Sunday, June 24, 2012

Almost saw Spencer and enjoyed the Typhoon!

New scripture bag -- Nice!

Hue dx and me -- farewell gifts!

Goodies I got from home by courier Spencer!
Hello family and friends!
How's everybody doing this fine summer day?  I'm just super excited to talk to you all today.  This past week has been nothing but rain, wind, and rain (due to the typhoons that blew on by) but today is nothing but beautiful blue skies.  This week has been full of suspense in hope that I'd see some familiar face, but in the end I was grateful how things played out.  That suspense will continue to roll on through this week, for it is the last week of the move call and who knows, it may as well be the last week for me in HengChun.  But as for this week...
Monday was just a great day to hit the streets and contact a bunch.  In order to teach people, we have to find people, and so that is what we have been doing a lot of lately, contacting.
Tuesday was another great day to hit the streets to find those prepared souls to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  At this time, the typhoon was on its way which made it a lot harder to even get people to stop and talk to us.  However, we pushed onward and were blessed with our efforts.  I found a $100 dollar bill (about 3 bucks) in the middle of the road with no one on the streets, so we decided to treat ourselves with candy to end the night.
Wednesday began by going on down to Kenting with Klara, our eternal investigator, and eating at a steak house there.  Oh, I miss steak so bad!  So bad that I decided to treat myself to a 14 oz T-bone.  It was good, but oh how I miss that 13 oz ribeye with the blue cheese sauce from Carraba's.  After we enjoyed that we shared with her the role of the Book of Mormon.  She is slowly making progress and knows that the Book of Mormon is true.  We shared with her that it is the keystone of our religion and that everything that comes for this church relies on the Book of Mormon and it's truthfulness.  She is slowly making the connections and I just wish that we could work with her a lot more than we are.  She is constantly going up to Taibei for lawyer training so it's pretty hard to consistantly teach her. 
Thursday I set up a sign at the church for Spencer telling him some info. of how to grab my stuff in hopes that he had received my email.  Placed it nice and big so that he could see it.  We then went on a hunt for some less actives in the area, spent forever looking for each of them, but none were where they were supposed to be.  Spent the rest of the night walking all over the place looking for someone who could fix my companions tire, which got a hole in it.  Got that all better and hit the sack.
Friday was a beautiful day.  It began with weekly planning and then by cruising on down to Kenting for lunch to eat at McDonalds.  Also, in hope to see some familiar face.  Spent an hour looking out the window to see some white 17 year olds, but they never showed up.  We then went on a wonderful bike ride straight up a mountain in hope to find another less active.  Looked all over the place but again, his house was not where it should have been.  As we began cruising back to HengChun, we ran into a member, Lu Jia (Tiffany).  We stopped and talked to her and she wondered who Spencer was.  She was thinking it was an Elder from before, but was super confused.  I told her that it was my brother and that he was going to be here for a day or two.  She started telling us that something weird might happen with this.  She had had an impression to go to the church earlier that day to grab some items, and that's when she saw that sign.  She then called Wang dx and demanded a phone call of Spencer ended up calling him for those items. Long story short, the phone call came to Tiffany and she called a lady and met up with Spencer for a short moment to give him those items.  (Just wanted to thank you for those double stuff oreos! --- PHOTO attached)  Super good, but would have been better with some milk! Well, we ended up the night by visiting with our favorite kid in the world, Huang, and reviewed the Message of the Restoration with him.  He brought up a few concerns including that he feels terrible that he smokes.  We bore testimony that through Christ's Atonement, he can become free from those feelings.  He really wants to work hard to give it up. 
Saturday was by far my favorite day of the week.  We rode on up to MuDan to visit my best friend in the entire world, Hua dx.  Today we had planned to have a bbq with him and to share a message with him.  He cooked us some meat aboriginal style and we enjoyed it with some squid, dumplings, and his home grown mangos (Spencer knows what I'm talkin bout when I say they are so delicious!)  I had mentioned to him earlier that my time in HengChun is limited, and because of that he prepared some things to give to me.  He gave me his aboriginal scripture bag, his favorite aborigional hat, and then a super expensive aboriginal necklace ($10,000 Taiwanse dollars =$330 American dollars) (SEE ATTACHED PHOTOS).  He absolutely would not take the necklace back, he said there is nothing in the world that could make up for what we have given him, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Tears were in my eyes as I felt that what he said was true.  No worldy thing can compensate for the happiness and joy the restored gospel brings.  I am so grateful I had the privilege to help him back onto the path to our Heavenly Father.  I know that his testimony will continue to change the life of his family and friends up in MuDan.
Wow this week was super great!  Although it was super rough and just full of contacting, there were small things brought up daily by others that kept me going forward.  It is as we put our trust in God that we are able to accomplish anything.  The road may be rough, may seem impossible at first, but with God nothing is impossible.  Also, there is nothing in this world that can make up for the joy and happiness the gospel brings.  It is only because of the restoration that we are able to enjoy this endless joy and happiness.  I'm glad I have experienced this now, so that it can help me and those around me in the future. I love you all and we'll see where next week takes me . . . 
 Love the One and Only,

