Today's e-mail won't be really long.
I really appreciated hearing about President Allred's dream. That makes me think differently of a lot of experiences on my mission.
I am now finished being a zone leader. It was different. It was very fun to serve the zone members, get to know them. I'll never forget the wonderful lessons I learned. Especially from my companions as zone leaders. They were all incredible missionaries. Elder Geddes, Elder Wheeler, Elder Zhuang, and Elder Petters.
I'm also really relieved to be just a normal companionship with no leadership responsibilities. I'll have time to focus all my efforts on establishing the church in my area.
My new area is perfect. It's the place I always wished I could serve in. I moved to puli, a little place surrounded by beautiful green mountains! I love seeing the mountains. The area is really pretty, the people are nice, the branch is struggling. I always wanted to serve in a really rural area, with a branch that was not very strong. I've always been blessed with the very best wards, and bishops. Puli should be quite the adventure.
I'll miss zhanghua, I've attached a picture of the Bishop, The Ward mission leader, and I. We went on member exchanges last night again. I'm not sure how many member exchanges we'll be able to get here, we only have like five or so active brethren. But, I'm really excited to find teach and baptize in this area until the end of my mission. Endure to the end!
My new companion is named Elder Jeffrey Stark. He's from a nice little place called Alpine, Utah. (Mountainville 3rd ward, Alpine Stake). We're going to be having a lot of good times here in puli.
I'm really happy for all the family. Sounds like everybody is doing okay, moving on with life. Would it be mean to say it feels like all of you at home seem to be moving at a slower time frame than I? Somehow I have this weird expectation to come home and everything is the same. Missions are kind of like Narnia, where I come out of the wardrobe and 5 minutes hasn't gone by. we'll see.
My plans for improving puli start with having good companionship unity, talking to everybody in the whole place and inviting them to church, loving the members like my own family, and focusing on finding a family. We're also going to be praying our guts out for all the people here to be ready for the gospel. I would really appreciate it if we had your prayers for puli. For the church to be established here in the tops of the mountains! I have a goal that one day I will look at puli and see a temple on one of the green hills. (There's plenty of temples, but none of them are ours, they're buddhist or daoist or confucionist.)
We love you.
I was really happy to see both of my RC's from Zhanghua, Huang yi li and wu rong tai come to church yesterday. They are both doing very well. Huang Yi Li went to the Taibei temple and did baptisms for the dead on saturday. He passed the sacrament on sunday. He is reading through the Book of Mormon a second time, the Doctrine and Covenants, Jesus the Christ, and the Bible. I think he'll be able to get the Melchizedek Priesthood before long. I'm a little more worried about Wu Rong Tai, but I set a goal with him that we would both read through the book of Mormon by the 11th of April. It happens to be his birthday, and the day I go home. he's ahead of me right now, I find it hard to read through it quickly in chinese. I like to look up what the characters I don't know mean.
I love all y'alls! Keep up the good work. Don't ever give up.
There's this weird feeling I have on a mission. As I go to sleep at night, I know I'm extremely tired. But I also feel that if I needed to I could get up and run a 5k. I think of that every night. how tired I am, but if I really needed to I could get up right then and I would have the strength to run a marathon. I know this is a manifestation of the calling of a missionary. Like it says in the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, unto the renewing of their bodies. I would run a marathon or two to find a family ready to be baptized and strengthen the branch right now!
Love Elder Vernon/ Wen Zhanglao