Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 19

Whoo! My first baptism! It's been amazing to be able to take someone throughout the entire baptismal process. And I know that's actually quite a lucky experience, too. A lot of times people will move before they can see their investigators baptized. Tang1 jm did wonderful. She bears her testimony every time with power and with sincerity. We had a musical number, where Elder Su played the piano, I played the guitar, and 4 members from Insitute sang "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus." I really love that song. I feel the Children's Hymns are so amazing. They're simpler in word, and more musically interesting as well. The day before the baptism, I read in Alma chapter 29:9-10, which talks about how his joy comes from finding the penitent who are willing to accept the words of Christ. I really have come to feel that taste of joy. And as I see the successes in missionary work, I really do feel that the Lord loves me. I'm reminded how merciful He is to all of us to give us all that we have. So my call this transfer STAY in MiaoLi! I'm so excited to be able to continue to build the friendships that I've already made here, including my companion, who is also staying. Elder Su's family came to visit him in MiaoLi. So no allowed, but there's not much we can do. We were at the church teaching a lesson when Elder Su started acting really frantic. And I couldn't get why. But then he said, "Elder....I think my family's here." This was when the lesson was about done, so we ended with a prayer and we went outside. And yes! His family was there. They said they didn't try to plan it out to see them, but they were going to drop off a package at the door. It was cool to be able to see his family. I'm sure it's a lot harder for him to be living so close to his home. Miao Li is right next to Taichung, which is where he lives. So he's really, really close to his house. Elder Su plays the Chinese flute! So I've been having some fun with it. :B Just so everyone knows, my address will be the same for sending me letters no matter where I move. So keep them coming :P Thanks everyone! I've been sick recently, but it's alright. Just a light headache and some sinuses blehs. Hopefully it'll be gone soon. I love you! -Elder Liu

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 18

This week was a little rough at the beginning, but turned out wonderful at the end. Great peace came to me as I feasted on the words of our living prophets in the new edition of the Liahona about the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon! I've been realizing that I'm not sharing that love and that knowledge enough to my investigators, so I'm trying to make that a goal in each of the lessons we share. Our one investigator, Tang1 jie3mei4 (jm) should be baptized this week! She's come a long way! She's faced questions about other gods, family opposition, and some other repentance problems, but she has had enough faith and desire to overcome these problems. She really has been prepared from the Lord. She says that recently she's had a really hard problem in her life, and gang hao we were able to befriend her and help her heal from her past. I really love being able to see the change that the Gospel has made for her. Sorry, it's hard to write about her, because I really don't know a lot. My Chinese lets me miss a lot of the personal things about her, but I can still teach her. She works at a place that works on a 2 days working 2 days resting schedule. But she's recently be studying to be a government worker...I'm not really sure what it is. But Elder Su says it's to regulate moving, some deaths, and just keeping track of people, I guess. But this job will let her take Saturdays and Sundays off, so we're hoping that she'll be able to do well on her tests so she can come every week. We just met with a recent convert named Liao4 jm. She has a son and a husband who's not a member of the Church. It's almost been a year since her baptism but people still haven't had the new convert lessons with her yet. So we started yesterday. We talked about Laws and Ordinances. We had their whole family as well as Xu2 jm. We talked a lot about temple marriage and being sealed. And after, Liao4 jm's husband was talking to us, and he agreed to start taking the lessons! Wow! He's always just rejected before. We don't know why he was so happy that day. This was a miracle we were really happy about yesterday. Yesterday we also taught a Gu2 jm. Recently she's been having a really hard time in life. Her relationship with her family has never been good. Her work has bad co-workers, and she has to stand for 12 hours from 7:30pm to 7:30AM. She says she wants to know if God exists, but she's been reading the Old Testament, and feels that God isn't fair and not loving because of the things that he does to those who don't follow Him. She says that she never receives any answers to prayers. She's been really hard to work with, sometimes. She has a lot of questions and we don't have enough time to answer them. But we've been trying to get her to read the Book of Mormon instead of the Bible. It's like in the Liahona. Mormon really did see our day. He really does talk to us, even though he's not here. The Book of Mormon can solve every one of our problems in every situation. And it's not that the Bible cannot, but it just wasn't written for our day. It's hard to understand. I'm so grateful that I have the Book of Mormon that I can read every day to feast upon the plain and simple words of Christ. As the Book of Mormon solves the problems of my and my investigators lives, my testimony of it grows. I had exchanges with an Elder named Elder Thatcher. Elder Thatcher is an amazing missionary. He reminds me a LOT of Chris Pope. His voice, his hair, everything, and especially his testimony. And it just made me realize how blessed I was to be with all the friends and family I was when I grew up. Every single one of them were amazing, and I know that together, even though apart, are doing amazing things. We are all influencing a lot of people just by our example, even when it's not apparent. And it's all because the Lord is guiding our actions. I am so grateful for the amazing influences you all had on me every single day. Thank you for your testimonies! I am doing great here. I hope I don't move from Miao Li just yet, maybe a couple more months or so. I love it here! I love you! -Elder Liu

