So how to start......I guess I will share through my past week as well as it is the last week in Fengshan. So past P-day Elder Chen and I rode around Fengshan and would just take pictures as we rode. It was actually really fun as it was great to people take some memories of my first area and be able to share with you these memories. I do have some videos but these will have to wait until after the mission because we cannot send videos (I actually don't know if we can take videos but I couldn't pass recording an intersection so you see what it is like as well as a Buddhist temple having tons of fireworks). As well during that time we went to that coin store and I found you some pretty cool coins! :) Some old, and a new one. Which actually brings to mind a question that frequently comes up. What in the world does everyone want from Taiwan? Like I have thought through of some few things I myself would like to get from a sword to a traditional painting landscape to maybe some traditional clothes. But as for you and the rest of the family I have no idea. I do try and keep my eyes open for things I would think you would like. But I also feel it would be helpful if maybe people voiced their interests or ideas. As well as I am finding it will be a little hard to find some things and may be being in the right place at the right time as Taiwan has become more modernized or can say westernized. Much things I could buy here I could easily buy on the internet in the States. But I am keeping my eyes open for more traditional stuff and things that can't be found in the States.
To now tell you a funny experience. Along Daming Road just a little north of where our apartment is are some parks. Without fail every night about 9 as we come back home along Daming Road in the park right next to the road (like literally right next to the road) there are these old people who dance. They have old traditional Chinese or Taiwanese music they dance to (both old men and women, the women wearing little frilly skirt things) as well as having other old people as the audience. But this past week was special. As we were riding back, I can see them all out again dancing and barely hear the music. As we get closer and closer I start to hear the music more and more clearly. Then it brought a smile to my face and made me start laughing. This night the old people weren't dancing to old traditional stuff. They were dancing to none other than Gangnam Style by Psy. It was probably the funniest thing I saw out of the whole day.
On Wednesday at English it being our last week we have an English Party. Building up to this Elder Magnuson had never asked Elder Chen and I what we were going to do. We find out Wednesday morning that we were going to be the doormen for that night. Let me tell you that is one of the most boring things ever. Everyone was up on the 3rd floor but we were down on the first floor to handle people coming and help any new people fill out a form. We had maybe 3 new people come this past week. So needless to say it got pretty boring as we sat there for an hour and a half.
Then came Thursday night which is follow ups night with the district leader. Elder Chen was on the cell phone talking with Elder Magnuson following up while I was sitting working on the plan for the next day. All of sudden our home phone rings and it is Elder Raley our zone leader. He says yeah I know it's kind of late in the move call and everything but we would like to go on exchanges and I would like to come to Fengshan and be with you. Normally with exchanges leaders let you know a week before. This time it was a day before :p But so it actually worked out really well and that Elder Raley and I had a fun time. We taught a couple lessons, one being a first time meet. In one new investigator we just met, I have seen just how honest and humble a man can be. He is 56 years old but he is already retired. That morning he actually had biked back from Ping Dong to Feng Shan. But we had a great time introducing ourselves, sharing about our lives, getting to know him and teaching about Heavenly Father and prayer. We invited him to pray every day and he is willing so Elder Chen and his new companion Elder Greenhalgh will be following up today with him. As well Elder Raley and I invited him to be baptized. At first he was hesitant and speaking honestly that he doesn't know enough and not ready. But we explained to him if he came to know these things were true and received an answer, would you be baptized. And he said yes! But he wouldn't accept a date as he doesn't feel ready as well as possibly too much stress. We did try inviting to church as well, but we could tell it was putting too much stress on him. So he said he would come back to English again the following week. I pray and hope that he will progress. He really is an honest and open man who likes to talk and really shares his true feelings.
Elder Raley's invite that he gave me was to write down what I shared with him about my mission expectations as well as a simple plan to go about achieving it. This is what I shared with him and has come from different parts and different people: Enjoy my time by being impervious to all but my calling, my companion, myself, and the people I serve as I help them to become converted unto Christ. The greatest and simplest plan I have thought that will help to accomplish and achieve this is the Purification Project. This was an experience that two Elders had in Florida and was written up so that other missionaries could see. President Blickenstaff has invited every missionary to go through this process. I started yesterday. We begin by fasting. During this fast we ponder on the things that are holding us back, driving the Spirit away, causing us to be impure as well as the things we should be doing but are not doing. We write these thoughts and impressions of everything down. Then we go through a process of 40 days where each day we wake up and in prayer plead for strength that we may avoid or do the things that are on our list. At night in prayer we give an accounting to the Lord for each item. If we failed we ponder on it and share with the Lord why we failed and what we can improve upon and ask for greater strength the next day for that item. Through this process we will see miracles and be the instruments the Lord needs us to be wherever we are. Truly for me I feel this will help in abundance with being able to enjoy in so much more fullness my days, being able to lose myself in the work and thinking of others, and lastly to witness the miracles as people come unto Christ and truly develop the conversion needed to be built upon the sure foundation, Christ.
And now that I have been keeping you on the edge of your seat, to find out where Elder Dayley has moved to!!!!! Are you ready?! Are you steady?! Are you peeing your pants?!!!!!! As Elder Dayley closes a chapter, the first chapter of his time on the lovely island of Taiwan and leaving his birthplace, he speeds north on the train to arrive at none other than Jiayi! That is right! I have moved north about an hour and a half by train to the city of Jiayi. I will be serving in the Jiayi 3rd Ward. My new companion is Elder Mudrow. He's told me that our part of the city is the more country, rural part of the city. As well as President Blickenstaff has told me that I will enjoy my time with Elder Mudrow and that he is a hard worker. I can't wait! I really hope to learn a lot as I have in my first area and excel to become the person Heavenly Father sees me as.
Well...it was weird and interesting feelings leaving Gaoxiong and Fengshan. I didn't cry.......I don't know why but just more often than not at more sentimental or sad times like these I just don't seem to cry. I definitely feel the emotions and everything, but the tears just don't come. I definitely cry. I have cried before here on my mission. But it always seems like I cry in the most unexpected times and not at all at the expected times. Like when you dropped me off the second time at the MTC, I didn't cry. I was just looking forward and already spinning the wheels on my little missionary car. When Elder Dailey was leaving, the night before as we biked back home with Zhong I had tears come to my eyes in part as my dad was leaving me as well as feeling the emotions for Elder Dailey as he was going home. But the next day at the train station and everything I didn't cry. My little missionary car wheels were already spinning as I moved to the next step. And so I feel it as the same as I have left my birth town to come to a new area with a new companion, a new ward, new people, and new experiences. My little missionary car wheels are already spinning as I think forward and look ahead. Definitely yesterday as I was biking home from church I had some sentimental and melancholy feelings as tons of memories flooded ranging from Elder Dailey to Elder Chen. Guess I am just an unexpected crier.
I love you so much! I miss you all the time! I pray for you and the rest of the family all the time! Go enjoy Florida for me with Allisa and her Family! Make Sahara giggle! Tell her her uncle loves her and thinks she is the coolest ever!