Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Letter # 21 ...First Pics of Longtan!

Hey Family,
Okay well there is a lot of big changes for me this last week so I will do my best to share them all. I was transferred to the "town" of Longtan. (has over 100,000 people but here that's a town) Its so cool to get a glimpse of the countryside. It's beautiful out here. I'm glad to be out of the city. I can actually breathe! So I found out that Longtan was voted one of the best places to live in the country so that's nice to know.

The people are more humble out here it seems. There is also a huge population of the original ethnic group from Taiwan. In English we just call them aborigines but here they are called yen ju min. They are a super humble people and they speak this crazy dialect but they are most of the time really willing to talk to us.

Well as far as the work goes. We saw so many miracles this last week. The week before I got here there was only 1 investigator at church. But my companion and I worked our tails off on the streets trying to talk to everyone. This last week we had 7 investigators at church. It was amazing. A couple of people came to church on their own they wanted to learn about the gospel and the church. One guy had met missionaries 30 years ago and his family is baptized and he decided that he wanted to better his life and learn about the gospel. He now has a baptismal date for next month. We are truly seeing a lot blessings. Most of our investigators are actually moms. Ya, its a little weird teaching girls all the time. In our last area we had sister missionaries.

My companion just turned 28 and we went out to some seafood noodle place for his birthday. INTERESTING..... But the food is pretty good actually. I would have never touched that before my mission ...but things change. Especially when you don't really have a choice at what your going to eat. He is a great Elder ...Super obedient and almost a little too mature. Sometimes a little too serious but he has softened up a little bit. Its fun to make him say things in English. He sounds exactly like Jackie Chan. I make him say lines from movies. It seriously is the funniest thing. Well, other than that things are going well and progressing. It seems that the Lord has placed me in places and situations I am completely not used to so that I can learn. It has all been a real humbling experience.

Okay so the scripture this week is D&C 5:24
I have been trying to read in D&C a lot lately and I love this scripture. It talks about the blessing and gifts of truly humbling yourself before the Lord.

Well love you all...
Wei Zhang Lao.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Letter # 20

Well Big News!
Transfers came around and I am Finally out of the big city. For anyone who doesn't know I was in the city of Banqiao and I didn't know that until yesterday that it is one of the most dense cities in the world. Its unbelievable that so many people can live in one area. I'm not sure on the population of the city. But its a lot! Anyway I was moved to the city of Longtan which means "Dragon Lake" Pretty cool huh? Its pretty far from Taipei. Its close to the west coast. But it is pretty small.... Well compared to a typical Taiwanese city. It will take some time to get used to it.

From what I heard this city is going pretty slow in the work and has not seen a lot of success lately. But I will be honest. That makes me more excited. I love the challenge!!!!!!! I also got a new companion. He is another native. He is a 27 year old elder who joined the church about 3 years ago. Its a miracle story. Anyway he is really quite and will be heading home in a few months. His name is Elder Woo. He seems really nice. I will admit I am already a little bit lonely. Because I don't think we have anything in common. But I am sure it will turn out okay. It will just take some time. One great thing is that I am with another native Chinese companion who does not speak English. SO my Chinese will boost really fast like it did last transfer.

Well this last Friday we had to cancel the baptism with that one investigator. His Dad said that he wanted him to learn more about the church and really study it before he joins. He didn't want issues with the family so he agreed. But he will be baptized later. I am going to talk to the mission president about being able to go back to that area and baptizing him. I am pretty sure he will let me. Anyway I don't have much time to write today. We have to go get groceries and get some sleep. I didn't sleep much last night (up all night packing and stuff).

Oh ya, I found out something cool. A few months ago I was on companion exchanges with another elder in his area and I contacted into a family who is now getting baptized. The Mom and the Son. That made me feel really thankful that I opened my mouth and shared it with them. Well all is well love you all so so much.

The scripture this week is 2 Nephi 9. ...Great Eternal Perspective.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Letter # 19 (new pics)

Hello everyone,
Things are going really well and this last week even better. In one of my earlier letters I told a story about how I was at a stoplight and I contacted a person and how he is getting baptized and confirmed on my birthday. Well he had his baptismal interview and he did great. He is still getting baptized and I am so excited. He also asked me to baptize him. That made me so happy. Anyway he is a 21 year old college student. His name is Mong Ke Lee. But we just call him Miles. Thats the English name we gave him. All Investigators are doing really well.
So on other news. I survived my first official Typhoon. I am sure most of you have heard about the big typhoon that hit Taiwan. Luckily I am in the northern part of Taiwan because the south got hit really hard. We still had to stay inside all day though. That was fun because I was on exchanges with our District leader and I am way good friends with him so it was cool. I was hoping to get something productive done in a whole day inside. But us not being very smart joked around all day and played board games. We of course are allowed to play games on those kind of days but I feel like we wasted so much time. Yah, that came out of my mouth. Who would of thought. I felt TERRIBLE! It was still fun though.

