Monday, February 27, 2012

Greetings from DouLiu

Hello everybody! It's a bit of a shock to be here in a new area that neither I nor my new companion knows, but it's been fun as well.

My new companion is Elder Wei Wong, from Singapore. He comes from a Mormon family, his parents both served missions, and he's doing really great so far. In Singapore they mainly speak English, and then they also learn the language of their ancestors in school (i.e. since Elder Wong's mom is from Taiwan, he studied Mandarin during high school). He's a very reserved personality, but when he bears testimony, it is a very pure and sincere testimony.

We inherited the north half of DouLiu, which is the less populated side, but we also got most of the secondary areas like CiTong, XiLuo, and LinNei. The chapel in DouLiu just got finished a few weeks ago, and it's a really nice building. They're having an open house on March 10th, and they're really pushing to get lots and lots of members, nonmembers, less actives, and everybody to come to it. The missionaries will be in charge of a little display in one of the rooms, where we will be introducing ourselves, missionary work in general, and so forth. It sounds like it's going to be really big; they've even been publishing advertisements in the paper and on TV. We've got a good branch here. The members seem really nice and the branch president is really supportive of us. I told him about my goal to baptize ten more people before I go home (did I already tell you about that? to hit my mission goal for baptisms I need to get ten more in these twelve weeks), and when I told him he was really pleased and he said "That's great! What can we do to help you hit that?" So I'm really excited for the chance to serve here.

And now a miracle story from my letter to President Bishop, courtesy of the miracle called copy-and-paste:

This last week we saw many great miracles. One of those was that even though we didn't really have weekly goals since we didn't have a weekly planning session, we did decide that we wanted at least one investigator at church. We hit the streets and worked hard Friday and Saturday, talking to everyone and tracting what felt like hundreds of doors. We didn't find anybody who let us in, but we did run into a big guy on a scooter who said he was Christian. We invited him to come to church the next day, and he said he would. Sunday morning came, and he truly did show up. He stayed for all three hours and afterward he said that this church gave him a feeling unlike any other church he's ever attended. He said it felt like home. He also told us a lot of the problems in his life; because of his weight he has a lot of health problems, depression, and difficulty speaking. He's willing to keep meeting with us and prepare to be baptized. This is a miracle because of all the prayers that went into making sure he came. We prayed our hearts out and the Lord answered our pleas. I am so grateful for this tender mercy to help us get the area started as soon as possible.

So yes, things are looking up already. The power of prayer works. I am confident that the Lord gives you that which you focus on and desire the most. If you put your energy, prayers, and efforts on any aspect of the work, the Lord will allow you to accomplish it. We're not really sure what this next week will hold, but I trust that we'll continue to see miracles.

Well, it's time to wrap up, I think. I sure love you all and I thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I'll talk to you again next week!

Love, Carter

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