Monday, October 29, 2012

October 28, 2012

More gondola pictures.
I know I've sent some before but some of these are pretty.

 For the Halloween party, we went as mustached missionaries.

It was a great week here in SanChong. Due to the fact that last week's p-day was moved from Monday to Wednesday, I feel as if I emailed just yesterday. I don't know where to begin. How about we start 5 weeks ago when Elder Peterson and I left the move call meeting to come to our new apartment and new area and start this new phase of our service to the Lord as his missionaries. 

We had only one investigator left by the sisters who had previously been working the larger area. Brother Huang. A husband and a father to a wonderful wife and four amazing kids who are all members. Brother Huang's Taiwanese is better than his Mandarin. He had a serious smoking addiction, and was still not praying daily. When he did pray he usually had to rely on his wife to help him. I don't mention these things as to complain about the state of our area as we opened it up, but to emphasize the change Brother Huang has made. The one thing Brother Huang did have going for him was a humble, sincere heart. That day, in the humble Huang home I cried as I the spirit prompted me to promise Brother Huang and his family that they would be an eternal family. Given the circumstances around Brother Huang's current state at that time, that seemed like a bold promise to this family I had just met. Why the tears? Because I knew without a single doubt that those words were given to me by the Spirit and that they were as true as a the doctrine we teach in a lesson. As the spirit prompted me to do, I ended that lesson by giving Brother Huang a priesthood blessing. I was prompted to talk about how much Heavenly Father loves him and his family, how he's been hearing Brother Huang's families' prayers ,and how it's his will for them as a whole family to return to him. He was blessed that as he prayed continually he would have the strength to overcome his smoking addiction and prepare for baptism. I also told him that baptism wasn't the end of his journey, that it would continue to the gates of the temple with his family. It was a really strong spiritual experience. We left the Huang home that day with a swelling desire to help Brother Huang and that family. 

During one of our earlier meetings with Brother Huang we shared the story of Alma and his people in Mosiah 24. HE LOVED IT! He thought it was so cool how they just prayed in their hearts and the Lord still heard them and delivered them. That day Brother Huang began praying in his heart whenever he was tempted to smoke. He thought it was the greatest thing in the world, because most of his smoking temptation was from his friends at work, and it wasn't the most convenient thing to fold his arms, bow his head, and pray in those situations. Once he started praying in his heart, he really started progressing, and the number of cigarettes began dropping. This continued until this last week. Monday he had smoked 1 cigarette. We were so proud of him. The cigarette he smoked on Monday was his last. He passed his baptismal interview this weekend and he, along with the ward are so happy about his baptism next week. I know the power of priesthood blessings is real, and I know that the power of prayer is real. The most happy of all may be his wife, who was assigned with their four children to speak in sacrament meeting this week. She talked about how she'd been praying for this to happen for years. I was so moved by her faith and patience. I'm so happy for them. In the puzzle that is an eternal Huang family, the final piece will be put into place this Saturday evening. Then one year from this time the Huang family can be sealed together for eternity. It is such a huge miracle and it was an edifying and educational experience teaching Brother Huang, but ever more important, is it continued to solidify my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ as I saw this man change by the power thereof. 

I've asked our ward mission leader if we can do the whole baptism meeting in Taiwanese, since Brother Huang is more comfortable with Taiwanese. He said he'll try. That would be SWEET!!! I hope it can happen. 

I feel like I need to talk a little bit about our Ward mission leader here. He is the MAN!! He is so funny. Brother Hong is his name. He's forgetful, unorganized and irresponsible... and we love him!!! Our ward mission meetings are usually more about the food than the work. Words cannot describe this man and do him justice, you just have to meet him. He's 60 years old, I always joke with him and tell him he looks like he's 40. He laughs so hard. and his laugh is hilarious. He's such a great guy. His conversion story is funny. He met missionaries when he was 26, they taught him everything, then told him he needed to pray for 10 minutes sincerely and see if gets an answer. He did... no answer. they told him to pray for 30 minutes... no answer. They told him to pray for 1 hour... he did... no answer. That was the end, for a while. 5 years later missionaries called the number off of his old record and invited him to a Christmas activity. He walked in late and the choir was singing. He felt the Spirit and got his answer. He was baptized 2 weeks later. Brother Hong is probably mine and Elder Peterson's favorite part of working in SanChong. He's the best Ward Mission Leader in the world. As a gift for all of his hard work I painted Brother Hong a watercolor of him, but he had a mane and a lions tail. Then in quotations "Brother Hong, as brave as a lion" It was really great. 

