Monday, July 26, 2010

Letter # 66

Longshan Temple. The oldest Taoist Temple in Taiwan.

Things are great in Taipei. We had a rough week as far as numbers go, but like every week we were still able to see some great things and some miracles certainly occurred.

My companion and I are doing great. Elder Moreno is a really good missionary. I have already learned so much from him. He is one of those just "good old Mormon boys". He gives me a good example pretty much all the time. I have seen growth in myself because of his example in just a week. I truly believe it was an inspired call for me to get moved up here with him. It's awesome, we are working hard. But like I said ...a bit rough. It was kind of a trial some week for us. We got stood up on a lot of lessons. I think I have told everyone before, that getting stood up is the one thing that really stresses me out. I really don't like the feeling of putting so much effort into people to get them to set up and them just not show up for a lesson. Obviously there is a good side about it, like the fact of seeds being planted for later missionaries. I think that is the only thing that is comforting when that happens.
In the meantime this week we were still able to run into a family that was willing to meet with us. A mother and her two kids. Amazingly this family is related to one of the other investigators we have right now. Ya that was a big miracle. Oh and the little girl of the family is the 1 ranked ice skater for her age in Taiwan.  Sweet huh? The family's name is Lin. So please pray for their success.

Oh and on topics of miracles. An investigator that we have just passed his baptismal interview and is getting baptized next Sunday. His name is Xing Ming Hu. He is a 20 year old kid and he is so great, and incredibly humble. I have only been here for a week so I haven't really had the chance to really get to know him. But he is awesome.

Well I will tell everyone about the area I am in. My companion and I cover two main area right in the center of Taipei. These two areas are called Tatung and Wanhua. It is one of the oldest places in Taiwan. It is right where the first explorers settled when they came to Taiwan. I will go ahead and formally invite my Father to look up the information and I am sure he can inform everyone at the next family dinner all about it. (That joke was intended for family members). But the area is really cool and like I said has lots of history. We see all the really old buildings all the time and the oldest Taoist temple in Taiwan is actually in our area too.

Well the story of this week goes to one of the new members in our ward. She is a 75 year old widow in our ward and wow does this lady have a story. She is one of the refuges from China when Mao ZeDong was taking the country over in the communist movement and the so called (cultural revolution). After seeing some of the men killed in her family her mother and some of her other siblings starting running south to make it to Hong Kong. She eventually made it there after days of running, and at 9 years old was completely separated from her family and was on her way to Taiwan by herself. Imagine being a 9 year old in a new country after seeing all that and then on top of it having no one to take care of you.

She then was taken into a military orphanage and raised there. After a life time of working incredibly hard work she was able to make a living and eventually was married. The next time she saw her mother was over 50 years later when she went back to China to visit her. She then was informed that all the men in her family had been killed years earlier (along with approximately 70 million others).  This Lady told us this story last night as she fed us dinner and I just remember thinking in my head " How dare that I, ever complained about anything." Ya and me at 9 years old  complaining about the school shoes I got and how I wanted a different color.

This women in our ward is the sweetest lady in the world .She invites the missionaries over every single week and feeds them. Mostly because she is lonely and has no one to really talk to, and she is always asking and making sure on the next time we come. She is so sweet. She loves feeding us. She stuffs us full of so much food and she won’t ever let us stop eating. I have eaten there twice now and I thought I was going to die both times. Every time I try to sit back in my chair she quickly reminds me on how I have to finish the whole bowl and how she has more coming. My companion and I are always just laughing about it.

The scripture I want to share this week
Mosiah 23:22. It’s all about putting trust in the Lord.

Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.

I am a little out of time but I love everyone so much thank you for your prayers.

Elder Wei

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Letter # 65

Hello Everyone!

Well some crazy and unexpected things have happened.

Ya it was the weirdest thing. I was only in Hsinchu for 1 transfer, which is bizarre because usually when someone becomes zone leader for the first time they are in that area for a good amount of time. But I guess the Lord has something else planned for me.

I was moved up to Central Taipei to be one of the zone leaders. I was so shocked when the call came out. But so excited at the same time. I love Taipei. It has always been my favorite place to be on the island. But I have never served in the center of the city before so it is going to be a big change!

