Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 24

This week has been great. Especially the Zone conference that we had on Friday. We were trained by a lot of different companionships on different Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel. I feel that by learning the fundamentals, I am able to better focus on what can best help our investigators get the experiences they need to have a testimony of the Gospel. Recently we've been having a few investigators who ask really great questions, and seem like they really are interested in the things we share. We just hope we can provide the Spirit strong enough for them to be able to recognize the Truth. I have truly loved being in MiaoLi. The members here are so amazing. This place is amazing. The people here are amazing. Elder Su has been a wonderful companion, and I feel we improve every day in our unity and our teaching. I can't believe the transfer's already almost over! I started Phase two 2 days ago, and I'm really really excited! For learning Chinese, we have phase 1 through 3. Phase one is all gospel terms found in Preach My Gospel. Phase two is 1600+ random words that are more everyday stuff. It's already been a blast trying to apply the new words that I've learned. We have an investigator who is getting ready for baptism this coming week! A Brother Wang2 An1 Qi2 王安岐. He's been really great! Wang2 dx is the who found us at a Family Mart convenience store. He's had a few problems with the Word of Wisdom, but he's gotten over it pretty quickly. He really has seen a lot of miracles. He suffers from depression, and so he's needed to take pill to sleep and to get better. But he says that because of prayer, he doesn't need any pills anymore. He used to take 6+ pills a day, but he slowly got rid of them. It's been great to see his testimony grow extremely fast from his humble desire to change and be healed. He is married with one daughter. They're not too interested in the church yet, but we'll see. They don't oppose to his being baptized. He'll be having his baptism interview this Friday, and if all goes well, his baptism will happen this next week! Wow, this one kinda snuck up on me...But I am definitely not complaining. I think this is a great example of how the Lord prepares his people, not the missionaries. I feel I haven't really done anything. But I know the Spirit has lead us to each other to be able to help Brother Wang know that God loves him. It's been such a wonderful opportunity to work with him. For our Thanskgiving.....actually, I forgot it was Thanksgiving. But we had a Family Home Evening yesterday about thanksgiving, so I think that counts. Taiwan doesn't celebrate it, but some of the members still like it. We went around the circle and said what we were grateful for. I truly am grateful that the Lord has smoothly transitioned me to Taiwan. I know that it was his arrangement to send me to the only place I knew in Taiwan, Taipei, JinHua Ward. And then here in MiaoLi, where everyone loves everyone. It's been an amazing transition to be on a mission. Sorry, no time for pictures this week. I'll get them to you next week. I love you! -Elder Liu

