Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 2011

Things are going well,
It looks like we should be doing pretty good. We've been finding some really prepared people lately. I really hope to be able to work hard and baptize some investigators before the end of this month. We've been really blessed lately we have had about 9 or 10 investigators at church for a couple weeks in a row! So we have been seeing some people roll over, and things are looking pretty good.
Right now investigators that we're focusing on...
16 year old Teng kid, I added him once a long time ago, but he wasn't really interested. Recently we were near his house and he self contacted us and said that he got in a fight with his family, and he'd been praying for two days and reading scriptures, and wanted us to help him. He's come to church twice now, and should get baptized soon! Unfortunately, he's been going to a baptist church for over a year now, and he's worried what the pastor there will say if he gets baptized at our church. He's involved in all sorts of stuff. I bore testimony of Joseph Smith, and asked him if he was willing to just switch churches, and always come to ours. he said yes. Amazing, I've never had anything like that before. He's a little scrawny kid, a little bit weird too. He made cat noises through the first half of sacrament, and then fell asleep in the second half.
45 year old brother Xu, About two months ago we were looking for a random quick sit down lesson in the park, and tried to sit down with him, he was drunk, and seemed crazy, and I never really thought he would accept the gospel. Recently I saw him on the street and added him, he told me he had had a death in the family, and started to think about questions of the soul, and he quit drinking, went from being an alcoholic to a normal person. He's been to church twice now, and he is really good too. should get baptized soon. He just has to forsake his old false religion (yi guan dao).
Steven Chen, A while ago I was looking for a former and I started talking to a woman at the same apartment complex. A month later, the same woman saw us riding past, and ran out and stopped us, and told us her son just got back from America, and she wanted us to meet with him and take him to church with us. Her son steven turned out to have perfect English, and a really really big desire to follow Jesus Christ. He became part of the catholic church in America, but we shared about Joseph Smith, and he reads and prays, and feels like Joseph Smith is a true prophet. Apparently his grandpa was really famous, and his family was one of the richest in Gaoxiong, but then his dad died 11 years ago, and his family moved to get away from the public. I really hope to see him get baptized. He's committed to come to church with us this sunday, and loves meeting with us because we teach him in English. (I hardly ever teach Taiwanese people in English, unless it's more effective. Elder Harper can actually teach him in English.
Li yi wei, is a really cool kid I contacted a while ago. He loves basketball and coming to church. he's looking pretty good too. But his family doesn't want him to get baptized. Because he is the oldest son. They have to bai bai.
The Zheng family is progressing really nicely. They have the cutest little kid ever, he's about 1 and a half years old now and smiles real big and runs around and bonks his head on the table so we can't focus. The only problem is they haven't come to the morning ward, they go to the afternoon sacrament meeting because he works all night. So they can't get baptized until they find a way to attend all three hours of the right ward. The father quit smoking, word of wisdom was a breeze because the wife hated him smoking, and then turns out her favorite tea was the same as mine, dongguacha! Last night we just read the book of mormon for 30 minutes with them. I'm surprised how in every chapter of the Book of mormon there is so much that can help investigators learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. We read 1 Nephi 12-13 last night. It was amazing. helped them alot.
Anyways, we've got a lot of good investigators. They've all got challenges, but they just need a little encouragement and then we can dunk them!
Yesterday we had quite the experience. Church is completely different on a mission. I guess it's kind of like going to church as a parent. Sometimes it's not exactly a day of rest, or that easy. It's kind of the most stressful day. It's like football, preparing and practicing all week, and then sunday is game day.
So I was really busy and trying to take care of 9 investigators And play violin with the choir in the sacrament meeting after ours, and suddenly Elder Harper started complaining that he was sick. I unfortunately wasn't very sympathetic. He apparently had a really bad headache and fever and felt like throwing up. there's nothing I can do to help that, He sat on the couch moaning during all three hours of church and the entire ward was worried about him seeing him there, and they all started telling me that I didn't need to take him to the doctor, and it's impossible to explain to that many persistent taiwanese people that I'm NOT going to take my companion to the doctor during church on sunday, because in america, doctors don't cost 100 kuai, and people actually survive if they get sick and Don't go to the doctor. (It's just a culture difference, probably more just our family, but taiwanese people go to the doctor for every little thing). So finally after church we pulled Elder Harper off of the couch into a different room, laid hands on his head and I gave him a 20 second blessing. I just said what came to mind, and it felt right. It was really simple. "we rebuke the illness. You're completely healed, you should start feeling better immediately and you'll never be sick or bothered by the adversary again for the rest of these two years." 
I felt the spirit really strong. Elder Harper went in the bathroom and threw up, we went back to the apartment, and I called referrals and investigators for three hours while he napped, (this was the first time on my mission I've been inside the apartment during proselyting hours except to grab something or to eat on sundays)  then woke him up and said, we've got lessons, it's time to go. He was completely fine, and we went and taught two really good lessons that night. He hasn't felt sick since then. It was quite a fun little miracle. It made me think of the part in Parley P. Pratt's book where he's walking through the snow with his companion, on a mission, and they keep getting sick, so sick they couldn't get up, and then they heal each other and keep going until they need to do it again.
haha, I also remembered Jason said that on his mission he had a companion that would always say he was sick in the afternoons and want to go back to the apartment. I never realized how annoying that would be until I'm here on my mission. I'm grateful every single one of my companions has been really excellent, and really hard workers. Some, harder than others. Probably Elder Farr was the hardest worker I've been with. Elder Mitchell was really good too. I'm glad Elder Farr is getting a lot of baptisms recently in his new area.
Missions are a lot of fun!
Our new member Zhu dixiong is really solid. There's nothing happier on a mission than new members that grow in the gospel and endure to the end. There's nothing sadder on a mission than new members that disappear.
Take good care of things at home!
I've still got a long time to hit my baptismal goal here in Taiwan. Pray for me and for these investigators that they can get baptized!! That's all I want!
goodbye.  Elder Vernon

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