Friday, May 30, 2014

May 25, 2014 Letter

Hey Mom!
So.................................nope! Transfers didn't affect me this time. I am staying in Zhanghua as well as Elder Oldham. We are companions again. I think it is because I talk too much good about Elder Oldham to President and how much I enjoy being with him. President did mention a couple weeks back in a reply to my email that I will probably be with Elder Oldham for another move call. So.....yeah! It's funny many times how that things of move call slip out or found out because just sometimes leaders never quite keep everything secret. That's fine with me! :) I always usually am one of the ones to find things out earlier on (like about Bishop Wood over a year ago).

So it sounds like Hawaii as just probably been about the most fit and best vacation for you and Dad. I won't reply to every single thing you did, but the ziplining sounds fun. Bummer about the boat tour getting stormed out. Sad that you got flip flops for everyone but Roo. Biking can be done for fun (remember Elder Oldham and I a P-day 2 weeks ago went and rode for about 50+ km for the fun of it to take pictures, which it actually just ended up more raining a bit, so it wasn't as clear of day as it could have been).

Sounds like you really had some pretty dives there in Hawaii, especially the tunnel dive with all the light filtering in.

Also I am really happy and proud of you and Dad offering to help the Branch President that Sunday in church for that day. Way cool you got to hear the graduating seniors talk. Sounds like the BP's daughter is pretty smart and pretty 'qiang' (or strong, not muscle wise, but overall wise). Alright Mom, I still got a year, I already have work to do on myself in being confident and not worrying or anything but being myself and believing in myself. Yes I hope that I can find a cute, smart girl with a strong testimony. One of the things I don't like is so much the uncertainty and not knowing when or where. Definitely just a matter of believing in myself and knowing what is good about me and that I am good.

Fun fun doing the paddleboards. Sounds like hard work.

I am so happy about your last paragraph. I am so excited and giddy in my seat that I can't wait to hear about you getting your birthday present. I didn't get time to send the package today. So it will get sent next week. So mid-June you should get the package.

And here is my letter I sent to president to add a little more.

Hey President!
This week as always has been a good week with its ups and downs. Times of learning and growing, times of sorrow or pain, times of joy and happiness. Definitely It always feels that a mission is like a whole life packed into 2 years. I am really excited for this new move call, that I get to be with Elder Oldham again, have a chance to work even harder in Zhanghua and strive to make this area that much better than when I first came here. That is my greatest goal and desire going into this new move call, to forget more about myself and work harder than before on the Zhanghua area. Elder Oldham and I have talked about going into this new move call with a greater fire and plan to make more goals and discussion over what we can do.

This past week as it has gone by I have felt the greatest miracle to happen for us came on Tuesday after English Proselyting had gotten done, we were already a little behind schedule. We had planned to go to the more northern part of our area to see if there were houses or people out there we could contact. We had a lesson later that night and I kept analyzing things and feeling like we wouldn't get a lot of time for the finding activity and dinner. But Elder Oldham and I talked it over and through Elder Oldham's encouragement we got some bread to have as on the go snack/dinner and started biking out towards that direction to follow through with our plan. When we passed by the train station I got a call from our investigator asking if we could meet right now. After several calls with investigator and peike we got it worked out to meet right now as well as have a peike (which really helped). For me it showed more how the Lord blesses when you follow through with plans and when He needs you other places, He will let you know. That and how much I see Elder Oldham already being so much prepared to lead out an area as senior.

Sorry a bit long, for my studies this week I have felt greatly just how much each time study has come how much I really want to study the Book of Mormon as well as Preach My Gospel. That is what I have been working on to study both each day. It really helps and I feel make a difference.

Thanks so much, love ya!
Elder Dayley 

Love you so much Mom!

Elder Roo

May 11, 2014 Letter

Hey Dad!
So I will copy over my Mission President letter for you to see. But yeah just wanted to let you know that I forgot to mention I am going to the temple next week! Yay! So I will email for an hour on Monday (more to email President) then will go to the temple on Wednesday (which will be our P-day) and email another hour. Sorry I don't have photos this week. I forgot to bring my chord.

Love you so much! So good to see you! 

But yeah I love you so much!

Elder Roo

Hey President!

