Monday, April 26, 2010

Letter # 53

家庭你好,我還活著 Hey Fam! Im alive and I made it.

So we are at the start of a new transfer. I barely made it our of the last one. Saying it was hard is an understatement. There were times that I had to just hit my knees and plead for help because I had no where else to go. But it is over. I think this last transfer I really learned a lot about myself. I feel like I was being tested in some ways and the Lord really wanted me to get some things out of it. I feel like in the midst of the trial, for the most part, I made the right decisions and did what God would have me do. Well my new companion is Elder DUFF! He's awesome. It's actually a really funny story that I am with him. He is still a younger missionary. This is only his 5th transfer but when he came on a few people thought that I would be the one that was going to train him. I didn't get the call to train him but even after that a bunch of elders have been telling us that we would be put together for sure. It was a pretty big joke, because every time we would see each other at mission conferences or whatever we would always look at each other and say "I will see you next transfer right?" But when I actually got the call on Friday night telling me I was with him it was hilarious! So this transfer is going to be SWEET! Anyway he is from Idaho. This is my third companion from Idaho. I don't really know why I keep getting put with people from Idaho. He graduated in '06 and plays football for West Point. So the guy is a complete Stud. He is a convert to the church. He joined when he was 18. Oh and he is a Red head. But like not just a little red. Its like a full on Crimson color. So for people in Taiwan that is insane! Most people here have never even seen red hair. He was telling me in his last area everyone would stare at him and the kids would come up to him and just want to touch his hair! I think its hilarious. He is so sick of it though, I'm sure.

Well yesterday Brother Gao got baptized! It was amazing. His testimony was awesome. He told everyone that he had known about the Church when he was 27 but decided that he didn't want to accept it. But it took him until he had a family of his own to start to realize how bad he needed answers and what to do for his son. He bore his Testimony about the feeling he had at church and that he knew that the teachings here were exactly what his family needed. It was a really spiritual experience for me. I sat next to his wife the whole time. She seemed to really enjoy it as well. She told me after the baptism that she believed everything. I personally know she has felt it because I have seen it on her face. She just needs a little bit of time. All the other investigators are doing really well. I will give more details on that next week.

But I love you all so much.
The scripture for this week is Alma 7: 11-12.
It's the one Elder Duff chose.

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Elder Wei

Monday, April 19, 2010

Letter # 52

(My beloved Family, I am so happy to get to get to report to you all again)

Well we had a great week as far as Missionary work goes. It was a miracle. I have been in Taiwan for more than a year now and I have never had more new investigators in one week than we had this last week. It was truly unbelievable. I don't think I have had a teaching pool like this before. Also this week we have a new family to teach. She is a mother that we contacted about a week ago and she said that we could come to her house and teach her family. She had two kids by her side at the time and I was just hoping with all my heart that the lesson was going to go through. The night before the lesson we called her and she sounded excited on the phone and told us that her husband was going to be there as well to sit down with us. They are the YU family. It was amazing. We sat down and she told us that she wanted to be a better mother and learn more patience with her kids. She told us that the reason why she set up with us was because when we met her we bore our testimonies about families and showed her our tract that says 家庭是永恆的. (Families are forever) She was touched with what we said.

What is most amazing is this lady's background is completely Buddhist. Which means she has no real sound understanding of God! In the lesson she went on to ask us how this could help her. I explained to her that we look at Jesus Christ as our example and use the principles of faith and repentance to help us, and that through that our natures can be changed. I explained to her a little bit about the Atonement. The Atonement will take a while for her to understand.  Overall the lesson went well and they set another time next Saturday for us to come back. I am so stoked! I can't explain the need this country has for this gospel, especially regarding the families here. They need so much help. The Chinese have such a large emphasis on families to begin with. So all the members here have a great testimony of what the gospel can do for their families and what more it gives them.

As far as all the new investigators from last week... It is going to take a lot of good planning to take care of everything. Well other than that of missionary work..... still and even more stress than last week. My companion is still really having a hard time adjusting. He just really doesn't like the way things go. Its so hard because I feel like I truly have done everything I can do to fix the problem. I have tried to speak him many times and help him out. But he is not willing to talk and fix the feeling and attitude. My personal opinion is that his happiness can all be changed in a matter of minutes. It really comes down to  choice. Like I said last week, I am not going to get into details or anything but things are not easy between my companion and me right now. This is the first time I have ever experienced anything like this in my mission and I don't really know what to do?