This last couple weeks I have been trying to focus my thoughts a lot on what it is that I am really doing and trying to get a grasp of what it is that I am really supposed to be doing. I feel like I have been answered many times through prayer. That being pointed to the Savior's love and his Atonement. For much of these past weeks in prayer I have been asking to understand the savior better and ultimately getting closer to him. I feel like I had an experience that help me understand. So we were leaving this lesson form this huge apartment building and right as we got outside this man ran up to me and my companion. We could tell immedietly that he was a little slower. Anyway, he just kept asking if we could help him find work. Obviously as missionaries that is against the rules and we cant personally help him find work. I was a little discouraged at what to tell him. But he kept persisting at us and asking for us to help him. He kept trying to give me his government information card. The guy was totally crazy. But eventually we just told him sorry and that there was no way we could help him. After we told him that, he ran back up into that apartment building we came out of. So as we starting heading towards our bikes I just add this uneasy feeling that just kept scratching me telling me that there was something we had to do.

Trying to figure what we could possibly do I told my companion that we had to do something. Even though we both know that we couldn't do anything. A thought occured to me that I will never forget. That helped me grab the purpose of what it is that we are really doing. The thought was that would Jesus Christ say that he couldn't do anything about it. I know that sounds like the basic saying "what would Jesus do?" But it was so much bigger than that. It hit me really hard. As missionaries we are always told that we are to represent Jesus Christ. For the first time I really realized what that meant. Although the person was handicap and there was no way we could help him, I was not going to give up because Jesus Christ would not give up. So we both decided to go find him. When we walked in the opening of the apartment building I realized how big it was and I knew that there was no way I was going to find him. Sitting on the stairs I was trying to think of what we could do. I then looked to my right and it was the first door I saw. I was thinking why not, we don't really have anything to lose. I went up and knocked on the door. An old lady answered. When she saw me she started to close the door but then that guy came running out of the back room telling the old lady (who I assumed was him Mom) to open the door. I was blown away with that miracle. I couldn't believe that we actually found him. Long story short we gave him a Book of Mormon and told him that we might not be able to help him but that we knew God could. He said that he would read the book and his Mom thanked us for being kind to him. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. This guy even being handicap was still a person who needed help. I felt like my prayer was answered and I understood that being a missionary is much more than just teaching lessons and baptizing. It is representing Jesus Christ in every way.

Most important is the road to being like him. I am so thankful for that experience.
I love you all so so so much.

The scripture for this week is Moroni 7. Read it!!!! :)
Wei Zhang Lao

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Letter # 18

Hey Fam,
The weeks keep flying by and things are going great!
I LOVE Taiwan. This place is already so dear to my heart and I absolutely love the people here. Work is gong great. I am so disappointed about one thing. The Lin family. The Father and daughter are both getting baptized but they cant do it right now. The Father is waiting back to hear on a court case. He might be having to pay a fine of some sort. But it is no big deal. The only problem is the baptism will probably not be until next month and I think I will be leaving Banqiao because I have been here forever. I will be so disappointed if I don't get to see the family baptized. I don't think I have ever seen so much change in a person than the Lin Father.

In other news. I have been super tired lately and it was getting progressively worse to the point where this last week there were a few times I almost blacked out and I was constantly dizzy. I went to the Hospital and got blood drawn and the doctors could not tell me what was wrong. I got a little worried but things got surprisingly better almost overnight. So right now things are going a lot better. My companion is doing great. I love him even though sometimes the Chinese humor and way of life is a little different. But we get along really well. I'm still undecided whether he likes me very much. He probably thinks I'm just an obnoxious American ha ha kidding. But ya he is awesome.

Things right now as far as weather goes has been weird. It hasn't been raining much which is preposterous for Taiwan. So that has been a nice break not riding my bike completely soaked to every teaching appointment. Learning Chinese is still going really well. I have decided to push in to overdrive with the studying. I have already started studying Chinese characters. The whole reading and writing system. For anyone who doesn't know what I am talking about it is the little Chinese drawings that look all the same. Ya and its how we have to read over hear. But I love it and I love studying it. I feel like I have picked it up fairly quickly and am getting blessed with it. But lately I am been trying to wake up a little earlier to get more studying in. Also of course asking my Chinese companion every question I possible can. I think he gets pretty annoyed with it sometimes.

Last week I said in my letter that we were focusing on the love of Jesus Christ in our teaching. It has completely changed my mission. Even when we are outside just at a stoplight or something I try my best to feel just a little of the love that our father in heaven and Christ have for us. It has changed my aspect on so many things.

Many missionaries including myself have made the mistake sometimes of treating a lesson as just a lesson. Sometimes the people without really meaning to turn into just numbers. That is terrible and I have done a lot of self evaluation on the way I treat lessons. But I will say that the one thing that has changed everything was the love. What I mean is by understanding the love or at least trying to understand the infinite love that Jesus Christ has for us. This has changed the way that I look at just a basic contact on the street to a lesson in a members home. Striving for the Love of Jesus Christ is the true key to everyone's conversion. We must feel the love the savior has for us. I am no where close by any means of understanding this fully but this is the route and direction I have chosen to take on my mission. I know that so much success will come for the investigators and certainly me personally as well.

The scripture for this week I love. It is Ether 12:27. It talks about weakness and what the Lord can do with our weaknesses.

Love you all - Peace from the East!
Wei Zhang Lao