Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011


Sorry I'm late this week but it was temple week, so P-day was changed to Wednesday! Today I had the pleasure of attending the temple, always a wonderful treat and always nice to feel that close to the Lord. 

I can't explain how happy I am this week. My new companion is the greatest. He is hilarious. We have the funnest time and this transfer is absolutely going to fly by. He is from TaiZhong Taiwan, and having a companion that doesn't speak English is making me feel so comfortable with my Chinese. It is truly a blessing to have already have two Taiwanese companions.

I can't explain how much influence a companion has on you happiness. It's an absolute blast doing missionary work with Elder Chen. He works hard, he's obedient, and we get along perfectly. We're already seeing crazy miracles and it feels so AMAZING to just be able to focus all my time and attention on the work and not be having to exhaust a lot of energy keeping a companionship alive.

Today after the temple we went out to eat with other missionaries. It was a ton of fun spending time with Elder VandenBerghe, my MTC comp. Ha, it's crazy how we've become like best friends in the mission. I hope I can get the chance to go on an exchange with him the other day.

I ran in to a member from ZhuDong the other day and a lot of the people Elder Bogle and I found and taught on that miracle of a transfer are being baptized or have been baptized. I can't explain how miraculous that transfer was. At the time, I took it for granted, but it gives me a lot of faith and fire knowing that when you're exactly obedient and when you are diligent, miracles come in abundance.

A really cool highlight this week was Guo DiXiong, our 82 year old new convert was asked to say the opening prayer at the fireside that our mission runs, which has members and non members from all over Taipei county come. It was packed. He came up and gave the audience a huge smile before he prayed, which made everyone in the entire place happy. Then he said a wonderful prayer (his prayers are so happy and so cool) and then he closed and did like a little bow. All the other missionaries were so jealous I got to have the opportunity to meet and teach him and help in his conversion. He is the cutest, happiest old man, and everyone he meets instantaneously falls in love with him.

Highlight number 2. He has two daughters that attended his baptism. They were so amazed at how happy their father is after meeting this church. Guo Di Xiong gave the temple sisters his youngest daughter's number and she set up a time to meet with the temple sisters tonight!!!! I'm so excited. I think both his daughters were really moved by his baptismal service. It was one of the most spiritual meetings I've ever attended, and no one could have left there without being moved a bit. They say you can't convert beyond your own conversion, but I think it's possible with Guo Di Xiong. His testimony sounds like an 82 year old man who spent his whole life in the church and never made a mistake. Not someone who's been a member for 1 week.

Things have been so amazing since this new transfer started. We're going to continue to see miracles and we can help XinAn continue to progress.

I'm so privileged to be a missionary of the Lord.

This week we have a Duan Chuan, a young man who's being a missionary for 1 week. He's quiet, his hair is curly and long. Tomorrow I'm going to teach him how to tie a tie. I'm really excited because part of being a good missionary is strengthening the church in the area you serve. I think the lack of young men who know how to tie ties is a real plague on the Church here. These are Taiwan's future leaders of the church, and Zip ties just don't cut it. Moreover, Zip ties are always too short, they never make it to the belt. It's going to be a big thing to teach him tomorrow.

My companion and I enjoy discussing whether America or Taiwan is better. I told him that we have more agency in America because our hymnbook has over 350 hymns and their has only 200. But he pointed out that because when they refer to siblings in Chinese they won't say like a general word for brother, the words they use will specify if the brother is older or younger, so in the Chinese Book of Mormon they know the Brother of Jared is his OLDER brother. So we're like 1 to 1 right now. We'll settle it eventually.

I'm happy, and hungry, not for food, but for the salvation of souls. 
There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not extremely thankful for the opportunity I have to learn Chinese. This language is tough, and I've been put in an amazing situation to learn it and to have the gift of tongues while learning it. I contact people who study Chinese in the colleges here and who have been studying Chinese for years and they don't believe I've been here that short. I've truly been blessed to have such an opportunity and it's an absolute miracle to be able to learn so quickly with only half an hour of study a day.

This life is just a small part of such a bigger plan. This church is true, and that's all that really matters.

I love this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be born into this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father for allowing me and trusting me to preach and share this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father for allowing me to do this wonderful task in Taiwan, and I love my Heavenly Father for sending His Son to atone for my mistakes and sins and give me the opportunity to return to live with him one day.

I love all of you.

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