June 25, 2017




Elder Van De Graaff

Hualian is sooooooo great!!!!

This week was amazing! We found of of my new favorite places in the world. Its this little tiny village called Tong Men ( the Copper Gate, chinese names are so cool!) and its amazing! We also had a baptism and he is super cool! We saw so many miralces this week! I wish I had time to write it all! Ill probably forward my comp's email as well. He wrote way more. Love you all!!! 

"This week (and this transfer, because we're whitewashing), we made a goal to explore our area and to really know it while finding on the way to find the best places to find, etc. So we found a cluster of buildings waaaaay up on a mountain and said "alright, we're going there this week!" We biked for over an hour to get there, and hadn't had a ton of success on the way. We got up there and found a place to eat, and there was nobody else in the restaurant because there was nobody within probably a mile radius besides some tourists going boating. We started talking to the lady at the restaurant, and she said she wanted to hear us pray. We prayed over the food and we started learning about her and her life, and she told us how her father had recently passed away and he was very Catholic, so hearing people pray over their food made her remember all of the good memories of her father. We began sharing about the plan of salvation and the restoration of the true gospel, and despite me having to go and talk to a very drunk man so he wouldn't interrupt the lesson my companion was able to continue talking to her and overcome her concerns to set up a time to go back tomorrow!
That drunk guy was actually super funny - we had talked to someone else up there and Elder Sproul found a snake outside underneath a table and the guy and his wife were freaking out and the wife was saying "It kills people it kills people!" and the husband ran out and grabbed this long claw thing and reached under the table and grabbed the snake.  Elder Sproul and I had no idea what was happening or what to do, so we just kinda stood there in awe while the guy took it out and was about to throw it off the cliff right outside his house when this other guy walked up and started talking to the first guy.  When the first guy walked back, he had no snake and said that he gave it to the other guy.  The other guy (who was shirtless) was walking away with the snake around his neck and the first guy said "yeah I gave it to him because he want to take it home and eat it.  This happens a lot."  Then the guy who took the snake and ate it was the drunk guy that walked up and called out to me and said "take a picture with me!"  So we did after Elder Sproul was done talking to the lady.
Also on that trip way out there I learned how to ride a bike with no hands!  It was weird, it literally just happened all of a sudden.
We went out exploring again and we found this weird futuristic insanely expensive house with grass on it next to a huge abandoned apartment building that says "self-serve tours!", and right next to those was a huge empty parking lot with a bunch of people playing with RC planes that were SO INTENSE it was insane!!  I'll send some of those pictures too.  Totally nuts!
On Saturday, we had a baptism!!  And, we met him on Friday right before his baptismal interview!!  He's so cool though - his name's 林志鴻 (Lin Zhi Hong), or Ren (as in the Ren inside Lorenzo), and he's so awesome!  Elder Alexander, the one who did his baptismal interview, said he was the most prepared person he'd ever met.  It was so sweet.  Yay baptism!Last night we had set up a chapel tour with a family that the previous elders had been teaching and considered dropping them because of their simple unwillingness to come to church because of dumb excuses. We had a good first lesson with them and set up this chapel tour, which was a huge first step to getting them to church. We asked the primary president to help us with it because the bishop's wife (who had helped out before) was unavailable, and it was AMAZING! We prepped her a little bit before the lesson with some information about the family and some basic hopes we had for her. The father of the family passed away less than a year ago, and the Vietnamese mother was left to take care of the 3 children by herself while trying to work on a farm to support them. The primary president was a fantastic help, shared about family history for a solid 10 minutes because they were so interested and wanted to learn more, was able to connect very deeply to this mother and her children, invited them to church which the children committed to (the mother is working), and she helped commit them to coming to activities for each of their respective ages (relief society, YSA, young womens, and primary). It was such a miracle! This family that was on the verge of being dropped is now committed to church and the son, who was already a baptismal date, is now looking forward to his baptism and we resolved many of his concerns. Amazing members can change investigator's lives!
So that was this week in a nutshell.  Last P-Day we actually didn't go to the beach, we ended up going to this BEAUTIFUL place in the very bottom of our area (about a 1.5 hour car ride :D) with a member from Taibei and the senior couple down here, and today we're actually going to the beach."


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