Monday, August 13, 2012
August 13, 2012
Dearest Friends and Family,
A new transfer begins. Elder Su heads back home to TaiZhong. My new companion arrives this morning, and more adventures and miracles await us in the near future.
I'm going to miss Elder Su. We meshed really well together. It's always hard to leave those types of companions where everything was just really comfortable. He was a great example to me of enduring to the end. He worked hard until the end of his mission, and wasn't "trunky" at all. I still don't know if it's sunk in to him he's going home today. Ha.
This week Elder Su asked me if I had seen his "Double Sized." I was first thrown off because he never speaks English to me. Once that wore off I realized I had no idea what he was talking about. I inquired for more detail and he said something along the lines of " you know, my double sized?" I was completely lost?? Then he explained to me in Chinese what he wanted. I realized he was referring to his "Double-Sided tape." So this week I've been referring to our double sided tape as double sized, and our regular tape as single sized. His English is getting better!
This week was full of so many amazing things that happened. Let me start with Tom Xu. Great kid. 17 years old. Really shy. Last week he passed his baptismal interview, but was still waiting on his parental permission slip. A lot of times missionaries won't have the investigator do the baptismal interview if they don't have the permission slip already, but here in TuCheng, we choose faith. He passed his interview, then the following day at church said his parent's probably wouldn't sign it, because they think not drinking tea is weird. We were fasting for his parents to agree, and we invited him to continue praying for it. The next day, this last Monday to be exact, he called and informed us he had his parents' permission!!! It was a huge miracle. He was baptized Saturday afternoon and it was a wonderful service. The Lord provided the way.
By far the biggest miracle/highlight this week took place in the Taipei, Taiwan Temple on Tuesday afternoon. At that time the entire Zhang family, father, mother, daughter, and 2 sons were sealed in the temple for eternity by the priesthood power of the Lord. What a miraculous occasion and one I will never forget. Elder Bogle and I were their witnesses. What an absolute privilege to teach a family, see them make it into the waters of baptism, and continue to grow in the gospel over the last 14 months to prepare for this wonderful day. I know that the covenants we make in the temple are real, and that the power that sealed their family was from God. Tears could not be restrained, and the spirit was overwhelming. Hands down the highlight of my mission.
Elder VanDenBerghe (MTC Comp) was serving in ZhuDong this last transfer, so he got to come up for the sealing. Man I miss that Elder. He's a blast.
The work in TuCheng continues to be amazing. There should be many more baptisms to follow. The closest is Brother Guo, 80 years old!!! He's the coolest! He took the subway up to stake conference with us yesterday. What a blast that was. He's super funny. He first told me I was crazy when it came to the Word of Wisdom. Now he's living it. I love him so much. I can't wait for his baptism.
When this last transfer started, I informed Elder Su that I wanted to eat vegetarian. His family is vegetarian and so he was vegetarian before the mission. Toward the start of the transfer he would want to go to this steak place but then remember we weren't eating meat. Friday night for one of his last mission meals I took him to the steak place and bought him a nice steak dinner. (Don't worry, a nice steak dinner here costs like $4 USD) including all you can eat ice cream. I also had a chicken. The following morning running was super painful.
This week we also had the first every West Zone Training Meeting. The church is now starting a new thing where the first of each month the Zone Leaders do a big training meeting with their entire zone to get the mission president's vision out, and help their zone work on the things they feel their zone needs. This meeting is wonderful. It went really well, but what I most loved is that it gets the whole zone on the same page at the START of the month. What a blessing.
This week we also had an investigator ask us if he's really Heavenly Father's child, or if he's a descendant of dinosaurs, because of evolution. He's a... different investigator, however he's accountable. Our teaching appointments are always especially fun. He definitely has one of the more "colorful" teaching records. He's brought up in the past questions like "If you're eaten by fish can you still be resurrected?"
The Church is true. A new transfer awaits. I know that this is the Lord's work!
Love you all.