Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Letter to Family 1/24/11

It's another preparation day already. That means I'm halfway through my first move call in Tainan. How weird!

It's so great to hear from you all again. I hope you know email is the first thing we do when we get out the door on preparation day.

The highlight of this week was, of course, the baptism of (name)! It was a great experience to see him enter the waters of baptism and make this covenant with his Heavenly Father. He showed up to his baptismal service wearing a really nice suit because, as he said, "Tonight is really important." I also had the unexpected but appreciated privilege of standing in the circle to confirm him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When the First Counselor said "receive the Holy Ghost" I myself felt the power of the Spirit come over me. I am so happy to see this wonderful brother be baptized unto repentance. He's already been bringing a friend to church and to his baptismal service, too. This baptism also really gave me a surge of faith that there are more like him in this big city of Tainan. They are ready to cling to the iron rod as soon as I can find them and tell them where it is.

[Admittedly, the waters of baptism for him were kinda shallow. Yeah, I started filling the font at 6 just like I was supposed to. Then we come back at 7 and this member says "Hey, you forgot to plug the drain, so the font just started filling." O.o Whoops. It all went ok, he just had to go for a second dunk.]

We've also been blessed to find some great new investigators and continue working with those who are progressing. I'll just share one experience with a new investigator. His name is Brother (name). We met him as a blessing for following the counsel from mission and ward leaders to visit all of our recent converts. (name) hasn't been to church or answered our phone calls in months, so we visited his house and his father was at home. We have been sharing the message of the Restoration with him, and probably my favorite part came at the beginning of the lesson. Brother (name) has some sort of affliction that makes him walk with a severe limp--it may be palsy, but I'm really not sure on my medical terms. When we told him God knows his name and loves him he got this look in his eye and he said "Me? God knows me?" He's one of the nicest and most humble people I've met in awhile, and I'm really looking forward to helping him come to his Savior Jesus Christ.

As for the pictures, I have one baptismal picture and then a few from last preparation day, when we visited this old Dutch fort. See, the Dutch were the first to really colonize Taiwan, and they provided the means for Chinese to come over and plant sugar cane. In the mid 1600s, a Japanese conqueror named Koxinga drove the Dutch out. So this fort was built by the Dutch as part of their East India Trading Company venture. The wall I'm looking at in the horizontal picture is the only remaining part of the original 400 year old wall. Cool, cool stuff. While there I also ate a shrimp roll that was absurdly expensive. Not quite so fun. :) It was tasty though.

I've been having my ups and downs just as usual this week, but I'm feeling great right now. There is nothing we can't do with the help and strength of the Lord.

Well, I'd better wrap up today's email. I sure love all of you. It was good to hear from you. Let us all press on in the work of the Lord.


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