It appears that Elder Smith, based on the subject field he picked for of this week's letter, may have either hit a "brick wall" with the language, in that a lot of it made no sense to him or that he felt like this week's work was made up of a lot of unexplainable twists and turns . . . nonetheless, he very cleverly conveyed his week to us, using the word "jabberwocky!" (look it up, 'cause I had to!) We are truly grateful to the Lord for keeping Elder Smith safe, healthy, and happy. Thanks always for your prayers in his behalf as well as all the missionaries serving throughout the world!
Last week of March! What already?! Time is not playing very fair right now, but I have to live with it. It keeps on cruising on by... Well, how 'bout we get on with this week. How does that sound?
Tuesday was a lovely day full of long bus rides to district meeting and back. At district training meeting we learned about "The Lord's way to teach." We learned that we need to observe, listen, and discern, before we began to teach and preach. As we do so, we will be more in tune with the Spirit, teaching to their needs, thus helping them come unto Christ through repentance and baptism. As we came in to our small town of HengChun, we ran into one of our less actives and sat down with him for a little bit. He has run into problems lately and feels how he is handling them is alright. Feels his way of enduring to the end us alright. I'd just like to point out that I'm grateful for my testimony on enduring to the end. I know that as we live according to the principles and ordinances of the gospel, endeavor to keep the commandments of God, and endure to the end, we can receive God's mercy and return to live with Him.
Wednesday began with my best friend in the entire world, Brother Hua, by going on up to Mudan (Aborigine territorry) and proselyting up there. Being a Wednesday, and the morning/afternoon time, there weren't very many people on up there. However, we were able to sit down with his cousin, who is a member of the Presbyterian church, and teach her a little bit. Well, we (Elder Garey and I) didn't really teach much because Brother Hua was just sharing his testimony left and right, which was so AWESOME! I can just see he has a huge desire to help his family come into this church and receive all of its blessings.
Thursday was a rough day with absolutely no one on the roads. With absolutely no lessons and no one on the road to talk to, it makes it a lot harder to help people be baptized. However, we did take a nice long bike ride into our neighboring area to visit with one of our progressors, Brother Dong. As we got there he seemed a little bit happier and opened up more than he had in the past. He mentioned he has been reading a little bit lately, but hasn't felt anything yet. It'll slowly come. We then taught him the Plan of Salvation and seemed to understand it well. He confirmed and even came to church this Sunday!
Friday went by fairly quickly. Had weekly planning, and then went out the door to do some service for our good friends Joe and Klara. Klara, I'm sure I've mentioned before, is an eternal investigator that has been visiting with missionaries for over 4 years or so. After we helped them paint some damaged walls in their home, we started all over with the basics and talked about God (has a belief of many gods and that they have a teamwork system going on). She also just barely finished reading the Book of Mormon and has some doubts about a few things, so we now know for sure what we can help her work on to finally help her to be baptized.
Saturday we went on a hunt for less active members. We began by visting Sister Pan, a recent convert, and helping her finish her new member lessons. We then went out on a search to find a few less-actives (kinda felt like I was in the army on a secret mission). Well, turns out we ended up riding through the army base that is here for the people who have to do the mandatory army (which would never be allowed anywhere in America by the way). So I felt pretty cool as we did that. We ended up in the middle of nowhere, unable to find a less active's home. Turns out, God still has a purpose as He does his work. Even though we were in the middle of nowhere, in the hills with nothing around us, we were able to run into an investigator from Taipei, who is working his hardest to quite smoking to be baptized. He still has a long time before he gets out of the army, but he is doing all he can so he can be baptized as soon as possible. I know we were placed there for a reason. Maybe it was just to give him a greater desire to push forward to be baptized or something, but I know we weren't there just by chance.
I know that God does have a hand in this work, and like Mom mentioned to me in her email, he knows each one of us individually. More than we know ourselves. I just wish and hope that the whole world can come to a knowledge of their Heavenly Father and come to feel of His love for them. I love you all! And wish you all a wonderful last week of March
Love, Elder Smith 司馬長老