Monday, August 30, 2010

Letter # 71

Well.... New transfer, and New companion.
Its going to be awesome. My new companion's name is Elder Clavel. He is from Chino, California. He is half Chilean and half Mexican, and his Spanish is just about as good as his English. So I am going to be doing some brushing up on my rusted non existent Spanish. I took two years in high school and remember 3 words. One of them is "bathroom".

I know I am a total embarrassment of the Public School system in Utah. But its okay, and I will repent of that ....eventually. If I decide to take Spanish in college I promise to work hard. Also I have the "Mandarin excuse". Because learning Chinese pretty much destroys anything that I learned before. It occupies your mind and then deep fries anything that has to do with another language. (English included).

Anyway he is a great missionary and really young. He is the youngest Zone Leader in the mission which means that he has possibilities of doing great things in the mission. He was one of the District leaders in our Zone Last transfer so I have already been on exchanges with him once before. He is cool, and we will get along just dandy. I really think that I have been blessed on my mission with my companions. I have always had fun companions. Well... for the most part. I think there is only one that was a little hard to get along with. But the rest have always been my good friends. I am so thankful for that.

Well it was weird for Elder Moreno to leave. he gets on a plane tomorrow, and that was a weird reality for me to face, knowing that my time is not far either. I didn't really get a chance to say goodbye to him or anything. He had to run into his final interview with president, and we had to get home. But I had a great last transfer. One of the best on my mission. I think the relationship I had with Elder Moreno was one of the best that I have had with a companion. We never even really had one disagreement, and we pretty much saw eye to eye on the way to do missionary work. This last transfer was also one of the most successful I have had. Like I said in my last emails. We have been contacting pretty much every Family we see, and it has really paid off.

Yesterday we had two families at church and it went great they all loved it. We were able to meet with one of the families last night for Elder Moreno's last lesson on his mission. We watched the Restoration movie with them and invited them to be baptized and they accepted. This Family is set to be baptized on the 9th of October. It is the Zhou family. I don't know if I have said anything about them in earlier blogs but this family is great. They are one of our best investigators right now. I actually contacted the Mom originally right outside of their apartment. She set up with us originally mostly because she is just nice and she had been involved with the Catholic Church before so she knew a little bit about Jesus Christ. The Husband of the family was the one that has really surprised us with his interest. He really is curious about our church and after last night he expressed his desire to know if it really is true or not. There are so many blessing in our area right now. I am pretty excited about next transfer and what is going to happen but I imagine for me personally it will be  the busiest transfer of my whole mission, which is exhausting yet so satisfying. So everyone please pray for the Zhou family and especially for their prayers to receive answers.

As far as the news last week. It was really HOT obviously. But no big rain. Well there was actually rain but it wasn't the rain that got us. We happened to be doing our Weekly Planning Session in our apartment the one time it rained last week. Ha ha, tender mercies of the Lord. Also because it was elder Moreno's last week we had lots of members taking us to dinner and lunch. That was sweet.

This last week was really stressful for us as well. We were pretty stacked with things we had to be doing. I was pretty tired all week. A lot of it is attributed to bad sleep. I don't know what it was about this last week but there was a couple nights where I kept waking myself up because I was contacting or teaching a lesson in my sleep.Elder Moreno kept saying that I constantly would sit up and start acting like I was teaching someone in the middle of the night and wake him up. I thought it was hilarious.

Well the scripture this week is in honor of my companion. Its Alma 26:12.

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
Love you all so so so much.
Elder Wei

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Letter # 70

WOW! I am in week six in my 13th transfer, and my companion is going home next Tuesday. Things are starting to get a little weird here. But Elder Moreno and I were able to avoid a lot of the conversations about home. a.k.a...(Trunky Discussions). When I first got to this area Elder Moreno told me that because it was his last transfer he had a goal to try to not talk about the.....When I.... Before I..... get home conversations. He really wanted to stay focused and he and I both feel that we have done a good job with it. Usually we don't like talking about it, mainly because it freaks us both out.

