Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Letter # 74

Well Family, I am sorry that I didn't really have the opportunity to write last week. There really wasn't enough time and Preparation day was coming to an end.

I don't know if anyone heard but a typhoon hit Taiwan two Sundays ago. We had to stay inside and Church was canceled. It was kinda cool. I was able to get a lot of reading in but my companion was about to go a little crazy by the time it started to get dark. We are really not used to staying inside and sitting in the same place for long periods of time. I had a huge headache. Fortunately, the typhoon was only here for one day.

This last week went great for us. We have a person getting baptized this coming Saturday. His name is Bing Fu Lin. How we met him is a great story. His Father was contacted by a missionary in south Taiwan and they sent us the information to call him. When I called his Father set up a time with us to meet in a park. But when we went to go meet, his father had sent his son in his place, probably because he didn't want to be rude or something. We met with the son, taught him a first lesson, and invited him to be baptized. We gave him the date of October 2nd, and he accepted. Ever since then he has met with us and progressed. He is just a guy that is full of faith, and truly believes in God. He believes that by being baptized God is going to strengthen his testimony which is great.

The Guo mom and her son are getting baptized this week as well. They were planning on getting their interviews yesterday but they called us last minute and told us that they were not able to make it. We later found out that she has not told her husband much about her desire to be baptized because she feels like if she did that her husband might not let her and the kids go to church at all. I think I told everyone their story. But the husband is not a big fan of religion. He likes our church but just does not trust religion. I told her that she needs to talk to her husband because this is for her whole family, not just for her. I told her that we are helping her prepare for eternity not just for baptism. She agreed and said that she would talk to him tonight. So please pray for her.

The other great story of the week is one of our great Investigators. Jia Ping Chen. She is someone I think I told everyone about a few weeks ago. Maybe two weeks ago. But she is the Mother that is raising the two daughters on her own. One is 9 and the other 8. She is the most prepared investigator that I have seen in my almost two years here. She is unbelievable. She told us last week when we met with her that for a long time she has been wanting to come unto the Lord, but she hasn't really known where to start searching for him. She told us that her friends have invited her to church many times but she just never felt the big drive to go. So when we contacted into her she was more than willing to set up a time. We have met with her now 3 times and everything we teach her she just soaks in like a sponge. She believes in what we say and most importantly feels it. Why? Because it's not from us, it's all from God. She also was willing to set a baptismal date for the 30th of October.

Last week we gave her a Liahona and asked her to read it. The next morning she called me and told me that she wanted to be baptized earlier. She said that she could really relate to what it said. When I got off the phone with her I about had a heart attack. The next time we went to visit her she told us about all the things she had read and she even quoted scripture on us. My companion and I were laughing pretty hard. My testimony about prepared people has gone up so much. She is great and completely ready to accept the fullness of the gospel. Everyone please pray for her and her safety.

This last week like I said was great. I have never had the success before that I am seeing now on my mission. It truly is such a blessing. I also have never been so busy in my entire time as a missionary. I love that too. I only get one chance to do it. So I am trying hard to be as busy as I can and get the most I can done. The month of October will be great for us. My companion and I have set the goal of 8 baptisms for the month. That is the most I have ever set in my mission. But I believe that if we keep doing what were doing and rely on the arm of God to help us, it's going to get done. I love you all very much I really am so thankful for my Family.

Okay the scripture this week is one of my favorites. Moroni 7:33

And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do
whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Letter # 73

WOW! What a great week....

This was one of the most successful weeks on my entire mission. I broke my own personal record for investigators at Church. Our three main families we are teaching right now were all able to come, and a lot of the single people we are teaching came through and were able to make it. Counting kids the grand total was 17 investigators at Church. Yay my companion and I were loving life yesterday. We knew that Saturday night there were going to be a lot of people at Church so we prayed a lot for it all to go very smoothly; and it did! The Ward did a great job at fellowship and talking to everyone and made great impressions for the Church. My companion are quite happy you could say.

