Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week 63

Wow, it's September! It was just barely September like...last year! Time flies really fast. Today I don't have too much time, because today I'm in the Mission Office. My companion went to a Military Recall (JiaoZhao), so he'll be gone for a week. But this week I'll still do a Zone Training that we have every month now. The topic we have for this month is using the Fundamentals of Preach My Gospel to be more effective with our time. There is one thing that I loved that President Day said. He said, "The only reason why we use Preach My Gospel and anything like it is because we know that we have a living prophet of God." Otherwise, these things would just be good. But it's not only that, it's the Lord's Way -- the best way. It made me realize how much I've been blessed by being in a time where there are so many resources from our living prophets. I can know that if I just follow these things, I'll be doing what the Lord would have me do. Recently we haven't had many people to teach, which has been hard. I feel that Elder Lin pretty down about that. But we're doing an interesting work. It's because recently we've been spending all our time with the training for next week (because he'll be gone next week, so we had to get it all ready a week early). So we haven't done much proselyting. But we know our work is for a greater cause -- if we can help 20 missionaries come closer to Christ and be more effective, it'll be much better than us working for a week. It's boggling to think what kind of effect these training meetings have, and I am truly humbled to try to represent the Lord in this upcoming training meeting. Anyway, that's all I have time for this week. Thank you for everyone's emails! Love you all! -Elder Liu

Week 61

This week has been just wonderful. It was a start of a new transfer, which is weird. It feels like it just started, since I've only been here 2 1/2 weeks. So it's felt like 2 transfers in one. But that's okay. Elder Lin and I are staying here in ShiLin. It's going to be awesome. We have one investigator in particular, 陳奕廷, who is progressing very well. We've met with him 4 times, and he already has a strong testimony about prayer. He said "我知道神絕對會回答我的祈禱". He said he really has felt the Spirit and has received many answers to his prayers. His baptismal date is in October. I think he'll definitely hit that date. It seems like the zone is doing good with the new transfer. I don't hear of many people having companionship problems or anything like that. I went on exchanges with Elder Sabey. We found that we have a lot of similar interests, so it was a lot of fun. He's a great example. I really learned a lot from him, especially with his contacting. He's very sincere and seems very effective in sharing the Gospel. He's doing a great job and trying to get to know the ward and the situation in his area, but that might give Elder Wang a little pressure. He and Elder Wang's personality are a little different, so they'll probably need some time to get things fully together. There was someone who Elder Lin and I met the other day who we had sent to San Chong's English class. Then just recently he saw me and pulled over, and said "Hi, do you remember me?" His face was really familiar, but I forget his name. He said "Thank you for introducing me to such a wonderful place. I love it there." He had been going to English Class as well as church. It was an awesome experience to have someone bear simple testimony of the joy that they had received from the Gospel. It was Elder Lin's birthday the other day, so we celebrated. We were going to a pizza place, but it was really crowded with no room. So an a-ma suggested us to a restaurant across the street and said that it wasn't expensive, was. A little. But that's okay, because it was his birthday. We had a lot of fun. Recently I've been trying to be more positive in my attitude and actions. It's actually really hard, sometimes. (It's been really hot recently here, which makes me sluggish sometimes) But I despite my weaknesses, the Lord has helped me see some wonderful miracles, especially in finding. We had a potential investigator invite us for lunch and introduced us to her two kids to try and get them to church. We've also been doing a lot with the ward. We met with the bishop and attended ward council two weeks ago. It was really good. Our bishop is doing a really good job. I just wish they had a more specific list of people to visit. They've really only given us one LA Melchizedek Priesthood holder, 黃dx, who we have visited. He has a good family, but they're really busy with their work. We visited him for the second time last night. They seem to not have come for a long time. I think they felt the Spirit though. Hopefully they'll continue to let us visit them in the future. Our new president has asked all the wards to give us a list of all the Less Active Priesthood holders as well as the kids 9+ who aren't baptized so we can start doing more member work. I'm excited for this next week -- We'll exchange 4 times. So hopefully we can keep our area in good shape. We'll see how it goes. It's been great to hear from everyone. Have an awesome week, everyone! I know that Heavenly Father is helping us all be the people He wants us to be, if we are willing to follow His will. Love, -Elder Liu

Week 62

Hey, everyone! This week really was great, although numbers haven't shown it very much. And indeed, we don't have very many investigators, but at the same time, we've had a lot of success and have done our part in inviting others to come unto Christ. We went on 3 exchanges this week. We had planned 4, but they had a baptism that day, so we decided not to. The first was with LuoDong with Elder Anderson. He's doing really good. He says he didn't work as hard as he should have his first 2 transfers, so his Chinese is suffering a little. I also know he's a little more introverted, but he doesn't seem like the happiest Elder there is. I think he's doing okay, but I hope to just see him happier. I think the language might be part of it. I tried to push him to do some calls, and I had to end up taking over. But I was grateful he was willing to try it out and push himself. We set goals to make at least 1 call a day and talk to everyone. Next was Elder Bannatyne in YiLan. He's doing really great. His Chinese is just stellar. He's from Russia, but lived in the US. So he has perfect Russian, English, and soon to be Chinese. He teaches really well and seems to be getting along with his companion. I think he's a great worker, but sometimes he does get tired and then just gets a little more lazy. But Elder Forbes (his trainee) has been great at pushing him and helping them both improve their teaching/planning. At YiLan we also taught a progressing investigator that I sent them when I was in LongTan. It was great to see her! 神的安排! I tried to set some goals with him, but it seems like he didn't really want to, or at least didn't know what to set. And then we had Elder Su in NeiHu. He seems to be doing really good. We didn't have any lessons, but we went finding a lot. He really teaches clearly and simply. He stresses on the fact that they can know these things for themselves. I think he's doing just great. He seems to get along with his companion just fine. We set a goal to study and then teach our companion about how we can control a lesson and help the investigator focus/listen to the gospel. I've been trying to get my zone better at setting goals. It feels like a lot of them aren't used to it, which is weird for a missionary. Wow, I saw my cousin on Tuesday while exchanging, Hu2Li4Wei1. He lives in ZhongLi right now, and we just happened to pass by at the MRT. He's a bit busy with work, so he's a little less active. But I was so grateful to see him (and this time, be able to communicate with him with not a broken Chinese). Recently our investigators just haven't been sticking. I don't know why. We either get fanged, or I really do feel the Spirit in their lesson, but they just don't come back. So it's been a little hard in ShiLin, but Elder Lin and I have just been pushing forward with faith. And I know we've seen the success in the other parts of our work, especially with members. It's a little slow in the progress, but it seems like our pool of resources just grows bigger and bigger as we rely and actively strengthen our ward. We've been able to attend a lot more FHE's and Dinners this week, which was a great blessing. The only struggle has been trying to find an investigator who can come with us. Nonetheless the experiences were great, and we feel we've done a lot of things to try to help the ward here. We have a lot to work on, but we're slowly getting the hang of member work. We had a Michael McLean concert, which was great! He's the songwriter for a bunch of seminary stuff, as well as Best Two Years. His voice wasn't the very best. But I think the simplicity and innocence of his voice added a lot to his songs. Our new member, Li3dx really liked it. He's been a little depressed and stressed out recently. So I think it helped him a lot. Most of McLean's songs are about hope and faith. It was really great. I miss music a lot... But anyway, that's all for this week. I hope this week is the best week of your life! -Elder Liu

Week 60 (8/13/12)

Gawwww :B I hope everyone's doing fantabulous today. It's our transfer day today. We had a couple people in our Zone finish their missions. I can't help but think that my day to leave is getting really close. I know I've still got a 10 months, but it just seem like it'll come super discreetly. Recently I've been pondering long and hard about how the Gospel has effected my life. It seems like I testify of it everyday, and I know it's true, but I still feel like half of me doesn't truly understand the full impact the Gospel has been for me. It's been such a blessing to be able to focus my thoughts and prayers on this subject the past few days. I really feel like being in Shi4 Lin2 has been an answer to this prayer. First of all, we had dinner with Deng4 mama, which was amazing. (Especially their potstickers that brought back a lot of memories.) It helped me realize that since I was little, all my friends and all my relations already had ties to the Gospel. What a blessing it was to be able to grow up innocently in an environment where my standards wouldn't be influenced by my closest peers -- in fact, they would only be strengthened. Shi4Lin2 is great because it's pretty much one of the busiest places in Taiwan with a famous night market. Therefore I get to meet a lot of different people. On Friday I ran into some CBC's (almost as cool as ABC's, but from Canada.) But it was so interesting to see how much of them and their personality seemed to reflect my own past and experiences. I could truly testify to them of the next thing I realized this week, which is that the Gospel really has held my family together. Not saying that without the Gospel, it would fall apart. But I know that there is an incomparable unity that comes to a family that lives by Gospel principles every day. I really know that I have felt that with each of my family members. I'm still learning a lot of how the Gospel has changed my life. As I realize these precious gems of truth, I really feel that my testimony grows so much, and I am able to teach with more convincing spiritual power. Taiwan's also pretty great because I can talk to everyone about random things I had in my childhood that no one else really did in America (like particular video games, movies or candy. The most important things of a childhood, of course.) Even though this is really small, it really has given me great joy to be able to give me a bigger sense of...belonging? I guess that's the word. But I think it's been a two-way blessing. I feel that I have better relations with all of my companions because even though I'm American, I still have a lot of Taiwanese traits and background that the Taiwanese feel more comfortable with. Needless to say, I know that I have been called to Taiwan by the Lord. If not for any other reason, at least it's been like a 2 year Christmas present from him. But I know that I am doing the Lord's work, and because of it, I get to see His tender mercies every day. I know that the Lord is taking every bit of effort we are willing to put forth and change them into blessings and miracles. The key is just to be willing -- to have faith in the promise that if we actively keep his commandments, we will all be blessed. I'm really loving every bit of the work now. I know not all transfers are like this, so I'm cherishing the moments. Thanks for everything. I love you all! -Elder Liu

