Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 18, 2012

 Brother Jian's baptism

 This is sushi cake. It's just regular sushi, but the part that would normally be rice.... is actually cake. Super weird. They take 2 things I love, sushi and cake and put them together and it just doesn't work. Who'd have thought.

 This is my dinner.  We have a great sushi shop by the chapel that is SO CHEAP!!! that right here is $1.50 USD. SO CHEAP!!! I love Taiwan

We attended a family home evening at a member's house and these are the glasses we drank juice out of...

Sorry I'm late in e-mailing. This week is temple week! So our p-day was moved to later in the week. 

This place in incredible! The work here is amazing. We are so busy, tired, and happy. The miracles are innumerable. There are so many prepared souls. We have so many wonderful, amazing investigators. Let's start with Brother Jian.

Brother Jian was baptized last Saturday. What an amazing service. Fasting is real! He talked about in his testimony after his baptism--that the Lord answered his prayer when he fasted and he was able to resolve his concern with tithing. He's an amazing brother. He is currently doing his master's work at NTU, Taiwan's equivalent of an Ivy League school. He's a brilliant person who has truly recognized the blessings of the Gospel in his life. His baptismal service was great.

Now I'll tell you about Brother Huang, who will be baptized this Friday. Last time I e-mailed we had no idea he was going to be baptized this Friday because he was still pretty early in his investigation process. He is amazing! Super prepared. I've been in TuCheng just over 3 weeks now. He started investigating a day before I got here. He's super prepared and has full-heartedly embraced the gospel. He asked at the beginning of last week if we could start meeting more often. He wanted to know why he couldn't just hear all of the lessons in one sitting. We told him that we couldn't teach it all in one sitting, but we could begin meeting everyday. So we met everyday last week and taught all the material. We taught all the commandments and he was super willing to live them all. He is so cool, he said by paying tithing his money has way more worth than it would if he was buying stuff with it. After we taught all the lessons we had a lesson where we went over the baptismal interview questions with him and he was good on all. We said Brother Huang, you're truly prepared. We've set a baptismal date for 8/11, but we believe you're ready now. Would you like to be baptized next week. He said Yes. We set up the interview, he passed. So Cool! We taught the restoration to him my first week here and he's already getting baptized. The fastest I've ever seen. Also, when he began investigating he had no English name, so I named him Shaggy. 

Another cool fast. This 20 year old college student came in contact with the church because an old grandpa who works at the same hospital as him shared the gospel with him and asked if he wanted to meet with missionaries.

This is also cool. Our new mission president said he wants us to call and share with him the good news in our work. So I used this opportunity to have my native companion call the mission president and use his English to talk to him!! We called him last Saturday to tell him Brother Jian was getting baptized and that we had Brother Huang pass his interview. Then I told my companion to invite President Day to the baptism that night. President said that he already had stuff that night but that he could maybe come to Brother Huang's the following week. We were surprised, we didn't even know that was possible, but he told us to call him back the following day. We did, and he said he'd be there to attend. HaHa... so I need to remember to shave Friday. I really do love President Day's passion to really be with us missionaries in the work though.

Next big miracle. Last Sunday, the 8th we met with an investigator, Brother Qiu. My companion had said he had been a good investigator for a while but had kind of fallen off the map. That day we sat down with him and he informed us he wanted to quit investigating. He just had some other things going on his life. We tried really hard to give him a desire to keep investigating and the spirit truly was guiding what we were saying. It was such a strong lesson, and he agreed to continue investigating.  He agreed to come to the family home evening the following night. He came, loved it, made many friends. Then came to English class Wednesday, the baptism Friday and church on Sunday, as well as meeting with us missionaries twice last week. A huge turn around. Then we met with him the day before yesterday, Monday and talked about the baptismal interview questions just to see what areas he might have had questions or things he didn't understand. He was super solid, had a testimony and was living the commandments, but just had lots of little concerns and didn't want to be baptized just yet. So I invited him to read 2 Nephi 31 and we met with him the following day. Brother Jian, freshly baptized with the gift of the Holy Ghost and all helped us teach. My companion was in the classroom next door with a member teaching because we had 2 appointments at the same time. He read the scripture, and knew he needed to be baptized, but still had many little concerns. We went over each concern one by one and with each one used the Book of Mormon to resolve it. Brother Jian shared powerful testimony and was really able to relate to Brother Qiu, (they've become good friends through attending church activities) the spirit in the lesson was so strong. It's amazing how strong the spirit is when we recognize how strong our need for it us and let it guide the lesson. At the end, after resolving his last concern no one spoke. There was a long moment of silence, then Brother Qiu said the magic words. I can accept. We set up a baptismal interview this Friday and he will be baptized next week!! The miracles here are truly amazing!

