Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just Chillin' Here in PuLi

Elders of Taichung!

Dear Family and Friends,
 Hey everyone!  How's it going today?  It's a chilly one here today in PuLi, snowing up in the higher mountains, and it almost feels like I'm back in good ol' Utah.  It was great talking with you all last week and getting the latest update on life.  From that point on I received lots of Christmas cards from family and friends and I just want to express my gratitude and love to you all for your 關心.  Sorry I don't know how to best term that word... (love and care ).  Look forward to a 'thank you' card in a few weeks.  
So other than batting the cold we were battling to find some new investigators.  We are looking forward to the baptism of Brother Xu this week, and look forward to helping his two sons work  towards baptism in the coming weeks.  Being on the downhill end of the mission with only a few months left, I've been pondering a lot lately on how I can exert all I have to establish and strengthen the church in PuLi, as well as in my own life. I thought and thought and thought, and ended up setting a bunch of goals for the things I want to accomplish as a missionary in the year 2013, as well as for the rest of the year.  Meaningful goals and careful planning are critical to accomplish our desires in life.  As the new year rolls around it is a great time to ponder on what we have accomplished in the previous year, and where we can improve for the upcoming  year.   As I have pondered on the year of 2012 I have made some goals to help me magnify my calling and to see real growth within the branch here in PuLi and in my own life in the gospel.  The point I want to focus on today is faith.  I hope this doesn't feel like a talk, I just want to write something for you all.  Faith is the first principle of the gospel, and leads us to take action.  It leads us to repent, it leads us to serve, it leads us to live better lives.  The scriptures have many examples who show great faith: Nephi, Ether, Alma, Ammon, etc... and  I love each of their examples.  One scripture in particular I like is Moroni 7:33, "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."  Woah, that is a wonderful promised blessing.  If we have faith, we can accomplish anything.  I hope that at we all can reflect on this past year and set goals for the year 2013, and then act in faith to accomplish these goals.  Setting goals, making plans, and taking actions have helped me progress as an individual in the gospel, and I know it can help you all too.  Spencer, look at your email for a special letter :)  I know that with faith we can accomplish great things.  I know that as we have faith, repent, and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will experience true happiness in our lives and with our families forever.  It's true, "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."  I love you all!    

With Tons of Love,
Elder Nick Smith