Monday, March 21, 2011

21 March 2011

Hi family! Things are good over here! None of the radiation or giant waves from Japan have got me. We did have two little tiny earthquakes though. We were teaching a really golden family the word of wisdom, And we said, "are you willing to keep the word of wisdom?" And the wife waited for a while and then said "....earthquake." At first I didn't feel it, so I was like "huh? what are you talking about? But then it got a little bigger to the point where it was kind of fun.
Then on Saturday morning, following up with our crazy investigator Jacky Gao, he said he had felt like there was an earthquake coming, but he didn't know if that was just a reaction from the Japan earthquake or not. Then the next day, Sunday night during a lesson, you can imagine my surprise when suddenly we feel an earthquake! ..............?????????????????????
Anyways, these are just hittle baby earthquakes,,,,,,,,,There's better things to talk about...
We got a baptism! Our nine year old investigator Zeng Wei Zhe missed his baptism last week. That got us a little bit worried. But, It was all according to the plan of Heavenly Father because having his baptism this week was infinitely better!
The biggest difference was that his Mother was able to bring him to the baptism that night. There was opposition that day. Planning session seemed long. I kept getting stupor of thoughts about investigators where I just didn't feel any inspiration, and was confused about what to do, and that made me kind of grumpy. And when I'm grumpy Elder Mitchell gets defensive. But it was all just Satan trying to make things bad. Then that night wei zhe's mom calls us and says "He's got a cold, he can't be baptized today." Good thing we were fasting for sister Bray and her family that day, so we could have extra power that day when we fasted and prayed for that investigator to be baptized. The mom called, it started raining. We pulled over to the side of the busy road, took off our helmets and bowed our heads in really sincere prayer. We prayed real hard, and then went to persuade the mom to let him be baptized that day. We called the member Wei Zhe is closest with, and he just happened to be driving home from work right past where they lived. We went in and kindly explained that there were already over 20 people expecting to attend the baptism tonight, and if they couldn't come, there would be no baptism. The mom admitted that besides the cold, the grandma opposed him getting baptized and didn't want him to go. But she agreed to go in and ask grandma one more time. We prayed real hard again, listening to her talk to the grandma in Taiwanese for a while, not understanding a word. Then she came back and said "OK" she could take him to the baptism. But then she couldn't find the church, and after a lot of stressful calls and explaining that she went to the wrong 7/11, we finally got them there and he was baptized.
A couple days before the bishop and his wife (Wei Zhe's primary teacher) had been walking at a nearby park, and happened to run into Wei Zhe. The bishop's wife felt a strong prompting to go to Wei Zhe's house and meet the mom. So they went and met. When the mom came to the baptism, it was arranged so well by the spirit. The bishop's wife gave a wonderful talk about the Holy Ghost, and testified that the Holy Ghost had prompted her to meet Wei Zhe's mom. As she was speaking I looked over and realized that Wei Zhe's mom was crying, a testimony that she too, felt the power of the Holy Ghost that evening. We invited her to come to church on Sunday, and she came.  Last night we all ate dinner at the first counselor's house, and she was able to make good friends with them. We taught her the word of wisdom and she was willing. The first counselor's wife testified that if their whole family got baptized how much it would bless them. Miracles are happening! We are so excited to meet and start teaching the father when he comes home from prison next month. Hopefully this time he'll be able to live the word of wisdom, and get baptized.
Directly after Wei Zhe's baptism, the sisters had a wonderful baptism where two sisters were baptized. I had had the privilege of doing baptismal interviews with both, and they both had such strong testimonies. I had never heard a stronger testimony at a baptism than I did when these two sisters stood up and bore testimony of the true church. I was privileged to baptize one of them, and play violin at both baptisms with sister Koay on the piano. So many wonderful ward members attended both baptisms, and the spirit prevailed. As I stood in the bathroom about to change out of  wet white clothes, I looked in the mirror and the thought entered my head that this was the happiest day of my life. I was so happy to see success in my district, three new latter-day saints. Especially happy that sister Bray could have that good experience to help her in a hard time. The new sister in my district, Sister Bray, her mother just passed away. :(  
But....Our district is doing so well! This area of Sanmin and Yuanshan is so good. We set a district goal for 8 baptisms. Which seemed almost unreachable at one point. Now we near the end of the month, we have had five really solid baptisms. And, miracles continue to happen.
The San-min Elders are working with one investigator, Robin, that they hope to be able to baptize in  a week. A goal, as soon as he develops enough faith to be willing to keep the law of chastity in his complex situation (his wife won't let him divorce, and he's had a girlfriend for ten years). I'll probably do a quick follow-up interview with him and then see how the second goes.
We went on companionship exchanges on Friday night. After the baptism, we switched, and I went with the short-term missionary Elder Chen. We got home, and then discovered I had left my keys at the church. So, we called the other Elders and told them to meet us at the church. When we got to the church though, we ran into the bishop who was just leaving. I sure love this bishop, he's just a really really really good guy. So, we got home really late, at about 10:40. oops.
Then the next day, we had a ward activity of walking around the lake at 5:40 in the morning. We had one investigator come, who likes to take walks in the mornings, so he came and walked around with us. I pulled a mommy and gave every one of the members a BOM pass a long card and invited them to give it away to a person they met walking around the lake. Li Shi Rong's wife is really amazing, she contacted a whole family and we were able to get their contact information and refer them to the sisters.
But, turns out the best member at fellowshipping our investigator turned out to be 90 year old Xie Bei Bei, who walked and talked with our investigator for the whole time, and then invited him over to his house later to eat, and then invited him to church. So, nobody is too old to do missionary work. Anways, we visited this investigator, Huang2 Xuan1 Rui4 later the next day, and we talked to him about getting baptized, and he told us he felt like he was ready to be baptized. So we'll see if he passes his baptismal interview tonight.
And another miracle, when we went on exchanges, Every single lesson we had that day, Elder Chen was able to provide exactly what the investigator needed. We visited our long term investigator Zhao Dixiong (that cuts hair) and Elder Chen, after meeting him for a little bit, bore testimony that he felt Zhao Dixiong was ready to be baptized. Zhao Dixiong has been a 3 year investigator. Elder Chen was also a three year investigator, and he encouraged him to get baptized.
I love you all!!!!
Goodbye for now!
Elder Willum Verny

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