I've actually been watercoloring a lot lately in my 15 minutes of free time each night. My investigators are really enjoying the watercoloring's of Jesus I've been doing for them. An Elder in a neighboring area even paid me about 15 cents U.S. for one of my paintings. So I've become a professional painter on my mission. 

This week was our ward's Halloween party for the kids. It was really good because we have a 13 year old investigator. We also had Brother Huang's family there. It was a lot of fun but the best part was at one point they sat the kids down and did a slide show on "where ghosts come from" They then went into detail about the pre-earth life and how 1/3 of the hosts of heaven followed Satan and were denied bodies. They came down to earth and sometimes even possess people. It was so funny, for any little kid it would have been the most terrifying thing in the world. It was so blunt. haha. They don't celebrate Halloween in Taiwan so they were doing their best to throw something together, but they terrified all the little children. 

Speaking of possessed people my companion and I were coming home after lunch last week for our Thursday afternoon "weekly planning session" when we began getting chased by this CRAZY guy on his bike. He was screaming at us in the filthiest language the Taiwanese language is capable of making. Then we came to a light and he came up and kicked my bike. It was crazy. So we rode off as fast as we could and thought we had lost him, then all of a sudden we heard him yelling at us from behind again. He chased us as we ducked through alley ways and down back streets for about 5 minutes before we eventually lost him. It was such a weird thing. We did nothing to instigate it. I feel really bad for Elder Peterson though. He meets genuinely mean people all the time. Hahahaha, I've gone almost 2 years of contacting everyone and I haven't ran into people as mean as we seem to run into on a daily basis.


None of that can keep us down though. Our area is really taking off. It doesn't seem anyhing like an area that was opened one month ago. It's now one of the most successful in the whole zone. We're so excited for the future of SanChong. We went from almost nothing, to a lot of great people willing to learn about the gospel and progress toward baptism! It's great.

The church is True. Jesus Christ is our leader and Savior. I love him. 

You are all good people.
Elder White

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 23, 2012

Well it's been a long time since I last emailed... 9 days! I hope all is well. You're in my prayers. I hope dad is alright and that we can get this behind us. That sounds horrible. I'm glad to hear that something more drastic didn't take place. I hope all is well. I will pray.

 I feel like this was a big turning point for SanChong. We turned a corner, and I don't ever want to look back. Opening an area that hasn't had missionaries (and the last time there were elders they did more harm than good) as well as training on top of that has been tiring and exhausting. I've seen miracles but I feel like sometimes I'm getting kicked when I'm down as well. There is all this negative hype about this area and I don't want to hear any more of it. I saw an old Taiwanese returned missionary who served in SanChong more than 2 years ago and talked to him about it. He said it's a "good luck" kind of place. It's been hard, there is no doubt about that, but I hope that by the time I leave here it's a thriving area with a good missionary-member relationship, some new convert priesthood holders, and a better feel about it. This week I think was a step in that direction.

Investigator Update!

Brother Zhang is a great humble man who we've been blessed to teach all the lessons to in a short amount of time. He was going to be baptized this coming weekend, but last Saturday he asked to postpone. It was disappointing, and it hurt, but I also feel like we were rushing things and I feel like this way he'll be able to develop a stronger relationship with the ward, and gain that stronger personal witness so that he'll be able to be the type of convert and priesthood holder this ward truly needs. He ran into a bit of opposition from friends or family. One of his largest concerns is that we don't believe in reincarnation. He's still willing to read, and pray, and come to church, therefore I'm not worried. It's impossible to sincerely do those three things and not be converted to the gospel. He attended stake conference with us at a faraway chapel this week. It was a great meeting and he really enjoyed it.