One of the great successes was with the Guo family. The Mother and son are still planning on being baptized the 2nd of October and the Father of the family came this week to church just to inspect and see if it was okay for his family to join. We feel that it did not just make a good impression on him but in fact sparked interest that he never had before. I am excited to follow up with Sister Guo about it and find out what her husband really feels. But I sat by him all throughout Sacrament meeting and I saw that he was quite frequently looking at the Pamphlet I gave him and listening fairly intently to the speaker. It went well overall.

The Zhou family still as great as usual. They are really starting to get into Church and learning about it. I think most of all, is that they just enjoy the atmosphere of Church. The Kids run around like its McDonalds, and that is one of the reasons they like to go. The environment is good for the kids. But hey, whatever gets them to Church. This last week my companion and I gave them a Family Proclamation to the World and asked them to read it together. They said they would, but I still haven't had the opportunity to see what they thought of it.

Well this week overall has been incredibly busy. We are constantly on the move from one place to the next and it's hard for us to be on time anywhere. But I wouldn't have it any other way. It feels good being this busy. Its less time to think about my own worries and anxieties, and that is a great thing. The most joyful thing right now in my mission for me is the fact that I know that my companion and I are working extremely hard. We are trying to do what's right; and we are seeing countless blessings for it. Even though we are so far from perfect, the Lord really looks on the heart and know that we want to do what is right and so he steps and makes up for what we can't do. It is such a wonderful blessing to see investigators progressing in the gospel. That has to be my favorite thing from my mission, to truly be able to see the change that the Gospel has on people. "This Gospel, is a Gospel of transformation."

Oh I don't know if I told everyone about Brother Gao from my previous area Shipai? I actually found this out a while ago, and maybe just forgot to tell anyone. But anyway I think most of you should still remember the Gao family right? Well he is now the Ward's gospel doctrine teacher and he hasn't even been a member for six months. Crazy right? He is progressing so fast!

Okay well the story that I want to share from this week is a cool missionary finding story. So we had just finished a lesson with the Sister Guo and we were really hurried to get some dinner so we walked quickly over to where we had parked our bikes and as we were about to take off I realized that I had a quick call that I had to make before we left. Right as I got on the phone I looked right in front of me and there was this Mom and her two daughters sitting in this little restaurant right in front of us. I then looked at my companion told him that there was that mom in front of us. He immediately went over and started talking to her. After I got off the phone I went over and we all started talking. We found out that she was raising this 9 and 7 year old girls all on her own and that basically she had interest in involving God in her Family. She obviously was dealing with a lot of trials right now.
     Long story short she said that we could go visit her and we set up a time for later that week. When we got to her house to my shock they lived in a house or room that was smaller than my room in High School, and everything that they owned was jam packed into this little room. So we just barely had enough room to sit on the floor. I was so humbled when I walked into the room and the thought popped into my head like it has many times in my mission before "How could I ever have complained about anything in my life".
     The lesson that we had with her was quick because we did not have much time. But we taught her about family prayer and she said that she was willing to pray every night with her girls. She also told us that she has a desire to go to Church but that every time she thinks about going into a church a guilty feeling fills her heart and she feels unworthy. My companion and I just kind of looked at each other and thought "Wow", perfect!

This is why we have the Gospel. We are meeting with her again this week and we are going to invite her to be baptized. Please pray for her and her little girls. The Mothers name is Jia Yin Chen.

Okay well that is it for this week. The Scripture is Alma 32:13-14

And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy; and he that findeth mercy
and endureth to the end the same shall be saved.
And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?

Elder Wei

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Letter # 72

My first week with Elder Clavel was good. Average but a little bit of stress involved. We had so many people set up to meet with us for the first time. But almost all of the lessons did not show up. Fortunately we are teaching a lot of people right now so we were still able to see the progress of the Families and other progressing investigators. Which is sweeeeeet!