This morning I got off the train and walked out of Taipei Main Station and truly realized how big the city of Taipei was. My new companion is Elder Moreno. He is from Alpine, Utah. This is his last transfer on his mission. He was in my zone when I was in Shipai. He is an awesome missionary! Seriously, I have so much to
learn from him. When the call first came that I was going to be with him I knew that it was an answer to my prayers on a lot of things. So I'm really excited about this transfer.

Taipei is an amazing city, and our area is right in the heart of it. It will be cool to be in on a lot of the action. From what I have heard we are in touch with President a lot because we are so close to the mission office. Exciting yah!

Well my last week in Hsinchu was a crazy one. It was unlike any other in my whole mission. One of the elders has been sick and in the Hospital. He has been having some problems with his kidneys. But he has been there for the last four days. He has been sick for the last two weeks but it started to get serious so he went to the best hospital in the area which happened to be in our area. President and the assistants told my companion and I that because we were the zone leaders we were the ones that had to arrange everything. Basically
what would happen is my companion Elder Yeh would stay most of the time in the hospital with the sick Elder, just because of the communication issue. It is obviously a lot easier to communicate with a doctor about medical things if you're a native right. In the meantime I would take the other Elder out. So Elder Yeh stayed a few nights there with him while I would take out the other Elder.

The trick was, that through all this we still had things we had to do, like Baptismal interviews, and arranging members to pick us up and take us places we needed to go. Also we were dealing with transfer weekend so we were also running around trying to get some Elders that were leaving all packed and ready, while still taking turns/shifts staying with the sick Elder that was in the hospital. It was a week of stress that's for sure, and everyone was exhausted. But through it all, in my opinion, we still got so much done. We still had lots of lessons and the Woo family was able to make it to church this week.

That was sad having to leave them. I was way excited to see them baptized. But its all good. I really am so excited about where I am, and I think most importantly I think that I learned what it is that the Lord wanted me to learn there. Plus it just feels right. Well because of time right now I can't write too much but I will share something that I thought was funny. The Mother of the Woo family thinks mom looks like Martha Stewart.. I was cracking up when she said that. I guess I can see it to. ????

Well the Scripture for this week is Elder Moreno's favorite scripture. (Alma 22:18).

O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.
Okay much love
Elder Wei

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter # 63 JULY 4th

We had a good week. I know I say that just about every week. But this week went well. The Work is really progressing where we are. We have been setting so many people up with appointments out on the street. Of course with setting lots of people up come lots of appointments ...that don't show up. Ya, that happened a bit this week but we are finding New Investigators every single week and the feeling is so much different here than when I first got here. I feel that as I have really started to realize the reality of how fast I will be home, there has been such an urgency to do all that I can whenever I can; and sometimes that hurts.

Especially when I'm tired and its hotter than any weather I have ever been in before. By the way, I know I said this last week and everything but it really is getting hot. It was way hotter this last week than the one before. But I will openly admit that I like it in some twisted way. I think the challenge makes me want to do it even more.

Well Happy Birthday America! The 4th of July is one of my favoirte Holidays and being in Taiwan I guess I can say that the Patriotic American feel was not the easiest to maintain this year. I had completely forgotten that is was the 4th of July until I was on the phone with another missionary and he reminded me to sing the Star Spangled Banner before I went to bed. Well I tried to force my companion to sing it with me and he refused. I don't blame him. I wouldn't do it either if I was Taiwanese. But of course I persisted and told him that he had to do it! He told me that if he sang the song with me he would not go out for Preperation day and that he would stay inside all day and sleep. I guess it didn't take me very long to decide ...So I tried to sing it as proudly as I could by myself. Yah. GO AMERICA!

Well the Investigators are all doing well. The Woo Family is really coming along. It looks like they are going to make there date for the end of July. I don't think I have really told you all about them yet. But they consist of a single mom and her 14 year old son. Basically her son is a little Hoodlem and was getting himself in a lot trouble with friends and school etc. She had no idea how to help him or what she needed to do. But she had a member friend that offered for the missionaries to come over and teach her about the Gospel. Luckily the misisonaries that got the call were us. So for the last 3 weeks we have been meeting with them and the 14 year old (Ji Qing) has changed so much. We can just feel it when we are around him. He loves when we come over and we have gotten to be really close with him so its really good when we need to give advice because he will actually listen.