This week I went on exchange in SanXia, another area in our district. We get there by bus, and as we rode out I was sharing about the Book of Mormon with the kid next to me on the bus, I don't know exactly what happened but when I got off the bus I realized I didn't have my Book of Mormon. I was devastated because that Book of Mormon is the one I've used for over a year now. The inside had some letters from converts, a few pictures, etc. I really didn't want to lose it. So I prayed, and continued working there in SanXia. During dinner we went to the bus station to see if it turned up. No luck, but what is miraculous is because we went to the bus station we were in a part of SanXia we wouldn't have been in otherwise. After we left the bus station we began contacting and right next to the bus station I contacted a guy who said, I work at the foot massage parlor around the corner. Go there and wait for me for 5 minutes. He was headed to buy his beetle nut (the equivalent of chewing tobacco here) really seemed like someone without much potential, but we went and waited nevertheless. An 18 year old kid that was inside the massage parlor walked out and started talking to my companion. Then the guy came back and invited us in. We taught them both a lesson right there and they became 2 new investigators for the SanXia elders. The guy I contacted was actually a former investigator. I didn't think that contact had any potential of turning into a huge miracle! 

The other cool miracle because the Book of Mormon was left on the bus happened the following morning. We were riding our bikes in SanXia, when a guy on his scooter yelled for me to pull over. I pulled over wondering what was going on. and he opened his scooter and said is this your book? It was my Book of Mormon. HOW he happened to run into us on the street I have no idea. That's a huge miracle. We were in a big city! Then he said, "you guys are the ones with the free English class right?" We told him we were and he said he was going to come. He also said we could teach him more about the gospel later. Really really crazy that he had my book and found us on the streets. Even better he'd been wanting to learn more, and had flipped through a gospel pamphlet that was in my Book of Mormon. I really think that it was Heavenly Father's will for me to leave my Book of Mormon on the bus. It led to some great miracles.

Another great miracle was that while in SanXia, I contacted 2 guys that lived in our area!! HaHa sorry SanXia Elders. But they set up a time and both came. One of them clearly had more interest than the other. His name is Chen Yu Nuo. Brother Chen is one of the most amazing investigators I've seen. His first time ever praying was at the end of our lesson, and it was so amazing, so sincere! He is such a prepared soul, and it was such a blessing to find him there in SanXia. Then we get to keep meeting with him here in TuCheng. Also, we met with him yesterday and he wore a t-shirt with Mr. T on it. Anyone down with Mr. T is down with Elder White.

The work here is so amazing. Elder Su goes home in 3 1/2 weeks but is still super focused. A really great example, a really humble missionary. I hope when I'm that close to the end I can still maintain his level of focus and his attitude. We have president's permission on his very last day as a missionary go attend his family reunion, where he will perform on his bamboo flute and then we will testify of Jesus Christ to a bunch of his relatives. It's going to be great. The best part is that it's in DanShui! The best place in all of Taiwan!

In other great news, there was an elder who served in our area about 6-8 months ago from Korea. He left behind all kinds of Kimchi in the fridge. That stuff doesn't expire, and is so delicious, so I now eat Kimchi Omelets every morning for breakfast. Yeah Korea!

The church is true. The gospel is true. It blesses us and makes us happy. TuCheng is amazing. I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
Elder White

Really quick, one more thing. This was a funny contact this week. I ran into a man waiting at a bus stop and began talking to him. He started doing sign language trying to communicate that he was deaf. So I whipped out a picture of Jesus, trying to give him something he could see. Then he blurted out "Oh you guys are Christian! I've been wanting to learn about Jesus, sorry I'm not really deaf." I continued to share with him and set up time for him to meet with the Elders in his area. Deaf until he knew we taught about Jesus Christ then he was miraculously healed. Haha what a punk, but at least he was interested. He was a former convict who had been out of prison for about a year. I thought that was a pretty good one, if you don't want to talk to people you meet on the street just pretend to be deaf.

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