Boy, what a happy conference it was! It was such a spiritual recharge, and I felt like several of the talks were aimed right for me. To put it in Elder Holland's words, I received several "prophetic epistles." I can't even believe another week has gone by. They all go fast, but this one was seriously gone in a flash. It's great to read all your words and know you're all well. Before I forget, I need to tell you that next week is the temple trip, so you won't be getting my email at the regularly scheduled time. It won't be until Wednesday evening, my time.
As for the question about proper names, in the Book of Mormon, proper names are usually underlined so that people know it's just a name, and they don't have to puzzle over the meaning of (李海) plum ocean (the literal translation of Lehi's name). Some, however, like Messiah and Satan, aren't underlined. I don't really know how many Taiwanese Elders we have. The majority is still white, but they're increasing. We have a few missionaries, including one of the current Assistants, from Singapore and Malaysia, so they speak three or four languages natively, including English and Chinese.
Well, this week was good. On Tuesday we went to a graveyard in Daya and spent two hours cleaning them. There were some that were extremely overgrown with weeds and grass and trees, but they looked pretty good by the time we were done. The next day I saw a picture on a newspaper (I was NOT reading the newspaper, I was just clearing it off our table in the restaurant) of President Bishop and another Elder cleaning some graves. It's an interesting Chinese tradition. I guess it's somewhat akin to Memorial Day, just a holiday to go and remember your deceased ancestors.
We've seen some more miracles in finding, as well. Elder Mohr, for instance, found a beautiful family of five, four of whom are baptismal age. They're extremely nice and are willing to meet, but the husband is really busy and might have time on Saturday night to meet. I'm continuing to focus on finding families who can be baptized and endure to the end together, and I have high hopes that the Lin family will be one of those. Have I ever told you I have a goal to baptize a full family before my one-year-left mark so that I might get to see them sealed in the temple together? I'm running out of time. :( It's insane to think in just a couple weeks I've been gone for one year. So the clock is ticking, but I feel confident the Lord will grant my righteous desires as I work diligently.
I'll answer a few questions from last week.
I'm in a ward right now. I've only been in a branch once, and that was my first area. The ward members are really awesome. Correlation meeting here is the most efficient and effective correlation meeting I've ever seen, and the members are very willing to help us peike (accompany a lesson with an investigator) or refer friends.
As for entertainment in Taiwan, yeah, most people watch a lot of TV. And even though I don't watch it, sometimes I can hear it while we're eating in a restaurant, and it sounds like Taiwanese TV is a lot of terrible acting ;) Probably the most popular sport in Taiwan is not football or soccer. It's baseball. The Taiwanese love baseball. Some also like to watch NBA, actually. I'll say I'm from Utah and they say "Oh, the Jazz, right?" It took me a few times before I realized what they were saying, because they said the Chinese transliteration. And actually, they do watch a lot of American entertainment with subtitles. We were once eating in a Filipino hamburger place and they had HBO on with Chinese subtitles. Some people I've met learned their English from watching HBO, and their English is actually really good.
Well, I'm running low on time. In closing, I want to share an experience from my Book of Mormon reading. This morning I read 3 Nephi 9-11, and as I read, pondered, and wrote my testimony about the Savior's appearance to the Nephites, the Spirit spoke to my soul and I felt a powerful confirmation that He did, indeed, appear to those people. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that its translator is a prophet of God. I knew this before, but how sweet it is to experience that witness of the Spirit over and over again! I'm so glad I have the chance to preach repentance.