Monday, April 7, 2014

April 6, 2014 Letter

Hey Dad! where to begin? 

So this past week I went on exchanges with Elder Kou, my district leader. I went to his area and mainly we did a lot of LA hunting to go find out their situation and if they even still lived there. It rained that day and I only had my rain jacket with me, so my pants got all wet. But later in the afternoon my pants dried. Funniest thing though is that my bike is still so filthy from that day. There is dirt pretty much all over the back part of the frame, the fenders, and even on my box.

Thursday came and that was Elder Chen's birthday (very close with mine, dui bu dui?). But so at first Elder Chen told me he was turning 25. Wednesday night after English some members who were helping me to go get a cake and stuff were asking what age would he be. We finally got a hold of Elder Chen's backpack to see his ID card and check. Because Taiwan uses a year system for when the country was formed, that is what the ID card said, year 78. But because it is 2014 and the year 103, the members got their numbers backwards coming to the conclusion that he would be turning 26. So we got the cake and everything with the numbers 26. Thursday night is our Book of Mormon class, so after the class we brought out the cake and everything with 26. And then Elder Chen said I am turning 25. Oops, :/ We all had a good laugh though and I am sure he will remember it. Another thing that a member gave him was this huge party popper (hence the picture) because Elder Chen hates pretty much all types of party poppers (even the little small ones). I really want to pop this big one on the last day of the move call on our roof. It is Elder Chen's though, but I think I can convince him to do it ;)

Friday came and RRR (not baptized, waiting until he graduates, wasn't even me that found him, but just was in the process along the way to help him) came up to Zhanghua in the morning. We had lunch together with him as well as Brother ZZZ. Afterwards he helped to sit in on our lesson and teach Brother ZZZ the 3rd lesson. We also watched a few Mormon messages with them. Then RRR had to leave to get his train going back down to Jiayi where he would have dinner with Elder Mudrow and Elder Hansen. It was really fun to see him and he also brought me square cookies as well as pineapple cake. The Taiwanese love giving little gifts to everyone. It's crazy! We have so much food at our apartment now.

Afterwards in the afternoon the Assistants came down and went on exchanges with the Zhanghua 1 and 2 wards elders (me and Elder Chen and then Elder Kou and Elder Chiang). So at first Elder Yang went with Elder Chen and I to visit some LAs and contact. Learned a lot from him especially some other ways to try and contact people in a more simple way. Afterwards that night we came back because Elder Edwards (he was in my area for 9 months) really wanted to go out with Elder Chen and I we met back at the church and out of happen chance me, Elder Edwards, and Elder Kou went out with the car to go to a lesson by the train station. But so this investigator we met with was mine and Elder Chen's investigator but actually lives in Elder Kou and Chiang's area. So we had been planning to hand him over, and this opportunity worked out best so that Elder Kou could come, introduce himself, and let Brother NNN get to know him. The lesson was a little off, but still good, but at the same time Brother NNN was still feeling very nervous about going to church and feeling scared. He is one that will need a lot of help in distilling hope and faith in him. But I learned a really cool example I have been using a lot to teach about needing in our lives scriptures, prayer, and church. Using the Book of Mormon, I first try to balance it on one finger. This is as if you only had one of those three things in your life. Then use two fingers. Both times it is nearly impossible to balance the book. But when you use three fingers and explain this is like when you are doing those three things in your life there is balance for the book and that is when peace, happiness, and the blessings come.

Saturday we had a service project. Once a year all of Taiwan go to their graves and clean them and then as well do some ancestral worship stuff. We however, come and serve, helping to clean graves or clean up the areas around. So all of Saturday morning we went and did this. It was neat to see all the different graves and how they are very much different from what ours are like. We visited an LA afterwards. I mainly used my time Saturday night writing our progress record and making phone calls (I managed to confirm 2 people for church the next day, 1 of which came and then set up 2 lessons for tomorrow, one of which I have really high hopes for).

Now as for Brother ZZZ he is progressing. He needs to just have commandments taught to him, the big ones being Law of Chastity, Tithing and Fast, and then Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Our plan is to have him ready for a baptismal interview at the end of this week. I have been praying a lot for him and specifically fasted for him yesterday that his desire to drink tea would leave him. Since last Wednesday to now he has been keeping the Word of Wisdom. It's a matter now of really helping him to develop more and more faith and see the blessings that come from the Word of Wisdom. He already knows more about why not to drink coffee or black tea, but it is more the green tea is for him a problem. I really testified to him the importance of knowing Joseph Smith is a prophet and how that will build and stabilize that the WoW is a commandment from God. I really hope he continues to progress well and be ready for his date, but a part of me feels we may need to push back by one week so everything doesn't get too rushed. He is really great guy though and good friend, really fun to talk with and he comes to a lot of activities and church.

So this is pretty much what my week has been like. We are coming up on the end of the transfer now and it will be General Conference (which I am really looking forward to! :D ).

Love you so much!

Elder Roo