Well I’m kind of at a loss of what I did this last week. I don’t really remember the beginning of the week at all. Whoops. I guess I can start by talking about something boring! That’ll totally get your attention right!? I made my language goals for training! Sort of at least. At one point I had wanted to know 800 characters and finish the first set of 1000 vocab but my previous goal and more realistic goal of 500 characters and 1000 words is the one I accomplished. So hey that’s neat right? My next goal is to review all the vocab I’ve learned on my mission so far (like 2000 words) and then know 1500 characters by the end of this next transfer (6 weeks). At that point I’ll be able to read most things, but not like craaaaazzy good. Who knows? Maybe I’ll start learning to write as well. We shall see.
This last Saturday we went to a community event held by some of the local Ruritan clubs! Long story short we were able to play human foosball with some Brazilians! And eat lots of ice cream! And yes we did get some good proselyting in too. In fact one of our investigators invited us to the event because he was one of the local club representatives. We were able to teach some of the Brazilians a bit about the plan of salvation. Their attitude towards religion is soooo different than Taiwanese people, that’s for sure. It probably helps they were all Catholic and not Buddhist or Taoist. But hey it was super fun, and one of them ended up being from Curitiba which is where my sister is serving her mission right now!! Small world for sure.
We met with Hu Dixiong twice this week. I feel kind of bad for him some times. He lives at home by himself and his 2 cats. He doesn’t have a job, or a cell phone. But then I remember that he has something even better than all those things. He has the opportunity to learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and the best part is that he loves it! We taught him the law of chastity this week and we were pretty specific with him to make sure he was clear on everything. I asked him if he was willing to live it and his reply was “Dangran yuanyi.” That translates into “naturally, I’m willing,” or “of course I’m willing.” Aw he’s awesome. He’s on track to be baptized on Christmas Eve! Super awesome. After the lesson my companion and I tried to convince him to let us help him clean his house (its a mess). Elder Watson told him we wanted to clean because it makes us happy. He then told us that he wants that opportunity for happiness to himself! That was the most attitude I’d ever heard out of him! It was great. We all laughed.
Thursday we met with John Sullivan again for lunch and a lesson and as always it was awesome! So previously I’ve said that he doesn’t really believe in God. A couple years back he came to the conclusion that God couldn’t exist because he read the Bible all the way through and I guess parts of it made him think it couldn’t be from God. Idk. But he has always had the desire to believe in God. He wishes he could be the type of man to have trust in his Heavenly Father. A few weeks ago we invited him to live the word of wisdom and to stop drinking alcohol. This week he said he had gone 4 days without drinking, which is the longest he has gone in years, longer than he can remember. He’s trying his hardest to quit, and he has been praying that God will help to do so. On Thursday he told us something that I will never forget. He said that he had wanted to give up drinking for years. But he never could do it. Now he’s doing a pretty good job, still not perfect, but improving. He told us that recently he’s had this feeling he can’t quite explain. He couldn’t quite put it into words. He said it was a good feeling. He said that he thinks there just might be a God out there. He is starting to believe. THIS IS HUGE!! He has been meeting with missionaries for over a decade!!! They undoubtedly testified dozens if not hundreds of times that God lives and he didn’t believe them. What got him to start changing his mind? Living the gospel of Jesus Christ! Praying to God! Reading the Book of Mormon! These are things that give you countless opportunities to FEEL the power of God in your life. These simple things allow you to KNOW that God lives.
I know that God lives! I have no doubt of that! The biggest evidence to me that Heavenly Father lives and that Jesus is the Christ is repentance. This is a realization that I have had fairly recently. At this point in my life I can look back over the past few years and I can remember with a decent amount of clarity the things I have done wrong and the sins I have committed. I can remember the pain. I can remember the guilt. I can remember the literally torment to my soul because of what I had done. But the strange part is that when these memories come to mind, the pain and the guilt are absent. Instead of feelings of remorse and self-pity I have an overwhelming sense of peace and even joy. Why?? Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Because I know that I have been forgiven. I have repented. I changed my life. And I felt the power of the Atonement of Christ personally. That is why I am in Taiwan. I want every soul to know what I know and feel what I feel. I want the people of Taiwan to know that through Jesus Christ, eternal happiness and joy is possible! But it is ONLY possible if we are willing to follow Him. It is ONLY possible if we are willing to change, if we are willing to admit we are wrong, if we are willing to be humble, if we are willing to be teachable, and if we are willing to act. This I know to be true.
Oh yeah and I have a new companion. His name is Elder Westcott! He’s from Utah. He’s been in Taiwan 6 months. And I don’t know a whole lot else. I just met him. I’ll keep you all posted! But hey, I get to show him around Qishan. That’ll be fun. hehe
I love you all!