Monday, March 19, 2012

Luck O' The Irish

No, they don't have any mention of St. Patrick's day here. I only remembered because Elder Smith's parents sent him a package with a green tie and tons of peeps and jelly beans and stuff. Heh.

Well, this week had its ups and downs. We had kind of a bitter tragedy with Brother (name). He had to have an emergency heart surgery in Taibei, so in a matter of two days we went from planning a baptism to suddenly having no investigators. It was pretty hard. He's still good; he called me after the surgery and said he can come back at the end of April, so we're going to try and get the missionaries in Taibei to baptize him. I just find the whole thing very fishy indeed. Not that I think he'd lie to me, but it might be his family. I mean, how do you only find out about a major heart surgery two days before it happens, and then how do you talk on the phone hours after coming out of the operating room? Sigh...I don't know what happened. The point is he didn't get baptized but I think he still can in the future.

We had some miracles happen with our less-actives, though. Old Man (name), President Bishop's convert, came to church yesterday! It was his first time back in years, and he paid his tithing at the start of priesthood meeting. During the week we and the Branch President visited him, and he said "I'm coming to church this Sunday. I'm going to drive myself. My daughter doesn't want to let me because of my high blood pressure, but I'm coming anyway!" And come he did. I was bursting with joy to see him there all dressed in his suit. I knew that we were at least doing something right to play a part in his return to activity. It was the Spirit that did the real work, but I was so happy to be a part of this process. We're going to see if his wife is baptizable, too.
I'm not sure what else to say this week. We've been struggling hard to find new investigators, but so far they haven't been coming. Actually, one cool miracle that did happen was that we were not looking good to have investigators at church on Sunday. We'd tried everything we knew to do, so we just prayed hard on Sunday morning that those who had agreed to come would indeed come. Then while we waited on the steps of the chapel, one of our members came and told us that his friend who we've been teaching would be coming in just a couple of minutes. He did come, and he stayed for sacrament meeting and then had to leave. It was another great testimony to me that Heavenly Father does hear our prayers. We'll have to keep working with Brother (name) to help him understand church a little better and to have the right attitude and expectations when he comes, but he's one step closer to God now.

I've learned this week that we have to be patient even when things seem hard. We have to learn to accept the Lord's timing even when we would rather have what we want right now. I still believe He will help us baptize before I leave DouLiu, but I need to remember not to get anxious or frustrated when it doesn't all come at once. It's not an easy lesson to learn, but I read a talk this morning by President Uchtdorf that reminded me that we are indeed loved by God, and He has never forgotten us. I know he loves me and fully understands that I have weaknesses, and if I endure it well He will help us to see the fruits of our labors before the end. And as Ammon says, those fruits are not few, but many!

I love you all very much. I am always happy to hear from you each week and to share with you what's been happening here in Taiwan. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf. I'll need them more than ever now so I can finish off in a manner pleasing to Heavenly Father. I love you and I'll talk to you again next week!

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