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Ni Hao!

Hey friends, this blog is dedicated to recording the stories of my two year mission in Taichung, Taiwan.  The first thing I will do when I get to Taiwan is buy a bike.  This bike will be with me my entire mission, a best friend if you wheel.  In fact, I’ll probably name it.  Since I’ll always have a companion who will also have a bike friend, I named this blog Tale of Two Bikes.

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Week 51 Jia Yi Week 12 Taichung Week 0

July 3, 2017

So no I did not accidentally put week 12.  I realized that I send two JiaYi Week 3 emails in a row.  So I’m pretty sure week 12 is accurate.  ANYWAYS…

How is everyone!?  Today will be a shorter email because I just moved!  Again!  I moved to Taizhong!  I’m now a zone leader.  Super weird.  My new companion is an Elder Lee.  I actually know his older brother because he was a teacher in the MTC.  His brother knows my uncle, Jordan.
Classic.
Good Old Brother Ye, our investigator
THE TRIPANIONSHIP comes to an end.
LOVE YOU EVERYBODY!!!
-Elder Councill

 

Week 50 JiaYi Week 11 Oh the Irony

June 25, 2017

Dear Loved Ones and Pals, Family and Friends, Guys and Gals,

Hello.
To begin, I’d like to continue my thought from last week’s email about our imperfections and weakness.  This last week I stumbled upon a scripture that says perfectly what I wanted to say.  Many of you are probably familiar with what Paul said in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 10.  He said, “when I am weak, then am I strong.”  Good stuff good stuff, but what I really like is what is said in the verses previous to this.  Beginning in verse 7 he said he was given a “thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.”  In verse 8 he said, “for this thing (the thorn) I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”  It sounds like Paul didn’t want his weakness.  He didn’t want his thorn in the flesh.  BUT look at the reply he gets in verse 9.  “And he said unto me (him being the Lord), My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  This is Christ speaking.  Christ’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Christ’s grace is more than sufficient for us.  When we acknowledge and accept our weakness through humility, then we are truly strong because the strength of God is with us.  But the moment we glory in our own strength, and the moment we think our own might can pull us through, our pride becomes our stumbling block and we will be impeded by our weakness.  So, let’s accept the fact we are all weak.  Now let us “take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when [we] are weak, then [are we] strong.”
Now, about this last week..
On Thursday we had interviews!  That was nice.  I hadn’t had an opportunity to talk to President Teh in a while since my last interview was cancelled last transfer.  As always, President’s words have inspired me.  He’s a deep man that one.  I asked him what I could do to become a better missionary.  He replied with a scripture.  Doctrine and Covenants Section 107 verses 99 and 100 read, “Wherefore, now let every man learn is duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.  He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.  Even so.  Amen.”  I think I could easily draw a lot of applications from this scripture, but for sake of time I’ll talk about one: responsibility.  As a missionary I have the responsibility to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with “the sound of rejoicing!”  All of us in our lives have different types of responsibilities to different degrees.  Imagine if we all first learned our duty, and then did it.  I’m now reminded of Boy Scouts when I often said these words, “I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country…”  So, my question today is, what’s your duty?  What’s your duty to God?  What’s your duty to your country?  Are you fulfilling it in all diligence?  If not, I invite you to change.  🙂  Good luck.  You’ve got this.  God is on your side.  Trust me, He wants us all to do our best.
Now for a fun story about Taiwan..
Last night we went tracting!  Good old knocking doors.  At one point we came to the door of a clearly Christian household.  A woman came to the door and nearly immediately told us something along these lines, “Oh no thanks, I’m Christian.  You and I are the same.  We both believe in Jesus Christ.”  We told her a little bit about our message and offered to teach more about Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.  Her response was again something like this, “I already believe in Jesus, you don’t need to tell me.  Believing in Him is enough.”  Despite our insistence about the importance of our message and the truthfulness of what we share, she still declined.  When we asked her if she knew anyone who might be interested she told us to knock on her neighbor’s door because they didn’t have a religion.  Well we went to knock on her neighbor’s door and another woman came to answer and before we said anything she told us in English, “I am Buddhist.  Sorry.”  We talked to her for a bit and asked if she knew anyone who might be interested.  Can you guess who she recommended we visit?  Her Christian neighbor, the one we had barely spoken to.  People don’t seem to understand what we are doing.  Christians tell us to talk to non-Christians and non-Christians tell us to talk to Christians.  What we are doing has nothing to do with increasing the number of Christians in this world or finding people that already believe.  We are sharing the restored, complete, original truth of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It’s different from any other message of any other church or religion on this earth and it is the most important message anyone on this planet will ever hear.  Why is that?  Because it’s complete.  It is whole.  All other religions and all other churches are indeed good.  They make the world a better place.  But, as we teach, they do not have God’s complete eternal truth.  Our statement is bold for sure.  And its also true.
I love you all!
Have a wonderful day and thank you for taking the time to read all of this. 🙂
-Elder Councill
(i didn’t proofread)

 

Week 49 JiaYi Week 10

June 18, 2017

Week 48 JiaYi Week 9

June 11, 2017

 

Week 47 JiaYi Week 8 Moving

June 4, 2017

Yes you read the subject right.  I am moving.  No, I am not being transferred.  Elder Chen and I have to move to another place in JiaYi because our current landlord wants to live in our current house.  It certainly is sad, having to leave behind the beautiful mansion in which I now reside, but I find peace in the fact that our new apartment is equally awesome.  Its on the top floor of an apartment building.  Its already fully furnished, with brand new appliances!  We have a big new fridge!  And other neat little things.  I’ll send pictures next week when we’ve fully moved.

Right now I’m pretty tired.  I can’t think of any cool stories from this week.  Actually never mind I lied, I thought of one.  Okay so you know how in my last email I said we knocked on the door of a Christian man who might be interested.  We’ve met with him twice since then.  He’s great!  He suans (counts as) a Christian but he hasn’t been baptized because his current pastor says he isn’t ready and also because his parent don’t want him to be baptized.  He’s about 50 years old.  But yeah!  He even came to our English class.  His English name is none other than Abraham.  So cool.
AND THEN!  Remember the two older woman we met the same night we met Abraham?  We visited them on Thursday.  Only one of them was there, and she even prepared a lot of food for us.  Her name is Wang, which means king.  Good old Sister Wang.  She has read the Bible countless times.  She’s been reading it almost every day for decades and even has taken notes.  She showed us the stacks of journals she has with notes from her reading from throughout the years.  WOW.  There are not many people like that in Taiwan.  She won’t attend church because she says they are all different and all say that they are the only true one, but that logically doesn’t make sense because Jesus has one church and she doesn’t know which one it is.  Did I mention she’s in her 70s.  Super cool.  I’m excited to visit her again soon.
For those of you that need a laugh, here are some pictures of failed attempts of me in Qishan trying to snag a picture of a heal click.
In this one I look a little odd.
In this one I look awkward and still odd.
Okay in this one I’m having fun.
Life is sometimes like these heal clicks.  You try three times.  Each time you fail.  But hey!  You had fun and you learned something while doing it!  So not all is lost.  Just smile, have a laugh, and keep on moving forward.  Life is not perfect, but it sure is rewarding and fun.  Remember that!
Love you all!
-Elder Councill

 

Week 46 Jia Yi Week 7

May 28, 2017

Week 45 JiaYi Week 6

May 23, 2017

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