Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Guess what I had for Thanksgiving dinner? beef fried rice. :) Actually, on Sunday I cooked up the mac-n-cheese you sent me, so I might just count that as my Thanksgiving. I'm not complaining. It sounds like all of you had a good break, even if it was just a little uneventful.

Things have been going really well here in Donghai. We've actually seen some incredible miracles from the Lord. After weeks of little success, we suddenly had an outpouring from the windows of heaven. We were focusing hard on adding new investigators and meeting with them and getting them to come to church, and the Lord was blessing us to find 7-10 new investigators every day. Several of these people met with us and came to church and they are so well prepared! They remind me of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that says they are "kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it." One is named (name), and he's around 45 years old. We were teaching him the first lesson, on the part about Jesus Christ's ministry, and he said, "Elders, could I ask you a question? How could I get on this path back to God and follow Jesus Christ? I really do want to--I want to change my life. How can I do that?" I think most missionaries would kill to find an investigator who asks such a question. :D So we shared a scripture to answer his question, from 2 Nephi 31. We told him that the first step in following Jesus Christ is to be baptized through His restored authority. He accepted a goal to be baptized on Christmas Day! He truly is a gift from Heavenly Father, and I am excited to see him progress, because he's so willing and desirous.

Another really great investigator is (name). He's nineteen and he's studying at a nearby hospital. He met with us on Saturday and he said he'd be too busy to come to church, but we testified that Heavenly Father would help him accomplish whatever it was he needed to do if he would show his faith by coming to church. He hesitated, then pulled out a stack of papers with a ton of medical terms and abbreviations he had to memorize (in English) and said he had to memorize it all by Monday. I felt defeated and was about to leave it at "Well, we still welcome you to come," when he said "But ok, I'll come." So he came to all three hours of church and said he felt really peaceful and enlightened there. So I'm really excited to find out how the Lord blessed him for his faith in sacrificing that time. He's got a goal to be baptized on 12/18.

This week has really reaffirmed my testimony that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. We are His servants and He will not leave us if we are constantly seeking His help and guidance. It reminds me of a scripture I read in personal study this morning in Mosiah 29:20 (I think), which says that in every case, the Lord extends His arm of mercy to all who put their trust in Him. That was paraphrased, because I only have a Chinese Book of Mormon with me, but I know that the Lord has blessed us exceedingly this week. These people are His precious sheep, and He's helped us to find them and bring them back to Him.

Well, what else happened....Meg, I might be just a little jealous about the lasagna, but I'm pretty darn happy right now. This morning our district leader, who used to serve in our area, showed us this store where they sell imported stuff from the Philippines and America. I found one of those gigantic bags of Krusteaz pancake mix like they sell at Costco. I wanted to hug that bag of pancake mix, but instead I just bought it for $380. That sounds like a lot, but that's like a week's worth of breakfast money paying for probably six months of breakfasts. I am so excited. :D Did you know they have Costco in Taiwan? Yeah. A member gave us a tray of Costco muffins one time; I nearly cried for joy.

So now I guess I can talk about the weather. :D It's been pretty chilly sometimes. Yeah, 66 degrees seems like pittance to you, but when it's cold, humid, and super windy, it gets kinda uncomfortable. People always see me with just my windbreaker jacket and say "Aren't you cold?!" ...they've got their big marshmallow winter coats and gloves on. I just kinda smile and say "Where I come from, it's snowing right now."

Well, that letter was a bit longer than usual. I hope that's satisfactory. Did I ever tell you that a few weeks ago I ate stinky tofu for the first time? Our new member, Gary, who at the time was still an investigator, brought a bag of stinky tofu and said if I didn't eat some he wouldn't get baptized. :P It tasted a little like eating Dillon's socks after he's been running track. Seriously, that stuff reeks. I shudder to think how they make it. O_o| At least he didn't make me eat pig blood cake.

Well, that's all for this week.

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