Translation: (Hello my beloved family, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas)
Well my time came to leave Longtan 龍潭. I was a little disappointed to be honest. We were actually in a meeting when the assistants to the president called me and gave me the assignment to go to the city of Shipai 石牌. So I actually just got here a couple of hours ago and I am pooped! I didn't get to bed until 12:30 and had to wake up at 5:00 to get up here!
So the city I am in now is in Taipei county, and again like my first area is nothing but buildings. I am going to miss the rice patties and all the farmers in their funny hats. It actually was really hard leaving my last area. Longtan has a really special place in my heart, partly because of the learning experiences. The biggest part was obviously the people. That was the area that I fell in love with the Chinese people! I also know that one of the reasons why I was called to Taiwan was to meet a couple of the people there specifically.
Yesterday I stood up in front of the ward and bore my testimony on how much I knew that we were all brothers and sisters of our Heavenly Father. I remember just looking at them and feeling that is was true, That they were family. Anyway when a missionary leaves an area the ward there pretty much goes ballistic! They love the missionaries here. Food, pictures, gifts, food! They treat visitors way too well here! But it is totally their culture to just give to others, especially if your a Foreigner! All the Members kept offering a place to stay for my parents and food and all that stuff! So the Weinberger family has it made here.
Well this last Saturday we had a huge ward Christmas Party. A lot of the community showed up. About half of the people there were not members. So we were running around like crazy trying to talk to people and having members help us talk to investigators and all that stuff. It was pure mayhem! But it was a really successful night. A lot of investigators showed up and they all loved it! We actually had one of our investigators perform and sing a couple Christmas songs for everyone! That was another thing that was so hard about leaving. There were so many people we were teaching and they were all doing amazing. Especially the Lin Family. I think I told their story a couple weeks ago in an email. But they came to Church for the first time yesterday and they loved it. They said they were so touched! It was perfect because this week was the Primary Christmas program. Then a member of the bishopric got up afterward and started bearing his testimony of the example of children. It was really powerful.
That night the Lin family invited us over for dinner so I could eat with them one last time. It was really sad. I gave the closing prayer after the lesson and the mother wanted to say another prayer. But this time she wanted to offer it. As she started to pray she started to sob. She was crying the whole time! I didn't know what to say. But It just made me so happy that I had a chance to see the true process of finding God and the true Gospel unfold in a person right before my eyes! I am 100% sure that they will be baptized within the next couple months. I am going to beg with the mission president to let me go down there to see them baptized!
Oh ya my new companion. His name is Elder Shumway he is from Idaho Falls. He seems like an awesome guy! I have only been with him for 3 hours so we will see what unfolds. He didn't really get along with his last companion from what he told me. I told him it was going to be a sweet next few transfers or however long we are together. I am actually really excited to be with him. He is a young missionary and works hard from what I have heard. Also there are not a lot of investigators in our area right now. But that gets me so pumped! That might sound weird but the challenge gets me way fired!
Okay well the scripture I chose for today is something I read in my personal study this morning. It is 2 Nephi 9:41-42. I had a really strong feeling when I read it this morning. When you read it try to think of what the Savior expects of you?
Okay I love you all MERRY CHRISTMAS from 台灣 (Taiwan).
Talk to you on Christmas!
魏長老 (Elder Wei)