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Week 59

Oh man, being Zone Leader is great! I really have enjoyed my calling a lot. It's pretty different, and there are a lot of things I need to learn. But I really love getting to know more missionaries and being able to learn from their example. Recently we had a Zone Leader council about our training for next month. We learned a boatload about member work and working with the Bishop and Ward Council. The more I talk about it, the more excited I get. I really have had a huge desire to do more member work, but have always felt restricted on this side of missionary work. I hope that I can help other missionaries see the importance and blessings of being influential to the ward in which we serve. Well last week I thought I was real smart and started to pray to be able to show my faith. Right after I prayed for that, I thought that that probably wasn't the most intelligent thing to pray for if I wanted a nice and peaceful mission life. But this week I feel that God, as always, has answered my prayers. This week I've been having a pretty bad headache and some neck problems. I'm trying my best to do all I can, but try to take it easy when I need to. Yesterday's fast might have been the hardest one I've done. But I felt privileged to be able to express my faith and desire to serve by going out and working my hardest with a smile. Even though we didn't find anyone yesterday, I truly felt that my work yesterday was a success, and my faith grew because of it. In 士林 I'm see so many cool miracles! Mostly with the members here. I've been so blessed to meet Cai4 family -- whose dad is a convert of Dad. You can really see how the gospel has blessed and changed their lives. They invited us to dinner, and he told us the story of how Dad found him and his conversion process. It was a real treat. I was trying so hard to understand all of his words -- he has a hard time pronouncing fricatives because he leaks air though his nose after a car accident, I think. But I understood most of it. It was a great story. I am so blessed to have met him and learned from his example and testimony. His daughter also showed me her bass recorder, which was pretty sweet. I didn't know they got to be so big... Also, Deng4 mama (mama of Deng4 Jia1) lives here! She's going to treat us to dinner this Thursday. As well as a Chi2 mama. It's been pretty crazy to run into a bunch of familiar faces. I hope to be able to get to know them more and do what I can to strengthen them. Love you all! -Elder Liu

Week 58

Wow,.I can't believe it's August...again! We just had August last year... This week has been absolutely crazy. Last Wednesday, during our studies, our Assistant called Elder Tay and I and said, "Hey, we're in LongTan. We want to come visit you. Can you come down and pick us up?" So we went down, and Elder Workman and President Day were downstairs to greet us. We took them up into our apartment and we sat down together. "You're probably wondering why we're here, huh?" "Umm...Yeah..." "Well, you're life is about to change. Tomorrow." Turns out President Day wanted to immediately call me to a new position. I'm in Shi4Lin2 serving as the Zone Leader of the North Zone, including NeiHu, DanShui, and JiLong. So I packed up my stuff in a day and was out of LongTan by Thursday morning. This has probably been the hardest move call I've had. Elder Tay and I worked so well together. We even played Tennis everyday at the clay courts by our apartment! Just when things were getting really, really good, we moved out unexpectedly. Well, I'm sure I don't really understand all what Zone Leader entails right now, but so far so good. I know that Elder Tay is doing great back in Long Tan, even though it'll only be his 2nd transfer with a DuanChuan companion now. I know that the Lord has prepared him for this, and it was our time to part our ways. I really have a learned a lot from him, and loved every second I had in Longtan with Elder Tay. The good thing about all of this is because now I'm in a new Zone, I get another chance to have a Temple Day -- I got to go twice this transfer :B Which is also why I'm emailing on Wednesday this week again. So my new companion is Elder Lin from GaoXiong. Elder Lin has been a great companion as well. I really feel his love and his sincerity. I know that I'll learn quickly. I just need to stay focused on my calling and put my whole heart into it. He's good at giving me a lot of opportunities to try out the Zone Leader responsibilities, so I feel I'm doing my part. ShiLin needs some work. It's been a Zone Leader area for a while, so the missionaries have a harder time focusing on the place here. And so the work here is a little different. I hope to be able to build it up as much as I can. So I've already been on exchanges to NeiHu with Elder Montalto, as well as Elder Thatcher in JiLong. I've been in 4 different beds in 5 days. It's been a little hectic. But I'm loving to be able to be with a lot of different missionaries and learn from their example. On exchanges I learned something pretty important. I was talking with Elder Thatcher about the difference between sad and discouraged. Preach my Gospel says that we will face disappointments, but we should not be discouraged. We came to the conclusion that although we will all face challenges in life, the main thing is that we cannot let what we face effect our faith. If our faith decreases because of our trials, that is being discouraged. We need to always remember, like in Moroni 9:25-26, how these things can be swallowed up in the Love and Power of Christ. To be discouraged is to forget Christ and his sacrifice. In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Anyway, we need to get going. Thank you everyone for your wonderful emails. Love, -Elder Liu

Week 57

This week has been great with our Duan3 Chuan2 短傳! 郭長老's going to be a great missionary in a year or so. He's a Senior in high school from Ban3qiao2 板橋. The Youth program let a few people come and 傳教 with us for a week. I was inspired by his willingness to serve and his fire for missionary work -- it was like training someone. He even contacted 2 investigators for us, helping us hit our goals for the week. It was great to make a new friend out on the mission. I'm going to miss 3 part harmonies for our Daily Planning sessions, too. Elder Tay and I have been a little confused with the new rules with the new mission president. He basically got out the rules from President Grimley and said, "These definitely are inspired, but we aren't using them anymore." President Grimley apparently was really strict. But I didn't really realize how much until President Day gave us complete trust to use our own agency and judgement to seek the Lord's will through PMG, The Missionary Handbook, and scripture. We, of course, are liking the bigger freedom. But at the same time, we have found a lot of unspoken rules that we don't know what to do. We're still doing our best in exercising our agency with this "higher law". This week I have felt more sympathy for the Jewish people after the Law of Moses was fulfilled. The first reaction would have to be, "what, are you serious? But those are the rules! That's how it's always been. You can't just change that." But at the same time, we know that this is because the Lord trusts us and loves us enough to live by a happier, Spirit-lead life. We will take great care of the trust that we've been given. This week has been pretty good. We've seen a lot of miracles to help us hit our goals. But at the same time we need to work hard with the investigators we've already had. We've had troubles with getting them to church, so it's a little frustrating. We'll do our best to focus on it more this week. Thanks for the emails every week. Love you all! -Elder Liu

Week 56

Luo jm's baptism went really well! The Spirit was really strong as she bore her testimony and was baptized into the Church. I feel she was also very welcome by those who attended the baptism, which I felt really good about. Elder Tay and I performed a viola/piano arrangement as part of the baptismal service. With Linda, we'll have to wait for another interview next week. It's been really hard with her because we only get to visit her once a week, and so we never really know how she's progressing. I think recently she's been having some Word of Wisdom problems, so we'll see how that goes the next time we meet with her. Even though we had meetings-galore this week, we were still able to hit a decent amount of our goals, which we were excited about. We went to Taibei twice for temple day and meetings, and will go once again today. We'll have a temporary missionary with us for a week that we'll go pick up! He'll be coming to see if he will want to come on a mission later. Hopefully we'll have a boatload of miracles to tell you all next week -- I know the Lord will help him see the blessings of being on a mission! There are just too many! Elder Tay and I have made a goal to look at our goals daily! (Otherwise they never get done...) No wonder we are commanded to study daily and partake the sacrament -- we are so easily distracted with the daily things of our lives, that we forget the purpose. We forget the commitment and fire that we've felt a few moments before. When, in the long run, we definitely would choose the most important things, which is the result of the goals that we set in the beginning. Sometimes Elder Tay and I feel the new 12-week training program is a little repetitious, especially when there are the same videos in 2 consecutive weeks. But I know that it has helped a lot with giving me opportunity to share my own experiences and insights. Hopefully we'll continue to take as much as we can from this opportunity to go through this training. I'm going to continue to do all I can for the district. I'm still praying hard for inspiration to know how to lead them. Thank you for everyone' own example in leadership and Christlike attributes. I've been able to learn a lot by reflecting on the example of all of you. Elder Tay says hi. Ah yes, we might not have had second breakfast, but we had second dinner -- it was awesome. We had a multiple family gathering at the church with some dinner, but a lin2 family also invited us to dinner later that day. I felt kinda bad, but I was really full at the end of the day, so it was okay. We shared a simple message at both of them. I think they both went really well. It was good to get to know the members in the area here. Thanks everyone! I hope you all continue to actively bring yourself closer to Christ. -Elder Liu

