Sunday, February 13, 2011

13 Feb 2011

All is well in Yuanshan.
I'm really excited to be a district leader this move call (Elder Mitchell and I have one more together!). I really enjoy helping Taiwanese people. But sometimes I enjoy helping missionaries even more. I really hope I'll be able to be a good leader to my district. I hope that I can make district training meetings really great learning experiences. I also hope to make the follow-ups with missionaries pretty exciting. Because I was thinking about it, and we always emphasize doing good follow-ups with investigators. Not having them the same every time, and making sure that they are planned out and edifying. I think it should probably be the same when i follow-up with missionaries! So, I've been thinking of good ways to make things exciting. including singing hymns and sharing scriptures.
Today During studies I read the preface to the hymn-book. Wow, it was AMAZING! I've never seen so many promised blessings in one page! So I decided to start using the power of hymns more in my life. I think I'll start memorizing a bunch of my favorite hymns. The first one is Hark all ye Nations.
One time, standing outside a less active member's house, we starting singing Hark all ye Nations. And I felt the spirit. The words to the song just expressed so well why we were there, and what we were trying to communicate to all these people. "Oh how glorious from the throne above, shines the gospel light of truth and love!"
Anyways. The hymns are really good.
Last night, on "power find families" day, we didn't have anything set up, and didn't know where to go. So we thought of who to visit. And we both thought of going to visit Xie bei bei. Xie bei bei. Because we really just want to help out xie bei bei's family.
Xie bei bei is 90 years old. We pull weeds for him every week as service. Before, his wife, who is in her seventies, wouldn't even really talk to the missionaries because she is buddhist. Then we realized that Xie bei bei's son lives there as well. His name is Chong De. We started teaching Chong De. It's really fun to teach Chong De, just because of what a mess his life is. If he is willing to keep the commandments, his life could have a complete turnaround. Last wednesday eating lunch with xie bei bei, we all of the sudden realized that he was really really sad. It always seemed like he was such a happy old man, singing hymns and working in his garden. But this time, he expressed a lot of sadness about his family situation. He told us "I'm already 90, won't live for much longer. My wife is buddhist and doesn't even like me. Our only son became mentally ill when he went into the army at the age of twenty, and has lived in hospitals ever since, because we can't keep him at home, he tries to do crazy things. When I joined the church I prayed for my son, and then he became a lot better, able to live at home. But he doesn't listen to anything we say, and is really lazy. You missionaries tell me that I'm really great, but it's not true, I'm only *this*." (He held out his hand and did the pinky thing, the opposite of thumbs up). It made me feel so bad for this old guy. It made me think of my grandfathers. When they passed away, they already had dozens of happy grandchildren growing strong in the gospel. A legacy. But when xie bei bei passes away, would anyone even miss him. When he is in the spirit world and wants to go visit his family and help them find the gospel, he would have a lot of work to do to change it.
So, we wanted to help them.
We went last night and visited, and we brought the family together. Turned off the TV, and then played a hymn on the violin, Love at Home. Then we all sang it. Then we told them that their family had no love in it, and they needed to change, and it had to start from their son. We committed him to get up by 12:00 so that they could eat family lunch together. He wasn't willing. So we're cutting e-mail a little bit short to go wake him up today so he can have a meal with his family for the first time in who knows how long.
Then I played "Love is spoken here" on the violin for them and then we were going to leave. But we got delayed because Xie mama just started talking to me for a long time about how when she was young she was pretty and liked to dance and paint, and then she gave me candy. I guess that's a good sign.
I am so glad I'm here another move call to see if the gospel and the spirit and our efforts will be able to help that family be a little bit happier.
One more experience that was really special to me this past week was meeting with a 19 year old kid named Lai Mu Yong. When he was 12, he was in bad shape. He hated his family, and was really rebellious. He wouldn't speak to any of them, but would go straight to the computer cafe after school and play computer all day. Then his mom (who wasn't a member) had enough and made him go to church. He was baptized and became better and better, but then he moved (into our area here) and didn't have friends in the ward, and stopped going to church. A couple months ago me and Elder Chen stopped by his address, and knocked on the door real loud. He woke up and said he didn't want to meet or go back to church or change his lifestyle. We noticed all the beer and cigarettes in his house. We met with him anyways, and then kind of forgot about him. Then the other day, I wasn't sure what to do because our lesson didn't come, and came across his name in our phone. I called him, and to my surprise he agreed to come to the church that night to meet with us. When he came, I noticed something different in him. He related to us that he had been in a scooter accident, and his knee had to have surgery. he couldn't work, he couldn't play, and it was a really tough experience for him. He had been back home, where the missionaries and other church friends and visited him and given him a blessing. I apologized to my companion that I was going to do most of the talking this lesson, and then started telling lai dixiong about how the lord had humbled him so that he could change. That this accident could be a course correction and turning point in my life. I related to him my experience about when I had a course correction by breaking my arm. The similarity of our situations couldn't be chance. and i feel like i was really able to help him. He came to church sunday, read the book of mormon. Brought his girlfriend, for all the world looked like an active happy member. I know that this is the place I'm supposed to be. I know the lord has prepared experiences for us that aren't chance. This mission is an amazing experience! I love it!!!!
Elder Vernon

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Sister Vernon. Heritage Tours was a boost for wanting to serve a mission. I am going to turn in my papers here in three months and just can't wait. Thanks for sharing your experiences Elder Vernon. I love reading these post because I feel they are very applicable to me. I understand Asian culture almost better than American culture. These stories show a lot of that, whether you know it or not. I know you're not making these storis up. So now that I know Mandarin,I'll probably get sent to Mexico to learn spanish. haha I am really hoping for a Chinese speaking mission. You are so incredibly lucky. I love the Asian cultures, I love my family, and I love my Heavenly Father. Can't wait to hear from you next!

    -Heidi Bunker