Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

Do you want to know a funny story. We have this old old man in our ward, who has a big long white beard, that walks real slow with a little walker. I didn't think he could really talk until last sunday when I sat down next to him for a little while and talked. He told me that he was in his 60's!!!!!  Aaaaaaaaah! i just about died, because who knows what my Parents will be like when I finally get home? I just imagined Daddy with a straggly beard and using a little walker thing. hahaha. And Mom can be one of the old old taiwanese ladies that doesn't speak chinese, and rides around real slow on her scooter picking up garbage.  haha.
I'm just kidding. I'm grateful that I have such healthy parents. It has been a real big eye-opener though, because all the old people here look older than they really are.
Well, things are going okay in Zhanghua. We're all a little frustrated because we can't find any investigators. I guess that's not true, we have some. But we don't have any that really want to get baptized. I just feel really really bad because Elder Geddes and I had some really good investigators that were progressing, but then he left, and I think I just gave them too much pressure, and they didn't feel as much love, and they lost interest.
This week we were contacting on the street, and then this funny looking guy with big teeth on an old rusty bike with a huge old water jug on the back was riding past. Right as he was passing us his bungee cord snapped and his big ol water jug flew off his bike. hahaha. we ran and helped him put it back on, and then he welcomed us over to his house to meet with him. He seemed to be interested in the message. We took him over to help paint a recent converts house, and I think he enjoyed that. But then on sunday we asked if he could come to church, and he said he was too busy, he had to go read the newspapers. Bah.
There's also a chubby little kid that hangs out at the Elementary school. Sometimes we go find him and sit down and teach him about the Book of Mormon. But the church is too far for him to go to on sunday. his mom won't let him.
I'm starting to love the ward here more and more. There's lots of weirdies in it. i remember the first time I came I just looked around and thought some bad thoughts about what investigators would think when they came to church the first time. But, as I get to know these special members and visit them, I start to love them so much. they really are special, and amazing that without any support from their families, they come to church every single week by themselves. So we've been having a lot of fun lately visiting members and strengthening them.
That's about it for now.
Elder Vernon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011

William Preston Vernon

I don't have much to report this week. sorry.
But I can tell a couple stories if you want me too.
we went to visit a part member family that has three cute little kids, they were really rowdy and I just loved it. Their dad was there but he had no interest in the gospel. I relate to people like that so much moer now that I have Rod got baptized. I have a lot more faith for all of those husbands that aren't baptized yet. I didn't know how to control the kids, so we just started singing a song. We sang I am a child of God, the kids just sat and listened. Then when we were done, they asked us to sing it again, and again. It was a really fun experience.
The other day we contacted a guy on the street, that turned out that was our member. He said he got baptized about four years ago. The other thing was that he was really crazy. I think. He talked about a lot of conspiracies and stuff that I don't think was true. And we just listened. He wasn't willing to come back to church, but he was really grateful that we listened to him. I got the feeling that nobody had actually listened to him in a long long time.
I went on exchanges with one of our district leaders, and we visited an old man that had the melchizedek priesthood, and was really active. He never quite could bring himself to pay a full tithing though. He ran into a lot of hard times, and then he prayed and prayed for god to help him come out of his financial circumstances, and there was no answer, so he stopped believing in God, and now he claims that he is atheist. We bore a lot of strong pure testimony but we couldn't change him at all. It was sad.
So keep the commandments!
i love you all!
Elder Vernon