I feel I will always be grateful and indebted to Heavenly Father for all that He blesses me with. He knows me exactly and knows exactly who to place in my life to help me and support me. I have been blessed with my companion that I have, someone I can talk with, share with him, who lifts and supports me as well as I strive my best to support him and think about him how he can be blessed. Then I have been blessed to be in a mission where I feel always so inspired by my mission president. I feel so much the love and support that comes from you. I pray and hope that I may be as great of support to others as those have been to me.

I feel it miracle this past week that with our one solid progressing investigator that lives in our secondary area about 45 minutes away. We had set up to meet with him on Saturday. But he said that he wouldn't be able to meet if it would rain. So we prayed coming up to Saturday, and of the few days of the week Saturday ended up being a day it didn't rain. So we had a great lesson about the Gospel as well as the 10 commandments with our investigator who is willing to obey and as well as start repenting.

For myself during this week I feel the greatest thing I have learned is again the blessing of being honest and obedient even when it seems so much simpler or easier to turn inwards or think I can just handle it. I feel this has actually spawned in to me starting yesterday a new purification project. I really desire to be more pure and worthy so that I may become a better instrument in the Lord's hands. I remember the first time I did the purification project and felt that it really helped me a lot and so I am really excited and ready to get the tires running again on this next purification project. It really means a lot to me sharing your gratitude for me in this mission. I pray and hope I can be a better help and strength to you, my companion, my area, and the Lord.

Love ya!
Elder Dayley

May 4, 2014 Letter

Hey Mom!
The shirts are holding up great. We aren't barbarians. I use a stain remover as often as I can. Actually the place that gets the worst is actually the collar line. But my fighting has been keeping it at bay as I use Magic Ama (yeah basically that is like translation for old grandma or old lady). The garments are the ones where a little more in the pits are staining yellow. But they are still holding good. I really am going to try and make everything last for a whole year more so I don't have to worry about buying new things. Don't believe me? Just watch.

As for the Star Wars stickers I would have to say I want the spacecraft and vehicle ones first!

Sounds like tons and tons of stuff has been happening. I didn't know your sister is moving. But that will be cool that they will be living closer.

So yes I have been able to see Elder Bednar's videos on the pattern of light (all three parts). I have used them before in teaching and sharing. Definitely I can't imagine what it would be like to not have technology doing the Lord's work. Especially cell phones. With the amount of times that people forget about appointments or don't show up, I am glad we have cell phones to check and confirm. We have even found out that Japan missionaries have iPads right now.

I am sorry I don't have really much to say or feel like saying in part because of talking with you next week, but also in part because my mind is kind of blank. I will copy over what I shared with President Blickenstaff so my email has more substance. 

Hey President!
It feels as each week goes by (this one being no exception) that I progress just that much more. It definitely feels like climbing a mountain. Sometimes it is hard, grueling, and challenging. At other times it is exhilarating, fun, and awe-inspiring. But I always come away on Monday looking back as I am higher up the mountain and seeing all the valleys and areas I had just climbed from. I especially appreciate how President Uchtdorf puts it that we come to appreciate and understand the valleys of tribulation and trials as we look back on them from the mountains of future experiences.

Over this past week I have felt the Lord continually touch my life. Myself I am working striving towards achieving more and more worthy thoughts but especially more is handling and establishing between perfectionism and healthy, striving thoughts. I have very much come to know and understand that this transformation I desire and wish for will not happen instantly in one day or even one month. But my goal is that by the time I come home from my mission I will have learned, grown, and developed more in myself to be forgiving of myself, to be more childlike optimistic, to enjoy the wonders and awes in life, and learn to manage and handle the expectations and stresses in my life (whether from dropping things, to changing my view, to turning to the Lord).

And that is where over this past week I have felt such great desire and urging when study time comes in the morning that I just want to dive into the Book of Mormon. Like I said from a few weeks ago I have taken to studying the Book of Mormon from the beginning as I focus on faith and faith in Christ. I feel so energized and excited to get to read and learn more. I guess from this past week in learning I feel that I wish to take a step back a little more to not put myself under so much pressure as well as really coming to find the confidence in myself that I feel has slowly leaked out over the last little while. I felt so much the difference in effect as I have more confidence in myself (which includes enjoying life, having fun, but working at my best capacity) and not having so much confidence in myself. It's a work in progress and I am always thankful for all the support that is around me, including you.