Week 55

Today is our temple day, which I really have missed this past year! So our preparation day got changed to wednesday instead of monday. Recently this place has been doing great! Mostly because here we get to teach sisters. The previous missionary here, Elder Kasparian, is a wonderful missionary, so I got to share in his blessings with 3 baptisms planned for this week. He's in a nearby area as our Zone Leader in Taoyuan, and so we get to see him pretty often too. Whoa, Citadels! I played that here. It's a pretty cool game -- kinda dark, though :P But yeah, I really like it. I thought you would enjoy it. It was wonderful to see our new Mission President! These two weeks has been absolutely amazing. We hit every single one of our goals last week -- that feeling is just amazing. I don't know about other missions, but hitting every single goal doesn't happen very often. I know that the Lord provided this opportunity for us to be able to grow in our faith and our understanding of the sacred work we have. Our last two investigators were found on Sunday, just barely hitting our goal. I know that through our prayers, our faith, and our effort, that we were able to be lead to great, prepared people to hear the gospel. I've been having a hard time finding a balance in leading this district.Elder Tay and I were talking about the Color Code yesterday, and I realize that a lot of our district members are yellow (the fun-loving type), which has been harder for me to lead. In my last area, I would say they were all blue or red, except maybe one. I've always have had a problem leading those who love to play, which I guess will be a good thing to develop. Sometimes I think we get less out of things out of meetings and reports than we could because we have this difference. So I'm going to be praying to find a way to be able to lead them in a more effective way. I feel the new missionaries are doing pretty well. I'm sure they're having some hard and frustrating times, but I think they're pushing through it really well. They're really lucky to have Sister Chen and Sister Christensen as their trainers. Speaking of Sister Chen...yes. I don't really know how to describe her family, but we know them. She lives in Provo and I think their brothers stayed at our house a while ago. This week we'll have one person, Joanna 羅jm, who will be baptized this week. They announced her in Relief Society that she was in young womens (oh yeah, she's probably in her 50's). And so they'll be a ton of young women at her baptism, and they'll make the dessert for the baptism, too. Kinda funny, but at least there will be people there for sure. Next week we also have another potential baptism. Linda 彭jm. She has some really cool faith. She's pretty busy, so usually she has no time to meet with us, but by the time it's 9:30 and we can call her, she can pick up. She's had some challenges throughout her time investigating the church, including some Book of Mormon, Word of Wisdom and Tithing questions. In fact, she was at one point, going to stop investigating. But she always willing to pray about it, and sure enough, in a couple days, she would come back with an answer from God. And then she was totally willing to do whatever was required from the Lord, without any particular effort on our part. She's definitely prepared to hear the Gospel. Love you all, 加油! Elder Liu

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 54

Ha, I left out a very important detail last week. Elder Tay is my companion! I'm sure you all know by now, though. It's been awesome - I feel I have such a great relationship with Singapore now :D. We get along great -- He reminds me so much of my best friend 之一, Elder Nicholas Harrison. And I know that the Lord has taken care of me musically throughout my mission. Who else gets to sing SATB hymns with his district, play string duets, and be with musical companions almost every transfer? He plays the piano and organ, so we had a musical number yesterday for the baptism they had for a Liu jm. I shook her hand for the first time seconds before the baptism picture, so it didn't have too much meaning, but it was great to be in a baptismal service again. LongTan is doing great. Of course, it'll need our hard work, but the people here are great and I'm loving the work. I found out my MTC companion, Elder Xie lives in BaDe which is the area right next to ours. It's great to be serving the people of TaoYuan! In the District I have 10 people, which has been a little harder for me, but so far so good. Elder Tay has been a huge help and blessing to me. He's really good at getting everything done and helping me whenever I need it (which is a lot). I have 2 new trainee sisters that Jonathan taught at the MTC. They both say they loved him as a teacher and learned a lot from him. I hope they're doing well and adjusting well. It's a little harder for me to know how the sisters are doing. It's especially harder in this district because other than district meeting, I never see my district. LongTan is a 40 minute bus ride from everyone else. In TaiDong, I would see my district every day, and so building a good relationship with each of them was super easy. But here I only have phone calls and district meeting to get to know them and their needs. But I know the Lord will still find a way for me to fulfill my calling out here in LongTan. That's all for this week. Love you all, and am praying for you! -Elder Liu

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Week 53

I don't have too much time. But I'm moving! Whaa! It's been so much fun and I've had so much learning here in TaiDong. I've been called to be the district leader in Long2Tan2. There are 10 members in that district. 6 Elders and 4 sisters. It's going to be a crazy transfer. Zhou dx's baptism went really smoothly. A very good way to end the transfer! I'm so excited for him! Love you all. Thank you for your support and love! -Elder Liu

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 52

I hear there's been flooding all around Taiwan, but we've been okay. All the water drains out of TaiDong pretty fast. This past week I went on exchanges with Elder Bowler in YuLi! It was great! There seems to be some great challenges there, but he's taking them on so very well. I think the Lord is using his gift to be able to encourage everyone to do their best and reach their potential. He feels that Elder Xu's actions, especially in finding, are limiting the success and growth that he could be seeing. But I feel Elder Bowler really is getting the help that he needs from the Lord. Our companionship study went really well. He said he's finally realizing why he was sent to YuLi. Maybe not for a baptism, but to help his companion. They're also seeing tons of miracles every day. I've been trying to get the district to be able to become happier/more confident by having the Spirit. I don't know how well it has worked. But I can feel that our district members all have had their challenges but have been able to resolve them by doing what it takes to invite the Spirit more in their lives as well as unity in their companionship. This last week we've had a great activity! We had a Scripture Story Filming activity. We had a workshop system with 2 gospel lessons and then 1 station with filming a story. We had David/Goliath, Ammon, Daniel in the Lion's Den, and Abinadi. Everyone loved it, and there were about 70 there. I think it was really good for the branches here. We had a few investigators including families that were able to get to know a lot of members and have a lot of fun. It was great! The mangos are great! Especially the yellow ones that are as big as your face :) I'll hit my year mark in 4 days. It definitely doesn't feel like a year has gone by. I'll need to cherish every moment! Love you all, and Happy Father's Day, Dad! ^^ -Elder Liu

Week 51

Hello! Exchanges went really, really well this week. Elder Peterson is a stellar missionary, and often wonder why he's not the district leader. But I know the Lord has his purposes. He's been doing a great job and helping Elder Lin. In North Taidong they're seeming to start anew and to start over with a lot of things -- stop meeting with some non-progressors, etc. I think they're both doing a great job in their area, and should see a lot of baptisms within the coming transfers. I feel a few members in our district have been struggling to know how to recognize and even fully desire the Spirit to go out and work their hardest. This week we're planning a movie-filming activity about Book of Mormon and Bible Stories. It'll be a great activity. We already have 15 or so people who already signed up, so it'll be pretty good for an activity here. We're hoping our members will like it and everyone will have a good time, and of course, draw closer to Christ. I hope I can more fully fulfil my calling as a district leader. I've found that I haven't been focusing enough time and energy on my district. It's hard because I feel my companion needs more push than companions in the past, so it lets me worry about my area in addition to my district. I finally got on phase 3, which is reading, and it's going great. I've already mostly finished the first box. There are 3 total, with about 800 in each. And it's been some really good help. Hopefully I'll continue to learn and my make way to full Taiwanese! Love you all! -Elder Liu

Week 50!

Hello! This week has been great. I feel like I've learned a lot from being a leader. It's really stressful sometimes, and half the time I swear I'm forgetting something. But I feel by more actively thinking of the needs of others i've developed more love and more patience. I feel like my companion isn't make the most of his mission, so I'm trying hard to be able to encourage him to do his best and be more active. I know he wants to be here, but I think the natural man is pulling him back from putting his full effort into it. He's a great teacher and has a great testimony, though. He really is a great person. This past week I went on exchanges with YuLi! It was great! I love YuLi. The YuLi noodles are pretty good, too. I especially feel that Elder Bowler has been having a great impact on that place. I know they see miracles every day, and it's been helping Elder Xu to be more optimistic and faithful. I was with Elder Xu at Yuli, and we had a good day of work. He wasn't very active in his finding -- it was mostly me pulling people off the street. But I feel his teaching is really powerful and very clear. They have some good progressing investigators so far. Hopefully they will be able to have a baptism this transfer. I tried to help Elder Xu learn as much as he could from having Elder Bowler as his companion as I have. This week I did my first baptismal interview with the sister's Yan2 jm. It went well. It helped me remember the sacredness of baptism. And it was great to be able to see her desire and change that this gospel has given her. She later cancelled because she wants her mom to be able to approve her baptism, which, as of now, is not super likely. She'll definitely be baptized someday, we just don't know when. Hope finals go well for everyone! Have an awesome week! Love, -Elder Liu

Monday, May 28, 2012

Week 49

Dear President! Wha! District Leader is tough stuff. It definitely keeps you on your toes. But I know that from it I'm growing and learning what the Lord would have me learn. I hope that I'm doing an adaquate job to help my district members continue to learn and improve. I haven't gone on exchanges yet, but I'll be planning on going with YuLi this week with Elder Xu. I'm really glad that they saw some good success this week. YuLi hasn't had a baptism for over a year. But they seem to be progressing a lot. Hopefully I'll be able to take part of some of that success in that area. Elder You is a great companion. He is definitely different than Elder Bowler, but he has many strengths as a missionary and I know that I will learn a lot from him. So far I feel that he's not always as into the work as he should be. So hopefully I can excite him for missionary work by example and help him do his best. I feel the district has done really well this week. So far I don't think there are any companionship problems. They had good reactions from the invite this week. Even though it was really simple, I think it helped remind them the importance of it. Overall they had better relationships with their investigators and they were able to evaluate and improve their ways of contacting their investigators. Sister Rosander was sick this week, so we gave her a blessing. She seems to be doing fine. I don't think her work was effected. She just had a rough voice and was wearing the hospital mask. I know the blessing helped her a lot. Elder Peterson is doing great! And better yet, he's a tenor! That means we have SATB in our district. We're going to have a lot of fun down here. But besides that, I know Elder Peterson's doing a great job as a senior companion. He and Elder Lin seem to get along great. So with investigators, we've been finding a lot of haihao ones. They'll get to setup, but then end up having some excuse not to come. I noticed in PMG it says it is essential that investigators keep a continual influence of the Spirit that they felt when they first met with missionaries, and I definitely see that in our investigators now. But there was a really good one this week. He came from Tai4Ma2Li3 太麻里. Which, for him, is a half hour walk to an hour bus ride. And he came just for us! I don't really understand why he has interest at this point. But I know there's some. He said he really liked church this week. They talked about Patience. He said each member who spoke really touched him. Which was good. Our church meeting really helped me as well. I feel I need to have more patience with myself and with those around me. Zhou Surfer is also making steady progress. We're giving him a lot of ways to strengthen his faith and overcome temptation. He's doing really well. He hasn't touched tea in 2 weeks, and he's a lot stronger than he was before. He also came to all three hours in GaoXiong's ward! He's on track for his 6/16 date of being baptized. Thank you for everyone's support and packages and fun stuff. Love you all! Have an awesome day! -Elder Liu

