Sunday, January 9, 2011

Go Team Tainan!

Hello there everybody! Here we are at the start of another glorious week. I attached the two pictures I didn't have time to download last week. One is everyone in the Taizhong mission from my MTC generation, the other is me with Elder Perry, my last companion. I was only with him for three weeks. It's great to read your letters.

In this mission every companionship has a senior companion, whose responsibility is to carry the cell phone, report on stuff, and take the blame when something goes wrong. Well, and kind of be the leader, but mostly we're pretty coequal on that front. Yes, Tainan is in the south. The train ride took about 2 hours. Fun fact: Taibei, Taizhong, and Tainan mean (respectively) Tai-north, Tai-middle, and Tai-south. There's also a Tai-east and Tai-west, but they're pretty small towns.

It's been a great first week here in Tainan City. I've learned a lot and met some wonderful people, and most importantly I've had the opportunity to find and teach many souls prepared by the Lord.

Elder Turk is from Texas, and this is his second move call on the island. He's an awesome missionary. He works hard every moment and is always striving to do everything he can for our investigators. It's been a great help to have him as a junior, because he's been able to show me around the area and I've been able to ease into the duties of being a senior. I think the best thing about serving with him is that we've been able to really try new things and work hard to always be guided by the Spirit. As a result, I believe we've truly seen some great miracles.

One of the miracles we've seen this week has been working with (name). Actually, the first time I even met him was when he came to his baptismal interview on Saturday, but he is truly well prepared by the Lord. He passed his interview and let Elder Bickmore (who's now one of my zone leaders) know that the reason he wants to be baptized is so he can have the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then when he came to church on Sunday he brought his Christian girlfriend with him. This man is great, and he's going to be ready to be baptized on the 22nd.

Another person we've been working with is (name), who has twin boys who are seven years old. He's such a humble and nice man, truly desirous to know the truth. His obstacle is that he hasn't yet received an answer about whether these things are true. He believes they're good, but he doesn't know if they're true. We've really been trying to emphasize the role of the Holy Ghost and prayer in his conversion by helping him understand how to pray sincerely and how to recognize his answer when it comes. I feel like we'll see a miracle with this man; right now we just need to patiently and lovingly turn him to his Father in Heaven.

Finally, I'd like to share an experience I had this week. While handing out English flyers, a man walked up to me and wanted to ask me some questions about religion. We talked for a couple minutes and I felt like I needed to give him a Book of Mormon right there on the street. When he came to our first meeting he'd read the answers to all of the questions of the soul in the tract I gave him, and by the second day he'd read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, including the index and bible dictionary in the back. I'm really excited to work with him, because he's obviously been deeply pondering questions of the soul and he realizes that the Book of Mormon contains the answers.

I'm really grateful to the Lord for blessing us with countless miracles this week. I'm really feeling strongly that the Spirit is leading us in this work. One of the best feelings in the world to me is to look back and realize that a choice I made was a prompting of the Spirit and I followed it. I've been really trying to focus lately on following the promptings I receive without hesitation. I'm very humbled to be a part of the Lord's glorious work.

I am feeling so good right now. This is what missionary work is all about--it's about doing things with the Lord's help that would be impossible on our own, a.k.a. miracles. This is not a mundane, everyday work. This is calling on the powers of heaven to guide us and help us reap a great harvest!

I'm also really excited to serve in this district. Our zone leaders are in our district, and they're both hilarious. I got to go on exchanges Saturday with Elder Bickmore, and it was fun to serve with him again. We also have Sister Cooper, the black sister in the group picture I sent today. She absolutely cracks me up. I'm really looking forward to some great things here.

I love you all so much, and I'll talk to you again next week.

Stay strong.



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