New Year’s New Pants Size

013017-dinner-with-zhengs

Dinner with the Zheng family.

Hello all! This week definitely has been the most unique of my mission thus far! The people here go NUTS for Chinese New Year’s, and it has made doing missionary work next to impossible. The days here are filled with fireworks, food, ancestor worship, and more food. Our time has been spent going to members houses and eating with them, and tracting because there is nobody on the streets and everything is closed for the week. The best way I could describe it would be like the aftermath of a hurricane. Outside is eerie and quiet. On the other hand, every house is a rowdy party. So it has been interesting trying to get anything done.

Last night while we were tracting we tracted into a house full of “Buddhists”. I called them out on their apostate Buddhist beliefs, and how they claimed to be Buddhist but didn’t adhere to basic Buddhist principles. They then whipped out this laminated sheet of paper with this prayer chant written on it in like 5 languages and started trying to force us to read the chant out loud. As soon as they did this, I could physically feel the Spirit leave and I knew that it was some satanic stuff. As I read the Chinese characters of chant in my head, and as this lady was literally chanting to Satan right in front of us, denouncing that Jesus had ever lived, and saying they we needed to stop lying to the people of Taiwan, I felt impressed to start sharing the Plan of Salvation, and how prayers aren’t rote things we read off, but literally personal communication with a God who loves us and knows us personally. I looked to the lady’s husband who initially was aggressive towards us, and I could see his countenance change as he was touched by the Spirit and listened to the testimony I was giving him. We ended up testifying on their doorstep for about 20 minutes all while this lady was calling us liars and all sorts of other awful things, but in the end I feel like we did what the Lord needed us to do. I honestly was a little shaken by the experience afterwards, one because it is rare to have an encounter that close with Satan, and two, because I was filled with so much of the Spirit that it left me a little weak as I was literally calling down repentance unto them. Thankfully we were protected and went to a member’s house to eat dinner right afterwards, and were able to get back to feeling normal.

Aside from satanists and aside from eating until we no longer could, this week all of the missionaries in the world got some new schedule changes which will allow us to be more flexible with our time. The biggest news of the week is that pday (our day off) has been extended by 2.5 hours, so instead of starting at 10:30am our pday is now 8am-6pm on Mondays.

It was a week full of learning and growing, and a week where I really just appreciated being a missionary! I love Taiwan and I love what I am doing right now. I hope you all had a great week back home and I hope you maybe ate some Panda Express in honor of Chinese New Year!

Love you all!

Elder Stroud

013017-jesus-tracting

One of the funniest things I have ever seen. We found this picture of Jesus while tracting. The Chinese have a custom of putting red things on their doors during the new years, and most doors have that same character 福 (Fú) on them, which means blessing. Jesus tracting in China.

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