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 48

I'm excited to stay another 6 weeks in TaiDong! Especially as a district leader! I know that I have many, many weaknesses. But I also have a firm belief that Christ will lift me higher. Elder Bowler is moving just next door in the same district -- YuLi. My new companion will be a Taiwanese, named Elder You2. So no, our baptisms didn't go through. But they're still okay and they're still progressing even further on the path. It's been a little hard recently. Not too many new investigators, but I feel that we are handling well our old ones. A lot of them stopped meeting with us or are very hard to get a hold of, so it's hard to balance the time right. With Elder You2 we'll probably get a lot of finding done, and see even more miracles. I feel that I've learned a lot with Elder Bowler. I feel our investigators are finally getting the importance of our commitments. They're also understanding more our love for them, and how because we love them, we want to fulfill our purpose through them -- by doing everything we can to invite others to come unto Christ. I know it's because of focusing on these things the past few weeks that we've seen a lot of miracles and a lot better success. It feels like the numbers don't portray how much work we've done, but I feel like I've grown a lot, so it's all worth it. I know that I've helped those I need to, and I've done my best. Hopefully in the next transfer we'll get at least these last two (Chen Wei Hong and Zhou Surfer) baptized and confirmed. Sorry, a shorter email this week. We need to get more things sorted out for the new transfer! Love, -Elder Liu

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 47

Hello, everybody! Happy Mother's Day -^^- Everything is going wonderfully. I really loved the specialized training we had this week about invites and following up, and I'm already seeing so much more success and love as I use the "ABC" way to invite and followup (Because ABC's are the best :P). A stands for Ai4. Yes, Love. B is Bold. C is confident. I think I personally benefitted most from C. Although before I knew that these invitations would give them blessings, I think I needed more confidence that these invitations are the number one best things they can be doing in their life to help them and their families. No exceptions. And of course show an added measure of love as you boldly give invites. I think our investigators are finally understanding how important these invitations are in their lives through a clearer way of inviting. I sure hope that I don't move, but of course, it's the Lord that will decide that! We're still getting one baptism this week, Zhou Surfer. He really has been amazing. He needs to get up earlier for church, but other than that, he's exercised his faith a lot in the past month or so. Elder Bowler's doing just great. I feel he is learning a lot, and it is showing in his finding, teaching, and Chinese speaking. He's really doing a great job. I'm grateful to have him as my companion. This week we had Elder Lin with us in a 3-in-1. Although the work was a little more busy with two area's work, it was still really good and fulfilling. We were able to visit with their investigators and visit their area (and eat their food! all the good food is in their area...) But it was a really good experience, especially to learn from a new companion. Elder Lin is doing good as well. He's in his second transfer. He seems to be frustrated with his own abilities as a missionary, but he really is doing great and is doing great things. This week has also been a little hard because this week was Mother's Day. A lot of our investigators went home for the weekend, so we had quite a peaceful church with no investigators :( It's been a constant struggle to get people over to our church. Elder Bowler and I will talk about more we can do about it. I hope every mother feels how special they really are, and how much the Lord loves you for your sacrifices! Love, -Elder Liu

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 46

Hello, everyone! TaiDong is doing spectacular! This week was a little rough because we had a lot of unexpected things pop up, like going to Hualian for exchanges and having Elder Lin be in a threesome with us (since Elder Lusubudan is dang1 bing1-ing for a week.) It's been great, and we've been working hard, but it's been hard on the numbers. I know the Lord will bless us in unexpected ways as well. So far we have 2 baptisms planned for next week. So we're having 2 interviews this week. We're working a lot closer with our MMLeader, Jerry, to help these go as smoothly as possible. The two people are: Zhou Surfer. He's doing amazing! He's done with all the lessons - took tithing like candy, and has been studying and pondering the baptismal interview questions. He's really been an amazing example of faith. I asked if he's had any family opposition, and he said of course he has, but he feels that this will be better for him anyway. He went to church in Gaoxiong this week, and he'll be in Gaoxiong again next week for Mother's Day. I think his biggest problem with enduring to the end is to come to all 3 hours of church. He has yet to do that. But he will always make the sacrifice to go to at least Sacrament Meeting. He has the faith to do everything he needs to, but he needs a push to do it sometimes, but then he's great. I've been grateful to have Zhou Surfer as an investigator. In his prayers he mentioned how he was grateful us Elders could help him make these changes in his life to be more fitting for God. It helped me see the impact that we have in other's lives. That's really refreshing sometimes for a missionary. The other one is Chen Wei Hong -- He's been a really long time now. He's had 2 interviews, but none of them are effective now. We've decided to wait until he's 20 next week so he can just get baptized without parent permission, and so hopefully everything will go smooth next saturday. Have an awesome day, everyone, and a magical Mother's day! I love you, -Elder Liu

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week 45

Hello, everyone~ The work has been wonderful. I feel that from our specialized training from Elder Gong my testimony strengthened so much. I was praying for an experience that could help me strengthen my testimony and desire to share what I know. Being able to talk about teaching skills and the Restoration of the Gospel, as well as feeling the Spirit really did answer my prayers. I'm grateful for the training you gave and the Spirit that you, Sister Grimley, and Elder/Sister Gong brought to us. I also feel that the focus of my finding and teaching have taken a more effective and spiritual turn by focusing on the Restoration of the Gospel. This week, I feel that by opening a lot more responsibility to Elder Bowler, things have naturally gotten a little harder in some aspects. He's doing an amazing job at being proactive and continuing to improve, so the work load is becoming even more equal. But now as we plan and discuss things together, we have to work more fully with two different opinions. Of course, as we both try to seek the Spirit, discuss, and study it out in our minds, we try to find the will of the Lord in our decisions. It's been a wonderful opportunity to be able to develop these communication skills and Christlike attributes. I'm sure the opportunities will only increase as life goes on. This week we've had some great progress with some of our investigators. Zhou Surfer is making a conscious and faithful effort to stop drinking coffee this week so he can have is baptismal interview next Thursday. He's already finished the Book of Mormon in less than a month, and his testimony is really strong. He specifically said in his prayer his thanks for the missionaries helping him change his life to fit how the Lord would have it. That really touched me. It helped me see firsthand how the gospel really does change lives. It helps people really become happier. -Elder Liu

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Week 44

Hello, everyone! This week has been incredible! We've definitely seen the Lord's hand and guidance in our lives. We've been unconsciously been sharing more and more scripture because our roleplays have all been How to Begin Teaching and Scripture based. We've been able to practice how to effectively introduce, read, and apply scripture. It's becoming more and more apparent how if our investigators are just wiling to read the Book of Mormon, they will be able to bear with faith the trials necessary to becoming converted. We've had a big wave of lessons this week. Which means we had less finding time. But we definitely had the Lord's help to hit our goals. During our WPS Elder Bowler and I were able to talk about the equality of our companionship. Elder Bowler has been staying in the background more, and waiting for my lead to know where we should go or what to do. I've been trying to have Elder Bowler and I have 50/50 planning, teaching, and every other aspect. Once we simply talked about it, we've been seeing even more miracles. He's been giving more input. We've been seeing that as we pray about the things that we are about to do, we are both lead to have the same feeling, and we see many miracles as a result. Yesterday we had to find one last investigator in the last 30 minutes of the day. After the prayer, we both had a distinct feeling that we should go toward Obama cake, which is away from home. As we went, I found a kid willing to do prayer, but didn't have time for a lesson, so I got his number. Elder Bowler found a former investigator who said he needed prayer in his life again. He was willing to meet with us more. His wife and kids seem to be inactive members. Hopefully we can help this family come unto Christ once more! Li3 Chang1 Xian4 dx has been amazing after his baptism. We already have two of his friends that we've met on the street that they say they know us because of his influence. They were both willing to meet with us and learn more. Because of various reasons, their progress might be slower, but we'll try to do the best we can. Li3 dx's already being an awesome member missionary, mostly just because about the things he talks about every day. We have an investigator Chen2 Wei3 Hong2 who has passed his baptismal interview! He's a Dong1 Da4 freshman in college. Recently he's been out of town and not being able to meet with us. But this week he's had a lot of time. He ran into a problem last week, in that we taught him the 10 commandments. He said that he didn't know if he could give up his family religion to be baptized. He wanted to respect both religions equally. We asked him to ponder and pray about it. A couple times later he said he was willing to follow the 10 commandments. I'm not really sure how he came to this conclusion, but he did mention how he's gotten a lot of help from this church, so he's willing to be baptized. It reminds me of how if we just follow the doctrine, we will know of the goodness and the truthfulness of that doctrine. He's been amazing. I think his biggest need before baptism is to know that after baptism he needs to attend church every single time, and not just when we invite him or when it's convenient. Our next baptism will probably be a Zhou1 dx (we call him Zhou surfer, just because...he looks that cool.) He works for the government, so he has a lot of free time. He uses at least 30 minutes a day of this free time the Book of Mormon! Yay! He's amazing. In 3 1/2 weeks, he's already at Alma 40s. And the testimony he's grown has really shown in his progress. Even those these commandments have been a little daunting at first, he's been able to overcome them very well. He goes to GaoXiong every other week on the weekend to spend time with his family. Normally they go out to eat on Sundays, but this week he bought a bunch of groceries on Saturday and he's going to eat by himself on Sunday. It's kind of a sad sacrifice, but it's wonderful that he's keeping the Sabbath Day holy. He's sure to see the blessings of Sabbath day observance. We found a Vegan place called Loving Hut. A very interesting name, but also very good vegetarian food. It's been great to see the creativity of names here. Why can't the US do that? :P I love you, -Elder Liu

