Wu Rong Tai was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Christmas Eve, and Day. It was a wonderful experience. He's got a lot of faith, and even though it was hard, he quit smoking. we had to role play with him about how to reject his boss at work when he gets offered cigarettes. He's progressing well, and the ward is working with him! He was baptized by our new member Huang Yi Li who was baptized two weeks before. Huang Yi Li says he has a testimony of the Word of Wisdom now, because not drinking tea and coffee has made him cough a lot less. He also has read through most of the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Book of Mormon, and goes to institute every week. He came to the baptism prepared with the baptismal prayer already written down to memorize. I asked him where he found it and he said, "It's in the scriptures!"
Today we went to the Temple in Taipei.
It was really fun. I was the "bus captain" so I would speak to the missionaries on the bus microphone. I could also pick which movies we watched on the bus. So today we watched the John Tanner Movie, Only a Stone-cutter, The Joseph Smith Movie, Mountain of the Lord, The Pump, The Test, and How Rare a possession. Whew.
The Temple was really special. I hadn't been for over a year. There were so many things I forgot.
At this time of year, we remember our Savior, His birth, life, and above all, His atonement. We are grateful to Him. We are privileged to be able to serve Him at this time, in this way. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas. We hope that all of you will be filled with joy as you remember Him and His gift to all of us.
Taiwan Taichung Missionaries
For this video Christmas Message from all of us, go to this link
Sorry today will be a brief letter, I accidentally forgot to save my email to President Bishop again and it got erased. :/
We're going to eat lunch today with our recent convert Huang Yi Li. He's absolutely wonderful. We're bringing a copy of the Liahona with a bunch of pictures of the temple, and we're going to help him get excited to go to the temple! He still reminds me of Dad. I can't wait till the battle that ensues after each meal with him about who pays. I'm determined to get him this time. :)
I'm a little bit sad that so many other new members aren't coming. I was really surprised to hear that Trevor's mission president in the phillipines officially came out and said the focus of their mission is no longer baptizing, but rescuing. I'm glad we're a baptizing mission! But I also like rescuing too. Both are good.
I'm excited for christmas. I'm even more excited that on christmas eve we have an investigator that's getting baptized! His name is Wu Rong Tai. He's super cool. The poor guy lives in a mental hospital. But he seems completely normal. We took a member there to teach with us, and the member was able to make good friends with him. Afterward the member told us that Brother Wu probably works there. We've had him interview with the bishop as well, so the Bishop could get to know him, and the Bishop says he seems great and was really willing to announce his baptism this saturday. (This morning we played tennis again with the Bishop, ward mission leader, and 1st counselor in the stake presidency. It's so fun! and we have a great relationship with the Bishop and his family). We're worried Brother Wu will struggle with smoking. he has so much faith. He had smoked one cigarette the day before, but after the interview he was really determined not to smoke. I noticed he was acting a little funny in church yesterday, and asked him what was up. He said he was going through major withdrawals. haha, poor guy. But there's nowhere better to be than sacrament meeting. He went and washed his face a couple times, and prayed and seemed to make it through. I think he'll make it.
other than tennis I'm developing the talent of playing the recorder. I bought one for 100 dollars and it plays really well! My companion Elder Petters and play the ocarina like a star, and so we usually play a christmas hymn in the morning on our instruments. It brightens my day.
I think worrying about missionaries in the zone, and about investigators smoking all mixed together in my head last night. I had this terrible dream last night where I went on exchanges with the first ward elders, and when I got to the seven eleven where we would meet, I saw Elder Wang sitting there smoking a cigarette!
Don't worry it was only a dream. I don't think Elder Wang has a problem with smoking.
I'm also excited for christmas because I get to play prelude music with Elder Ammon Chung at the Christmas activity again. I'm excited for that!
Guess what else happened this week? President Bishop called us up and told us that one of the best cellists in Taiwan knew our Area seventy, Elder Gong, and when Elder Gong came to Taiwan, he introduced the Bishops to this Cellist, Evelyn Huang. She invited President Bishop to come and be interviewed on her radio station. President Bishop invited Elder Chung and I to play violin and viola on the radio!
So we prepared a couple songs, and played on taiwan radio. It was awesome! She was surprised that we wanted to play, and probably didn't think we would be very good. But it sounded great, it was really blessed. We played "how great thou art" and also a traditional taiwanese song about a flower that everybody loves. Mo li hua. I guess it would translate to... Jasmine. Elder Zhong plays the viola so well. He's amazing!
I thought it was really really fun. I think my favorite part, however, was when she asked about Family home evening. President and Sister Bishop happened to have made a song they sing every monday night, so they sang their family home evening song to the tune of The Spirit of God. "The Bishop family home evening is starting...
It truly helped me feel once again the importance of family home evening, and family and marriage. It's something that I really haven't had a lot of experiences with in Taiwan. Not a lot of people do family home evening.
I think I will focus on families more and more until the end of my mission.
The zone is doing well. We're really going to need a push this week to find some prepared people and drop them in this week if we're to hit our goal of 11. But I know we can do it!!!
