Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012

Hello Friends and Family,

Good Morning. This week really flew by. I don't remember all of what happened, but I'm sure most of it was good. The biggest and best news occurred on Saturday night as Brother Lin entered the waters of baptism, and covenanted with our Heavenly Father. Wow, he's so good! His desire for baptism was so strong, and I can't wait for him to continue to progress and grow in the gospel. He's a spiritual giant who has changed a lot in his life. He's all about repentance, and has a strong testimony of the saving power of Jesus Christ's atonement. Working with him has been an absolute privilege.

My favorite news this week is probably that Andy Huang passed his baptismal interview!!! This is a huge miracle! The TuCheng ward has been waiting for this for so long. When I first got here he was attending church, FHE, and English, but hadn't been meeting with missionaries anymore. He actually said he didn't like hearing the discussions from missionaries. The first day I had a strong feeling about him and we set an appointment with him for after English class. I shared the first vision and asked if he believes it. He said he did. We talked about what that means he HAS to do. In that meeting I told him he'd be baptized while I was in TuCheng. He chuckled at that. We've been meeting with him every Wednesday after English and every Sunday after church ever since. He's made some changes and adjustments and developed a lot of faith over the last two months, but most importantly, he's developed a desire and determination for baptism. It's been really amazing as the spirit has worked on him. I don't know what it was that brought the change, but Bishop and the entire ward are so excited!! 

But wait... there's more. After just 3 and half weeks of meeting with missionaries, Brother Yang Wei Xiang is also being baptized next week!! He is one of the most Golden people I've ever met. Missionaries in another area contacted him and sent us his number. The first time we did what we usually do here Taiwan on a first time meet--talk about Heavenly Father, who he is, that God exists and teach them how to pray. The second time we felt impressed to share the plan of salvation, and we found out his sister had recently passed away. Then we felt we should teach the restoration and that day at the start of the lesson he asked what was different between our church and other Christian churches. When we planned to teach the 10 commandments he asked us at the start of the lesson what these commandment things that he'd heard people in church talk about were. Then there was the coolest part of all... This week we decided to teach him the Word of Wisdom as a bit of a "challenge" to see how golden he truly is. When we shared what it was he said "oh this I know" we were astonished. We asked how he knew? He said that he had a member share it with him at church the previous Sunday. We asked if he was willing to live it. He said the only one he had a problem with before was he'd drink tea, but he said since that Sunday he'd already stopped drinking tea. He then told us he'd also read about the law of chastity in the Gospel Doctrine book. He was willing. We went over tithing the following meeting and asked him how big his desire for baptism is. He really wanted it so we invited him to move up his date quite a bit and be baptized this coming Saturday. He was pumped. He passed his interview Sunday morning and spent much of church services Sunday asking me questions about being a missionary and expressing that it's something he might be interested in doing. (The Gospel Doctrine lesson was on missionary work.) He's super cool. Super golden. It makes me so excited just knowing that these people are out there. Heavenly Father knows who they are. He wants us to find them. He will lead us if we're willing to be led. We've just got to follow the spirit.

I can't wait for this upcoming Saturday!!!

In other news I was in Taiwanese newspapers and likely on Taiwanese television. This week was Taiwan's annual "Clean up the World" event. It's a huge event in which tons of businesses, schools, and sponsors participate in a day of cleaning. Our mission participates yearly. What they do is they throw this MASSIVE event with music, dancing, a big stage, snacks and drinks, and then everyone breaks out and cleans the neighborhood for about 30 minutes, and then they get back together and have more music and dancing. All in all I think it does more harm to the earth than it does help. But oh well, it's fun. We were organized to sit in our zones with our missionaries. My zone was at the front of the event right next to the stage. At that point some guy was coming around and asking for each participating company/groups leader to come up on stage for pictures and like a opening ceremony. He asked our group who their leader was and some younger missionary who was talking to him from our zone pointed to me, his zone leader. Next thing I know I'm following some PR guy and lining up to go up on stage for the opening ceremony of this event. HaHa it was super funny. I got to dance next to the Taiwanese 7/11 mascot... a big honor here in Taiwan. I'll have to copy some pictures from some of the other missionaries that took them. It's pretty funny. I also while up there gave the main guy throwing the event a tract and started proselyting with him. He was all ears! It was sweet. 

Another cool bit of news is that a guy that my trainer Elder Erickson and I began teaching in Zhubei 1st transfer ran into me in Taipei. I asked him how he was and he got baptized last week!!! Super cool. That long after I'd left he finally got baptized. I'm glad Heavenly Father let me run into him so I could hear this great news!!! Really cool miracle!

When I was in TaoYuan our bishop's father was this really cool 80 year old man. Every time I saw him I'd shake his hand and say "long time no see" In Chinese, which you only say if it's really been a while. He would laugh and say it's only been 3 days, or it's only been a few hours, and then I'd say "in my opinion that's too long and then he'd laugh some more. This continued all 7 months there. Anyways... My MTC companion Elder VandenBerghe is now the zone leader there. He told me this week that he has kept that tradition up and they're still doing it every week. It's great!! It's kind of like the tradition of high fiving the stake patriarch every week in sacrament meeting. I'm so happy Elder Vandenberghe is down there with my old comp. We're actually going down there for p-day today to hang out with them, and hopefully see a recent convert!!!
I love this work. TIME FLIES!!!
I love serving the Lord.

Elder White

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