Brother Huang, the last non-member of his family that includes a wife and 4 kids, has been following our plan to quit smoking that we implemented with him a couple weeks ago. He has a lot of support from the ward. He has the prayers of many and he has a strong desire to kick the habit and be baptized a member so his family can progress eternally. This Monday we visited him and he had smoked only 1 cigarette. We gave him the best High Five ever and invited him to completely not smoke Tuesday. Tuesday when I called him to follow up he had not smoked a single cigarette. I know this gospel is true because it's all centered on the atonement. We come unto Christ, and he heals us. Whether it be repentance to overcome sin or our inadequacies, or rather to give us strength to overcome a life-long addiction, the atonement will take care of it all, as long as we're willing to put forth our required effort. We're so excited for Brother Huang, I feel like he's becoming happier and happier. I also feel like the blessing I gave him on our first day in the area is coming true. It truly increases my testimony of those things.

Finding Miracles:

So this last week was one of the tougher weeks of my mission. With that said when Monday came around and it wasn't preparation day (because it's moved to Wednesday this week), it was a little bit... I don't know how to describe it. I just really felt I could have used a P-day. Either way I had a decision to make. I could spend this Monday feeling tired and sorry for myself that I have to go an extra two days before I can rest, or I could choose to be an agent, engaged in actively doing good and see the miracles that await. I thankfully chose the latter and what took place this last Monday was my best day in SanChong as a missionary. I felt like the missionary I was when I was in TaoYuan or TuCheng. I finally felt like I had somewhat of a foundation beneath me in SanChong and I wasn't running this race all uphill anymore.

Sunday night we we're going to eat dinner at our apartment. We were headed back when I felt that I saw someone I just had to talk to. I met brother Zhang, a really great kid who set up for the next day. It was a quick, yet spirit-led contact. The following morning I called to confirm the time we'd agreed upon and he asked if he could bring his friend... um.... of course! The two of them came and were really great. Both set baptismal dates and we're meeting with them again this week. That was the start of a "miracle Monday" as Elder Bogle and I used to call them when we were in the hills of ZhuDong. Then I get a call. It's from a Sister Qiu who is a member of the Tao3 ward. The ward I served in for 7 months! The Qiu family is one of my favorite families! She informed us she has friend who has some marital problems and didn't know where to turn. She told me that her husband had visited this friend the night before, gave him a Book of Mormon and told him he should meet with missionaries. I told her we'd give him a call and see if we could find a time. I called him that night. He said to come over right then. We did and had a great lesson. He was a nice and humble struggling father. His wife has moved out and he's on his own with his two young kids. It was an amazing referral. He'd already been reading the Book of Mormon.

That night I called the Qiu family to let them know (I know they don't live in my area, but it seemed appropriate). They were thrilled that we'd already met with him. I was able to talk to Brother Qiu who I used to play early morning basketball with and he said that we need to pray I can go back to Tao3 ward. It was really cool though to be able to still see miracles from developing trust and relationships with members months ago. The finding miracles continued to go on. Really too many to list. At 8:50 Monday night we were riding home and out of the corner of my eye, probably a hundred yards away in a park I saw a man. I felt like the spirit told us to go talk to him. We turned around and quickly met brother Chen. He's been to the chapel before for English class and we set up for the following night. Last night we met with him and shared the restoration. He loved it and is coming back again tonight. It is always great to act on a spiritual prompting and see a huge miracle because of it. 

Then yesterday we were eating our dinner. We debated whether or not to eat inside or to eat outside at a park or to take it to the chapel because it was a little chilly last night. I don't like eating inside because it limits our opportunities to "talk to everyone" so to the park benches we went. We were having a great dinner when I noticed a high school student sitting on the bench next to us. I made eye contact with him and he quickly looked away. He seemed a little shy. I invited him to come sit with us and we struck up a conversation about God and the gospel. After teaching him how to pray and praying with him he said he had this amazing feeling he can't describe. I asked him if he thought us missionaries are capable of putting that feeling in him. He said of course not. I asked him if he thought he made the feeling happen. He said no. I asked him "well then where do you think the feeling came from?" He said he didn't know. I went on to explain it to be the Holy Ghost, sent from his Heavenly Father as a manifestation that He loves him, and that this is the path God has prepared for him. When we said our closing prayer he said the most sincere, 8 minute long prayer!!! It was great.