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Hello Family and Friends,
How you all doing?  What's happening back on home?  Hope summer has been treating you well so far.  Just wanted to begin by telling dad, "Happy Father's Day!"  You are the best dad in the world, and I just wanted to let you know that I love  you.  Well, this week decided to give all of Taiwan a big surprise, a huge rainstorm.  Even though this left us with no one to talk to on the streets and completely soaked, we still went forth and worked our hardest.
Monday was a super relaxing day for us.  We began by writing letters to friends and then decided to go to the church so that I could play the piano.  Lets just say that I'm going to have to start taking lessons again because my fingers and hands just could not play some of the songs that I absolutly love.  We then spent a wondeful day and night full of "ultimate contacting."
Tuesday we had a wonderful district training meeting on "Having the Fire to Find", but it felt like the pouring rain put that fire right on out.  The streets were left empty and lessons were canceled, all except for one.  We were able to visit with our "golden man", Huang dx, and we finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and his mind was just blown away that God's plan for us is truly possible through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We then watched the Restoration film with him to help him visualize it all.  He mentioned that he felt a "cool" feeling as God and Christ appeared to Joseph Smith.  No matter how many times I watch that film, I get the same exact feeling that he felt, and it was great to help him realize that that is the Holy Ghost working with us.
Thursday we decided to travel on over to one of our secondary areas to visit with a less-active member.  We shared with him that reading the scriptures, praying, and coming to church is the foundation of our testimony.  We showed him the example with the 3 cups and 3 forks (that Anthony showed me at Christmas time) to help him realize the importance of those 3 things.  If we forget about 1, temptations will come and our testimony or faith will fall.  It is so important that we do those 3 things often.  I have personally seen in my life that when I have done them, that my life has gone a lot smoother and I've been a lot happier.  I have also seen in my life when I have forgotten to do one or the other and although life still went well, at that time, I didn't feel the same happiness that I felt when I did.  It is through those small and simple things, that great things are brought to pass (a long lasting happiness).
Friday we had a great lesson with Dong dx who just has not progress at all.  We shared with him Alma 32 on the seed of faith, teaching him that we have to take action by first planting the seed (reading, praying, and coming to church).  If we don't plant it, it will not grow.  It just sits there as a small seed having the potential to be the Great Deku Tree.  We invited him plant the seed and show his faith in reading daily and coming to church with us on sunday and he commited to do so.  However, recently there has been no change, he decided not to plant his seed of faith and so we ended up dropping him this week. 
Saturday we ended up going out proselyting with a member from GaoXiong named Tyler.  He wanted me to tell you all "Hello!" for him.  We traveled to a few places to visit a few less-actives and ended up clueless/lost on top of a mountain, unable to find these places.  Ended the day by traveling home and sending Tyler back on up to GaoXiong.  (Tyler told me he added the entire family on facebook...)
Sunday was beautiful day.  I just love the feeling that Sunday brings, it truly is a day that is seperated from the rest.  We were able to visit with Huang dx again and shared with him about the seed of faith from Alma 32, and shared that God has given us commandments and that we plant that seed, show our faith, by starting to live the commandments.  At first it my seem ridiculous, but as you continue to live them, blessings and happiness from the Lord will begin to come, helping us know that the principles and blessings of the commandments are true.  We then shared with him the 10 commandments along with the word of wisdom because he had previously brought up questions about both.  He had brought with him to the lesson black tea, but was willing to plant that seed of faith and grabbed it all and poured it down the drain.  He truly does have desire to follow the commandments and bring his life more in harmony with the teachings of the Savior.  I absolutely love this kid and know he has a firm desire to change.
Our mission has a saying that goes 有信心有辦法 which means 'if you have faith, there's a way'.  Today I came across a scripture that goes perfectly along with that.  Luke 1:37 says, "For with God nothing shall be impossible."  I absolutley love this scripture and I know that it is true.  It is through Him that our weaknesses can be made into strengths, we can overcome the trials that life brings to each and everyone of us, and we can receive sense of peace and joy in this life.  I love you all and hope that each of you will remember that with God, nothing is impossible.
Love the One and Only,

Monday, June 11, 2012

EXACT Obedience BRINGS Blessings/Miracles!

