Well apparently the Ogden Temple re-dedication was really cool and special because both you and dad mentioned about it and even about some of the same speakers. Bit of a bummer though that you have had to put off your homework until today. I guess that is life sometimes, hey?!
So yeah I got my package on Friday as we were going out the door after weekly planning session. I pretty much grabbed it, took it back to our apartment, opened it up to see all that was inside (a little sad there were not any Star Wars stickers, I only have one more right now that I am going to put on my new planner for the next move call next week, but then I am out but still will have 5 more planners), and then walked right back out the door. Then I wasn't back home until Saturday night because I went over to do exchanges with Elder Christensen in Dongying (which super side note and really cool is that Elder Christensen has met Travis Pastrana before because his dad had done rally car racing before. So they stayed in the same hotel and everything as Travis Pastrana). So hopefully today or tomorrow I can open up some of the goodies. I have already tried out of the sweaters and such. Look great!
But so as dad probably knows because of his little sniffer nose of finding out everything that goes on in Taiwan, we had a "Typhoon" come through Taiwan yesterday (this is where you picture me doing air quotes with my fingers). Saturday night Elder Williams and I were at a dinner appointment/party with several members (we had known a little about that a typhoon was coming through and that it supposedly throughout Sunday would go up through Taiwan from south to north) when Elder Christensen called us and in a sense pleading/asking that we help out to go with the Dongying ward to the night market to sing hymns/contact (because he forgot about it and already had a lesson scheduled). So we went to help out with that and then found out through one of the members that the Stake President called a snow day for Sunday, or in this sense a typhoon day. Pretty much meaning that church was canceled on Sunday. So we get home that night and I have a text from the zone leaders that it could be possible that us missionaries have a snow day as well, so not going out at all. Before we went to bed the zone leaders confirmed on that that we are not going out on Sunday because of the Typhoon. We woke up Sunday doing our regular schedule thinking to be inside even though we see outside it isn't too windy or rainy or anything. Right before 10:30 get another text from the zone leaders that we have the green light that we can go outside. So basically we have a whole day ahead of us and no church. It still turned out really good. The Bishop invited us as well as the sister missionaries over for lunch, and we actually even did the sacrament at their house (Elder Williams and I blessed it). That was really cool and special. But we shared more with the Bishop and his family about why we came on missions and what helped influence us (they have 2 girls right now the oldest probably no older than Sahara).
But we went out that day meeting with a less active 70 year old man (caught him just as he was going on his scooter to church because he didn't know it was canceled, and he is just less active really because he has no calling). We met with him, went to a park, walked around, and just had some more casual time with him and seeing how he is doing. We also did a lot of tracting and found 2 people that are willing to meet and hear more (one a 15 year old boy and the other who at first was arguing that he couldn't accept our religion because then he couldn't worship or in sense doing the sacred ritual rights to respect their ancestors, but after explaining more to him he is willing to meet and hear more).
So yeah we did have zone conference this last week. All of it was really strongly emphasized on understanding and really having our purpose inscribed in us. It's been a bit of a hard month for the mission. As of last week I know that the mission as a whole has only had 13 baptisms this month (president has set as a standard a while back that he desires and strongly believes that our mission can hit 60 baptisms each month). As of last night in our zone we have only had 2 baptisms this month (those being Elder Williams and I) with a goal of having 10 baptisms this month in our zone. So the zone leaders are a little worried and concerned and have asked us district leaders to find out anything we can over the next couple days about what is possibly holding us back or why things are kind of like this. Then to report back to them on Tuesday night.
Super cool but also super sad is that our investigator Z is all ready to have a baptism interview with President and has been doing super good of not smoking. But we found out last week that he doesn't live in Taiping but lives in Nantun (still Taizhong city). So today we have set up to meet with him and have the Nantun Elders meeting with us as well to hand him over. His goal is lined up right now for the 4th of October. Regardless of when it happens we will still be looking to attend his baptism as well as I know Elder Randall will probably come up because him and Elder Bennett started teaching him and were the ones who found him. We are super happy for Z though. He has such a good and righteous cause for wanting to be baptized, quit smoking, and be obedient. He talks about wanting to have a happy family and seeing how happy we are all the time (he isn't married yet, he is 28). So we pray for him that everything will go smooth and well.
But yeah that's about it. We don't know really yet exactly what will happen with the new missionaries if they are coming or not. A member was talking with us last night about how I guess the Taiwan government has supposedly changed a stance that only 10 missionaries can come to Taiwan a month (and that is combined between the two missions, so only 5 missionaries for our mission). Supposedly there was suppose to be like 26 missionaries coming this new move call. And there are like 20 missionaries going home. So we have no idea really what is going to happen. Ball is kind of in the air. Still is feel though like move call will still happen and everything.
Also thank you so much for the package! It is great!
Love you so much!