Also one other great miracle. I was on the subway here in Taiwan last week when I saw a man wearing a vintage, 1990's Utah Jazz hat. There is no bigger Utah Jazz fan in Taiwan at this time than myself. I was so thrilled to see the old man's tattered Utah Jazz hat I literally yelled in excitement. I went and talked to him. He didn't know what his hat said, nor did he have interest in the gospel. However, he did have interest in the 100 dollars NT($3 US) I offered him for his hat. I took it home, washed it, and sometimes wear it around the house as a reminder that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy in this work. This hat truly was one of His tender mercies.

While there were so many awesome miracles this week, there were still some great, and ridiculous rejections. I actually don't mind getting rejected on the street, it happens, it's just a part of the work, but I really can appreciate when the person rejecting me can make it creative. My companion calls them "Stretch-dads" people who make horrible excuses. He came up with this one night as he was contacting a man who was sitting on a bench. The man said he was busy and couldn't talk. My trainee asked him what he's busy with. He's just sitting on a bench. The man replied "I'm stretching" and rotated his arm a couple times. My comp busted up laughing and now we see what kind of great excuses we can get or what kind of "Stretch-dad's" we meet. I got a really good one on exchanges this last week. I contacted this kid and then asked him if we could sit down with him. He agreed and we sat down on a bench and began to share with him. He wasn't listening too intently, but we continued, just trying to give him a chance. Then, he pulled out his phone and said "Let me answer this" So we were like OK go ahead, but he didn't hit the answer key. Instead he dialed a number, then put the phone to his ear to CALL someone. I looked at the missionary I was with and we were both like "is this kid serious?" "Let me answer this, and then he makes a call. It was funny. Another great contact happened as I talked to a middle aged woman and she started trying to convert me to her branch of Buddhism. Her big selling point was that their branch of Buddhism was in 192 countries. She mentioned it about 5 times in her 2 minute pitch. I told her that is great. I then told her our church is in 193 countries. The Elder I was with struggled to keep a straight face. The woman and I politely ended the conversation, her agreeing to read a brochure I gave her.

I'm really thankful to be a missionary. I love every minute of this SUPER FAST experience. I feel like every second is so precious as it continues to fly by.

I love you all.

Elder White

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14, 2012

Time is truly flying by. I'm in the last stage of my mission. It's hard to believe that 20 months have passed since I set foot in the MTC. It's been such an amazing journey and experience. I'm glad it's not over just yet. 

This week was especially tiring. Opening an area while training has most definitely taken it's toll on me. Some days I feel as if I'm running on fumes. My trainee has actually had a big breakthrough this week. He got chopsticks down, so it's a step in the right direction. Now we're just waiting for the day he understands something someone says to him or understands where we are in a lesson. I'm not complaining though. It has been a good experience and I've learned a lot. 

This week we were contacting people in a park and I sat down with this really cool, really prepared kid. I was teaching him about prayer when this Christian woman of another faith came up and attacked us. She was in her 50's with a big crucifix around her neck. Her intentions were good, but she took over the contact and went off about the difference between praying to Heavenly Father and worshiping Buddhist gods. She talked about how with Heavenly Father it's all about praise. Praise through dance, song, movement, chants. Then she proceeded to pull out her ipad and show this kid videos of their church service involving everyone dancing and yelling and singing. It was crazy. I managed to whisper to the kid that this is not at all what our church is like and that if he'd come back in a couple days I could continue to share with him. He said he would and I left thinking that the contact had been killed by the crazy lady. 

