Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Double Ten Day!

Happy Double Ten Day to you. This holiday is very significant to the Taiwanese because, for one, two tens is apparently very lucky. For another, it's like the Fourth of July in America. This holiday is their national birthday. On October 10, 1911, the revolution began which eventually overthrew the Qing Dynasty and established the Republic of China. This is also their centennial celebration of that day. So there's a ton of people getting married today. To celebrate, the Elders in our district went out and did some barbecuing. It was delectable but expensive.

Just a quick explanation--last preparation day we had a zone activity in which we went to a theme park in Houli, which is north of Fengyuan. But only our district showed up. It was so cool, because rain threatened all morning, so almost nobody else came. There were no lines for anything at all. We rode the bumper cars for an hour and rode the roller coaster three times in a row. It was fun, but I'm worried my gut is growing weak from underuse. I got seriously nauseated after a couple of the rides. I hope it isn't true.

So this week was awesome, but it went really fast. Especially with ten hours of General Conference, which was amazing. I really gained a lot of personal revelation, especially regarding how to teach by the Spirit and how to teach people about the Book of Mormon.

We had many miracles this week. I'll just share one or two. Last week we met a man on the street and set an appointment to meet at his house. We went there at the appointed time and only his parents were there. His dad was extremely rude to me and said that his son (who's at least thirty) didn't want anything to do with Christians and turned us away. I'm not proud of it, but I'll admit I was kind of angry. As we were unlocking our bikes I heard a voice I recognized and I looked up to see a former investigator talking to Elder Larson. He was musing about how he always seems to run into us missionaries when he's feeling down and talking about how he wants to come to church, but he has to find new work first, because his current work won't let him. We talked to him, invited him for baptism, and set a time to meet with him. I was very humbled by this experience because it taught me yet again that the Lord is going to put us where He needs us when He needs us there. We didn't go to that house for the guy who set up with us. We went so we could be in this former investigator's path. I shouldn't have let my faith waver for even a second.

I feel great. I'm doing what I love to do. The language, with Heavenly Father's help, is coming more and more easily. People often comment on how I don't speak with a foreigner's accent and on how I can read and write quite a few characters. I don't say that to boast of myself, but to glory in God. The gift of tongues is real. I've pondered a few times what changes I hope you all, including my ward family, will notice in me when I get back. I hope I'm more charitable. I hope I'm more humble. I hope I have learned to set goals and work hard for those goals and not procrastinate. I hope I'll have learned a lot more of the basic and precious doctrines of our church than I ever knew before. So far, on each of these, I feel I've made great progress from who I was before my mission. I've still got a way to go, which is fine because I've still got time. I've got to make this time count.

We're still working with some of those investigators. Brother (name) is still trying to realize that he knows the Book of Mormon is true. The (name) boys think they're not ready for baptism and their mother agrees, so we're trying hard to help them work through that. Sometimes I feel like my weaknesses are too great for me to bear, but I have faith in the promise given in Ether 12:27 that my weaknesses will eventually become strengths. I don't know what else I could have done to help them get baptized before their parents go out of town this weekend. They'll be gone for several months.

Well, time to wrap up. I sure love you all so much. I love to read your emails and write you my own each week. Stay strong and have fun. I'll talk to you next week.


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