Its amazing what the influence of the gospel really has on families. Even just talking about the Savior brings light and will influence them positively. Elder Anderson talked about it in the Last General Conference. Which kinda leaves me with what I especially want to talk about this week. "The Family."  I am so proud that every time I bare my testimony on the streets to someone about how this gospel blesses the family, that I really know without a doubt that I have experienced it and I have one of my own. I am so thankful that I have faithful parents that have stuck so close to the gospel and have guided their children in that direction our whole
lives. It has made an influence and I can promise with all that I have that it has because I have seen so many unbelievably broken families on my mission. Most of them were torn by inner pride, and a pure lack of love for the members within.

The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ alows us to know who we are and God's "TRUE" purpose for the family. That is us being together forever. Through the Gospel he has also given us a way to better our relationships in this life. That is purely through Jesus Christ and his example. I truly know with all my heart that this is the answer for all families.

Two weeks ago we were in a lesson with a family that turned into something that I have never seen on my mission. The mother of the family started crying and got out the divorce papers for her husband to sign right in front of us and the kids. It was terrible. But it made me so grateful for the family I have at home. No, my Family is not perfect.  But we have the gospel of Jesus Christ which can make us perfect. I love my family so much and I am so thankful for all of them. I am always going to try to remember that this life is such a short time. But we are not just developing relationships for right now. They are for eternity.

The scipture I want to give this week is actually (The Family Proclamation to the World.) I hope everyone gets a chance to read it. Much love!

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Elder Wei

Monday, July 12, 2010

Letter # 64

Well This week went faster than any other this transfer. Some big things happened in our mission this week.  One of them being a visit from a member of the First Presidency. Ya I didn't really tell anyone. I kinda kept forgetting to put it in my email, but President Uchtdorf came to Taiwan. His two twin grandsons were in the two missions here. The Taichung and Taipei missions. He came to pick them up and have a week with them here. Ya it was awesome. We first got to have a mission conference with him and then we got to attend the conference he put on for the members in Taiwan. It seriously was amazing.

The things he said were exactly what the people needed to hear here. He talked a lot about putting importance on the things that are actually important and he talked a lot about the blessings of keeping the commandments. He promised everyone so many blessings for doing it too. Ya, I love President Uchtdorf. I have always really liked him. I don't know what it is about him but it seems the principles that he expresses in his testimony are the ones that really are the foundation of my own. I feel the Spirit so strongly every time he gives a talk. He always seems to talk about something that really hits me so deeply. That is the "Sweetness of the Gospel." I had no Idea what that meant until I started getting a little older as a missionary. I still don't think that I can properly express my feelings of that sentence. I think I can express it is just by explaining that it is a feeling of the heart that overtakes your life and transforms you into a true son or daughter of God. I love this Gospel with all my heart. It has truly changed my life and has given me everything. I can't imagine life without it. Life would be so pointless.

President Uchtdorf's wife (Harriet) also gave a great talk at our mission conference. She is Hilarious. I was laughing so hard at some of the things she was saying with her thick German accent. She is a Fireball.  She shared her conversion story and how the thing that really touched her family was the Plan of Salvation. She said the missionaries had knocked on the door not to long after her Father had died, and that the Restored Gospel gave her mother the answers and the comfort that no other message could give her at that time. It was awesome. I am pretty sure that this is the last visitor we will get of that level before I leave.

Well Investigators....... We are in the same state we were in last week. People are doing well but there is not that many progressing investigators. We are finding a lot of people but lately it seems so hard to get them to come to Church and just make the next step. The Woo family is doing great. The mom and the son didn't make it to church last week but they are still doing well and accept everything that is being taught.

The weather is still as hot as ever. I'm just getting used to it now. I'm kind of now to the "Whatever" point of my feelings toward the weather. . Which means I don't really care how hot it is any more. I'm used to it.

My companion and I are doing well. I think a lot of this transfer he and I have really struggled with unity. It feels that way anyway. It's not that there has been any huge arguments or anything like that. It's just that we were missing something in our companionship. We talked about it this last week and it seems like things have been getting better since. I hope so at least.

Well that's about it from this week. The scripture I want to share is 2 Nephi 5:10-11, and verse 27. I think it goes well with the meaning of the "Sweetness of the Gospel"

And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.
And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds,
and animals of every kind.
And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.

I love you all.
Elder Wei