Week 43

Hello, President! This week has been going great. We've seen tons of success. We had over 30 lessons this week. And a lot of new people willing to set a baptismal date on the street. We hope they'll all be able to keep progressing and build their testimony. We have also been studying the Book of Mormon using 5 different markers as an invite from President -- one for each part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So far...I dont' feel like I've gotten a huge amount of revelation. But I think part of that is I need to establish my own expectation of what I want to learn. I'm still working on it. I have noticed that drawing these helps me realize how much the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and helps us learn his teachings. It helps us see clearly the effects of faith, and the consequences of repentance (and not repenting). It helps us see how earnestly the prophets want us to come unto Christ and be baptized. As well how important the Spirit and Enduring to the end are. We're really grateful for the success that we've seen this week. We just hope we can continue in humility with the Spirit's guidance. We're going to get all these people baptized! And of course, on Friday the 13th you need a fun story. The sisters brought us their investigator that has been having some creepy problems recently. She says she has spirits in her, one named Baba -- a spirit who doesn't want her to pray and needs other vessels to do his work -- and another called Xian1Zhi1. And I'm sure there were a few more. But she kept referring to herself in 3rd person and saying some weird things. She was never like that before, so the sisters wanted us to give her a blessing. So I gave a blessing of comfort. And I blessed her that she would have the ability to use her agency to cast out these spirits. We sang with her and prayed with her. As of now, she's still a little weird. But she's a lot happier and more normal than usual. Hopefully she'll get better soon. It's been fun to have all of my district members the same! It's great to have the same district, so we can have greater unity in our work. Thank you for your service, President! Have a good one! -Elder Liu

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week 42

Wow! None of us are moving! Except for an Elder Darley in Yu4Li3. But in Taidong county all 6 of us are the same. It'll be greater to further establish unity as a district.I'm so excited to stay another transfer at Taidong! This week has gone by fantabulously! I thoroughly enjoyed conference. One overlying theme that I noticed was the prompt that we "Do not delay". That is definitely true in our daily lives, especially missionary work. We all need to evaluate every part of our lives, because each part of our lives could become closer to the Savior. And then we should work now to be able to become a happier, more effective servant of the Lord. And then, as Preach My Gospel shares, set the appropriate goals. Recently I feel I've been a little slacking at Phase 2. Okay, more than feel. I have been slacking at Phase 2. But last week I made a goal to finish two boxes in 1 week (about 240 words/phrases). I spent an unusual amount of time studying it. Any free time I pulled it out. I studied while exercising, eating, and any other down time. And I was able to hit my goal and get two boxes. I'm grateful that I've gained a testimony to "do not delay." I have felt that I become proactive toward a worthy goal, the rest of my life gets better and becomes more enjoyable. This week we've been learning "How to begin teaching" from Preach My Gospel. I especially learned a lot from Elder Lusubudan during exchanges. He really does use the HTBT points in a very smooth and natural way. I think the teaching skill I need to work on most is asking effective questions. Effective questions will help me let those on the street know the "why" of the gospel, as President Uchtdorf taught us in Priesthood. It definitely is one of the harder skills to develop, but I know the Lord will help me find a way to do what I need to. Elder Bowler is doing great. Sometimes he takes a little too long with people with no interest. He loves to liao2tian1. But I'm probably guilty of the same thing. I hope I can set an example to be able to change this block in our effectiveness as missionaries. I need to work on my patience and charity. Many recent events and people have made me a little short tempered. I don't think it's made my actions too bad. Just definitely not Christlike. We've had a lot of....special people recently. They all have super different circumstances, which I guess is normal. We have a Liu2 a-zhong dx. He's a devout Daoist but he was willing to come meet with us anyway. He says he feels a great power in prayer and in the Book of Mormon. He learns super slow, and sometimes doesn't pay much attention. But he's been praying and making some progress. He wears a full white Xiaolin outfit to our visits. Benjamin Lin has continued to have some girlfriend problems. They finally broke up, but for some reason she still calls him. It's having a really bad effect on him. He called me and said he doesn't want to live anymore. I did my best to bear my testimony and help him with his trials. He'll be just fine, but he hasn't learned how to fully rely on the Lord yet. Baptism might be in 2-3 weeks or so. Hopefully he'll be able to make the progression necessary. I think we're establishing a better relationship with our branch. Hopefully this week we can do a lot better at asking for referrals. It's been great to see the obvious change of a family's view towards the missionaries when you have just one visit with them. They are more willing to give you referrals, and they feel a lot more involved in the work. Happy Easter, everyone! He is Risen! Hope you all have an awesome week. Love, -Elder Liu

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Week 41

This week has been really good. It seemed to go by really fast. But I feel we're balancing work on all aspects a lot better. This week we have successfully gotten all of our phone referrals off the phone. We have a phone referral system to get information across our mission. Some people leave names on their for until they're up to like 100 people uncontacted, so President has made an invitation to get it all cleared out. I guess the hard part is keeping up with them now. But it's been good to be able to feel like I've done a lot of what I need to to help out these prepared people. This week Elder Bowler has been doing great. His fire definitely has not diminished, and that is a very admirable accomplishment. We're finding ways to help each other improve, including Chinese as well as Christlike Attributes. I'm doing my best to teach, bless, lift, and inspire as a leader. But sometimes it's hard. I think my biggest problem is that I can't really find out what his needs are. But Elder Lusubudan gave me some good insight in our exchange. He said that as we do our part to encourage them, then they naturally give you back some places that they need to improve. I also feel that I pull a lot of the weight...sometimes. Definitely not too overly much. But I hope I do a good job at still training Elder Bowler in more aspects of missionary work. We have a lot of good investigators recently. Including a lot of Zhou1 dx's. The first one we call Zhou "Surfer", because he looks like a surfer, and we don't know his full name yet. He's really interesting. His uncle's family are all LDS and are living in Japan. But I think they had a good influence because he was willing to come meet with us. He's pretty funny -- he laughs at just about everything: "Zhou dx, can you give us a closing prayer?" "Hahahaha! Okay, sure!" He's a really great guy and loves to learn. He's working for the government. We've only met him for a week, but he's already done with 1 Nephi. Oh yeah. Another Zhou1 dx is Zhou1 Yong3 Xiang2. He's really cool, too. Sister Rosander found him on the street. He's super socially inept. But that's because he's been at his computer for a few years with limited communication with anyone. He said he used to love to talk in school. But now he doesn't know what to say. But while meeting with us he's gotten a lot better. He should go out and play with us today. I think it'll be a very good experience for him. He accepts our message really well, and asks a lot of great questions. It'll be amazing to see his change through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And yet another Zhou1 dx! Zhou1 Jun4 Yu3. He's great. He's been meeting with missionaries for months now. But now he's finally been able to pray more often. He said he started to pray at least once every day, and he has felt a difference in his prayer. His aunt is a member, but they're in the US. Benjamin Lin2 has had some more girlfriend problems. Recently she's had some health problems and he's been worn down by having to take care of her over the phone (she lives in Taipei, about 7 hours away), but then she gets mad at him super often. It's not the best situation. But we shared with him 3 Nephi 14:3-5. We helped him see that right now they're both in a fallen position right now. And that he needs to be able to get himself fully up and standing (get baptized!) before he can be able to effectively help his girlfriend. I think it helped him a lot. Hopefully we'll see even more good change and improvement. I can't believe this is the last week of the transfer! I really really do not want to leave -- I love the people and the place here. Cross your fingers! I love you all! Enjoy conference! (I'm so jealous!) -Elder Liu

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Hello, everybody! I hear school's ending for you soon. I'm praying that you all can do your best! This week was just wonderful. We had a fair share of lessons every day, and we kept having a lot of opportunities to teach new people. On Tuesday we had 10 setups, but only 1 of them came. But we're still really glad with the success that we've had this week. We've met some very interesting people this week, and have had many interesting situations. We've been doing a lot of church tours recently -- just inviting people to come in and look at our church. We've been surprised at how many people are willing to just come in from whatever they were doing and join us. It's been a great finding tool. We've had a lot of people start contacting us, for some reason. Mostly Elder Bowler. A few moms came up to us and asked about our english class, or asked if their kids could learn the gospel. (當然阿!!!) It's been cool to see those miracles. One of them brought her daughter and husband, and we got to teach her husband. Turns out he found a way to make a perpetual motion machine using gravitational and magnetic pulls. I'm not really getting how it works yet, but he said he's almost done with it. So if any of you see a Eugence Xu (might as well be Eugene) you can know that Elder Bowler and I took him on a church tour. Oh yeah. I feel our member work has been getting better. We've been trying to reach out to our branch more, and I think it's making a good impact. However, yesterday our MM Leader, Jerry, got really upset because we told him after church there might be a baptism for Benjamin Lin2 the following Saturday, so there was no really good way to get our members there. It's a long, complicated situation, but it's all resolved now. We're pushing back Lin2 dx's baptism three weeks from now because of conference in two weeks. Hopefully we can take this opportunity to strengthen and fully incorporate Lin2 dx in our branch before he gets baptized. Elder Bowler's doing great. His Chinese is improving a lot as well as his teaching and finding skills. It's great to learn a lot from each other. From him I've learned the importance of being more fun and friendly with our investigators -- it helps them feel more comfortable and welcome as they come into a new environment. I think my struggle lately has been patience, which is something I don't like struggling with. I guess there have just been a lot of people lately who need more patience and time, and it's cracking down on me. But I know through prayer and by knowing we are all God's children has helped me a lot. I'm going to try to work on improving my patience this week as a Christlike Attribute. 057 - Li3 Chang1 Xian4 dx. With a very good looking tie, might I add :P 053 - Eugene Xu! He's a genius. 056 - Li3 dx's baptism. It went pretty well. We had Song4 dx baptize him. Sister Winters and I played violin/viola for the musical number.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 39