Now when people in the mission ask the question "Hey Elder! What transfer is this for you?" or my favorite "How much longer do you have?"  This sudden cringe come over me reminding me that my time is short, and I HATE answering back. I think mostly because there is so much more I desire to do here. I feel like there are so many precious things that I am learning now that I would literally kill to have that knowledge and the attitude that comes with that knowledge as a younger missionary. It makes me sad and it hurts. But the truth of the matter, is that I think it is this way for almost every missionary. We all deal with the same things, and all we can do is just endure to the end and do your best. I am going to love and hate coming home at the same time.

Well the last week I thought was good. Basically this whole transfer has just been good. Our focus has been completely on Families this transfer. I don't think we even really meant to do that either. It was just kind of the way things worked out. I think mostly because Elder Moreno and I contact every single Mother we saw. But we are teaching so many families and its great.

One family in Particular is doing well. That is the Kuo family consisting of a Mother and her two kids. We have had great follow ups with her on the phone this last week. She told us that her kids had all these questions about the Book of Mormon and she didn't know how to answer, so she asked me if she could borrow some movies to watch to help her better understand so she could teach the kids. I was ecstatic when I heard that. She is an Investigator that is actually trying to do her best in keeping commitments; and because she is trying and "experimenting upon the word", she is starting to feel the difference in her life.

That's the trick really for everyone. Just do it, and you will see why. I think back at the best investigators that I had in my mission, and they got it because all they did was just simply DO what we invited them to do. It's impossible for a person who lives the gospel and obeys the commandments to NOT taste the fruit from it. I am so happy for this Mother.

Also there is another person that I hope everyone can pray for. It is a another Mother. Her name is Yu.

Yu has two daughters. We took them on a little bit of a temple tour yesterday and had a good lesson with her in the chapel. She has such a strong desire to go to church and have a better family, but her husband is very against Christians, so chances are he will not allow her to meet with us again. Please pray for them and especially her husband.

Well the week before was also my Birthday. My companion and I met with other Elders and went to the Outback Steakhouse in Taipei. I know ...not very frugal right? But I hadn't had a real American steak since I got to Taiwan so I was a little malnourished. It was divine! The Birthday was fun. It also happened to be on a preparation day so it was the double bonus birthday.

Last thing I want to share from last week is about someone that I think I have already told everyone about a few weeks ago. Sister Mo? She is the older lady in our ward that was the refugee from China when she was a little girl. She wrote this song/poem and sang it for us one night at dinner. It is a song about Jesus Christ and the greatest blessing God has for us which is him. This song she wrote has the old Asian sound to it and the way she sings it is awesome. It was such a cool experience for me personally because when she was singing the song chills just came over me and a special thought came to me. It was a thought that told me that God loves all of his children everywhere. That he is truly mindful of all. I will try to hold the feelings I had that night close to me, because they were strong.

Okay the scripture I want to share this week I might have already shared already but I want to share it again. It's Alma 26:37.

Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

Love everyone so so much.
Elder Wei

Monday, August 16, 2010

Letter # 69

Hello Fam/Everyone.

Well this week went pretty well. We didn't do so well on numbers this week. It seems like our whole zone is struggling with the same problem. Everyone is working hard, including our own companionship. But It seems really hard to get the amount of lessons we need to be getting. One "Zone's" biggest struggle is bringing people to Church. I think I have talked about this a little before with everyone. But it is hard here.

Elder Moreno and I are working hard with the Families we are teaching but I realized last night, when I was thinking about the week that there was so much more we need to be doing, I realized that we have not been involving them or really getting them into the Book of Mormon the way we should. That is going to be one of my main focuses this week with our investigators. I am going to try to make it a big effort to follow up on their reading, and make sure that they are actually reading the assignments we give them.

