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