An amazing musical fireside was held in Yuanlin featuring piano, violin, cello, and vocal performances.
Having served a mission in Taipei from 1998-99, Sis. Amanda Oaks took her family and returned to Taiwan for several weeks this year, accompanied by their Taiwanese Chinese teacher's family. She was inspired by a friend to look for an opportunity to serve while here. Together with her husband Sterling, and through their many talents, they put together a beautiful program bringing together missionaries, members, and non-members to glorify the Lord through music.
We have many, many musically talented missionaries, but this sister is exceptional, having performed with the Utah Symphony prior to her mission. Of her relatives living in Taiwan, only one of her grandfathers has been able in the past to fly to the states to attend her performances. It was with such great delight that many of her relatives from both sides of the family were able to come from Taipei to attend the musical fireside! Having been recently assigned to a different area, she was able to return to Yuanlin for the performance.
Many of our missionaries' investigators attended the fireside
and were inspired by the uplifting music and lyrics.
When she arrived at the Yuanlin chapel, a member from the neighboring city of Zhanghua happened to see her. Zhanghua was where this sister had trained a new sister missionary the first two transfers of this year. The member told her of something very unusual that had happened that day. He had gone to work early in the morning and saw what appeared to be a missionary bike by his apartment. However, there was only one, which was odd. Later that evening, when he returned from work, the lone bike was still there! So he ventured closer and saw that there were still missionary leaflets inside, as well as a woman's jacket, sunscreen, and other belongings. As the bike was by a river, he became afraid that perhaps the missionary had been in an accident, and fallen in! So he began calling out, "Sisters! Sisters!" but saw no one:( In the end, he decided to take the bike home to his apartment. That evening, he shared the bizarre situation with this sister missionary and showed her pictures of the bike.
This sister did not know why the bike had apparently been abandoned, but she did confirm that it indeed was her trainee's bike: she recognized the bike box, jacket and sunscreen! She immediately obtained permission to call her trainee, who had left Zhanghua and had been reassigned to a different area down south. When her trainee heard the news that her bike had been recovered, she started screaming with joy on the phone, expressing love and gratitude for her trainer!
The new sister trainee, at the end of being trained, had received a new companion. During this third transfer, one day her bike was stollen. She waited to see if the police could recover it. After a couple of weeks, when no bike was turned in, she started praying to know if she should purchase a new bike (she was borrowing an old bike). Every time she prayed, she had a peaceful feeling come over her, telling her to wait. At the end of the third transfer, however, she moved further south, miles and miles away. Surely, there was no hope of finding the bike now! In her new area, she again prayed to know if she should purchase a new bike. Again, a peaceful feeling came over her, telling her to wait.
Then, several weeks later, the evening of the Yuanlin music fireside, she received that phone call from her trainer telling her that her bike had been recovered! What a miracle! What an exercise of faith and patience, of waiting on the Lord! What an example of being diligent in everything you are asked to do, no matter where, when, or in what capacity!
In the Taiwan Taichung Mission, we have awesome missionaries!