We've been seeing miracle after miracle this transfer. But I think this week was a little different. I think we did a lot better this week at being more rounded. Of course we're extremely grateful that we have been given success in our efforts. The Lord really has blessed us a lot this transfer. I think the biggest thing we ned to work on this transfer are our personal goals. We have a tendancy to forget or to get lazy in what our personal goals are, and so although our area work is improving, we're not becoming who we need to be. Li3dx will be baptized this friday! We are all super excited for him. His faith has grown so much over these few months. We've been doing all we can to help him overcome his trials and to get him to come to church. He really does have a special spirit and a aura of faith. Lin2 dx has more problems in his life than I thought! But these trials are really helping him develop the faith he needs to have a more complete conversion. He's been having a really hard time with his family and friend relationships. They're very not supportive of his wanting to change, in fact, quite degrading. They say he will never change. And so a lot of our lessons have been about encouragement. Because he has amazing faith. He really does. But because he's surrounded with a negative environment, he starts to doubt himself. He's really an amazing person. We should be eating the gargantuous shaved ice with him for preparation day, and the learning how to make kimchi with him. Elder Bowler's doing great. He does a great job at getting us both fired up and ready to work. He gets lazy on SYL sometimes, but I try to do my best to keep him practicing. I've been using the Book of Mormon a lot more this week, and I've seen some great things because of it. I contacted a kid at the college nearby. He had met another elder just a week ago, but I said I wanted to share a scripture with him. He said they didn't talk about the Book of Mormon, and he had a little curiousity. I explained what it was, and then I shared a scripture. I had a small impression to share Alma 37:37, because he was having a struggle knowing what he should do after he graduates. So I shared it, and he surprised me by saying, "Wow, that's amazing. I've been having troubles sleeping at night. I really like this scripture." In which I had to look at the scripture again. I realized he had read "And when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep." I know the Spirit led me to that scripture, and not for the reasons that I had thought. I have gained a firmer testimony that we alone may not be able to solve our investigator's needs, but with the Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit, we definitely can.

Week 38

I'm grateful for all the letters, packages, and love that I've been getting recently! Yay! I'm one happy missionary. ^^ I hope All is Well for all of you. The Lord really has blessed me too much. And I'm grateful for the blessings that keep coming in my life. Recently we've had 2 investigators who are making really great progress. We should have Li3 dx having the baptismal interview next week. He's doing wonderful! We taught him the Word of Wisdom last week and he had some troubles adjusting to the lifestyle, but I think he'll do just fine. We taught him Tithing as well, and he already knew it! He has a sister that was baptized in our church before, so he had already heard about it. That makes things much easier ^^. He has a great desire to be baptized, and we're grateful to see his progress and his faith. The other is Lin2 dx. He came with us to Hualien this week, and he said he liked it. He's been having some troubles with his girlfriend lately. But he's been able to use some of the teachings of the gospel to try to handle it all in a Christlike way. It's great to see his desire become manifest in his actions. When he was in Taipei's XinZhuang, he met with missionaries before, so it's mostly just review for him. Hopefully he will continue to improve quickly. He also has 3 kittens he's giving away. Elder Bowler is doing great -- with as much fire as ever! And we're seeing miracles because of his willingness! At times he becomes a little passive with the work, but I try to keep him on top of things. It's not too often at all. I'm really grateful to have had really great companions so far. I'm working on trying to be more sensitive to the needs of others. That's really hard to do! But I know through prayer and study, I'll be able to learn and to grow. We were filled with lessons this week. As we focused on the Book of Mormon, we could feel greater power in our teaching and a deeper understanding from our investigators. I'm grateful that the Lord has given us a tool that we can center our faith around. By strengthening our faith in the Book of Mormon, we will always be steadfast and immovable in the faith. It is also a perfect teaching tool for everyone, everywhere, at all times. We had transfers with the Zone Leaders as well as the Travelling Assistants. Both went really well - we saw a lot of miracles in our work. I think what I learned with them is that I need to contact even MORE people! People working, riding, and even people passing by on motorcycles! As I do, I'll see even more miracles in the work. Another thing I learned is I need to make my studies more productive so that I improve my scriptural knowledge Christlike Attributes, and leadership skills as fast as I can. Hopefully I can fill the shoes that the Lord has put down for me. 一切好!一切好! I love you, -Elder Liu

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week 37

Wow! This week was full of miracles! Although numbers don't matter, we were able to have almost 2 new investigators a day this week. And we've met with most of our investigators last week, if not this week. It has been an amazing opportunity to be able to work with Elder Bowler. The first thing I noticed about him is that his attitude is awesome. I love it. He really does help me to have a better look on work and a way to help me overcome the trials that come with everyday missionary life. He's a wonderful example to me. I'm doing my best to try to serve him and be an example of obedience. Elder Bowler is from Arizona. He has two younger sisters and an older brother. He's a very cool kid. He's probably the first example I've seen of true greeny fire here. And I love it! Just a simple desire to go and work and to find and to teach. It's amazing. He's fresh off high school, and will be going to Dixie when he gets back from his mission. This is his 3rd transfer. Sadly, there seems to be no immediate relation with my old soccer coach. But that's okay. he's a great person anyway. And he also likes volleyball, soccer, skating, and diving. He currently doesn't know what he wants to do with his life when he gets back. But I'm also super sad I only got to be with Elder Braithwaite 1 transfer. There were a lot of people that we wanted to help together. He moved to TaoYuan's Nan2Kan3. We actually switched companions -- that's where Elder Bowler was last transfer. We've had some wonderful success with our progressing investigators. We plan to have one, Li3 Chang1 Xian4 李昌憲, baptized this week. Li3 dx is absolutely amazing. He has a small physical handicap, but his faith makes up for the rest. He has already run into the problems of multiple gods and some family opposition, but he has decided to meet with us and to keep going. Recently we taught him the Word of Wisdom. He said, "no tea....that's really hard!.....okay!" He's keeping the Word of Wisdom, Sabbath, and Chastity. He's well on his way towards baptism this week. We still need to teach the importance of coming to church...I don't know how big of a priority it is for him. He didn't come this week because he was tired. We have an investigator Zeng1 dx. His progress is super slow. We've met with him at least 8 times and we're still getting prayer into his life. He says them, but they're always not very meaningful. Mostly because he doesn't know what to say. He hasn't been doing too change in his life. But lately he's been amazing with his faith. Yesterday he called us to ask what he should pray for. As well as he got a rest from his family's work to come to church. He and his dad got in an argument, but he came anyway. I don't even know if he's realizing it, but he's exercising great faith to do what we invite him to do. Yesterday we met a Lin2 dx. He came to church by himself, and he waved to me and asked if he could come to our meeting. I said of course, of course. It turns out he met with XinZhuang elders a long time ago, but then went into a more rebellious stage of his life. He started not to believe in God and had nothing to do with church. But then his life recently has been really hard and painful, and he has a burning desire to change his life from what it is right now. So he came to find us. It's amazing to see how the Lord works. Even though the conversion of Lin dx has taken years, it really has helped him to develop great faith and desire to follow the Lord. You can see a mighty change of heart in him. He setup a baptismal date right off, and will be meeting with us today. It's been great to focus on finding this week, especially different ways to find. We haven't had too much time to think of new ways, but being able to refresh our day with something new and different really does help. And I know the Lord will prepare his children in different ways to help them find their way to us. So we also need to do the same to find them. Thank you for your fantabulous packages, goodies, support, and love- -Elder Liu

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 36

Hey, there was an earthquake here! Yay! It was super small, but noticeable. It came while I was playing the opening hymn, so that was an interesting experience. Now I can say that I've played piano during an earthquake. That's pretty cool, I guess. Wow! I can't believe Elder Braithwaite is leaving for the next transfer! I'll be staying in TaiDong to work with an Elder Bowler. This transfer has gone so quickly. And there is still much I feel I need to know to be able to fully lead an area. Elder Braithwaite did so much for us when he was here. But I'm grateful to be able to get to know Elder Bowler. I have definitely found it true that you can learn much from your those you serve. I learned a lot from Elder Braithwaite every day. I know he'll do wonders in Nan2Kan3. This week we had some good work, and we saw some cool miracles. Most of them are just the Lord's guidance. We went to visit a Less active member about 30 minutes away (but yes, we contacted all along the way!), and then we went tracting in her area. The first door we knocked was someone who grew up in the Mormon church, but just wasn't baptized. She learned english from english class and went to church a lot when she was really little. She had recently been encouraging her son to go to church because of the good impressions she had of it. She also said she would be willing to take the missionary lessons in June when her schooling is over. It was cool to see that miracle so quickly in our efforts. Her son is taking lessons with the other elders right now. And he's doing really good as well. We'll be working hard to get this family to understand and apply the restored gospel. Yesterday we had a really interesting experience. We had an LA come up to us and wanted us to sit with him. He told us that he didn't want to come to church anymore. He's been baptized 6 months and says that he hasn't felt the Spirit yet, and said his patience was worn out. He hopes God is still real, but he's done for now. It was a unique situation to be listening to him. We asked him a few question to be able to understand it fully. But at the end, I didn't know what to say except for our testimony. I testified that the Lord has prepared for us blessings that we can't even imagine. He loves us more than we can understand. And although 6 months is a long time, that keeping on to that hope for even longer to know these things are real is worth it. I could feel the Spirit testify my words were true. I was infinitely grateful for that feeling. Well things are going well here. Hopefully we'll hit the ground running with this new transfer. I'm really excited to see some more miracles as we work diligently and effectively in the Lord's work! Thank you everyone for your prayers! I feel them every day. I love you, -Elder Liu

