Sunday, November 4, 2012

Safari Shorkel

GaiXiong 85, second tallest building in Taiwan

Costco Oatmeal is da best!
Hello, hello, hello!
Wow, it's November, this year is almost at it's end!  No better way to spend it with three of the best holidays ever: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. One down, three to go. What else does that mean?  7 months!  Uh oh...  Time just keeps sliding on by.  Well, this week went by really well.  Had some rough points along the way but saw some miracles make up for them. 
Monday for preparation day we went to the GaoXiong 85, the second tallest building in Taiwan, took some pics from the outside, and then went over to the Costco and bought enough oatmeal for the rest of my mission.  As our day started, we intended to visit a few less-actives for their birthdays, but ended up eating their birthday candy cause the member had moved several years earlier and there is no way to know where they moved.  We then tried a few other less active members, but again, couldn't find their homes.
Tuesday was an amazing day.  It began with an excellent District Training Meeting by Elder Garey.  Afterwards, we headed on up to downtown GaoXiong for Zone Scramble.  Today I went on up to ZuoYing with Elder Olsen, a missionary who actually heads on home this week.  It's been a while since I've gone on exchanges with a missionary older than I, and I learned so much in just that short amount of time.  We had a few lessons with less actives and investigators, and just enjoyed seeing the work done from an almost returned home missionary. I was so grateful to work around him for that day and learn from him.
Wednesday, Elder Olsen and I began off by visiting one of the members in their ward and cleaning his house.  Let's just say his house was a mess.  He has bad legs and isn't able to do much on his own and so trash and garbage and lot's of other stuff is just piled up.  The one thing that absolutely loves an environment like that is cockroaches.  I have never used so much RAID in one cleaning session in my entire life.  We had a great time and just wish we had more time to help clean his home.  We got a few other things ready for the missionaries coming in to whitewash the area and then exchanged back right in time for our English Halloween Party.  We had several activities that each missionary was in charge of and then at the end we all gathered in and shared about the Holy Ghost.  
Friday we were able to visit with a Brother Zeng, a kind of newer investigator and shared about the blessings of prayer and reading the scriptures.  Even though we don't have any huge problems or challenges in life, God still wants to hear from us.  Because he loves us, he has given us prophets and scriptures to help guide us in our lives, and when we do run into those problems and challenges we know how to take care of them.  He is a humble man willing to learn more.  We visited with Jerry as well and talked about Nephi and his faith in going and doing what the Lord has commanded.  He is still struggling to quit smoking and chewing betel nut, but through his faith in Christ he can do so.  
Saturday we were able to visit with another one of our comparatively new investigators, Brother Zhuang.  He began reading the Book of Mormon, but feels it's different than that of the Bible.  He's a pretty knowledgeable Christian and so we retouched on the authority, apostasy, and restoration of the Priesthood authority.  The lesson went great, but because of his Christian background it was hard for him to already go against what he has experienced in his life and to try it all out again basically.  All in all, it ended well and he is willing to pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  The invitation Moroni gives us simple, yet is to the point.  As we pray with real intent, having faith in Christ about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, we will receive an answer by the Holy Ghost that these things are true.  I personally do know these things are true and invite any and all who have some doubts or questions to read and pray.  It's just that simple, read and pray.
It was so great to come to church on Sunday, to rest from our labors (for a bit).  Because of time I won't be able to say much about it but miracles were seen as we attended church.  Investigators showed up, members introduced us to their friends they brought to church, and other members testified on how they took or invitation to share the gospel.  All our hard work during the week paid off during those 3 hours at church.  I know God lives and He knows each and everyone of us.  He is aware of our needs, concerns, and wants the best for us in life.  One thing I have learned a lot on my mission is that the Lord blesses us according to our patience and faith.  Times are rough, but as we push through with faith in Christ, we will overcome.  My time as a missionary has been rough, has been a huge trial, but I love it, every single bit of it.  I'm grateful for this privilege I have to be here in Xiaogang, I'm grateful for my Savior, and I'm grateful for each and every one of you. 
Love you all,