I don't think I have ever been so tired in my life. I really am exhausted.... Well I was talking to the Zone leaders and we came to the conclusion that what I needed to do was to play it off, and treat my companion as if there was no problem at all. So today I just starting acting like there was never a problem to begin with. I really do think it could work. Most of all I think it might be able to make him happy. Because if he gets the feeling that I am not being natural talking to him, it will immediately remind him that something is wrong and then he might get in a bad mood again. I think by just acting natural his mind will get off of what's wrong and then things will start getting positive.

Anyway this is the last week of the transfer, and I know there is a very good chance that I will leave but in all honesty I don't want to. Mainly because I will feel like I left a problem with my companion unsolved. That I really refuse to do. I feel like we are together for a very specific reason and the result of it is NOT supposed to be negative. Things will be okay with my companion I really have faith.

Well the Gao family is still doing well. We are just waiting for the interview this week and the baptism should be this Saturday. I can't wait!

Okay I really got to go! Love you all ssssssssoooooooooooo much!!!!!
Thank you for the Prayers.
Elder Wei

Monday, April 12, 2010

Letter # 51

Okay! This last week.............. Not easy.

Just as hard as it has ever been. I am not going to get very detailed on what I say. But my companion had a little bit of a breakdown one of the nights last week and it was pretty rough. He basically is really down on himself about a lot of things. He feels like he has not been very successful as a missionary and it really tore him down. I did all I could to talk to him about it but in the end we decided that it would be best if he talked to President about how he feels. Things got a little better after he talked to President. Then a few days after that he wasn't happy again. On top of that last week we also lost another one of our investigators with a baptismal date. We called him and asked when we were going to meet with him next and he told us that he didn't have interest and that we didn't need to come over. One of the things that will turn everything around in my opinion is just attitude. I know that sounds so easy and everyone says that for
advice, but it's true!

Right now I am trying to do my best to just make my companion happy. Because when he is happy he really is an incredible missionary! It's just about maintaining that good feeling
is the thing that is so hard. When I first got with him I just thought that running him with hard work would build his fire, but have realized that is not what he needed at the time. He needed to be built personally and his confidence needed to be built. I think the work ethic will come . Even though last week was one of the harder weeks of my mission, I really feel a comforting feeling about this next week.

Last night was awesome. I don't really know what changed it. But the feeling was just different. I think a lot of it was that we started laughing about something and it just changed the whole feeling around. We set 4 people up for appointments next week. My companion all the sudden had all this fire with him, and it was all from attitude.

This next week is a big week for the Gao Family. The husband's baptismal interview is this next Saturday. Please pray for them. This next week also will be big in the fact that we are meeting with a lot of new people that could become really good new investigators. Getting to know people and seeing them become new investigators is easily one of my favorite parts of missionary work. My companion has made mention that he wants to start working with the ward more. In my mission I feel like that has not really been my strongest point. So we came up with a plan. Because our ward is smaller than most. We decided to invent this newsletter that we are going to send out to the ward once a week. In this newsletter we want to give a spiritual
thought, a scripture, and information about the investigators we are working with. We really think that it will connect us with the ward and they will get to know the missionaries a lot better without us having to spend so much time in their homes. There are many elders that like spending a lot of time with members. I personally have never really liked that. I feel that takes too much time. Our Ward really needs a push though, so I feel good about it.

General conference was AMAZING! It was my favorite one that I have ever seen. It is a ridiculously large blessing that I never even came close to grasping before my mission. I took it all for granted. But this year I really realized the power of the words spoken. There has
never been a meeting or anything that I have ever attended in my life that has effected me more than the General conference this last weekend. I cant even really describe the uplifting effect it had on me. I feel like I was taught so many principles that I have heard from childhood. But since I am truly living them every day, so many doctrines have become more clear now. The Family focus this General conference was evident. I don't see how any parent or future parent could not have not been inspired to do a better job in their everyday family life from watching ANY one of the talks.

I don't know if I really had a favorite talk. But the one at the end from Elder Neil Anderson really was amazing. He invited all of us to just talk more about the Savior. He promised just bringing up his name anywhere would bring more protection. That I can really testify of. Just thinking about the Savior brings more protection. But I believe by having full family conversations about him the impact can be so much greater. My testimony in the Savior and his healing power really grew from conference. I really know that the Atonement is real and changes hearts. I have felt that change.

