Monday, March 12, 2012

Livin' on a Bus

Hello!  你們好!
How are ya'll doin this fine day?!  It was great to hear from you all, and dad you be safe in New Mexico.  Don't get too bored while you're there 好不好?  I absolutely love all the updates from you mom, especially about Landon attending the Priesthood Preview.  Landon, just think, in 2 months you'll be getting the priesthood.  That is such an exciting day for you.  Look forward to that day, and the many days ahead of you :)  Well, lets yesterday I hit 10 months.  It keeps on going faster and faster, but I love every second of it. Well, that's about it.  On with this week! 
Tuesday morning we began by visiting a man, a former investigator, named George.  He is kind of older, probably in his 80s, and absolutely loves learning English.  I wouldn't be surprised if he spent all day every day up in his room watching English television shows and playing on his little electronic dictionary.  Well, we began by yelling out loud the the introduction of the Book of Mormon with him, in English and Chinese, because he can't hear very well, and then gave him homework to be able to read the last two paragraphs for us in English the next time we visit him.  He was pretty excited to do so!  We then went on Zone Leader exchanges, and Elder Farr came down to roll with me in HengChun.  We visited Hua dx and talked about some goals that he had in the future.  He mentioned that he wanted to start off by helping his family come into the gospel to get sealed in the temple for eternity, then help his neighbors, and then he said he had a desire to go to China and do missionary work there.  Wouldn't be surprised if he becomes one of the first Mission Presidents in China. 
Well because of what happened on Wednesday, I now know what it feels like to be a bus driver, it would not be fun at all.  Began by heading on up to PingDong to get my companion back.  Took a long bus ride up, grabbed my companion, and took a long bus ride home.  Well, we were almost home when we got a phone call from a member in my district saying that they had an investigator who was looking good for baptism and needed an interview.  Since thursday morning we would have to end up going back up to GaoXiong for Zone Conference, we decided to head on up and do the interview that night.  It just made things a little more convenient.  So we got back to HengChun, grabbed some things, and then took another long bus ride up.  I was basically on a bus the entire day.  Never want to do it again.  Well, it was my very first baptismal interview and I had no clue what to do, but all went well.  Anthony sent me an email saying that he really misses doing baptismal interviews, because he got to hear the stories of how they changed and stuff like that.  What he said is totally true!  This man has lived directly across the street from the church for his entire life, and has never seen missionaries before.  Weird!  He was Atheist before he met with the missionaries, but now is dedicated to and believes in God.  His story was so wonderful to listen to, and I'm looking forward to a many more baptismal interviews.
Thursday was Zone Conference and was focused on the Spirit.  I absolutely love gathering together as an army of missionaries, and being spiritually uplifted.  I definitely learned more about my responsibility, and how I can use the Spirit more effectively in my teaching.
Friday was such an awesome day.  After weekly planning, we decided to visit a former investigator, Brother Chen.  In previous visits, his interest level has been very low.  He absolutely does not like to worry about anything in life.  He loves living the simple life.  His friends are few, because if he has many, he has to worry about too much.  Hasn't been too interested in wanting to read the scriptures because it just brings more worries into his life.  Well, when we visited him he mentioned those same concerns and also that we were raised in this church and already know of the truthfulness of these things.  We then testified of how our lovely parents dragged us to church weekly because they knew it was true.  We lived the principles of the church because we had been grown up in them.  However, we testified powerfully that we still had to find out for ourselves that what we were living was true.  From that point on his interest level changed.  He then basically demanded to know how we know these things and how they have blessed our families.  It was so amazing to see that change in him in just the matter of seconds.  I look forward to further changes in the future. 
Well, that's basically what happened this week.  If any of you have questions about the life here in HengChun/Taiwan, feel free to ask.  If not that's fine too...  Umm, well I absolutely love it here in HengChun, and love serving in Taiwan.  I love my time as a missionary, and cherish every second of it.  My time is short, don't have much longer, so I'll continue to give it all I've got.  I love you all, miss you all, and hope you all are safe :)  Til next time! 
Love, Elder Smith 司馬長老
p.s. sorry about the random Chinese.  i just barely learned how to use it and its super fun now