The Book of Mormon is so crucial for the conversion of people, my own Testimony included. It's an enormous part of my testimony. The Book has so much power. It does bring change in peoples lives. It brings a new spirit and changes the way you think about everything. Most importantly, it testifies of the Savior.

I am doing this kind of personal study with the Book of Mormon right now. I took a new copy and started from the beginning and starting marking every time I see the name of Jesus, or any name referring to him in the color red. For example (Lord, Savior, Messiah). Then I mark every time it is Him speaking with yellow. Then I mark every time it talks about his attributes in blue, and then I mark every time it talks about the Atonement in orange. Doing this has done so much for me personally.

Something that is cool about the Book of Mormon is that I have passed 200 pages of it and there has only been three pages that haven't made reference to Jesus Christ. Pretty sweet huh? The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know because I have never read anything that has changed my heart the way that book has. Every time I read about the Savior in the book I can feel in my heart that what it is saying is true. I can't deny that feeling.

In no way is it to displace or discredit the Bible. The Bible along with the Book of Mormon has truly helped me to understand personally much of Christ's life and his ministry. The Bible and the Book of Mormon enhance each other and should be studied together. I love the scriptures, and I regret so much that I did not read them the way I should of when I was younger. But I have made a lot of big commitments with myself on how I am going to study when I get back.

Well one of the big things that happened this week was when my companion and I went on exchanges with the assistants. It was great because I was able to go with Elder McLaws. He is the Senior assistant and I had a lot to learn from him. A lot of it was his humility. But one of the things he told me was that because it is my current companion's last transfer and that I would be getting a new companion next transfer that there was a lot I had to do to prepare for the coming transfer. He basically advised me that my focus is going to have to be completely on the needs of the zone. In other words, we was telling me that thinking about myself is not really one of the options. This is something that I have actually thought a lot about the last week. I have looked back on my mission and realized that I have not been the best at this. I have certainly tried hard, but now is an opportunity to do it completely.

Well the Investigators are doing well we feel. I feel a little concerned about a few, mostly about the Deng Family. I hope they are going to make it. They are all going out of town this week and will be back next week. A couple of the Investigators are falling out right now and told us that they didn't really have time to go to church right now and that finding time to meet with us would be hard for them. One example is a Mom we we are teaching. Her name is Lo Li,and the other is Sheng Xiu Huang. He is a Father who just recently had a new baby with his wife.

* * * So please pray for them and their time to open up and their desire to grow.

The Scripture I want to share is one of my favorites. Mosiah 26:30

Yea, and aas often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.

Love you all
Elder Wei

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letter # 68

Okay, we had some great things happen this week. Things are getting a lot of momentum in our area. We are  finding so many new people, and the best part is that they are all families. I have never taught so many families before in my mission. One of the biggest blessings is that they are actually doing it. They are all progressing, coming to Church and preparing to be baptized. The two main Families we are working with right now are the Teng family and the Kuo family. The Teng family consists of the Mom, Dad, 15 yr old son anda 2 year old daughter. They have come to church the last two weeks and they seem to be enjoying it. I think most importantly is that they enjoy the feeling when they are there. As for doctrine and the understanding of the gospel, their knowledge is very limited but if they keep following their feelings everything will be fine.

Its actually kind of an interesting story why the husband was so willing to hear the gospel. He told us two weeks ago that he had seen the movie The Passions of Christ a long time ago and that he cried through the whole thing. He said from that time on he always had interest in learning about Jesus Christ. He has told us that is just feels right, and that the Taoist and Buddhist religions are something he doesn't agree with.

The mother is investigating the gospel mainly just for the kids. She is scared that her 15 year old son is going to get himself into trouble. What Mom doesn't?.... The Son actually has warmed up to us a lot. At first He didn't really like us but after a couple visits and joking around with him a little bit he realized that we were normal people and so he actually started paying attention to what it is that we had to say. I love this family.
* * * Please pray for them.* * *

Unfortunately the Kuo Family was not able to make it to church yesterday. It was Fathers Day yesterday here in Taiwan. But they promised next week that they would make it.