Love ya!
Elder Dayley

April 27, 2014 Letter to a friend

Hey HHH,

This might be a little chaotic in response, but I am going to go through as quick as possible and share with you my feelings.

I can definitely understand your being more stressed and under pressure from school. Definitely when I was at college I had some pretty busy and stressful times. Sadly I actually regret that I didn't turn to the Book of Mormon or other scriptures more at that time to have a time to be edified. Missionaries want to check up on you to want to encourage you. No one is perfect and definitely us missionaries aren't perfect or best. Sometimes our meanings or our invites and desires can come across in the wrong way. Especially when we have come from different backgrounds and cultures. 

There desire is that an early time in your life you can develop the habit of turning to the scriptures not just to read because it is told to be read. But rather that you have the desire to turn to it because you are seeking comfort, you are seeking peace, you are seeking answers, or that you may be strengthened. Same with prayer. The encouragement or very much the constant reminders come now so that in your future when the trials and challenges come where you are utterly alone, when you are backed against the wall and your faith is tested, when you will need to make a choice between standing with God or forsaking him, you will have already solidified and fortified your faith through constant nourishment of the word of God that you won't think twice about your decision to always stand with God.

Of course it comes completely to your decision how and when you wish to come closer to God. That is one of the greatest and best parts but also sometimes one of the most frustrating and hard to understand parts in this life we have and the plan Heavenly Father has prepared. Agency is given to every single person. Missionaries and others reach out so much, encourage so much, and follow up so much because we have felt these things to be true. We know them to be true. We understand and know Heavenly Father's plan. We understand that death is not the end. But that when death comes and we haven't lived according to God's laws and done the things He has required of us in this life, it will be very difficult if not impossible to change our choices and actions and thoughts after death (particularly if we had learned and heard of Jesus Christ and his Restored Gospel and chose to reject it). That is why with so much vigor and energy that missionaries or others call out to you and encourage you. I myself have passed through some very hard, very lonely, very miserable, very hurtful trials and sins. Having to live with some of the consequences of those sins is not easy. But through Christ I have obtained so much peace and calm in my life. This is what I desire and wish to share with you, with everyone that I meet. To warn them, to protect them, to help them to not go down some of the paths I have already trodden. To help point them to this peace, this comfort, this calm, to eternal life.

I also yes realize that you are not 20 yet and through much of your expressions how that your parents in very large parts oppose getting baptizing or any association with church. I also realize and understand the missionaries  push to try and be baptized before 20. It is because Satan, the enemy to God and all righteousness, is not going to rest easy with your desire to be baptized or to come unto God or to join His true church. He will work harder than ever throwing any and all temptations, doubts, and uncertainties at you. I will share with you about a man named TTT. I met him in my first area here in Taiwan. He had a testimony, he truly had received answers that the Book of Mormon was true, and desired more than ever to keep God's commandments and be baptized. He was not 20 yet. His mother opposed him being baptized. We tried everything we could to help in overcoming the opposition. But the mother never let up. He went to college then in Taibei. He very seldom came back. Then one day shortly before my companion was going to go home he felt impressed to call him. He talked with him and found that when he was at college he didn't go to church, he wasn't reading or praying, had met some Buddhist information and brochures, and now questions everything he had learned, felt in his soul, and received answers. I don't know how he is now. But it broke my heart to see a man who left so determined with a knowledge of the truth to completely doubt everything and no more have a desire to be baptized. That is why they push hard on trying to be baptized, because very much there are many forces from the devil that are working against you and not wanting you to receive these special and specific blessings.

I will never have the experience and understanding of having family opposition to what I desire to believe and follow. When we come to a knowledge of the truth though. That when we know that God exists and that He is real, has a perfect body, and knows each and every single one of us. When we know there is a plan provided for us to live eternally. That the authority to enable this gift exists on the earth today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Then we cannot deny it, we cannot turn back, or we turn our back on God and everything that He has given us. We at times need to be bold and courageous. We don't argue or ridicule or criticize others or their beliefs. But we do need to stand for truth, stand with Jesus Christ, and even if that means we need to stand alone. There is a talk by President Thomas S. Monson from the General Conference a few weeks ago. I believe it was in the Priesthood Session that he shared specifically about being courageous and doing what is right. I strongly encourage to take the 10-15 minutes in your day to read through this talk. It will help to bolster and uplift your own faith and courage. 

