Hello Fam. Happy New Years. Did you all play monopoly again this year? "Hey Kelly, d'ya wanna merge?" haha.
Over here, we are most excited about how finding families has blessed us. we got 16 new investigators this week! We also got a family to church! The Zheng Family came. I contacted the Dad a long time ago with Elder Wheeler. But we just started meeting with them a week or two ago. He says he has no interest at all in the church, but he was willing to take his wife, and I think he enjoyed it. He's a really open, funny business man with lots of tattoos, and two children. They own a coffee shop right next to the KFC. We were fasting that they would have a good experience, and we were amazed at how specifically the Lord answered our prayers. The members of our ward were so radioactive!! I was impressed, the Dad had at least 5 friends in the ward before he left, and the sisters and relief society were all over the mom. The two kids didn't come, because they are addicted to video games. It's sad to see a 13 year old boy and 16 year old girl playing computer all day. Oh well. Hopefully the gospel will help them with that.
A couple other miracles we've witnessed recently.
On Saturday we invited the whole zone to join in a competition to see how many families we could talk to in one day. A family only counts as a Father, Mother, and child present. If you contact the family and extend an invitation it's one point, If you set up the whole family for a time to meet it's three points. We contacted 17 families that day, but the first ward sisters beat us out, they got 24 points.
It was a fun new years eve.
On Saturday two of the investigators were brothers. About 40 years old, we tracted into their house and sat down with them. One had some discernable mental problems, he liked to talk. The older brother didn't talk much at all, but had some physical problems, He couldn't stop moving his head, and twitching his arm.
We visited the next day, and weren't really expecting much. We sat down for a little bit, but the little brother just kept talking about unrelated things, and wouldn't listen. The older brother would just get up and walk around randomly during the lesson. I didn't feel very focused. We had already been fasting for nearly 24 hours, and it smelled like smoke, and we were about to leave. But then the story from preach my gospel popped into my mind about the two missionaries who were meeting with a mom, and there were kids running around screaming, and it was hot, but because he listened, the mom told him that she had gained a testimony. I feel like it was the spirit prompting me to give them a chance. I pulled out the Book of Mormon, and gave it to him. We opened up to 3 Nephi 11, verse three about them feeling the spirit. we asked him "have you ever felt that feeling before?" As we sat and waited for his answer, it was amazing how the spirit entered the lesson. He stopped twitching, His brother stopped talking. When he finally answered with a "yes," he looked up with tears in his eyes. We asked if he was feeling it right then, and again he said yes. The little brother then told us seemingly out of nowhere that their mother had died recently and they really missed her. we testified that families could be together forever, and the spirit was really strong. They both could not deny the feelings of the spirit. So we invited them to church, they accepted. Invited them to be baptized later this month, they accepted.
That night we had some time, and we went to visit somebody I had contacted on the street. He turned out to have a nephew that was a returned missionary, and studying at BYU Hawaii. He said his wife and kids were all members of a different christian church. He said he just couldn't bring himself to join their church, or be buddhist or daoist, because he hadn't felt that they were true. he said he needed to feel for himself and gain a testimony before believing. We asked him "when you pray about the book of Mormon and feel it is true will you be baptized?" He said he would if he felt it was true.
Our new member Huang Yi Li is more solid than ever. I saw him paying his tithing on sunday, and is set up for a temple recommend interview. We've never reminded him about church since he was baptized. He is growing into a fully active functional ward member, and it is so fun to be a part of. Whenever we reteach him the commandments in new member lessons, he says, "I've made a covenant with God, of course I'm going to keep it."
I'm much more worried about our other new member Wu Rong Tai. He was ready to come to church on sunday, but the member who was supposed to pick him up stayed up till four the night before and then slept in. :( when we tried to send somebody else over, he had already made up his mind that he wasn't going to go to church that day. I would appreciate prayers for him.
We've been working with the ward so much better recently. I feel like ever since we baptized prepared people, the ward's trust in us has grown. We're getting more and more excited for chinese new year!
Love, Elder Vernon