The Zhou family is doing awesome we feel. They came to a Fireside last night and we think they really enjoyed it. The dad was listening really intensely to the speakers. This Fireside is great. Its our Mission President that puts it on, and its especially for new members and investigators. So the people they invite to speak are all new members. Usually the talks are so good to hear and are powerful. I love hearing why people joined the church. It always invites the spirit, every time, without fail.

Well the Guo family is good. She wants her and her son to be baptized. But she is so scared that her Mother-in-law will lose her mind if she finds out that she joined a church. Her Mother-in-law is a Buddhist Monk and I guess is very high up in the Buddhist sect that she is in. So its a serious problem that we have on our hands. Obviously we could try to just meet the family but it could cause more problems. Sister Guo's husband doesn't really care either way from what we understand. The problem is just the Mother-in-Law. This "Family Opposing" is actually a really common problem in Taiwan. I am sure that I have told everyone before. Its the hardest concern to fix as well because as missionaries there is only so much we can do. The rest is left to prayer, and faith. This family needs big prayers right now. The Mother of this Family is
amazing. She wants the best for her kids. She is hands down one of the most diligent and committed investigators that I have had. After she puts the kids down for bed every night she grabs the Book of Mormon herself and starts reading it. and she is doing it all for her Family. Ya that's awesome. Please pray for her.

So one of the best things that happened this week was news that I heard from other missionaries, and it was news that came from the last two areas I served in. Basically I found out that a person who I had contacted at a stoplight in my last area (Xin Zhu) and started meeting with my companion and I, was just baptized two weeks ago. As a missionary that is one of the best things you can possibly hear. It makes all the hard days so worth it. The joy that you feel when you know that because you tried to do what the Lord expected of you and do your best to talk to everyone a person was able to come closer to their Heavenly Father. There is nothing sweeter than that. I also know that if I wouldn't have contacted him that day the Lord would have just found another opportunity for him to meet the missionaries. But I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of it. A huge blessing from the Lord!

Also, even bigger news..... the Swedish investigator we had when I was in Shipai just got baptized this last Saturday. I was asked to speak at his baptism. It was one of the best experiences from my mission. This man's story is amazing. His name is Sam Wallberg. He came to Taiwan because his wife is Taiwanese. Its kind of a confusing story but basically he met this Taiwanese lady and moved to Taiwan and got married to her. Sam's life has been so difficult. He has been involved in two divorces and he has kids that he doesn't even talk to, or really even know. How we met him is the best.... He self contacted me. Its a funny story. One night last January my companion and I were trying to find the address of this less active member and right as I turned the corner at this stoplight a big hand slapped me right in the back. I slammed on my breaks and looked back and there was a 6 ft 8 huge white guy standing there and in his thick Swedish accent said "why Hello."  I kind of just paused obviously being surprised, and then said Hi. He went on to tell me that he had a Swedish restaurant in the area and he gave me one of the menus. I told him I would go the next day for lunch. After that its a really long story but we started to become really good friends with him, and after months and about 50 plates of meatballs and mash potatoes he was willing to sit down and listen to us tell him about the Plan of Salvation. We ordered a Swedish Book of Mormon for him and by the time he started really meeting with the missionaries I was already transferred down to Xinzhu. But I remember during that whole process with him and biking by his shop and talking to him just about every single day. I remember thinking how badly he needed the gospel in his life. Well I when I got called back up to Taipei. I found out from my old companion Elder Duff that Sam had a date to be baptized. Well he was baptized last Saturday and the Baptismal service went really well.

Also another great thing is that the English ward in Taipei meets in the same building as our ward so I get to see him every Sunday. Oh ya! I forgot to tell you that the Elders that met with Sam after I left found out that his wife was actually a member of the church who was baptized 20 years ago, and now she is coming to church with Sam. It's amazing how the Lord is able to work it all out right.

Okay well the scripture this week is Alma 26:11

But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

Love you all
Elder Wei