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept. 11, 2011

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival
William Preston Vernon 

Today's mid-autumn festival. Families in Taiwan are returning to their parents homes, eating moon cakes, and barbequeing together!  Preparation days come and go really fast. Last week I bought some new belts, ties and three new shirts that are really white and shiny. All of my shirts were yellowish gray.
Today we are going to the ward barbeque out in our secondary area of Hua tan.
I have a question for Prenten, I found a former investigator family that said they used to meet once a week and read the book of mormon with an Elder Fei. Did Prenten ever serve in Zhanghua? The guy's name is Liang Zheng Dong.
I'm still concerned, our zone is struggling right now, and I'm struggling right now. But, the Lord continues to bless us. I just wish he'd bless us with some more baptisms!
We met a couple new investigators though. One is a really cool college student named Vincent Chen. I contacted him while I had my violin on my back, turns out he plays the violin as well, and he seems genuinely interested in the gospel.
The other new investigator is a mr. Wang who I contacted on exchanges the other day. He's got some problems. He's not one of those people that are really quick, and understand everything you say to them. He's a little bit weird.
But for some reason I love investigators like that. Sometimes you just run into some really funny, really weird, really sad, or really crazy (like truly crazy) people on your mission. I think Taiwan has a lot of these people. I guess I never talked to every person on the streets in america either, I guess there's weirdies everywhere.
Anyways, He said he was a former and went to church before, so we invited him to be baptized as soon as possible. And told him to come to church on sunday. Both his numbers were wrong so we figured he wouldn't. vincent couldn't come this week he said, and nobody else was coming. We thought we were going to have no investigators in church. I prayed really hard, then we got a blessing. Brother Wang walked in during the last of sacrament meeting with his tea, cigarettes and betelnut breath. haha. He's great.
turns out he showed up first at a chapel in a different city somehow, and when the elders asked who he was, he said he was coming to get baptized that day.
One fun thing we do is go on exchanges with our ward members once a week. This week I went with a ward member that can't really speak, he has a handicap. It was interesting how in a lesson a person that couldn't even talk clearly brought the spirit.
I don't really have much else to say.
I'll be home in 7 months from today. seven months isn't very long. It'll go quick! I'm excited though, to try hard to baptize some more people, strengthen the wards where I serve before I go home.
I guess I can decide if I want to come home after 15 transfers or 16. 15 would land me at the end of february, 16 would be about april 10 or so. Unless there's any special reason for schooling or anything, I think I would definitely like to stay 16. I have to tell president bishop before christmas.
Anyways, that's about it for today. Bubye!
I love all y'alls.
Have a happy time with all the little children and things you have to do back home!
Elder Vernon

Monday, September 5, 2011

September 5, 2011

Mom, I love you so much. That is such a fun story about you pushing subart half a mile in the middle of nowhere. Hahaha. I think I have the coolest mom in the whole world. I am also grateful that everything worked out and that good people are looking out for and taking care of you.
I'm so glad that Rod is able to get the priesthood, and soon Andrew as well. That's an amazing thing for the ward there in Washington. What a great new family for them to take care of and learn from. I truly love Sarah and Rod, I wish I could be there. I can't wait to see pictures of the baptism, and especially of the kids' baptism too. This decision of Rod's will literally affect generations upon generations of faithful people. What a turning point! I pray for him and for each of you every day recently. sometimes I forget to.
Well, nothing much is happening here on the mission. Our zone's numbers are looking pretty low. We have a goal of baptizing 10 this month. I think we can definitely do it, but we'll have to think up some good ways to help the missionaries in the zone feel fired up and ready to baptize.
I feel like being a zone leader has really humbled me. Right now our investigators aren't many. We're still waiting and praying for Zheng xiang cheng to get baptized. But I think he had such a good relationship with Elder Geddes, that when Elder Geddes left some of Zheng xiang cheng's desire to be baptized disappeared. That's too bad. That's okay, we'll still dunk 'im ba.
I can't think of much else to say, except for I'm excited to work hard the fourth quarter of my mission. The mission is going through a lot of changes right now. President Bishop changed it now to counting new investigators the same way as every other mission, and also changed the way our entire mission contacted. We're used to contacting separately, but now we are encouraged to proselyte together with our companions.
Keep up the good work! I'm so excited for Rod and Sarah and Family. And for everybody else.
Elder Vernon