Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!!!

So today the beautiful blue sky decided to hide behind some dark grey clouds and so it is pouring rain right now.  But that's ok!  Rain or shine, I love it here in Taiwan.  So I know its a bit late, but Happy Valentine's day!  Hope it was a wonderful day for all you lovers out there.  For me, it was lovely day.  Well each day had something eventful happen so lets get on into it ok?!
Monday found us cruising along the very southern shoreline of Taiwan for preparation day.  Visited Maobitou, some famous rocky place, and then BaiSha, one of the well-known beaches here.  After we got done playing we visited with a few recent converts and then headed on over to Family Home Evening where we watched "The Testaments."  Probably one of my favorite church films.  Doesn't matter whether it's in english or chinese, the spirit is always present in the room and just testifys to me that Christ truly did come and that he will come again.
Tuesday we sat down with the newest member of the branch, Hua dx, and began to share with him his new member lessons.  We gave him a triple combination Book of Mormon, and began to review about the Restoration.  After that awesome lesson we visited one of the less-active sisters in the branch.  She hasn't come to church ever since she started having children, which I hear is common here in Taiwan, but we want to start helping her come back.  She has forgotten quite a bit, hasn't prayed or read in a while, so we started with the basics and how family prayer can help her family's relationship have more unity.  It may be a slow process with all her "off the wall children" but it doesn't matter, cause the same thing sort of happened in my family...
Wednesday was a day that will not be forgotten by Elder Field and me.  Our daily plan went along perfectly until our studies in the morning ended.  From there, without going into detail, the entire plan for the day blew up and crashed in our faces.  However, we went according to the spirit and it didn't go all that bad.  We were able to sit down with one of our former investigators and to strengthen our relationship with him.  He is super busy with work, and will be for a little bit longer, but as long as we keep strengthening that relationship, he will be more and more curious about our church. 
Thursday began bright and early by heading on up to GaoXiong for Combined District Training Meeting.  There we learned on how we can better contact families, helping them see that the gospel of Jesus Christ can help their familys accomplish their goals, strengthen their relationships, etc.  It all begins by bearing testimony to them of how this gospel has blessed my own family, and that it definately can do the same for them. 
Friday we woke up to the call that we were going on companion exchanges, so Elder White came down with me to HengChun.  Friday night we visited a family that we ran into last week.  This time we shared about how God shows his love for us by calling prophets.  Most importantly that we have a living prophet, President Monson, who receives revelation for our day, and for our families.
Saturday was another long day of traveling on buses, to exchange back companions.  Got back late afternoon and visited our wonderful bud, Hua dx, and reviewed the Plan of Salvation.  He mentioned to us that he didn't quite remember the plan, and that he wanted to meet haha.  He is so solid and is growing stronger and stronger each day. 
Sunday was an awesome day for those who attended the HengChun branch.  Not only did Hua dx get the Aaronic priesthood, but both Elder Field and I were asked to give 10 minute talks on sacrifice, because a member forgot to sacrifice a bit of time to write a talk on sacrifice.  After the talks and sacrament meeting, we visited two of our progressors at the same time.  We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ, and both of their concerns came up, which was just that their parents wouldn't totally agree with them getting baptized.  Bearing testimony of the basics is always powerful.  Its through the small and simple things (prayer) that great things are brought to pass (baptism). 
I have noticed on my mission that miracles do come by the small and simple things.  Sometimes the miracles are unnoticed at first, but they are always through the small and simple things such as faith and prayer.  I personally have often overlooked the miracles at first, but looking back I have noticed it occured through one small thing.  Its crazy!  Well, I love you all, I hope you all enjoy the extra day of February this year!
Love, Elder Smith