Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week 15

Miao Li is continuing to amaze me! Although the members are few, they are all great. And the work is progressing really well. So we live in Miao2 Li4 Shi4, but our area is the entire Miao2 Li4 Xian4, which is HUGE. It covers a lot of mountain and has a few cities in it as well. It used to be all one Zone, which is about 10 teams of missionaries. Right now we have 2 really good people who are progressing. The first one is a Sister Tang1. I met her 2 weeks ago on the street. Before she was a little unwilling to accept God because He would make her leave her culture and to only worship Him. I think she's still thinking it over, but she's coming to a lot of activities. She's coming to English class as well as Church. She even ate dinner with us one day. It's great that she's not only our investigator, but she's becoming a good friend, too. We also have a miracle factory -- the Tim Zhou kid I talked about last time. His mom before was really opposed to us meeting with him. One time we called Tim's cell phone and him mom answered. She said to not call that number again and to stop meeting with him. But our prayers really were answered! Yesterday she and Tim came to the church in the morning to talk to the Bishop, and she let him stay for the meeting. We were able to have another lesson with Tim. In his prayer, he prayed that his mom would join our church, too. His faith is amazingly strong. I love it. His mom isn't fully ready to hear our message yet, but hopefully her heart will be continued to be softened so they can all have the wonderful blessings of the Gospel in their family. She later told us to keep Tim our of trouble, and to look out for him. We agreed with no problem. I know that God is watching over every single one of our works. There is nothing that is coincidence. As long as we trust in God, we can know that any the path we are taking is the very best path we could ever take in this life, and of course, in the life to come. I love you all! I'm doing great, thanks for the emails that I've gotten. It's great to see how everyone's doing. -Elder Liu

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 14

Yeah! This place is so amazing! I absolutely love Miao Li -- it's city enough that you can have convenience, small in enough to get there fast, and beautiful enough to make you want to stay. The people are a lot different -- they have different problems. The hardest part is trying to have them change when they already think their life is fine. This week we've been on fire! Miao Li has been of a dead area in the past, but hopefully Elder Su and I can spark it up a little. This week we've gotten a high in investigators and lessons. I'm truly grateful for our success, not from anything that I've done, but from the Lord. He is so merciful in letting the willing and humble to guide his work. The farther I go, the more I know that my teaching needs work, my contacting needs works, and my testimony needs to be stronger. And better yet, it needs to be in Chinese. It's easy to get prideful with some success, but I need to remember that all good things come from Christ -- even my small successes in the mission field. Elder Su is truly amazing. He's from Taizhong, and he's already taught me a lot about sincerity and self improvement. We get along really well. We teach each other English and Chinese, so it works out really well. The members here are awesome, though there are few. We only have one ward in the entire Miao Li Qu (which is our whole area -- it's HUGE), but all the members are especially nice. There's one investigator that this area just picked up. His name is Tim Zhou. He's amazing! He's around 14 years old, but his fire and his determination to learn about God is baffling. He's so friendly, and so thoughtful. It's amazing to see such a young man be so passionate about learning. I really learn from his example. Love you all! THanks for your emails! -Elder Liu

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 13

Yay, my first ban1 jia1 tian1 (transfer, "move day") This week I'm going to the western city of Miao3 Li4! It's a huge area, and it's actually what Elder Hubrich started out in. People there speak Mandarin as well as Haka, so I'm excited to get to a new place and have a new companion. His name is Elder Su. He's from Taiwan, so I'll be sure to get a good and proper accent from him. Mail might get to me a little slower, so sorry if I reply to written mail for a while. You're all still welcome to email, though. I'll get those every week.

This week we did some babysitting for the brand new missionaries. Elder Hubrich and I got an Elder Braithwaite. He was great. His Chinese was surprisingly good. It's just crazy how that day seemed to be yesterday, but yet it seems like I've been on island forever. Introducing him also gave me that fire of how awesome missionary work is, too. I could see myself more happy and more willing to do the Lord's work. It was a real blessing for me to help him out.