That being said, one of the biggest miracles this week for us was the turn out to church. We had so many investigators that came to Church. One of the most successful Sundays on my mission. The Ward was really excited about it. It seems that the Wards here base a lot of a missionaries' success on the people they bring to sacrament meeting, which can make that difficult. Bringing people to Church on Sunday seems to be one of the harder things to do here. People in Taiwan are usually busy or really just like to relax on Sundays, which I guess does not sound that much different from the States.

One of the miracles I want to share from this week is awesome. (One of the best in my mission.)
So the story starts on a rainy night in Taipei (Go Figure). It was last Saturday night. My companion and I were heading back from the other side of the city. We had to Bike over there to give a baptismal interview.
As we pulled up to our apartment we parked our bikes and started heading to the elevator. We both kind of looked at our watches to see what time it was and we realized that we still had 5 minutes before we had to be in. We decided that we were going to say a quick prayer and try to get a quick set up with someone. As we walked outside and were getting ready to say a prayer we both spotted a family across the street. We quickly said a prayer and asked for help and hurried and biked over there. We knew we only had a few minutes at this point, But we were able to use our missionary tactics to corner them - Moreno came from the side and I flanked them from the front, so they didn't have a choice but to listen to us introduce ourselves.

As we introduced ourselves they knew who we were. They said they had seen missionaries before. At this point we only had a minute to share something with them.  We shared a quick message about families and asked if we could come over.  The mom was more interested in learning English, but the dad invited us over for the next day.

We went over the next day and had a great lesson with them.  They are the Chang Family.  They have two kids, a thirteen year old girl and a five year old boy. The Five year old reminded me so much of Zeke and Grant it was hilarious. He kept coming over and sitting by me during the lesson while he was playing his Nintendo DS.

The lesson went well. We taught them about prayer and the relationship that God has with us. They agreed to meet with us again next Sunday. I'm so excited about this Family.
* * * Also please pray for them. * * *

Okay, I am a little out of time but the scripture this week is Alma 16:16.

And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming

I think this scripture is very appropriate for what is going on in our area. My companion and I are seeing so many miracles. I really believe with all my heart that there are so many being prepared in our area.

Have a great week everyone.
Love, Elder Wei


  • Teng family

  • Kuo family

  • Chang family

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Letter # 67

Elder Chris Weinberger will be officially returning home on November 23, 2010!

His latest update:

Okay so I do not have a lot of time to write this letter.

For the most part went well this week. We worked incredibly hard. Even when it was the hardest to do it. It seriously gets so hot at times. I will still come out of my apartment in the morning and start the day and think, how can it be THIS HOT already. But it makes it more fun at times (That whole "I am going to conquer it" mind set).

Oh yes, a little info for the family. I am loosing weight. Yes, I am getting skinnier. So quick send me some cookies and sweets.

Well this week like the last was a little trialsome personally. I was being a little too hard on myself about some of my imperfections. But as I spoke with President Grimley about some of the things that were bothering me I had a very large spiritual impression last night about the Atonement. I felt so much peace last night when I thought of my Savior and his ability to cleanse us of our sins and help us with our imperfections. I was filled with so much gratitude for him and my Heavenly Father for providing me a way to overcome my mistakes. I feel in a way that my heart has been softened just a little bit more, even from just last night. There aren't words to express my thanks for him. Even though trials can be so painful, especially when your right in the "fire" of it, the growth afterwards makes it so worth it. I feel that even from last night I was filled with more desire to share this message.

Well the baptism went great this week. Really smoothly. My Companion was the one that ended up baptizing him. Also we were able to have 2 investigator families at church this week, which was huge for us. I think that is probably the first time that has ever happened in my mission.

Well I really don't have a lot of time this week to write but things are going well. Thank you for your prayers.
Elder Wei