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 17

Hallo! Everything here is awesome! We finally got to hear General Conference this week, and it was great! Although, I had to hear the English talks through the Chinese dubbing, so I know I missed a lot of it by nature. But I still had a lot of spiritual experiences and answers to my prayers. I particularly loved President Eyring's talk about lessons from the Book of Mormon. I loved his story about giving his talk for that college. The Spirit was really strong as he talked about how he remembered the Prophets, Abinidi, Ammon, Alma. And how they, against the world around them, boldly and shamelessly shared their testimony of the Lord. I think that I can do better at this. I know that I can be more confident in the message that I share, because I know that it is true, and I don't have to fear the consequences. I was also especially pleased to hear Dad's voice over a couple talks. It was really fun to try to understand all that I could just by listening to Chinese, when I couldn't hear the English. Sister Tang1 is progressing amazingly. She has a wonderful humility and a desire to change. She's faced a lot of problems so far, but that's good. She's learning to use the Atonement in her life, and the amazing, inconceivable power that it holds. And she's using her faith to overcome these problems. I think of the statement in Preach My Gospel that says that "we will find great joy in repenting daily." I know that the Atonement can change lives, heal souls, and redeem all wrongs. We're hoping that she will be ready to be baptized for her goal, which is the last sunday of our transfer. I got a bunch of letters this week! Thank you all! Thanks especially to the Primary! I loved all your drawings. We've had a huge wave of investigators and people to remember. We've been working on our Area Books, which is just a big collection of records throughout that area. It's been amazing to see the blessings of records. Just like the Book of Mormon. There is a very special power in a well kept record of anything. It's really cool to be able to keep things organized and well kept. I love you! Love, -Elder Liu

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 16

Everything in MiaoLi is awesome! Elder Su and I are very blessed to be seeing miracles every day by serving here. Right now we have one particular progressing investigator who is well on her way for baptism! Her name is Sister Tang1. We saw an interesting comparison between her and another investigator, Sister Ye4, who we had lessons the same day. Sister Ye4 is not doing so well, and I don't know if we'll see her again. But they both had a small desire to learn more about the church and to see what we're all about. But Sister Ye4 never developed adaquate faith because she had no works. She wouldn't pray for us, she would read scriptures, all because there was "too much pressure." But Sister Tang1 was willing to try. She's already read past Mosiah in the 3 weeks that we've known her. She prays everyday, and even tries to attend some of our other lessons with other investigators. She's had one major problem, and that is that she needs to ponder more about the differences between having one God and many gods like her culture teaches. But I know that she has the faith to overcome this problem. I love how this Gospel is all about working and doing. It's only when you really want to, and go and act, that you'll get a real testimony of the truthfulness of the doctrine. We had a youth activity that was really special. We had all the youth in our stake go with missionaries to go on a mission for a day. It started out with 1 hour of personal study and then 1 hour of companionship study. In our group we had 2 young women, 3 young men, and 2 other adults that were willing to drive us up to Zhu2 Nan2, where the activity was. Our youth were particularly hesitant and unwilling to work, but as they were more exposed to the work, they all loosened up and served with their heart. It was particularly interesting to see one young woman who didn't really say anything. Her name is Sister Wang2. She said she was dragged there by her leader. But during one particular contact, an a-ma, she opened her mouth for one sentence. She said that she knows that the a-ma's family could be together forever. I felt the absolute power that came with that statement, and I knew the lady could feel the Spirit. She later didn't accept, but I know that we did our part. I was glad to see that turnaround in our young women. I think they all enjoyed it in the end. I know that that small miracle testifies to me that it doesn't matter how complicated your testimony. The simple, heartfelt ones are the ones that have the most power and influence. I know that God loves all His children, and will always help them according the effort and desire of their hearts. Elder Su is an amazing person. He says at first he hated coming on a mission because his friends wanted him to stay. But because he came, his mission changed him a lot. Right now I would have had no idea that he struggled about coming on a mission. He plays the Di2 zi5, or Chinese Flute! Whaaa! So you can imagine that I"ve been playing a lot of Dizi. It's really fun. He's also learning Viola, so it's a fun trade. He's a great person. He's patient with my weaknesses, and is always trying to strengthen his own. I've learned a lot from him as we discussed together. We found 9 investigators last week! I'm so excited! I hope that we'll get a good chance to see every one of them progress. On Friday I found an older man, in his 70's. He's Buddhist. And usually by that age they're pretty set in stone about their life philosophies. I've found that the older they are, they are either more prepared and softened to the word, or hardened and prideful. And he was definitely more prepared. He said that me, being a representative of a "true" God, was his savior. He said that such a young man telling an old man about religion humbled him. He stopped in the middle of the street and turned off his motorcycle. He lives a long ways away, but I know that he'll progress. I can't wait for conference next week (for us)! I hope everyone enjoyed hearing the prophets and apostles. I've already heard some great stories about how their prayers were answered through the words of the prophets. And wow! A new Provo Temple? That's amazing! I can't wait to see it when I get back! I love you all! I pray for you every day! Love, -Elder Liu