It really is hard finding out you're moving to an area that you've fallen in love with. I think so far in JinHua I've learned to better cherish every moment. I really have made some wonderful friends here, but I feel I could have done better by making every action my best work. Time is short, and so everything should be like you really mean it.

Just recently we were fed by 2 people, a Brother Peng2 and a Brother Ye4. It was really a blessing to be able to just sit down and relax with a meal with a friend. The members here are really amazing. So willing to give of themselves.

This week just about every one of our lessons was about the Atonement. It was good not only for the investigators, but for me as well. I really want to gain a stronger testimony of the Atonement, because I know it is that act alone that I'm out here. There would be absolutely no reason to serve a mission without the wonderful news of the Atonement. The Gospel really is the "good word."

I've had a lot of miracles of with the "umm....sure, let's do it" feelings that the Spirit gives me. One of them was a pizza store owner that is actually really close to our house named Mr. Wu. He was really prepared to meet us. He said recently he's been looking for different truths to base his life on. He recently picked up the Bible, and has been trying to be happier with a more truth-filled life. My companion will have to keep up on him after I leave.
Thanks everyone! -Elder Liu

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 12

Hello! Wow, this week went by pretty fast. I'm already almost done with my first transfer on the island!

This week our forgetting-our-limits goal was to get one investigator every day of the week. And we did it! We taught someone the gospel and made plans to continue to share at least once a day. It was amazing to see the pattern of our work. "Oh man, today we might not get our investigator....oh. Let's pray." And every time we would humble ourselves to pray, the door of miracles would open. Recently I've been studying about humility. In Preach My Gospel it says that humility is the willingness to the submit to the will of the Lord and to give all honor of our success to Him. I've really felt so much stronger as I stop and think of my weakness, and my reliance on the Lord. I can feel the Lord more easily guide me, and enlighten me. It's like Ammon says, in His strength, we can do all things. Including finding an investigator, finding a job, succeeding in school, or whatever we need to do.
But I think now I need to work on gratitude to fulfill the latter part of humility, which is giving our honor to the Lord for whatever has been done. I feel I need to thank Heavenly Father for giving me so many blessings already. For blessing me with Chinese before even coming to my mission. And to have the testimony and experience that I've already come here with. I know it's all the Lord's plan. I know He's prepared every step that I've been willing to take. So I need to show my gratitude in every step that He continues to allow me to take.

This week in english class, my spiritual thought was about the Book of Mormon. And I had a really great experience. First of all, I started 10 minutes before the lesson started with no idea of what I was going to do, but I prayed. And then I got an idea. On our tracts that we hand out to everyone, there are "soul-searching" questions that are found in Preach My Gospel that the Book of Mormon can answer. So I decided to have an open discussion where people could choose any soul-searching question they had. I had to pray super hard that I could think of the scriptures needed to respond to everyone's questions.
We ended up answering three questions with the time we had. The first one was about how all Christian religions say something different about Mary, and how God could have made her have a child?
At first I tried to explain it by myself. I explained how there are many things on this world that work, we just don't know how. Like our bodies. Like the world! And how we know that God gives us all that we need to know. But they didn't really understand. (I still have a problem where I translate too directly what I want to say, and so Chinese thought processes don't really understand) But then I thought of a glimmer of a scripture. I knew that Nephi saw Mary in a vision, but that's about all. I didn't know how it could answer his question. But I looked and I read, and I smiled. 1 Nephi 11:14-17 answered the question exactly how I wanted it to, the way I wanted it to (and in Chinese!) It is the angel asking Nephi right when he sees Mary, "Knowest thou the condescensions of God?" in which he replies "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." I bore testimony that God loves his children, and so He gives us every bit of information that we need to know to have faith in Him and return to Him one day. After sharing the scripture, He clicked! And he said to me what I was trying to say to him all along. I was truly blessed with inspiration at that moment. I really am grateful for that experience. I know the Book of Mormon can answer all of our questions. And I know through the Holy Ghost we can learn all that we need to in this life.

Thank you everyone! I love you all! This is all I have time for this week.

-Elder Liu