Hello Family and Friends,
How are you all doing this fine day?  I hope all is going well with you wherever you may be.  Life in eternal spring is moving forward as always.  Although the weather hasn't been to friendly with us this week, life as a missionary is still amazing as always and continues to roll forward.  Not a whole lot happened this week, but lets get on into it.
Monday was a great day to explore the mountains and go on a hike.  We went to a place called "7 Waterfalls"  and it may be the coolest hiking trip I've been on. It was a giant rope course up the mountain to all seven of these waterfalls.  The view was so beautiful.  Loved it!
Tuesday I went on companion exchanges with Elder Morgan where we had such an amazing day!  So in last week's letter I sort of mentioned about our "golden" kid.  Well, his name is Huang Chong Ming and he is the coolest kid in the world.  So we sat down with him a few times this week and shared the Message of the Restoration with him and helped him see what kind of relationship it has with him.  Why the Book of Mormon and prayer are so important in coming to know.  We were also able to share a part of the Plan of Salvation with him.  We were so blessed to run into him and he is truly been a miracle to my companion and I.  While I was in the MTC there was a quote that went around saying, "Almost obedient almost brings blessings.  Exact obedience brings blessings/miracles."  I know that it was because of our obedience that we were blessed with this "miracle man."
Wednesday was spent living on a bus...
Thursday was spent up in GaoXiong were we had a Leadership Training Meeting for all Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and Trainers.  I would really love to go over everything that we went over and practiced, but I'll save it for another day.  It was spent mainly on how we can use the tools to help investigators and members become converted to the gospel as effective as we can. 
The rest of the weekend then surprised us with a downpour of rain.
Well, that's a wrap up of this week.  No matter how "dry" the days may seem, the work of God continues to go on.  I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week.  Til next time...
Love the One and Only,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

1 Year Left

A Favorite -- Curry Pork!
Hello everyone!
How's it going?  Once again, it is a wonderful "eternal spring" day and a such a wonderful time to be a missionary.  First of all, Dad, congrats on the BIG 49.  Happy Birthday!  I hope you enjoyed some ice cream cake as well as my homemade postcard.  Landon, congrats on graduating from elementary school.  It only gets better and better from here on out. I also heard you made a soccer team...  Enjoy!  I hope you have fun playing and hope to have somebody to practice up with when I get back.  I don't know how good my soccer skills are now so you might have to re-teach me.  This week has been so awesome and I'm so excited to share with you what we have experienced this week. 
It all began on Thursday...
Thursday morning during language study we got a phone call from some random kid talking about english class and then also stated that he interested in this gospel related stuff and wanted to meet with us.  We set up a few times but because of his work and a few other things we had to re-setup and he was willing to come to church.  Sunday, during the middle of sacrament meeting, he called and said he wasn't able to come to church but still wanted to meet with us.  Sunday after lunch we sat down with this young fella.  He is such an interesting kid, but really wants to bring happiness into the lives of his family, and wants the strength to overcome thinngs in his life.  Well, turns out the gospel of Jesus Christ is here to help us with all that.  We were able to teach him the Message of the Restoration and he was so surprised that our church was different than all the others and that we have ALL the truth.  He then shared how his friends have always tried to drag him to church and force him to believe and he always had this "disgusting" feeling, but as he entered the church he had this special feeling come.  He also shared that before he said the prayer he didn't know what to say, but as he started the words just flowed from his mouth.  We testfied that it was the Holy Ghost and that he can have those feelings and same experiences happen each and every time. 
Thursday night we did a follow up call with our eternal investigator Klara.  She had mentioned she was sick and so that's why we hadn't been able to get a hold of her during the week.  As I was talking with her I just had these small little promptings to ask how her reading and praying has been.  Of course I started fighting off that prompting, "No, I'll just ask her when we visit her."  Well, it's a good thing I did because she mentioned that she just had this feeling that the Book of Mormon was true.  She felt that she didn't need to pray about it anymore cause she said she knows its true.  We just need to help her to come to know that if the Book of Mormon is true, then everything else will fall right on into place.  She also brought up to really really important questions, "Why is baptism necessary?" and "Why do we want to live with our Heavenly Father forever?"  We are so excited to help her make the connection that the Book of Mormon is the "keystone" of this religion and that everything falls into place if it is true.  We're also excited to help her help herself answer those questions so that sheknows why baptism is necessary and why we want to return to live with God.
These are just two small experiences that have given me and my companion hope.  A hope that these two have been prepared for this time.  A hope that these to people are our "miracles." 
As I was writing this I just realized that I only have 1 year left.  1 year left to serve on the beautiful island of Taiwan.  I was thinking about the time that has already gone by as a missionary and the growth that I've seen in others, as well as myself.  I'm looking foward to this next and last year that I have to do the same.  To help these wonderful people to change and grow in the gospel, and to do the same to myself.  To help myself change and grow to help me become the man I will be for eternity.  I love this work, I love this gospel, and I love Taiwan. 
Love the One and Only,