Hey hey Dad!
Now to your letter. I have just been really trying to make sure to email those who I haven't emailed in awhile (Elder Devey, Allaina). But so now I am to your letter. I already read through it at the start of email.
I am striving to understand and to embrace that to work hard and have fun. Not living up to expectations. But just doing my best.
That's way funny about Matt walking into get a job and instead comes out with a date. I am sure President Wood thought it special and unique that Elder Dailey was my trainer.
Yeah it really is true about Matt's chopstick rusted contraption to hold his bike frame part together. He really did try to carry as much as he could. But of course I have a box which is simply put much bigger carrying room. I don't feel like my Chinese is that good. I think Elder Dailey is just being nice. I honestly feel sometimes like my tongue can't move and that my mind is just blank when I try to speak Chinese.
I think what I could express from my end about a missionary that goes home early is that the parents need to support like none other. It's a hard time and he will need to have the support and love because he is going to feel like he is a bad person, that others will judge him, and that others will think down on him. Then make sure to just talk with him and what his goals are, what he wants, and explain that maybe the path that is the hardest or may seem the hardest (aka going back out) will yield the greatest blessings, peace, comfort, and literally joy. Then next is to make sure that he doesn't fall away from the basics. Prayer, scriptures, and church. Really I think he should right away if possible have a calling in the church. I didn't mention this before, but actually I think was this past week that I had an interesting dream that revealed more about me. Ok laugh all you want and such, but in this dream I was with this really pretty girl. She was brunette. But we were going somewhere (I don't remember where). We were talking and she eventually asked "are you happy?" I remember thinking it wasn't just an answer I gave because I was with her but more so in response to my life at this very moment right now. The steps I have taken over the last year and arriving at this point in time in Taiwan. I remember responding that "yes, yes I am truly happy. I haven't been this genuinely happy and content before." So yeah....
Off to Orlando to really just play and have fun! Yeah someday, some time in the future I will eventually have my own family. Don't know where or when though. If Sahara has a dinner party with the princesses I will bust up laughing to the point of rolling on the floor because I would want to see Marty's face so bad. I am sure he would love that to see his daughter with a whole bunch of princesses. Marty's little princess girl :)
Yeah I cherish that time I had with Cody, Kevin, and Pat. But I so badly and will make it happen that the 4 of us will go to Florida again.
I will for sure let you know about anything to pray or fast for. I would say pray for our new investigator. He is progressing in quitting smoking. I think to pray that he will have the strength to continue progressing and overcome this trial as well as his mom's heart will be softened and see the changes in his life.
Well I am really striving hard to keep clean. For some reason over the past 3 or 4 days the temptations and thoughts have been a killer to handle with. For some reason just been much harder. Something I have repented of as well that I feel was an ok victory was last night Elder Chen and I were at 7 because he needed to use the restroom. But so he was on the phone talking with a new investigator we got this past week. He has a lot of hopelessness and I feel depression in his life. But so Elder Chen was talking for a long time while I was sitting by him. I was looking around and such and looking back over my shoulder I see the magazine aisle and of course somethings stand out to the eye more (like especially for the natural man when there is more immoral things). But so I tried to focus my attention to other things. It was getting close to time where we really needed to go home quick (we had about a 20 minute bike ride home). So I was tapping my watch to let Elder Chen know as well as I stood up to let him know we really needed to get going (but this new investigator really likes to talk). But so I ended I was standing and then I ended up walking around eventually ending up on the magazine aisle. I remember standing there and looking (over all the magazines from sports to cars to anything) and then having a few thoughts coming to mind. One was that I don't want to deal with the crap and baggage that comes from this. As well as I remember Brother Lindsley sharing one time that he was at an airport and in one of the stores and that he was in front of some magazines and that there were some pretty awful immodest and immoral magazines. He instead moved on not even thinking about it. Later on the plane he then realized and found out that some other young men or members as well had seen him in front of the magazines and saw that he didn't pick them up or anything but instead just moved on and how it touched them to see his integrity and faithfulness. So he didn't even know others were watching. But so yeah I had these few thoughts and I just walked back away not even looking anymore or wanting to pick up anything, going back to Elder Chen and eventually sitting down to wait again because this new investigator was still talking on. So yeah I still prayed and asked for forgiveness because I knew that those temptations were over there and I still put myself into a dangerous position. That's why I feel it is an ok victory because I know I can do better. The thing that sucks sometimes is that when I have these harder days like I have lately with temptations and thoughts (and understand me when I say harder I refer to just that for some reason thoughts or memories seem to just bombard more frequently, like I am not thinking about or lusting after or seeking these things, but the thoughts and memories just randomly come to the forefront more boldly) is that Satan starts to then make me doubt that I am clean, that I am worthy, and such because I am having more thoughts and memories to fight against during these days. That's one of the things I have hated most since being on my mission is how much Satan makes and strives to cause me to doubt myself. Doubt my work, my faith, my missionary efforts, and my worthiness.
Well to share a more funny experience. Last Friday Elder Chen and I went on exchanges with the Zone leaders. Elder Chen went to San Min with Elder Hu and Elder Bennett came to Fengshan. So Friday night we had to do English proselyting for an hour as a district since it fell through on Tuesday night. But afterwards we went to eat at a resteraunt in Yuanshan (Elder Turner, Elder Barson, Elder Bennett, and I) called La Salsas. It is owned by a guy from Colombia who married a lady from Taiwan and their son works there too. I believe they are members. Lots of us missionaries eat there. But so we are sitting there waiting for our food and there is music playing overhead and you are never going to guess what came on!? Numa Numa by Ozone (a Romanian band whose song became famous because of a fat guy dancing in front of his computer to this song). But so all of us were just "we are not really hearing what we think we are hearing". And we are all just laughing and eventually singing along too to the song. It was a great laugh and was priceless.
Well I love you lots and miss you all the time! Can't wait to catch up on Top Gear! (p.s. I saw a Ferrari 599 as well as a Ferrari F360 Scuderia this past week)