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 35

Hey! Our fireside for the 2nd branch went pretty good.Thank you for all who made the music possible. We played two songs at the fireside. One was "Did you Think to Pray" for violin and piano, and the second was a singing one called "The Maker's Touch". I played a cello part on viola, Elder Braithwaite played piano, and Sister Rosander sang. I think they all really liked it. It was fun to have some music rehearsals again. We had one investigator come, and the sisters had a billion. But it was a good activity, and it was good to see a lot more people from our branch and get to know them. I can't believe it's the last week of the transfer already. I really hope I don't move -- I want to get to know this place even more. It's really hard when you only meet your branch 6 times. Recently, as a mission, we've been learning about "1 minute messages". Basically you give your message in one minute.....yeah, that's simple. But it's really, really hard. Especially since in one minute you want to establish trust, get to know the person, fit a gospel message to their needs, and most important, let them feel the Spirit. It's been weird to get to my point really quick...and then not know what to do. Another way this has been a small trial for me is that it's a lot harder to be able to feel love for people if I don't spend the time to get to know them. But I know this way has been really great for me to use my time most effectively in finding those who really have interest to know more about this Gospel and are willing to act. I'll just need to find other ways to develop trust and love with those I talk to. Whaa! They sent out information on our new Mission President, coming in July. Their names are David Owen Day and Vicki Temple Butler Day.'ll just be easier to copy/paste. I'll put the info at the end. I'm excited/nervous to get a new president soon. There might be a lot of change here. But just as I need to do with all things, I need to pray that this really is God's will. That's all I need to know. This week...has been harder. It really hit me when we were counting up our numbers this week. Of course numbers don't matter -- it's the people. But I noticed the only two investigators we found this week were for other areas. I feel like this week, we didn't contribute anything in our assigned area. But I know that because Elder Braithwaite and I did our best, then that's enough. Of course we still need to improve and to continue to grow. We can still improve in our diligence and obedience, such as always being on time, or getting out to work faster after an activity or something. But the Lord has a greater plan for us. Of course, we just learned in Zone Conference that finding is an act of faith, and sometimes needs to be tested. I know the Lord will let us feel of the blessings as we continually strive to faithfully and diligently do His work. Elder Braithwaite and I are doing just great. He makes up for a lot of my weaknesses and a lot of my forgetfulness. I'm really grateful to have a proactive, diligent junior companion for my first time being a senior companion. It is also nice to have a companion who I can relate to more, being from the same background of Utah and BYU. We have some investigators who are making some good progress. We finally got to meet with some college students who went back to their hometowns over winter break and are back now. We have about 3 investigators who are fully keeping their commitments, which is a big blessing. I will talk about them more next week. Thank you everyone for your wonderful support and love! I love you, -Elder Liu Our new Mission President: David Owen Day, 53, and Vicki Temple Butler Day, five children, Burgess Falls Ward, McMinnville Tennessee Stake. Brother Day serves as a counselor in a stake presidency and is a former stake clerk, stake mission president, bishop, gospel doctrine teacher, ward mission leader, elders quorum president, Young Men president and missionary in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. President and owner, Law Office of David Day, P.C. Born in Long Beach, Calif., to Robert Owen and Linda Sue Day. Sister Day serves as a counselor in a Relief Society presidency and as a stake Young Women camp director. She is a former seminary teacher, Young Women president, counselor in a Primary presidency, Sunday School teacher and Primary music leader. Born in Greenville, Miss., to James William and Virginia Millis Holmes Butler.

Week 34

This week has been really good. I think Elder Braithwaite and I still been adjusting to a new place and new companions. But I think there will always be those problems no matter how long I stayed here. We're trying to do our best to get to know the branch around here. I know that a lot of them just don't come to church, and it's really hard to get to know people who can peike. Right now we only get 4-5 of the same people to peike. We're really trying to avoid overusing people. Recently our exchange with the Zone Leaders was really great. We really saw a wonderful miracle. I went with Elder Haueter. He said at the beginning of our transfer "What kind of miracle do you want to see today?" In which I responded "Uh...a good one?" He just smiled and said "Okay, Let's get one person inside our church building today, and shang4ke4 with them." So I just agreed. We prayed that we could see that miracle, but I didn't think much more of it.But he did! He kept asking if we'd be by the church for our plan that day. We went to a lesson 10 minutes away, made some calls, ate dinner, and a bunch of other things. At the end of the day, we were at the church making calls. We still had to evaluate what we learned in our exchange, so we were going to spend some time at the church at the very end of our day. Elder Haueter just kept walking around outside contacting people while I finished up some calls. He said "hey, wait a minute" to this lady and her friend on her scooter, and asked if she wanted to come into our church. She said "okay, wait a minute" and she drove off. I just thought this was a lame excuse to reject him, and we were about to just go back inside, but he was persistant that she might be the miracle we wanted. And sure enough, after 10 minutes of waiting, she came back and said "I said I would come back." her name is Winnie. We gave her to the sisters to teach, and she setup another time to meet. I have learned that I still need to do better at relying on the Lord. In a way, I can expect to see miracles, because I know I am doing my best to do the Lord's work, the Lord's way. But I also need to realize that these things hinge on other people's agency and my hard work as well. Elder Braithwaite is doing well. Sometimes he gets a little tired and doesn't seem like he wants to plan very long. But I know that's just a reflection of what I need to do better at. So i'm trying to be an even better example at having a good attitude. Love you all, sorry I don't have much time today. -Elder Liu

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week 33

I had a very happy birthday this week! Thank you everyone for making it so. This week we saw some true miracles!...not that the other ones are fake. But it was great to see the Lord's hand in our work. This week Elder Braithwaite and I rode down a smaller road as planned. There were probably people every 3 minutes. But we saw two teenagers across the street, and we turned around to talk to them. One of them stayed around to hear us, while his friend ran off. He was Christian, and has been praying regularly. He also said he was part of the soccer team in his school. He was willing to hear, willing to setup. We sent him on his way. We said a prayer of gratitude, and the first motorcycle we contacted had two kids on it. They happened to be on the same soccer team. They weren't any religion, but they were still willing to setup and learn more. They setup to come listen with their friend, and they'd all meet with us together. We have high hopes for these kids. Hopefully we can present this message in a way that they will be able to have the best opportunity to accept it. Elder Braithwaite and I are doing marvelously. As senior companion I've been trying my best to be able to serve my companion. But really, Elder Braithwaite is too amazing. It's hard to find things to help him with. We've had our little struggles with trying to get our teaching styles together to have more unity, but we're getting over them just fine. TaiDong branch is doing just fine. They're getting some training and some systems going for home teaching, as well as peike schedules and such. It's been a rough start with a new branch, but they're moving along really well. We're trying to switch it up with peikes, and not try to get the same ones as they always do. It's hard because we only have about 8 members who regularly come to Priesthood meeting, which starts first here. And yes, they found out that I can play viola. So I'm playing at their fireside in a couple weeks! Whoo! I might play with one of our investigators, Zeng1 dx. He plays piano, so it'll be cool to have a musical number with an investigator! I'm hoping it'll all be a good experience. This week we were happy with our efforts. Especially with the referral portion of our work. It was a special experience to be able to visit a lot of referrals that members have recently given to us. I think people here are just more willing overall to give this message to their friends. Love you! Thank you for a wonderful birthday ^^ -Elder Liu P.S. In MiaoLi there was a Gao (Kao?) family who knew Chris Pope and his family. If anyone gets the chance, tell them brother and sister Kao say hello! Brother Pope served in MiaoLi when he was here. Coolio stuff. P.P.S. And of course, everyone knows mom and dad here. President Cai says hello!

Week 32

Things here are going great! I think we're having a little bit of a low, when it comes to tangible success. But we're still working hard and doing all we can to help the people here. Elder Braithwaite and I get along quite well. He actually reminds me a lot of Kevin. Someone else in my district, Elder King, reminds me of Chris Pope. I've been blessed to be able to see the things I love in my friends and family in the people that I meet here. I know the Lord is helping me learn to love everyone as if they were your old friends. They are all your brothers and sisters, so there is already that sense of goodness and love in them, as long as you look for it. It's been a little rough trying to get to know the new branch. Our first sacrament meeting was combined with the first branch for the new years, so I didn't know who would be in my branch and who my leaders were. There's been something that has been upsetting me a lot in Taiwan. That is a lot of leaders get so worked up with "Jing1 Shen2 Bing4" or any mental illness. They treat any type of mental illness like a deadly and sad disease, making even depression something to avoid. Some leaders are saying that those with depression don't need to be taught and that they don't need baptism. I...don't know. I'm pretty sure that's definitely not true. But I don't know how to say it in a way that respects their position. Or maybe it's not my place? So far I haven't done anything about it, but that's how I feel. Elder Braithwaite is doing well. I think he's been more affected by our lack of visible success. But I try to set an example to go out to work with a good attitude. I hope I've been helping. I'm praying to try to know how to help him. I think I might need to serve him and show my love more. So far we don't have anyone who has high potential to be baptized. I thought I found 2 this week, but they fanged us on our first visit. It's been hard to have learned to really love them, and then see them so quickly lose their way again. That might be the hardest thing out here so far on a mission. But we're still determined to hit our goals, and to work as hard as we can. I'm so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength. Yeah, so TaiDong is....I'm pretty sure just like Hawaii. I would assume is. Maybe few palm trees here, but it's all about the same. The weather changes like crazy. Apparently the combination of a beach right next to a mountain makes the clouds move extra fast, so you can never predict the weather here. I've been super grateful that my companion, Elder Braithwaite, already knows the area. I can't imagine someone trying to whitewash an area -- that would be so stinkin' hard! We call the Taidong area the Taidong Taiwan Mission, because we never see anyone else. All our exchanges are just in Taidong, and we never have reason to leave. It's kinda fun. We get to spend a lot more time with our district. New Years went great! Except....I don't think they do too much here. We ate at member's houses, which was really nice. Our branch is really nice. This last week we only had to buy 2 meals. Yay! It feels weird pulling out money to get full now :P There were a lot of random firecrackers, too. It was my first time seeing firecrackers. They're pretty fun. Speaking of firecrackers, Taidong has a crazy, crazy tradition. Apparently on the...15? of the Chinese new year, they this tradition. Someone volunteers to get paid money by a bunch of long as they get to throw firecrackers at him while he's wearing nothing but shorts and has a little branch to cover his face. They always end up in the hospital. I heard it was 100 years ago or whatnot, the firecracker...was supposed to cure some epidemic in the area or something? I didn't really hear that conversation very clearly. But anyway, maybe this week I'll see a random guy get bombarded with firecrackers.... :S

