Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Come to Do . . . Moving

Dear Family and Friends,
How's everybody doing this fine summer day?  Hope its a bright sunny day with blue skies for you all.  As for me, I am enjoying my last one... July is finally here and I hope you all enjoy your firework-less 4th of July this week.  As for Grandpa, I hope your knee gets better and you will always be in my prayers.  Well, without much to say, lets go on with what happened this past week.  
Tuesday our Zone decided to do a "Zone Scramble" (a big companion exchange) and so I got time to spend up in ChaoZhou with Elder McKinley.  I felt awkward at first not being in HengChun since I have not left my area for a long time, except for DTM and Zone Conference.  We had a great time together.  We visited a few investigators who are looking and progressing well towards baptism.  On our way back home we were lucky enough to find some more money in the middle of nowhere and so we bought some drinks and took them on home to the four-man apartment.  Elder Mutton, one of my previous companions, is going home and so it was great to stay up all night talking with him and catching up on old things.  
Wednesday we began visiting some of ChaoZhou's less-actives and a few recent converts.  Even though I will probably never see these people every again, I was glad that I was able to meet with them and share my testimony with them.  It was such a great and awesome experience to work with Elder McKinley for that time.  Although it was short, we were able to teach quite a few people and I learned so much from working with him.  
Thursday we began by visiting with a Chen dx.  We periodically go visit with him since he doesn't want us coming over too often.  If we do, he tells us to go away.  It had been a long while since our last visit and we prayed that he would just let us in this time.  The Lord truly does answer every prayer and we were able to share a short message on the tree of life with him.  We began reading about Lehi's dream and about the fruit that was exceeding the whiteness of any kind of fruit, and was most desirable of all others.  We shared that the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring an uncomparable happiness into his life.  His life is super relaxed, with no concerns whatsoever, which makes him happy.  We bore testimony that he cannot even comprehend the joy the gospel will bring into his life.  It will be hard at first, but by starting with the basics (prayer, scripture study, and coming to church) it will come easier and easier and he will begin to experience that joy.  He said he will put forth the effort and I'm hoping that all goes well with this man.
Friday was a super dry day with absolutely no lessons, no nothing.  We used the time finding and contacting a ton of people from the area book and we found a few people from there, either referrals to send and people still willing to visit with us.  For dinner we took our investigator Huang Chong Ming out to eat at our favorite curry place.  As we met up with him we ran into a man who set up a time for later on in the day.  After that contact, Huang Chong Ming asked if he could come and join in on that lesson.  We ate curry together and then the three of us went to the church to teach this investigator.  This new man's name is Zheng and is such an amazing man who is willing to learn.  He is come across Christianity in his life and he has interest now and wants to learn a lot more about it.  We taught him the Message of the Restoration and all went perfectly well.  I felt that that was the best lesson that my companion and I have taught together.  One day I hope to hear about this man's baptism...
Saturday we began by cruisin down to the McDonalds for our big pre-fasting feast.  I don't think I've every felt so sick in my life after eating there.  We then biked to the southern most tip of Taiwan to visit with a former investigator, Mr. Qiu.  We didn't ahve too much time to visit, but found out that his family has run into problems lately.  There is nothing better that can help that than the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He said that we could come by next week to share more when his entire family is there togther.  As we biked back up to HengChun we went searching for some less-actives and other former investigators, but they were all gone.  We spent the rest of the day contacting up and down the one road we have, but today we were glad with our efforts.  We were able to run into a few members, one from TaoYuan and a couple from Hong Kong, and were glad to let them know that there is a church here.  They were surprised and told us we'd see them at church.
Sunday was a super hard day to go through.  Even though HengChun is a super rough area, I have come to love the people here more than I thought was possible.  It was hard to say goodbye to them all at church, but they made it easy be them leaving church first.  Today we quickly visited with Huang Chong Ming and did a review of the Plan of Salvation.  He is had a hard time lately because he feels it is impossible to quit smoking, which means that he can't be baptized and return to God.  We shared with him a little bit about faith and shared with him Moloni 7:33 which says that if we have faith in Christ, we are able accomplish that which is expedient in Christ.  That pumped him right up to keep pushing harder to give up smoking.  I absolutely love this kid and I will miss him so much.  From this point we cruised on up to MuDan to visit my favorite man in the world, Hua dx.  We rode as fast as we could up the mountain just so I could see this man one time.  He had prepared some food for us and so we ate and I shared a few scriptures with him.  Leaving his farm place was the hardest thing I've ever done.  I love him so much and can't wait to see and hear from him in the future.  We then cruised on back home and got ready to leave this place.
It's official, my time in HengChun is complete.  I have spent the past 7 months in the place that will always own my heart.  I only have a few more hours here in this paradise before I'm outta here.  I will be moving on up to GaoXiong in a place called XiaoGang.  I haven't heard much about this place yet, except that the air there is one of the filthiest in the entire world.  A huge change from that of HengChun's clear blue skies.  No matter what, the work of the Lord will go forward.  My time so far has helped refine and polish me for the trials and joys that come ahead.  That is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To continually help us improve and become better than we were before.  The trials and challenges we face now are all for a reason.  In the moment, we might not know why things happen, but as we look back in future days we will know the "why."  I love this place, I love those that have touched my heart, and I love serving in Taiwan.  The hardest thing I have ever come to do is leave the place that owns my heart.  I love you all and will bring you news on what GaoXiong brings this week.

Love the One and Only,