Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

Hello again, everyone! Boy, these weeks are going fast. So much has been happening out here.
Thanks for reading the scripture I talked about. It really helps me in times of hardship--and believe me, you have them on a mission. Often. I believe Preach My Gospel has a quote from one of the prophets saying that the secret to missionary work is WORK. It's a lot of work. But it's so worth it. How about that Elder Bednar talk? I really feel like it's important to read that talk and ponder what Elder Bednar is telling us. It actually made me realize that the things that just don't matter should not take a lot of our time. That's all I'll say...please read it!

Some great news this week: Brother (name) is getting baptized this Friday! He passed his baptismal interview and is excited to be baptized. It's been so awesome to go from meeting with him for the first time all the way to this point. I believe this is why the intro to Preach My Gospel says there is no more compelling work than [missionary work], nor any which brings greater satisfaction. Seeing a person convert to their Lord Jesus Christ is a very wonderful experience. I'd imagine the only thing sweeter (and the thing I'm hoping I get to do just once in these two years) would be to see a family I baptize get sealed in the temple together.

Something else kinda fun this week was that Thursday night and Friday during the day we had exchanges with the Assistants to the President. Those Elders work so hard and also push us to work our hardest. I believe the day we had Elder Taylor with us, the three of us added about 25 new investigators between 2:30 and 8:00 (we had to drop off and pick up his companion, who was doing exchanges with the Pingdong Elders). It really made me realize I have a lot I need to improve on. But that's what the exchanges were for. Elder Taylor really helped me improve my contacting and also gave me a great example of talking to everyone. Everyone. We seriously were outside McDonalds for half an hour because Elder Taylor talks to everyone he sees. So I did too. And it felt awesome to kneel down at the end of the day and really tell the Lord I had not missed talking to anyone He placed in my path.

So this week I didn't really have a weird food I ate, but I've noticed I'm sooo much less picky about what I eat now. I'm sure by the end of this time, I'll be even less picky. Megan was talking about eating chao mian (chow mein), and I remembered how before my mission I was careful to eat only the noodles and not the cabbage or onions. Now I eat stuff with onions, peppers, and other stuff I have no idea what it is. It happens when you love the people who give you the food. You'd eat anything just so you don't hurt their feelings.

What fun cultural stuff can I share this week? Oh yes! For weeks I've wanted to share this but forgot each time. So I think Dillon and Megan and Kelsi would be a little disappointed to visit Taiwan. At least once a day we hear a little melody playing on the street--some happy little melody. It's not the ice cream truck, though. It's the garbage truck! See, it's gotta be a happy place if even the garbage truck sings a little song as it drives along. Actually, it's so people know they need to come outside with their garbage and throw it in the truck. The workers don't do that for you here.

Six minutes. What else, what else. One fun little thing--I learned a saying from the assistants that they like to use to get people to actually come to their appointments. "Yi yan ji chu, si ma nan zhui." Don't worry about how to say that. ;-) It means "one word already gone out, a team of four horses is hard to catch." Or basically once you've said something, you can't recall it.
Apparently in ancient China there was a king who condemned a man to death for a crime, but the man fled. The king sent four horses out, one in each direction, to catch the man and kill him. While they were gone, they found out it was a different guy, and that the other one was innocent. However, one of the horsemen caught the man and executed him. Sad story, but when you commit somebody and get really serious, stare them in the eye, and say that phrase, they're likely to show up to the appointment. Kinda makes them shudder. It's funny. They also have like an ultra pinky promise I'll tell you about later.

I love you all so much! Next week you can expect to hear about the baptism. I love reading your letters. Keep strong in the gospel, read your scriptures, pray, and all that!



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