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