Monday, November 22, 2010

Letter # 81 - Final Letter and Testimony

Well this is my last letter.

I can't really explain the feeling that are going in my head right now. I feel that at moments that nothing is wrong and that everything is just normal, and then I am suddenly reminded that my mission is just about to be over and I am going to be home in a day. Thoughts of nervousness, anxiety, and obvious excitement all at the same time is quite the emotional roller coaster.

The first thing I should talk about is the report from this week. This week went well for us. It was a weird thought thinking that it was my last week but I was constantly just trying to do my best not to think about it but while at the same time needing to face reality. This last week I had decided in my heart that I was going to endure to the end no matter what, that I was really going to try my best and treat it as if it was just another missionary week. I feel like I did well and because of that decision we were still able to be productive.

In Taiwan, the members love to feed the missionaries, especially ones that are heading home. We had lots of people feed us and take us out. One were the parents of a new member we taught and was baptized in my second area. Her parents are not members and it was a cool missionary opportunity, especially for a couple that knows absolutely nothing about the Church, or Christianity in general. With all the people wanting to take us out it could have been incredibly easy to slack off and take it easy my last week but my companion and I, like I said, made a very conscience effort not to waste time and to do what we could with the time we had left together. I believe that we were blessed greatly for it. I believe it also taught me a lot about the principle of enduring to the end with all things, not just referring to Commandments and Covenants.

The Baptisms yesterday were great. The 4 people baptized were just so prepared. Their testimonies were so powerful and I was so happy to be a part of their progression on their way home. Does everyone remember the Sisters I told you about last week? Their testimonies were amazing. I have never seen people that were so repentant and truly fulfilling the baptismal requirement of a "broken heart and contrite spirit."

One of the other women that we baptized this weekend. Her name is Sister Yang or "Carrie". That is her English name. She is in English teacher so at least half the time we were speaking to her in English. I am not sure if I have told everyone this story yet. But basically this women was contacted a year ago by a missionary and after that the missionaries had lost contact with her. Then exactly a year later the same missionary contacted her on a bus and she said she would be willing to meet with the missionaries. She lived in our area so the missionary gave me her number. It took me about a month to get her to set up with us. But we kept calling her and eventually she was able to find a time to sit down with us. I remember the first time we met with her very specifically. She told us that she didn't really care if God existed or not, and that if she believed in God he was probably a mean God who punished people for not doing what he wanted. As we kept meeting with her, her entire countenance began to change. As weeks would go on she would start to express the changed feelings in her mind towards God and the world. A week before she was baptized we had a powerful lesson with her about the Atonement and she expressed these different feelings that she was having, and especially her view towards happiness. She expressed that her happiness now did not derive from short-lived spurts of Joy, such as Candy, or being able to sneak a seat on a crowded bus. She went on to explain to us that she is starting to understand what that true happiness that we were always talking to her about really meant. In other words she was explaining how she is being converted and she didn't even know it. Her testimony at her baptism was great. She sat down after she gave her testimony and I told her that she did an awesome job with it and she looked at me and said that it was God that helped her with it. This is coming from a person who said about a month and a half ago that she did not care if God existed or not.

I truly testify from the bottom of my heart that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and it has the same effects on every human heart, and why does it have that effect? Because we are all the Children of a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to be like him! I know the Church is true. I love it so, so much. I especially love the leaders of the Church and their inspired teachings. I could go on all day about what my mission has done for me. But I just want to say that it has saved my life and I am in so much debt to my Heavenly Father. A lifetime of service is the only thing that I can think will suffice for the most precious blessings he has given me. I love this Gospel and it is true. My mission has been the hardest thing that I have ever done. I mean incredibly difficult. But it's much like what Mom would always tell me "You get what you pay for." I tried to pay a lot and I got so much out of it.

I can stand before the entire Family and say that I worked. I worked hard on my mission, and I tried to serve my best. I really tried. I was not perfect. But I tried to change every time I knew I needed to. So I believe that I stand accountable to my Heavenly Father for the work that I have put it in. I believe he is proud of what I have tried to do. I love my Family so much that there are not words to express. I truly love you all so much. I have that I have grown so close to my family while I have been here, especially my parents. I love you both more than you know. I truly realized the blessing that I have been given and I am truly grateful.

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Thank you all so much for your support and your love. I will see you all soon

Elder Weinberger

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