Week 23

Hello, everyone! This week has been amazing. We've been able to meet with a lot of our investigators, and a lot of them are making really good progress. We've been working recently on Teaching Skills as a missionary. I feel that as I focus on our investigators, as well as my teaching skills, I feel the Spirit more strongly in our meetings. It lets me feel better that I know I am doing all I can as a missionary, and that it really is their own choice to accept or reject our message. This past week we've had a Specialized training was amazing. There were two main topics, one was to invite the Spirit into your lessons, and the other was How to Begin Teaching, as found in Preach My Gospel. These things have really helped me increase my faith in our living prophets. Preach My Gospel is an amazing tool, not only in missionary work but in our everyday, normal lives. We teach people every day, and we hope to affect them for good. And Preach My Gospel can help us better understand how to do that in a more loving and effective way. Oh yeah, I got to TRANSLATE for my first time! I translated half of the English talks that were given at our training meeting. It was quite hard, and I'm sorry to those Taiwanese who had to hear me talk, but I did my best. At times I could definitely feel the Spirit help me understand their meaning and be able to portray it in my own words. It helped me have more desire to work on my Chinese. I'm grateful to have an opportunity to share my talents with others. I'm really sad to hear about Frisky being put down, but I know it's okay. It just makes me even more grateful for a perfect plan of happiness :) I'm glad we have plenty of pictures to remember him by. This past week we had a Thanksgiving party with our zone. It was great to eat some American-style food! Including stuffing, chicken (they don't like turkey here, sadly), sweet potatoes, and all that jazz. There was a cool miracle this week. We had a lesson setup with 2 highschool kids. And we were going to meet at a 7-11. I saw them there, and a friend that I hadn't seen before. I said, "okay, let's go!", and I walked to where we were meeting. And they ran off right in front of me! Talk about Fang4 ge1zi. They did it right in our face! But I saw their friend stay and she got on her scooter by some other friends, and she pulled out a cigarette. I had a first prompting to talk to her. But I thought it would be weird, so I continued to walk, but then I thought again, that I had to. So I turned around and asked, "Do you want to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" And she said "Maybe when I have time" (which in Taiwan, usually means no) So I gave her a little tract and left to go sit down with Elder Su and our member friend. We talked for a few minutes, and as we were getting up to go, this girl walks up to us and said, "you can stay, I want to talk with you a little." She asked why I was willing to serve a mission, and a little about our beliefs. We found out her name is Sister Zhou1. She was curious why Christ was so great and his works, so she has been reading the bible recently. It was amazing to see this girl, who didn't look like she would be at all interested in hearing about Christ, and see that she had a deep desire to find the peace and joy that Christ could provide. We've had another lesson with her, which went really well. We talked about the Atonement. She seemed to really like it. Thank you for all of your emails! I know that even though we all hit rough times, every single one of our trials can be "Swallowed up in the joy of Christ." I know this gospel is true. Thank you for your support and love. I love you! -Elder Liu

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Did anyone else have an amazing 11.11.11 11:11? Because we did. Besides being able to making the biggest wish in my life, that friday went really well, too. Recently we've been really blessed to run into some amazing people. But we've been also running into some problems. Apparently there's some long-running conflict between Taiwanese and Americans? ....what? really? why? It really does make me sad, angry, and disappointed at some of our missionaries here. I'm not really sure what to do about it, but I feel I have some kind of obligation to try to change it. I just don't know how... But aside from that, we saw so many miracles this week. But we also faced some of the hardest times. I think that's how the Lord works most of the time. The greatest lows bring out the greatest highs. Elder Su ran into a lady who got out of jail that day. But in jail she learned the gospel, and has wanted to join our church ever since she heard it. She really wants to make that change in her life. We ran into someone who wanted to know how to pray. He said he's done it before, and he felt pretty good about it. He said he really likes prayer, but he just wasn't Christian. I found a lady tracting who, after her mom rejected me, came out and started talking to me. She works in China, and is leaving next week, but says she wants to meet with us starting tomorrow. Hopefully we can get far with her before she has to leave. I feel I've learned more about what it means to be continually reliant on the Spirit to do His work. I find that every time I just say a simple prayer in my head, I am completely led and prompted to talk to someone. I feel that every time I have a small success, I can feel the Spirit confirm to me that person is ready as I go talk to them. I am so grateful for the Lord's tender mercies to me this week. I really feel the Lord guiding me in my efforts to become a better, more humble missionary. The Lord really is so merciful in leading all us, as long as we remember Him in everything that we do. This week I'm going to focus hard on the next level after finding, which is making my teaching experience a great one. I feel that once I find someone willing to meet, I get excited, and I forget to teach them a lot that would help them. But Elder Wang in our district told us we should not be finding just investigators, but finding investigators that are progressing towards baptism. So I resolved that I can do better. I know the Lord is blessing me to slowly get better at it. This week I'm going to be focusing on Knowledge and Virtue as my Christlike Attributes. I hope that through these attributes I can teach with more sincerity and simplicity. It's great to hear from a lot of you through email and through letters! I'm glad to hear you're all doing great! 加油! It was great to see Dad last week :P We just coincidentally met at the mission office while I was on my way to the temple. I've actually got a lot from my dad, including the translations for General Conference and the translation for "On the Lord's Errand" DVD that we've been starting to show investigators. I love you! Thank you for all your support! -Elder Liu

