Oh man that is so weird that Statler is now home too! But way cool that he recognized you guys and love his analogy about having a super car and how you treat your covenants. It's way funny actually as I have progressed more and more as a missionary and teacher how much analogies I use. I mean I mentioned this to Elder Mudrow the other day, but that I feel I can pull anything ordinary from my life and make it into an analogy to teach the Gospel. It is beautiful how much the Gospel is simple and around us each day in our lives. We simply must humble ourselves and open our eyes to see just how much everything can testify that Jesus is the Christ.
As for Statler having an African accent still that is way funny and I count that as a blessing. Whereas for me I will come home and will not be able to speak English at all as I will naturally and instinctively speak Chinese (it already happens, I just go along and naturally parts just come out in Chinese). Actually often times contacting or teaching in English is really weird and sometimes hard.
Definitely the Lord knew exactly when he needed you when Brother Johnson called and was seeking help for his home. There are many small miracles and blessings like this each day in our lives, sometimes we are just blind to actually seeing it. Definitely there are many times where this has happened to me whether it be being in a place contacting or tracting and there is a person there, or maybe in a lesson or something else and the timing was just right.
Man I am so happy for Kevin and can't wait until he gets out. He will have such a good time. And I think it is perfect that he will only be in the MTC for 2 weeks (definitely the field will be great for him).
I think that is awesome that they call the soon to leave missionaries to teach the 11 year old boys. It teaches you so much to have patience, love, teaching to a child's understanding, and having fun. It was a good trend to set :)
So sad can't watch the Olympics with you :( Oh well, you will need to enjoy them for me! Also I have heard of NetApp before. Sounds like a big responsibility. But I know you can do it! You are President Uchtdorf right now and I am his 12 year old grandson. You can do it now! I know you can. You have always faced your challenges head on and you always push yourself to overcome and achieve. So I know you can handle this one too. :)
I am assuming this letter I got this past week from Florida is the one from Disney. It's all handwritten from all of you. So I guess that is the one. Way nice to read. Elder Chan leaves next Sunday for Taizhong and for London on Monday. You will have to see Allisa's email for my feelings on what will happen to the 4-man after next week. As for the Kailiponis I am not sure when they will leave.
Wayne had gotten the letters and everything. I think he tried reading them, but his reading skills are slower than speaking. But he really appreciated them and expressed that they were very thoughtful. I thought it was very nice and really great to see such effort on a teachers quorum to write to a new member half way around the world.
Now to try and write as much as I can about this past week with the time I have left. Because there is a lot that has happened this past week! Here goes!
So last Monday night was probably one of the best dinners I have had in Taiwan. We had a family take us out for Chinese New Year (our 4 man plus the Kailiponis). We went to a way nice restaurant that can count as equal to the Melting Pot. This however had a hot pot in the middle and then two grilling spots (one on each side). You cook and grill your own food and meat. Basically you have little slips of paper that you can fill out and ring for someone to pick it up and then they bring the food to you to cook. I ate so much. Basically it is a 吃到飽 as well as 吃到飽 ice cream. The restaurant is called 石頭.
This past week we also had dinner at a way rich family. Their table could seat like 16 people. But because Tuesday night President Blickenstaff interviewed the Kailiponis, they showed up to the dinner as well. So we had all of the Jiayi missionaries (our 4 man, ZLs, Sisters, and the Kailiponis) as well as the Blickenstaffs join our dinner. That was a lot of fun. The next day we had interviews and it was really good to talk with President Blickenstaff. I really learned a lot from him, much more appreciation for him, and he has helped me a lot as well.
So Thursday was a day full of miracles and good food as well. We ended up having 6 lessons that day. One of our investigators 楊凱程 had a baptismal interview that day and he passed. He is such a humble man, he really has faith, believes, and he even fasted this last Sunday with us (and will continue to in the future). The only problem is that he is a 空軍, or in the Airforce so he gets very little time off, and especially Sunday. He still needs to come to church one more time, but we also want him to try and get established so he can attend church. But for February he has no Sundays off, so we are praying and hoping that March will work out.
But later that night we went up on the hill by 大雅路. I got way spoiled for dinner. There is a restaurant on the hill there called The Freen Burger. There burgers and fries are just like American. It's a bit more expensive, but we felt to celebrate having such a good day and having so many lessons planned and taught. I got a burger called the Snoopy. Yes our little black and white favorite dog. It was a way good burger. And guess what it had on it. Peanut Butter. Yes Peanut Butter. It was way good.
After dinner we went to an LA's house and had a lesson with him. He shared about how his family has been members for 20+ years and how he wishes to be a better example for his son. With Elder Mudrow's prompting and prompting from the Spirit I shared about the story of Kevin, Cody, Pat, and I and being an example. I shared it in pretty great detail even sharing about that I went home from the MTC and went back out. All concluding with that we are all now going to or have been serving missions. It really touched this man's heart and we definitely felt the spirit there. After the lesson I was actually shocked a bit at just how I had shared that experience completely in Chinese. Truly the Lord blesses me so much to speak the language.
Saturday we went up to 大林 because we didn't have anything set up. But immediately after getting off the train we had 2 miracles of a self-contact and exchanging information as well as another contact that turned into a sit down lesson. And then about 30 minutes after this miracle:
“This past week we had many miracles, but one of the biggest happened on Saturday. Saturday we had no lessons set up. So we decided to go up to one of our secondary areas, Dalin. After arriving we biked into town a little bit, contacting along the way. We had passed a 7 and then decided we should make some calls to formers and members in the area as well as do some language study since we hadn't had it yet. Instead of going back to the 7 (probably only a 100 feet behind us) we kept going forward to a OK Mart (a little bit further ahead than the 7). We sat down and about 10 minutes later we hear behind us "Hey missionaries!" It was this lady whose English was not too bad. As it turns out she had been baptized in Utah (she was studying as well as having some work there). She had come back to Taiwan but was a bit hesitant feeling that the atmospheres between church in Taiwan and in Utah were not the same. She normally works in Taibei and lives there, but for Guonian she was in Jiayi. She had never told her bishop her address and her bishop several times has talked with her and asked so her records could be transferred. But definitely it was a miracle that we came to that OK Mart (because her family's house is right next to it and her Mom saw us and told her to say hi to us). We got Satine (her name) to come to church the next day and even sat down with her to review the 1st lesson (she hasn't been taught any lessons after being baptized). It was a really good lesson, and Lin Dixiong who helped peike has a friend where Satine lives in Taibei and is helping out to get Satine more friends and become more active. Truly we were answers to a bishop's prayer as well as others. It is amazing when you can see the Lord's hand in your life and can stand back and watch it unfold.”
But so last week we went out to some type of zoo thing. It was interesting but lots of fun with the 4 man. Got lots of good memories and we even shot a bow and arrow while we were there. So much fun!!!!
It is amazing how much more spiritually in tune and sensitive I have become since being on my mission. I have noticed so much more how things really touch me and I feel the Spirit. It makes me to not want to leave at all and even thoughts of going home make it seem so sad and disheartening to leave all this. I love this life!
I love you lots and lots!