Sure enough a couple days later at the time I'd said the kid showed up. He brought his friend as well. He'd been praying everyday according to the way I'd prayed with him and was teaching him to do. He'd also taught his friend how to pray and they'd been praying together. It was a really, really cool miracle. As we continued to share with him and his friend the conversation was again interrupted by yet another middle aged woman. This time she came up and was harassing me with questions about the English class we teach and about how I should probably marry her daughter. Thankfully we were able to get her to leave after about 10 minutes, but at that time the friends I was talking to had to go. I think they may be really prepared and that's why we're getting so many distractions. We'll be meeting with them again this week, and I hope we won't get interrupted. We might want to change the location we're meeting with them at.

Brother Huang came to one of the sessions of General Conference!!! It was a big sacrifice for him to get there due to the fact that conference wasn't at our chapel here in SanChong. It was broadcast to the stake center a short distance away. He's progressing nicely and we made a specific plan to quit smoking for him.

This week we also had a ward activity for a Taiwanese holiday. It was a barbecue. There was one really good part. It was in DANSHUI!!! I had the privilege of returning to my favorite part of Taiwan. It was so nice!! I loved it. For the most part it was a decent activity with the exception that the sister missionaries didn't step up and take control of their group of 15 year old investigators that wanted to follow the white elders around all day. But it was nice to see Brother Guo, a recent convert to the SanChong ward with cancer able to make the trip out there and enjoy the activity with his wife. 

This week I feel as if I learned a great lesson as I was studying the scriptures. I found myself a little impatient with the pace that things were moving here in SanChong. I found myself feeling more tired than I've ever felt on my mission. I began to ask myself why? Why so slow? What might we be doing wrong? Is it me? What more can I be doing? I then stumbled upon D&C 64:32-33 which reads:

32 But all things must come to pass in their time.

33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

I realized that in opening an area, I also am laying a foundation. Solid foundations are built slowly, with much effort. I felt as though as long as I continue in well-doing... using Preach My Gospel methods to establish the work here in SanChong, all things which the Lord has prepared for us here in SanChong will come to pass in their time. I firmly believe that all things includes baptism. Lots and lots of baptism.

I also appreciated President Monson's talk about counting our blessings. I realized I need to be more grateful for the miracles we do have. We have an amazing investigator we found in the first week here, who is likely to be baptized the end of this month. I don't think there could be a bigger blessing than one month after opening an area baptizing a potential priesthood holder. I look at things and in just these 3 short weeks we have 3 of our 4 baptismal dates who have attended at least one sacrament meeting. That's three very solid baptismal candidates, who are progressing, reading, praying, and attending church. In my impatience I was viewing these things as "not enough" or comparing myself to former times on my mission where I was in very established areas, with more proselyting time, and more experienced companions. I realized that once I change my attitude from comparing to being thankful for what we do have, I recognized how much we really do have going for us. I'm much more positive and happy as I face the privilege of spending another week serving the Lord's children in SanChong. 

I love this work. I love the prophet's simple, yet pure and true counsel! I'm humbled and blessed to be a part of the Lord's kingdom on the earth, and more humbled and blessed to be serving in it as a missionary at this time. 

I love you all
Elder White

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

This is my son "trainee"
his first stinky tofu

 His first planning session (sleep)
With our investigator Brother Yang (grandpa)

 These are some shots of downtown SanChong from the roof of our apartment. In the area that looks the most "downtownish" there is a big WHITE building taller than the rest. The 7th floor of that building is our chapel


 his first scooter contact

 Some shots of SanChong at night

This week flew by. I can't recall much of what happened. I feel like I was just emailing home yesterday. It's amazing how quickly time goes by out here in the field. We're really working hard in this new area to try to help this ward out. The ward is amazing. Microscopic, but amazing. They want growth so badly. The members all fasted for it yesterday. I'm often really moved by the SanChong ward and their desire for growth and their love for missionary work. I've been in a lot of areas where the wards were big, and comfortable, and established. They'd be happy over convert baptisms, but not too excited. This little, needy, SanChong ward is full of fire. I know that the Lord has been hearing their prayers and he's ready to take SanChong to new levels. I really hope that before I leave here (anticipating this as my last area) I can help establish SanChong as a strong, successful area of the mission, as well as help the ward grow. I love working with them. Our bishop and his family are amazing. The lack of priesthood in the ward is astonishing, and to top it off the Elders quorum president is moving next month. He was a good guy with a testimony, wears Vans to church and doesn't wear a tie, but we really can't afford to lose him. 

