Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011

  Well, one thing I should talk about is, this week we had a mission conference. We had a sleep over in my apartment with the Elders from Qianzhen, and xiaogang. We didn't have enough beds, so me and Elder Mikkelsen slept out on the balcony. wheet. that's the closest I've gotten to sleeping under the stars for over a year. Anyways, then we woke up early in the morning, made it to the gaoxiong train station by four thirty, (the people we contacted on the way thought missionaries must just be crazy and proselyte all day and all night) and then took a bus up to taizhong for a mission conference! Elder Jay Jensen came and talked to us,  and it was great. More than just what he said about missionary work, what I really liked was just learning from his example. Elder Jensen who has a bunch of degrees in education, and has been doing missionary work and gospel teaching for over 50 years, He taught really really well, from the scriptures. He explained and expounded things that seemed confusing, and they were made really plain and understandable. it seemed like he could answer any question. In otherwords, he was just a master teacher. Some of my favorite things were...
- he said we really need to use the hymns, and the power of the hymns in bringing the spirit, and teaching the doctrine. also the children's song book songs. (by the way I do use a children's song book. I take it with me in the pocket of my violin case, and every time I teach a lesson with my violin, I use the children's songbook, because it teaches the gospel real plainly, and easier to remember. I often have to ask myself how it is I came to know and remember the gospel, and I think I forget that most of my gospel knowledge  didn't come from reading straight from the scriptures. That might be bad, but coming to church, listening to people, singing the hyms, family members' testimonies, and watching church videos, and seminary. I should try and let my investigators in on as many aspects of the church as possible to broaden their testimony.
- this is the thing that stuck out to me. He shared a lot how we are spirit children of our heavenly father. we received our first lessons in the world of spirits. he talked a bit about what those lessons probably were, and how everybody we teach already knows everything that we teach (as long as we're teaching correct doctrine). And then he defined conversion this way, He defined conversion as "remembering" when we connect with those first lessons that our spirits received, we are converted. That happens by the spirit, and the spirit doesn't testify of our examples, or our ideas or anything like that. The spirit testifies of pure testimony, the truth, and the words of the lord as expressed by his prophets.
I sure love being a missionary. The spirit was really strong in that meeting. We had to do weekly planning on the bus ride back though, and that was a little bit tough. We planned well enough for our investigators.
I'm real worried for brother huang, even though he came to church, he's not really progressing well, because he doesn't understand the importance of the gospel and frequently releases our pigeons.
The xie family didn't come to church. and then didn't answer their phone later when we tried to call them. They needed to come to church this time to hit their baptismal goal. Messy Cake.
The dad of the chen family stays up late every night gambling and drinking. So he didn't come to church.
But the zhu family dad and little boy came to church and loved it, and they seem really golden! Tonight we have them coming over to the bishop's house for fhe, and we are really excited!
I love you all. 
Elder Vernon

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