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 21

Wow! November! It's supposed to be getting cold over here, but it's not. In fact, the days are getting hotter. But I should be grateful for the warm weather. They all say that winter is super super cold over here. The temple was a wonderful experience for me. It was great to be able to have that renewal of spirit and mind. It really is a great blessing for one to be here.\ These week was a little rough, but the Lord made up for our weaknesses. Yesterday, I was feeling particularly not so good while we were out contacting, and so I sat down to say a prayer. As I looked up, there was a lady that I felt prompted I needed to talk to. She was putting together a fold-up bike, and she was trying to carry this huge bag while riding her bike home. I asked her if there was anything I could do. And she responded in English (she loves to speak English) and said I could help her find a way to carry her bag. And so I spent a few minutes trying. After a prayer in my head, we finally got it to work out, and I think she made it home okay. But before she left she was willing to talk to me and we setup a time to meet again. It was a cool experience. I know that the Lord sent her to be able to comfort me in my weaknesses. Our Ward Mission Leader, Dai4 di4xiong1 (dx) took us out to a huo3 guo1, and I ate really, really full. I think I actually gained wait now! I just hope it's not fat... I think our biggest problem so far is our church attendance. We had 7+ investigators say they would come to church, and only 4 came, with only 1 staying the full 3 hours. But I think it's our problem in not teaching the importance of it well enough. It's just so sad because I've seen my prayers answered so many times by going to church. Maybe you have some suggestions that I could use to help teach? Maybe experiences I can share? I'm doing really great here. Thank you for all the letters and packages that I've been getting. I love you, -Elder Liu

Friday, November 4, 2011

Week 20

Temple Day! This is why I didn't write two days ago. We're going to Taipei today, which is about a 2 hour train ride. It's such an amazing blessing to have a temple here that we can invite all our investigators and new members to prepare for. This week has been amazing. Our new district is great! We have 3 companionships still, and each companionship has one Taiwanese and one American missionary. Having a half and half companionship has its tough spots, but I think we're all doing really well. It's hard to be able to make friends and have true unity with a language barrier. You can't make your usual jokes or express yourself fully. But that's what the gospel is for! We all have the same purpose, and we all, in a way, have the same background. So yes! Tang jm is baptized and confirmed! And better yet, she's still active! It's every missionary's nightmare to baptize someone who wasn't ready, and have them leave right after their baptism. We found another investigator that is making amazing progress. Okay, that's not actually true. An investigator found us, who is making amazing progress. We were making calls and a Family Mart (a convenience store), and a 40 year old man walked up to Elder Su and said he's been looking for us. He shares his story of his depression, and how he's already tried to commit suicide. But his wife and daughter helped him through that hard time. He said he wants to turn around, and do whatever it takes to be baptized. Wow. Talk about prepared! It's going to be amazing to work with him and help him through this journey One of the most frustrating things out here in MiaoLi is that it is more apparent then ever the principle of being compelled to be humble. Yeah, these people are humble in their every day life, but they all don't want change until they need it. In essence, they ask for God's humbling. They ask for trials, tribulation, and sorrow. Why? That's probably something that hurts me the most out here. It's that people can't see how this Gospel can not only make their lives immediately better, but that they can avoid the sorrow and the pain that comes from the compelling the being humble. But at the same time, I think we all do that sometimes. I know I've done that. I've not wanted to improve because I thought my life was great. Tang jm gave a really good analogy I've never thought of. Our life is like what we can carry with two hands. We can only have so much in our lives. But sometimes the Lord wants us to put something really good down on the table, so that we have an extra hand so He can give us something better. It's the good, better, best principle that is so often shared now. And the Lord always has an even "better" for us, until one day we can receive the absolute best. One of the greatest blessings of the gospel is being able to search the scriptures and see all the blessings you've already recieved. And you truly know, as in 1 Nephi 17:13, that it is God that really did lead me through this path. Thank you for all your prayers for my investigators and for me! I really do feel them! I'm praying for all of you, too. I love you! -Elder Liu