This week we met multiple times with a man we found last Sunday. He's 31 years old, recently married, in between work (so he has time), and exactly what we need to get things started in the area. He came to church this Sunday and is progressing quite nicely toward the baptismal date we set. We'll probably end up moving the date earlier a bit. He's a really big miracle. A nice, humble guy, seeking the truth.

Our other great investigator is Brother Huang. He's the one I gave a blessing to the first day here in SanChong. He's a great guy. So nice. He's the last member of his family to be baptized and we're trying to help him quit smoking. Every time we go out there to visit he's always so excited to share with us an experience he had turning down cigarettes, or coffee, or alcohol at work. It's really funny. He's smoking a lot less than before. I really want this family to have the chance to be eternal. 

There is a recent convert here who was baptized a little bit before we got here. I heard that he was anticipated to die the week after his baptism due to his cancer, but after his baptism he's improved a lot. His body is still not great though, and yesterday it was apparent he wasn't super comfortable in church. He asked for a priesthood blessing. The ward mission leader and I gave it to him. I anticipated the ward mission leader, a member of 20 years, would give the blessing and I'd just anoint the oil (I prefer members to give blessings, because they can develop that relationship, whereas us missionaries will be gone in a matter of months). However, the ward mission leader had never given a blessing before and asked that I do the blessing. I agreed and it was a very special experience. I've never given a blessing to someone that close to death before. The spirit told me to tell him that he needs to cherish his time with his family and spend as much time with them as possible right now. He was also told to help them prepare to receive the gospel. It was a very humbling experience to give a blessing to someone who is in the final stages of their mortal existence. 

I'm really enjoying my trainee. He's a good missionary, but more importantly, his attitude is great and we get along really well. I think it'd be super hard to open a brand new area with someone that I wasn't good friends with, and I'm very thankful for that. It makes things that much smoother. 

In the training program of the church we have a lot more studies as a trainer/trainee and so we study until 12:00 noon. This causes us to just be at home all morning. We've developed a habit of eating/snacking throughout studies to stay awake/and then we're not really hungry for lunch. The problem is we've adopted a weird diet consisting pretty much of bread, hazelnut spread, and soy milk. It's pretty great. 

We've been blessed to work with a family the bishop asked us to visit. It's a Sister Cai. She is a single mother with three sons. 2 sons are less active, the other is a non member. It's sad. The oldest 2 sons, 18 and 17 in age, have left home, dropped out and are out living on their own. The youngest son is 13 and is following the same path. They don't listen to the mother at all. I've never met someone with a situation so hard. There is no visiting teaching system set up in the ward, and her home teacher didn't even know he was her home teacher until I sought out the list this Sunday. It's super sad. There is so much work to do here. SanChong is moving in the right direction, but we've got to get it moving there faster. 

One other cool thing that happened is that last week our bishop's wife and kids went down to the southern part of the Island to visit her family down there. While there they attended church. During church they met Elder Harrison Nickel! The bishop's little girls were so excited to tell me at church yesterday that they met my friend and that he was nice. Haha. They took pictures with them and Elder Nickel, it was cool to see them together.

That's about it for this week. Keep praying for SanChong. I can't wait for General Conference next week!! I know you've all already seen it, but we have to wait until next week. I love General Conference. My 3 favorite times of the year are Christmas, April General Conference, and October General Conference. Living Prophets!!!
Elder White

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012

WOW... One of the most tiring weeks of my mission. Every day just DEAD tired. However, I'm happy as can be, and the Lord is blessing us as we're going about opening this wonderful area. 