The scripture this week is Helaman 5:12

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Love you
Elder Wei

Monday, April 5, 2010

Letter # 50

Dear Family:

Ended another week! Again not the most easy thing in the world. I don't really know where to start. I guess I can start by talking about the investigators.

One of the people with the baptismal date fell out. The last time we were supposed to meet with him we waited outside at the place and he never showed up. We have called several times and he won't pick up the phone. I think that is the one thing about missionary work that makes me the most upset. When people get so close and then at the last moment they can't make it. Its so hard to think about how much work was spent. I always have the hope in my mind that we really did make a difference with those type of investigators, and that later on they will accept it. After all two of the baptisms in my mission have been that exact same case. They met with missionaries for a long time and it just didn't work out. But years later they were ready for it!

Well the Gao family is doing great. We met with them on Saturday night and they both are progressing so fast. The husband is still preparing for the 24th. No problems there. The wife is still waiting to set a date. It will be very soon I believe. Their two year old son actually participated in our last lesson. The last few times we went over there he kept peaking his head out of the room and watching us, and this time he decided he wanted to sit in his high chair and play with his toys while we taught the lesson. He is going on a mission! I always think that whenever I go over there. That would seriously be the most joyful thing to me. But we got a good while before that happens. Please keep praying for this family. They are so close and they are doing so great. The spirit gets stronger every time we go over there.

So we are teaching this new investigator starting from last week and he is awesome. He is this 70 year old guy. It was someone that we met on a bench in a park a few weeks ago. His name is Brother Tsun. Anyway we started talking to him and he started telling us about how he knew about Joseph Smith and the Gold Plates, and all this stuff. When he started talking about it I couldn't help but laugh. I thought it was ridiculous how he knew so much. He told us that many years ago he had met a member that told him all about the Religion. When we met with him and had a chance to teach him we found out that he has read the Bible 3 times from cover to cover, and that he had already read to Alma in the Book of Mormon. He is just this really smart old guy. I am so excited to see where it goes. The rest of the investigators are all doing well. We had a person who has been meeting with us for a little bit come with us to Church for the first time. He liked it. His name is Brother Tsai he is 27 years old. For him its just a big change from his traditional Buddhism. The spirit is strong when we meet with him. He has felt it. Please keep praying for them.

Something funny happened this week. I got in a little bit of a Bike accident. Well we were riding our bikes on our way home for lunch, and on the side of the road I saw someone and thought that we should stop and talk to him. So as I hit the breaks to turn on the sidewalk. I got hit in the back by another bike. We both kind of tumble over, and when I looked back I realized that it wasn't my companion that hit me. It was some teenage kid. I started laughing and the kid seemed really embarrassed, I guess he didn't think it was funny at all. My companion rode over and we helped this kid up. Luckily no one got hurt. No scratches or anything. The funny part is that I actually got his number and he said we could call him and set up a time. I don't really know how much interest he has but it was funny I thought.

The hard part about this week was definitely with my companion. Things are not getting much easier. He is really struggling with some mood problems. Basically he is just not happy. I have tried to talk about it multiple times but he just doesn't want to talk about it. I don't think I need to talk about details but I will say it is so hard right now. I know that thinking about myself and what bothers me about the situation is not what I should do. I know that! But I am really exhausted from it all. I have thought of so many ways to get him going and to get him happy. But everything seems to irritate him. I really do not know what to do? The feeling I have is that this is going to turn into a very big learning experience for the both of us. Throughout this I have been learning about more of my own shortcomings, and that hurts. Just keep enduring. I really believe things will get better. I think if there are a few things I have learned already with my new companion is Patience and Humility. I keep learning more and more about my inner pride every day, and how much pride brings down the progression of a person. Humility is so important, and it seems to be one of the hardest attributes to obtain.

The scripture this week is D&C 112:10.

Also last thing, I don't know if I have told you all before but President Uchtdorf's Grandson is in my mission. He is hilarious. He always comes up to me and says my name in this thick German accent. I talked to him last night and we both prophesied we would be put together next transfer. Anyway, he told me that his Grandpa gave him some hints on what he was going to talk about. So it should be good. I am so stoked for General Conference. It is something I completely took for granted before my mission. It's like the Super Bowl for us missionaries!!! ha

Okay love you!
Wei Zhang Lao