Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011

We are seeing miracles in Zhanghua.
I was really excited to present a Combined district training meeting with Elder Geddes. I felt like that went really well and was very inspired. Our focus on planning and reviewing plans before each lesson should hopefully increase our number of progressing investigators.
We had a wonderful miracle a couple nights ago.
Last week Elder Geddes and I fasted for a young man named Zheng Xiang Cheng. Xiang Cheng is a wonderful teacher age young man that was introduced to the church by his friend who was just baptized a couple weeks ago. He loves coming to church, prays every day, and has already read through the bible dictionary section of the Book of Mormon. His mom just hadn't agreed to let him get baptized yet. So we fasted, and prayed. That's not a big deal for me, because I need to cut a little fat anyways, I like fasting. But Elder Geddes with his diabetes had probably had a little harder time fasting. I think he still ate a little bit, but just the bare minimum to keep his blood sugar OK.
Anyways, after the fast nothing happened. We tried to find the kid's mom, but we couldn't, and she was always busy, and it seemed like nothing was going to progress for a couple days. Then on friday night as we were riding home, we stopped at a stoplight and the kid, and his mom just happened to ride up next to us on their scooter at the same stoplight. What a coincidence! and then to make things even more weird, one of our church members walks across the street and runs into us at exactly the same time. Weird! It was almost like it was planned. But it wasn't us doing the planning. We talked to the mom about how great her child was and bore testimony that he was ready to get baptized, and the member said how joining the church was a good decision, and the mom was touched. We asked her for permission for her son to be baptized and she said yes! And then I pulled a baptismal record out and had her sign it right then and there. So we should be baptizing this kid next saturday morning, we set up a time where the mom could attend and bring the rest of his family. I'm really excited!!!
This xiang cheng kid is really really sincere, and great. He'll be such an amazing missionary, and he really establishes the young men's program here in Zhanghua.
Yesterday was a really fun day. we had some good investigators at church, and then the highlight was when we went on exchanges with our ward members. I was able to go with the Young Men's President of the ward, and we went to bless the sacrament for some ward members. It was one of the sweetest experiences I've had on my mission, because I usually wouldn't be able to bless the sacrament. It's the first time I've done it in Chinese. One member had some mental problems, so we had to ride all the way up a big big hill (the member was on his scooter while I rode my bike) to this quiet little community/ hospital place where there were a lot of people with mental illnesses. They all seemed completely normal though, I guess it was a good day, and they all vary in level of disability. When I got up there, I had a feeling to contact the man smoking over by a table, and as I went over, to my surprise, the book he was reading was a book of Mormon. The member had been sharing the gospel with her friends. The member came and we had a sweet little sacrament meeting on the top of the mountain at the mental illness place. We sang songs, and as I was playing my violin, about four more people that wanted to attend came out and sat with us. We blessed the sacrament, and it felt almost a little bit more like the first time the sacrament was introduced, around the table with our friends. Anyways, I was glad I brought my violin. We visited a couple other less active or part member families and strengthened them, and I felt so much closer and a part of the ward by doing that activity. Thanks to Elder Geddes for that great idea of missionaries going on exchanges with members once a week.
I'm more and more impressed with my companion Elder Geddes. He's increased my vision so much. There's a lot of things that set Elder Geddes apart from the average missionary, like his testimony, his obedience and desire to work hard etc. but the biggest thing that I've noticed is his vision. His vision is so much bigger than an average missionary.
I love my family whole bunches!!!!!!! Bubye!!!!!!!
Elder Vernon

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