 God has created us in His image, Man and Woman, so that they may be joined together in marriage and rear families. There is a reason that only a man and a woman can create life and bring a child into this world. It is how God has established it and provided for the greatest joy, peace, and happiness to be obtained in this life and in eternity. Through the family reared and headed by husband and wife, man and woman. There is an article the the Prophet, First Presidency, and the Quorum of Apostles came out with 14 years ago. It is called "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". I also strongly encourage you to read this (also about 10-15 minutes). I promise as you take the time to read this it will help you to better understand and bless you more than ever. It will give you a chance to take a break from all the studies and I know that God will see your efforts and desires and will bless you in your life more than ever, especially in recalling and remembering all that you have studied for your midterms.

Lastly I have never felt more than on my mission the blessing that comes from attending church. It has touched and transformed my life more than ever. I have felt it uplift my life, help to soften my heart, to heal an aching and broken heart. Don't give up now. Go and ponder. Pray to God, the one who understands your situation more than anyone else and will help you to overcome, face, and triumph the challenges and trials that are in your life at this time.

My time is up, but pray earnestly that you will ponder on the things I have shared as well as others. Pray over these things. Remember the answers and the truth you have felt in your heart. 

I hope all is well with you and that your future will be even greater!

Elder Dayley

April 20, 2014 Letter

Well first to share about Elder Oldham. Elder Oldham is a great companion! He has been a lot of fun to be with but also a really good example and inspiration to me. He has helped to teach me so much and has many admirable attributes and qualities. Elder Oldham is from Colorado. He comes from a family of 7 (an older brother who also served in the same mission, an older sister, him, a younger brother, and a younger sister). Both his older brother and sister are married. Elder Oldham as well has played soccer for most of his life and yes he is a Colorado Rapids fan (grrrrr......). So can probably have some fun with that. In a lot of ways it seems like he has a similar background. Soccer, playing video games, all around a good guy. But so one of the greatest things I admire and wish to learn more from him is having an upbeat, optimistic, and positive outlook on life and the work in general. He always seems to be alright well what can we do about this or what can be done. Something I really wish to think more on rather than looking in eyes of a sense of how can this fail or go bad or won't work.

Now as for brother QQQ. He is going to be a lot of work right now and I pray that his heart will really be open to the truth. If not we may have to drop him. He had a baptismal interview last Saturday night, but he didn't pass it. We have more sense and direction knowing how to help him. But his needs and problems involve a lot with believing that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer but not our Savior (believing that more in a sense from Buddhist beliefs that we are really the ones that come to save ourselves). Then there is a major problem about his belief in and about that this church is not the only true church of Jesus Christ. This comes from him believing that there is yes only one God, but that all religions are good with them all just having different names for this one God. So he believes that this church yes really was restored by Joseph Smith and really is a true church of God, but not the only true church of God and Jesus Christ. Then there is about the Word of Wisdom that if God doesn't want us to partake of those things, then why do they exist in the first place. Then about Tithing he has a problem about feeling the money given does not need to be money but can be talents or abilities. For the most part our biggest hurdle we are going to try and tackle is about the only one true church of Christ. He expressed talking about that Christ and Christianity started in Jerusalem and moved west. Buddhism started in India and moved east. So they then are two separate religions and can then be both true churches of God. Of course Elder Oldham and I already know the true answers to these and how to share the truth with him. We just are uncertain about sharing so much with maybe not a solid foundation that he could reject it. We know that the 12 tribes were scattered across all the face of the earth. That starting from Adam the gospel had been taught as well as the Plan of Salvation. So when these tribes were scattered, they had that knowledge and teaching but over time being scattered they most likely began changing thoughts and beliefs to create the many different religions. This happened well before Buddha (I can't remember his actual name right now). Then as well we know through the Book of Mormon that after Christ visited the Americas he spoke of going and visiting the other lost tribes from the isles of the sea to other areas. So we know that Christ still did minister and teach other people. It's just a matter of now praying with all sincerity and humility that the Holy Ghost can be with us when we teach brother Lin tomorrow as best we can sharing truth with him. Then praying with all might that he will choose to accept rather than reject.

But you know what we had fun this past week. We worked hard. We didn't have a lot of lessons, but we did find 2 new investigators who have set up to meet again after a first time visit. We have joked a lot, have had fun being with each other, and even one day we biked 42 kilometers as we went to work.

Elder Dayley