't come on time to church (we have church at 9, sacrament first). And its true that not very many people come on time, but it shouldn't be hard, its only 9:00. So the bishop is wanting us to call members and talk to them and really encourage them to come to church on time. We also are trying to line up lots of visits with members (we have a few this week) so that we can get to know the ward as well as share with them a message about church, the sacrament, and encouraging to come to church on time or even a little early to prepare themselves spiritually for the meeting. We have many ideas and suggestions that we want to work with the Bishop on that we think will help the ward and make it better. It's hard with this area though because they are much more a traditional family area, so the families focus towards there own families first. So they are not really focusing out towards other members (like those they home teach or LA's) and are not much vested as they could be in missionary work. Some members are though like the EQP, the YMP, and a few of our RC. We both just want to help the Feng Shan ward as best we can.
So yeah Elder Dailey was ZL before me, but I think he likes not being in a leadership position and having more time to focus on finding and teaching and hopefully baptizing. As I said I am the first missionary he has trained, and will also be his last companion.
Of course you and mom are just flying all over the place and having fun. Enjoy your time diving and relaxing. I will be here swimming in my own sweat. So yeah you think you sweat in Utah, you don't know Taiwan. I sweat when I brush my teeth, I sweat in just about everything. Like its annoying when I iron or am cooking. I sweat a lot from those because they are hot. But yeah pretty much my whole shirt gets sweaty. I just get used to it, know I can't do anything about it, and just don't really care. But I am so glad I have 14 pairs of garments with me, it makes it so much nicer. Also if it is lightly raining, we don't even bother doing rain gear because we would sweat so much from wearing the jacket that it wouldn't make a difference not wearing it. It's so much hotter down here in Gaoxiong then it is in Taizhong.
We have some other investigators lined up and such to teach. But so far no one is really progressing or coming into line to get baptized.
The food is so good. By far my most favorites are the guotie (pretty much just like gyozas, I like these more than the dumplings or shuijiaos), the bread here is amazing (I have some pictures I am sending, so yeah food wise you don't need to worry about me, I have my bread which for the picture with the three pieces is 48 kuai which is about $1.40), malt milk (literally this stuff is liquid gold, it is by far my most favorite and best drink I have had), and then dong bao fan (which literally translated is egg wrap rice, its stir fry with a scrambled egg wrapped around it with ketchup on top, also mom you don't need to worry about protein. I have a chua bing each morning. I sent some pictures. It's a chinese pancake with egg on top and then ketchup. It will literally be my breakfast for the next two years. Its really yummy). But so those are my favorites. I also really like the fried rice with bacon in it. And what's great is that pretty much all of this is under $2. I almost forgot literally one of the best things in manguo bing, which is mango ice. Oh my gosh! It is so good and so tasty.
I think by the end of my mission I will have no butt from all the bike riding I do. Kind of a bummer. But yeah the biking is getting more used to. Scooter contacting is still a little hard for me because I sometimes get nervous or people don't want to talk at all or the lights are just turning to green (it is nice though with most of the lights they have a count down right up by the red light that counts down until it will be green, so we know how much time we have). It's getting better though. Uhmm Elder Dailey taught me when contacting be relaxed and calm, because whatever tempo you set in contacting that is what the person will go to. So if you are slow and calm they won't be so hectic or stressed and wanting to just zoom off.
So we have some way cool members in our ward. Everyone is friendly. In gospel principle (which I don't ever know what goes on, so I just read the lesson, try to listen, and then read our search for happiness) the teacher it was her birthday on saturday so she brought cake to class. So I got cake in fuyin yuanze. Then in Correlation meeting after church the ward missionary leader, or correlator, his wife brought in some little chocolate cake and so I got cake again. Yay! :) On Saturday we went to visit somebody from the ward, because he is in the hospital. Another thing is that several people actually know some English. It's cool. He had told us before he had come because he had been sick for several weeks. So he had an appointment set up Friday, then had been put into the hospital to have a test done today, Monday. We talked with him and visited, and then we gave him a blessing. Elder Dailey anointed the oil and I gave the blessing. It was way spiritual and way good. We are probably going to visit him again this week and also bring this card game (some type of Monopoly card game) with us to play with him. Keep him in your prayers that the problem can be identified and be solved.
I have a couple family pictures in my triple column BoM that I bring around with me that I show to people. There have been several people that say Mom looks so young, that she looks like a sister to Allaina and Allisa.
But so this is pretty much the week. We are really going to be trying hard working with the ward, the Less Actives, and Recent Converts so that we can get the attendance up, and get more involvement from the ward in missionary work. Over and out!