Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sept 15 Letter from Chris - 2 Baptisms!

Hey Mom!
So as for my package I am not exactly sure. No I haven't gotten it yet. If it has gotten here at all they would be holding it still in the mission home to wait and give it to me tomorrow at Zone Conference. Yeah tomorrow is Zone Conference and it is going to be big. We are having both the Taizhong zones meeting together (so pretty much a third of the mission). That is going to be way fun but it will be really uplifting and inspirational (which is something I feel I could really use and need more of right now). The focus is going to be completely on our purpose as a missionary. So really diving in good that it isn't just about lessons, seeing how many people you can contact, or how many people you can get baptized. But really about listening, resolving concerns, adjusting your teaching to each person, so on and so forth.

I remember you saying and mentioning that for the next month or so it is pretty busy with all the different kind of meetings coming up. I don't know if I have ever been to a regional conference at our home in Alpine. At least that I don't remember. Sounds like you had really good talks and lots more guidance, direction, edification, and uplifting. 

Well so, about the baptism............it was one of the most touching experiences ever really. Brother A had asked if I would baptize him, and since I would already be in the water (and Brother L didn't have any preference to who would baptize him) I would baptize Brother L as well. The sad part was that about an hour before the baptism, Eli (a member who is assistant to the Ward Mission Leader) told me that the Sisters's  two investigators (a mom and her daughter that I had done the baptism interviews for last week) were not going to be getting baptized because the Father/Husband opposes to them getting baptized. Apparently the Sisters had just found that out earlier that day. It was really sad and we have been praying for them that the Father's heart will be softened. The Mom and daughter will get baptized, it is just a matter of when. I feel a little sad because Sister Parkinson (one of the Sisters) had asked for a Priesthood blessing on Thursday, that I gave to her. I really prayed hard that the Spirit would inspire to know what to say and part of the blessing I talked of her taking comfort and joy in saying the progression of her 2 investigators getting baptized on Saturday. Well.....that didn't happen. I don't know. Heavenly Father definitely moves in mysterious ways and that there is particularly something else that needs to happen.

But so earlier that morning I was making sure I had everything for the baptism and what not, and went out the door thinking everything was good. Not until we were sitting in the baptism service right when it started that it dawned on me and I looked at Elder Williams saying "I forgot a spare shirt". We both just kind of went bright eyed and were like uh-oh what do we do. Luckily Elder Williams went out to go try and find a shirt. He came back and told me to not worry at all. So we went and did the baptisms. Brother L went first. We had earlier explained what would happen, but it must have either slipped our minds or he didn't understand quite exactly that I had to say the prayer first, because he at first just tried to kneel down and go under water. Then when I did say the prayer and went to baptize him he still went for the kneel again (like kneel praying if you are Islam) and so at first I was like what the but still tried to see if he could get fully emerged. Nope. So we did it again but Eli helped explain in Taiyu (which side note the difference between Taiyu and Chinese is probably not what you think. Not like the difference between US English and British English or like Dad thinks of Tokyo Japanese and further norther Japanese. It straight up is pretty much like the difference between English and Spanish. Seriously! Even probably a third of people in Taiwan don't know Taiwanese or Taiyu or can only understand it some but not speak it) to bend backwards and fall into the water. So on the second time it went all ok.

Then Brother A came in and he was pretty much straight forward and simple. He was already baptized once before, so he pretty much had a handle on it. Afterwards as we were in the bathroom and all changing really couldn't stop from smiling and it truly was a blissful feeling. Brother L was saying some things but I kept telling how happy a moment it was and he expressed how he really felt a good feeling. Brother A was happy and excited too (although his emotions don't always come through as much). Brother A afterwards though shared a really strong, solid testimony that even got some members afterwards to particularly comment on. 

So yeah I already said in the Picture email where Brother A was found. We met with him after church, gave a baptismal goal, then planned to meet with him again after English on Wednesday night. By that time we had prepared a baptismal planner (basically mapping out all that needs to be taught and happen before his baptism goal). So I had written out basically every lesson stuff that needed to happen just putting them on days thinking that it was a start and if needed to change could change. But nope! Brother A kept to that plan down to the exact point. There was even one time we had written down that we would meet with him but we had mentioned saying that we would teach those another day and hadn't even confirmed with him really that we were meeting on Saturday night. Now flip flop to me and Elder Williams in the car with K  (the other Taiping Elders' RC) and I get a call from the Dongying Elders saying that Brother A is at the church and telling them we were suppose to be there teaching him some commandments. So I talked with Borther A, apologized that we would not be able to meet because we were in the car heading down to Yuanlin to attend a baptism. He was fine with it and so on. Brother A is already on top of the game asking me about getting a triple combination as well as saying he wants one of the smaller hymnbooks. Which we are getting those tomorrow at Zone Conference and will give to him later in the week (as well as a triple combination for Brother L).

Brother L was found through tracting. Back at the last move call at the second to last week they did something called the no companionship left behind week (kind of funny that we made jokes about no child left behind). Basically what happened is they really wanted every companionship to get 3 new investigators that week, and if any companionship was struggling or having a harder time to let their leaders know. Pretty much what the Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and Assistants were doing the whole week was more just going finding over in others areas (those who were maybe needing a boost) to find new investigators. Our area was fine but the Assistants said they would be back in Taizhong on Friday and wanted to go on power splits with Elder Randall and I. So Elder Sumsion and I hit up one part of Taiping while Elder Randall and Elder Vandiford hit up another part of Taiping. That is when Elder Randall and Elder Vandiford found Brother L. They just talked briefly with him at the door and invited him to church. Then that Sunday he came to church. but we didn't get time to sit down with him. We set up though to meet with him the following Sunday before church. We had a member sit in with us who knew Taiwanese (who actually in my mind ended up being the perfect member to have in the lesson that first time, who we had just thought of the night before and asked to attend our lesson). We simply taught him about Heavenly Father and how the gospel blesses families, then felt impressed to invite him to be baptized. From there on we always tried to have a member help attend lessons because Brother L is from Tainan with a pretty unique accent and prefers to speak more in Taiwanese.

You will have to have fun with Cody and Pat over for pizza. Oh man good for Jaren. So funny that he hiked up Timp with a girl. Good date idea. I hope it goes well with them. I have been meaning to and thinking of emailing him. Just slips my mind or get so busy and caught up in emailing others.

I hope your studies are going well and that you are doing great. I love you lots and lots!

Elder Dayley