William Preston Vernonwilliam.firstname.lastname@example.org
9:07 PM (1 hour ago)
Huang Yi Li was baptized!!!!!!!! Wow, he was so prepared. We taught him tithing, that was a real toughy for him, but he agreed to keep it. His biggest worry was still his family. But as we invited him to keep praying about the Book of Mormon, he kept having dreams. He dreamed he was eating with his family, but then when they left, he felt like he had lost something that he needed to look for, so he went back and looked, looked, looked, but couldn't find what he was looking for. Finally he looked over and in his dream he found the chapel, but his family had disappeared. He felt like the dream was telling him that he might have to decide to join the church without his family.
He has such faith! I don't know why but I felt like he needed to be baptized, that he was ready. The original plan was to have a baptismal interview on thursday, and then maybe wait till next week to baptize. But as we were riding to English class I felt the impression that he was ready, and needed to get baptized as soon as possible. The spirit was working really really hard on him and we could feel it. So that night we pulled him out of English class, and prepared him for an interview. We went through all the questions, and said, "Is there anything that you don't understand, or have questions about?" Guess what his question was, he said, "Elder Wen, what are the three great keys revealed to Joseph Smith about how to tell the difference between good and evil messengers? I don't get that part." haha. I've never had an investigator ask me that before.
I loved the moment when he agreed to be baptized on saturday. He committed, and we helped him hit that goal. I feel like he'll make a very solid new member if we can get the ward members all over him with the new member lessons. he's like a sponge when it comes to learning new things from the scriptures.
What a cool experience! At the beginning I had almost no faith that he would be baptized. But I guess we never know who's prepared or not. He was baptized by this big halfway -active guy that we wanted to strengthen. I hope he was worthy!
This is the first baptism I've had in a long time. I hope there's plenty to come.
Love, Elder Vernon
We had three other investigators preparing to be baptized on christmas eve. We had the little wang brothers confirmed for church, and then they were tired, and refused to go. I was really really disappointed, and now their goal will have to be pushed back. I'll keep working with them, but they're not really progressing.
The other one is Wu Rong Tai. He's a 29 year old guy that lives in the crazy hospital. we met him when we went to visit a less active crazy lady in the crazy hospital on top of the hill. I really don't want to baptize a crazy person. So we don't usually give baptismal invitations to the people there. Because they're all really willing, but probably don't need it and won't help the ward. But this poor Wu guy. He seems completely normal. I'm planning on calling the center and asking what his problem is before we baptize him. I don't want him to get baptized and then realize that he only goes crazy during certain parts of the year or something. Anyways, we had the crazy less active lady accompany our lesson last night when we taught the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom. That was interesting. She wouldn't stop talking about how much she liked tea and how she said that in her prayers Heavenly Father probably understood that it was okay for her to drink tea. We might not invite her to peike anymore.
We also found a really cool new investigator with the last name of xu. He was really hard core buddhist for most of his life. He told us that A really intent buddhist looks at the bible as something at a preschool level of scriptures. But then he read the bible and he was wholly converted to Jesus Christ. He said he felt like a snake of darkness that held him bound was pulled off of him and he felt something he never had before. I was so impressed, and it was another testimony of the truthfulness of the bible. The best thing was that he had no specific christian church, He learned from the bible himself, and everything he knew was pure true doctrine. He even told us that reading the bible he had realized that God created man and all animals and plants to be immortal, and that after the fall was the only time that things started to die.
And then we found a family of four who's kids always argued and played video games and that was all. They said they would come to church but then didn't.
I love Christmas season!!!! I still wear a short sleeve white shirt, and people think I'm crazy. The only bad thing is right when I wanted to start listening to christmas music, my CD player broke, and my companion didn't have one either!!! NOOOO!!!!! the good news is we had met an investigator once who worked at an electronics store, that could repair it. We used it as a way to share the gospel with them again. The wife started reading the book of Mormon every day, and has a desire, and then said she had a dream where she saw angels, and a pillar of light. They're taking forever to fix my CD player though.
we had three investigators to church yesterday. Huang Yi Li is so good. I called him last night and asked him if he could get baptized, he said "Baptism sounds good, if I don't run into any problems, it's OK." So we set a goal for this saturday.
We haven't taught him tithing yet... or done a baptismal interview.
Well, the news for today is Elder Zhuang got called up to be the mission recorder. I was real sad to see him go, he was a great companion. I'm also really excited about my new companion Elder Petters. He's such an amazing missionary. He is one transfer below me, and we were pretty close in the mtc. we're going to be doing great, and having a lot of fun. He's a really humorous, but focused missionary.
I've learned a lot recently. I think I've become more humble. I know the Lord can help us baptize and retain, and rescue in the month of december.
Love, Elder Vernon
p.s. have a good christmas season. Make sure to play lots of racky and sit in the hot tub. And do tradition.
Yesterday the two wang kids didn't come to church, I was really sad. We went to their door in the morning to get them, and there was a note saying they weren't there. That night we went to find them and the uncle said they weren't there, but they probably were. I think the uncle is starting to have second thoughts about them getting baptized in another church. So please please pray pray pray for the Wang Kids. Wang shi qin and Wang shao en.