We're in the hood! SanChong is home to the Taiwanese Mafia. It's such a BUSY area. The traffic is super crazy, and my little green trainee almost got killed a couple times this last week! It doesn't get much more fun. The one investigator left to us is actually doing really well. We went to visit Brother Huang again a couple times this week. He's got such a big desire to quit smoking and get baptized for his family. It's actually been such a blessing teaching him, I feel the spirit so strongly when I'm around him. We wanted to share with him about 1 Nephi 3:7 and how the Lord promises us he'll provide a way for us to keep his commandments, and as we began getting into it he got really excited because he remembered the story. He was like a little 10 year old primary child as he excitedly summarized Nephi and his brother's story. It was really great, and the more I teach him the more I have a desire for him and his family to be eternal. He was able to attend the afternoon branch this week after he got off work. I'm really excited for his potential.

This last week we prayed especially hard to be able to get people we met within the week to attend church. It's not the easiest task but we prayed for it and were really blessed to have a couple other people attend sacrament meeting. However, they weren't exactly what one might call golden.

The first one was a college kid I met on the street. We began contacting him and he couldn't understand why someone could be Christian. He talked about how Christianity caused the crusades and so much more war and violence in the world. I looked at him and said, this is why I believe in Christ and shared Alma 7 about the atonement. He completely changed and wanted to come to church, it was a really cool miracle. He came to church and brought his girlfriend. We were super excited and they attended sacrament meeting. Then we went to attend Sunday School. Suddenly he asked if he could leave early. We said that's fine if he has to go, and asked if he had other plans or something, he then replied "No, I just have a strong discrimination against women and I can't accept sitting through a class taught by a woman." I was completely shocked. He agreed to come back again next week to the Sacrament meeting. We're also meeting with him again this week, but I've never heard anything like that. I'm thinking I must change our lesson plan to just talking about the priesthood.... Just kidding!

Our other guy that came to church might be homeless, might have killed somebody before, and might be crazy. It's all still up in the air. He has no family name, because he feels like his family wronged him and they ended up disowning him. He also claims he has a ton of people who owe him money. I asked our Ward Mission Leader to help us sit down with him and determine if he's crazy or not. Our ward mission leader kind of liked him. Needless to say I just invited him back to church and didn't set up a time to share the discussions. It was such an interesting day at church. However we're thankful for the many miracles we've had this week. We've been blessed to find some amazing, prepared souls who I know have a good chance at entering into the waters of baptism.

I'd like to share my favorite finding miracle of the week. I sat down with bishop and identified some less active Melchizedek priesthood holders, and we began visiting them throughout the week. We went to visit one who lived on the fifth floor of an apartment building. We accidentally ended up knocking on his neighbors door before his. We tried to strike up a gospel conversation with the neighbor, but he wasn't having much of it. So then we went to the less active's home. Upon leaving the less active's home I was prompted to talk to the neighbor one more time. I had no idea why. He had made it very clear he had no interest. I talked to him again for about 2 minutes, nothing came of it, and then we began descending the stairs down to the exit of the building. At the door of the building we met Mister Zhang. We would have been on our bikes and gone if we hadn't talked to the non-interested neighbor for an extra 2 minutes. We began talking with him and he was polite and listened. We began talking about Heavenly Father and prayer and said a prayer with him right then and there. As soon as we said "Amen" he immediately asked "Why are there so many different sects of Christianity?" We began sharing about the apostasy, Joseph Smith, and restoration. As we shared the first vision the spirit was so strong. He said "If this is true, this is HUGE!" He was super eager to set up a time to meet. So we set up a time and showed him where our chapel was... then the best part happened. He said "I work in that building." Such a huge miracle! He works in the same building as our chapel, and we'd never have found him if we weren't on the other side of our area, and if we hadn't listened to the spirit and talked to the guy that rejected us again. It was such a big miracle and it was exactly what we needed to happen to get our area off to a good start.

We had a great week and were truly blessed by the Lord. My trainee is a really good missionary, but even better is that we get a long great and he's got a good attitude. I know we're going to see miracles and we're going to baptize. The Lord sent us to open SanChong at this time because there are people here who need the gospel. There are people here who are ready right now. We need to trust the spirit to help us find them. I love this opportunity to finish up my mission in this manner. It's going to be fun, it's going to be hard, it's going to be TIRING, but I know it will be worth it and I know SanChong will grow and have success because the Church is true.

Pray for SanChong, Pray for Elder Peterson and me.

I love you,
Elder White