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 31

Hello from TaiDong! It was a great opportunity to be able to learn more about Chapter 8 at our special training. I thing I learned and benefitted from most was the training done by the Assistants afterwards. They taught about how to get 30 minute lessons (not 45-50). This is crucial because the Spirit should be the teacher in all we teach and learn. We should not put ourselves in a higher position to answer all their questions and resolve all their concerns, because the Spirit will be the teacher whose influence will be eternal. He teaches to our souls -- disregarding any physical limitations. I am also so grateful to have become Senior companion with Elder Braithwaite. He helps me so much in things I forget and my shortcomings. I'm trying to fulfill my responsiblities to the best of my abilities. We're getting along really well. We haven't seemed to run into any problems so far. Our biggest trial so far has been being on time. But we're finding ways to overcome it :). And haha yes, I actually miss MiaoLi and Elder Su a lot. Elder Braithwaite is originally from Boston, but his family moved to Alpine, UT when he was still pretty young. His Chinese is really good! He speaks really dignified speech. I'm grateful to be able to serve with him. It's his 4 transfer, so I'm only older than him 1 transfer. So we're both still fresh, but I feel we're carrying out the work pretty well. TaiDong seems to be doing good. It's been hard for Guonian because a bigger part of our investigators have been students going back home. But we've done what we can, and we found some pretty great people. Right now we have a lot of slow/not progressers. It's been great getting to know the TaiDong 2nd branch (the divider line is a street the chapel is on. We're the south side). It turns out that our family knows President Cai (the District President) very well. They were at my house last August visiting my parents. Speaking of branches. There are a lot of trees here, which is a little different from MiaoLi. Otherwise the two places are about the same. Oh...right. Also speaking of branches, the Hualian zone of our mission is the last one with branches -- the rest are wards throughout Taiwan! So we're pushing hard to have a lot of conversions so that we can continue to build this place. TaiDong also has a lot of Aboriginese (Yuan2 Zhu4 Min2). A lot of them are Christian. We're thinking it's because of when Portugal was in Taiwan. So it'll be a different challenge to talk to those who already have their own beliefs in Christ. But I'm also super excited to be able to work with the people here. We have some awesome members here. The one most famous with the missionaries is Jerry Lin. He was baptized last year on (normal) New Years' Day. He's simply amazing. He's our Mission Leader for the 2nd branch. Basically he does everything for us. He drove us to the train station, peiked twice, bought us lunch and dinner, cleaned the chapel grounds, bought us a Buddha-head fruit, all in one week. It's amazing to see these kind of examples of Christlike people all over the world! (Like all of you!) The two most likely to be baptized in the near future are a Xu3dx and a Lin2dx. Xu3dx so far only has curiousity, but he is willing to do all that we invite him to do. Hopefully he'll do our invites with enough desire to be able to feel of these invites' power. We just met Lin2dx this last week. He seems to be really spiritual. He came to church, and he said when he meets with us he feels a different, peaceful feeling. He didn't pray after our first meeting, so that was a little disappointing. But he still has very good potential. He expressed a desire for a fulness of truth -- and we haven't even talked about the restoration yet! It's interesting how people understand these concepts deep inside, and hopefully we will do our part to identify these truths from the Savior and His Gospel. Yay! Guo4Nian2! (Chinese New Year). We already got invited over for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. and we have lunch and dinner arranged for this entire week. We've been hearing a lot of firecrackers and fireworks. It was great to see everyone at their houses yesterday, enjoying their time with their family. Hopefully I won't get as fat as everyone says I will for GuoNian :P Thank you for all your emails and letters! I love you all!- -Elder Liu

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 30

Wow! In 40 minutes I'll be on a train towards Tai2Dong1 - my next transfer area! It's all the way across the mission. I hear it's nice weather over there -- but also most prone to have typhoons if I stay until summer. I'll be Senior Companion with Elder Braithwaite! He was in my district two transfers ago, and he'll be on his 4th transfer. I can't believe I'm leaving MiaoLi. I'll miss it so much, but I know there will be a lot of opportunities in TaiDong to serve, and I'll learn to love that place, too! But I'll be sure be back here in MiaoLi when I visit Taiwan. I'm determined to stay focused till the end. I hope to give my all in Taidong. Sorry, my time is short today. Thank you for all your emails! Elder Su and I have been companions for 3 transfers! It'll be weird to switch. Elder Su has been a wonderful companion and leader. I know that my singing can annoy some people sometimes :P. MiaoLi's doing pretty good. We found some good investigators these past few days, so they'll be well off for the next transfer. I want you all to know I love you, and I'm praying for you every day! (Yes, you, too!) Love, -Elder Liu

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 29

I think some of you have been getting an error while sending emails. I usually don't get them if you get an error. The LDS server gets really busy sometimes, so maybe you just have to wait a few minutes and then try it again, so I can get your wonderful emails ^^ Thanks! Yes! Chinese New Year has been coming around. There are already some red lanterns on the lamp posts and everyone is selling stuff cheaper! Yay! :P This week was great! It's been a great opportunity to learn about Accountability with our district. I've come to learn to love that word now -- opportunity. Because the Lord really has given us so many. And it's our decision what to do with those opportunities. This week I've been working on my accountability towards God. I'm doing better at daily and nightly prayers. In the morning I resolve what I'm going to work on. And at night, I report, and then pray for inspiration on what to work on the next day. I've already recieved a lot of help this way, both for my investigators and for me. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to recieve revelation every day. It has been a great blessing and testimony builder for me. This week we've been fanged a lot -- no change yet. We probably missed out on around 15 scheduled lessons. But we have found some great miracles in the former investigator work we've been doing recently. We recently have 2 former investigators were are now reading the Book of Mormon, and already feeling differently about our church and their resolve to get an answer. They're also progressing quite well. Our older investigator, Qiu dx is doing spectacularly! He's hit his hardest problems recently, especially with some commandments. But he's been even more resolved to do what it takes to get an answer. It's amazing to see his progress, especially when he's in a suit and tie at Sacrament Meeting. We're busy with all of our invites from our leaders. And especially our invitation to invite to baptism the first time we meet someone. But we really have seen miracles in the invite. Sometimes we are weak and we shy away from the invite, but we have since repented and have been inviting all of our recent lessons and investigators. MiaoLi is doing great. We had a meeting recently to discuss how to better coordinate missionary-ward efforts. It's been a huge step for the MiaoLi ward. I hope we see the fruits of our efforts. Thank you for all your love and support! I love you so much. -Elder Liu Remember, the key to an effective goal (new years resolution) is an effective, specific plan! Jia1 You2 everyone!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Week 28

Happy New Year! This past week has been a little rough, but we've still seen miracles. For example -- this was an interesting one -- yesterday I was riding on the sidewalk with my bike, when I a car hit my front wheel. No damage was done, but he quickly said sorry and kept driving. I thought, "well that's not very nice" and so called out to him, and asked if he wanted to learn more about our message of Jesus Christ. He said "Oh yeah, sure. You can find me here (pointed to his work building) after 5." He gave me his number and name. So the Lord works in some pretty amusing ways. Goes to show that a missionary will do anything to find those prepared to hear the Gospel :P We've hit a low point in lessons we taught this week. But it's alright! We currently have 2-3 progressing towards baptism. The first one is Qiu1 dx. He's been meeting with us for a while now, but he's finally making commitments to change, like coming to church and taking notes, and quitting coffee. He's doing great. It's just hard for him to make too big of a change all at once. We are meeting with a kid named A-bin1 (Luo2 Wen2 Bin1). We like to call him A-binadi. He's an awesome person. He loves to play, but he's willing to calm down and stay for lessons. Although he seems miserable while we teach him, I know that he learns a lot and he likes meeting with us. He's 16, and he's already been smoking for 3 years. He's trying to quit, and so we're helping him. He has a goal to totally quit by Jan 8th. So far so good. He has a baptismal goal for the 21st of January. We also are teaching Yang2 Hao4 dx. He loves to talk, but he's really interested in being our friend, as well as learning more about the gospel. Right now his parents are a little disapproving of his meeting with us, but they won't stop him. He has class sunday morning so he wont' be able to come to church for a while. But we're praying for him a lot -- There'll be a way. So yes, amongst a little harder time, we're still having success. We'll just have a lot more time to go finding! Finding those prepared to let the Gospel of Jesus Christ change their lives. We're learning the New Testament here this year. I'm excited to learn more stories about our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for all your Christmas letters and packages! I love you all! Love, -Elder Liu