Monday, July 25, 2011

July 24, 2011

Hi! I'm so excited that Enoch is getting
baptized!!That's really really exciting. Congratulations!!
I love Enoch, I had no idea he was already that grown up. Good job, I
need to add oil or you'll get ahead of me with baptisms.
Anyways, my investigators all disappeared or went to taibei or
something. Right now we only have about two or three that are
progressing, the Zheng family, they are so cute. They pushed their
goal back to the 13 because of his work, and then Li Li Wei. Li Wei is
really cool 18 year old kid that we played basketball with this
morning and then taught him about Thomas S. Monson. He wants to get
baptized but his parents are really opposed. That's too bad.

The pioneer day activity on Saturday was a really big hit!!!!
No old members from the ward came, but we had a lot of new members,
and a lot of investigators come. In fact we had almost 30 people
there. We told pioneer stories, and there just happened to be a direct
descendant of Brigham Young starying in Taiwan for a couple weeks in
the neighboring ward, and he came and told some stories about Brigham
Young. played pioneer games like the stick pull, and the best part was
we had everybody line up and dance the virginia reel while I fiddled
(I love fiddling). It was so much fun! Then we all made homemade ice
cream in plastic bags and they were all a little incredulous until
they saw my ice cream starting to thicken. It was a great activity. It
was blessed by the spirit and they all thought it was really fun.
Especially the sister missionaries in our ward.
Right now, one of the things that is making me most happy is working
with new members. It's absolutely rewarding. When I first came to this
area there were no active recent converts. Even though last week there
was only two that came, they are all looking better and better and
growing in the gospel. One young man named Hong Yu Xuan was one of
Elder Farr's two baptisms in Lingya. He has some mental illnesses like
depression, and I'm sure he's on some drugs because his movements are
extreeeemeely slllooooooooowwwww. He never woke up for church, and his
mom opposed because she was buddhist, and it didn't look like he was
ever going to be active again. but then two or three weeks ago
something changed. He called us and said he was in the hospital, It
was out of our area, but some ward members went to visit. They
wouldn't let anybody but family members in, and it was in the mental
area of the hospital. So it must have been pretty serious. He came
home after a couple days, and was really not in good shape, he must
have been on some serious medication because it would take about five
seconds for him to register that we were talking to him. he moved
really really really slowly. But then his mom must have been humbled,
because after that she let us into his home to start reading book of
mormon with him. We started making quick daily visits, reading from
the Book of Mormon. The next sunday, I didn't invite him to church,
because I was scared he would drive his scooter. Before we would have
to wake him up. This time to my surprise he came by himself. I was a
little scared that he was on the roads, but, oh well. He came the next
week dressed in a shirt and tie. And then yesterday he received the
aaronic priesthood and is making friends with the ward. I can't
believe the changes I've seen with him. he seems more normal than

this morning we met with a new member who hasn't been to church in
over 6 months. He was really really willing to read the chapter in the
book of Mormon we gave him.

Last night I called one of the recent Converts that disappeared and
hadn't been seen for months. Amazingly he answered, and at first
wasn't listening to me at all. I could tell he was about to hang up
the phone, but I asked if I could share a book of mormon scripture
with him. Luckily I had a couple memorized in chinese to choose from.
I chose 2 nephi 32:9. After it was quiet for a little bit, and then he
said, "thank you for calling, I needed that reminder, I need to pray."
And then he started talking about all the missionaries he knew before
and asking where they were now. It brought a really really good
I feel like Heavenly Father especially smiles on successful work with
recent converts. I feel like these people are really precious in his
sight, and miracles can happen when we are willing to focus on them.
When President Pratt visited our mission, he read a scripture that
I'll never forget. He read when Jesus tells the apostles in John 16 to
go forth and bring forth fruit, and that the fruit should "remain."

Well, I'm doing well. I love diong missionary work. I'm trying hard to
change, because before I was completely focused on baptism, which
isn't bad. But now I'm trying hard to "establish the church"  That's
President Bishop's motto, His goal is to establish the church in
Taiwan. The church is established as people with testimonies are
baptized, and prepare actively to receive the priesthood, serve in
callings, do missionary work and go to the temple. That brings a lot
of happiness.
I've been starting to think of people more recently, and not numbers.
Goodbye, I'll send some pictures today!
Love, Elder Vernon
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