Monday, March 25, 2013

A prophets call!

Wo Ciai de Dixiong jiemeimen, Dajia hao! :)

WOW!!!!! This week I was blown away! So When I came to Taiwan there were about 6 of us, maybe a little less. And the group after had 8 I think. Well we heard this week that the next move call (transfer) will have about 22 NEW MISSIONARIES!!!! HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!? The youth heard the call of the prophet and they are responding!! It is amazing! I got a letter from Chloe Capener this week asking about a mission and whether or not I ever had doubts. I was thinking about this in relation to the news I had just heard and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts. OF COURSE I had doubts and worries, but I also put my trust 100% in the Lord. Why do you think the age was lowered? It is because the work is hastening, he has prepared people and he needs us to go and gather, to work with our savior and harvest. He suffered and Died for us, the VERY LEAST we can do is to go out and to do his work with him. The other thing I thought was about how much this is just a once in a life-time experience. Yeah you can go as a couple and do other amazing and incredible things like that, but nothing will ever be the same as going out as a 18-mid20 year old boy/girl and serving a full time mission. I am so thankful and feel so blessed for the opportunity to go serve this mission. I have said it before, but I will say it again, for anyone who is thinking about serving a mission but is not sure, JUST GO AND DO! Now of course council with the Lord, but I can't imagine the Lord saying "no, don't go save your brothers and sisters, you have more important stuff to do back home." I just can't picture it. I was thinking about what we are really doing out here and I read a scripture in D&C, all I could think about was after this life, the kind of relationship that I and those that through the Lord I found out here. How much we will love each other and how special that connection will be, the "you found me and didn't give up, you helped me" relationship...gosh it is just so amazing! And if you have any specific questions or anything about a mission or anything like that at all and FEEL FREE to write me and ask/talk about anything...but really....feel free to write ;) haha.

Okay, I'll get off my "get out and serve the Lord horse" for now :)

P.S. Dane, my brother! I am so proud of you! Go get 'em mate! People really will recognize you and YOU will be the only one able to touch those peoples hearts, so don't let anyone pass you by! Maybe use those big arms of yours to draw some people in ;). So remember who you are and represent the Lord!

So what is that Teddy bear? Well...It is a note and a teddy bear from one of my english students!


I wasn't sure if I was allowed to accept it because it is from a girl. But since she is a recent convert it is okay haha. His name is X (Shee-oong), well thats what she named him haha. I just thought it was so funny. And of course the other Elders wouldn't let me live it down after having her walk in and hand it to me! I love my enlgish class! I especially love the last 30 min. which are saved for the "spiritual share!" I love it because I have a few members, a few investigators, and a few people who have ONLY english interest, however, EVERYONE stays to listen. My Dad recently sent a picture to me that he drew about me holding a Book of Mormon and preaching to a class, well I was SO blown away when I got that letter because that week I had decided in my spiritual share to talk about the Book of Mormon and its importance! I Did exactly as the picture showed, and at the end I had brought a bunch of Copies of that AMAZING book and everyone that didn't have one already came up after and got one! IT WAS INCREDIBLE! Whether they grabbed it because I said that they should, or because it was free, or whatever reason, it doesn't matter, the fact that they have it in their hands, in their house is enough. That Book will bring miracles! It reminds me of a story about my beloved Papa Jim. I would type it all out now but for the sake of time, maybe mom can either add an insert (like the Words of Mormon :) but Words of Shannon haha) or you can ask her about the amazing story!

OH MY GOSH, I am so glad I take little notes in my planner to write about haha.

Okay, CHASE AND GAGE!!!!! MY BROTHERS!! I just could not stop thinking about you this week!! You know why? (Don't judge for what is about to be said), so I like to sing as I am biking as you know and all that, and one day, I don't know how or why but I just started singing the pokemon theme song! Haha oh gosh...But as I was singing I just realized how much it applies to missionary work! You can pretty much insert "God's Children" in for the word "Pokemon" and all the sudden it is a Missionary song! "Gotta catch 'em all!" "Our courage will pull us through, you teach me and I'll teach you" I was like AHHH No way! Gosh, isn't it amazing how much Pokemon applies to the Gospel! :) haha.

So I have an investigator that I need some prayer power for! His name is J. He is 16, an AMAZING kid! First off he is SUPER funny. So one thing I have kinda got in a habit of saying here is "hooollyyy cow!" (only used when appropriate though of course). And J. is really into english and he has heard me say it a few times and he totally caught on. Oh my goodness it was so funny! We were biking together and his chain fell off, he looked down and said "what! What the...Hoooollllyyyy cow!...holy cow holy cow!" Haha I could hardly peddle I was laughing so hard. SO anyways, he wants to be baptized so bad, but his mom was not willing to meet with us so that we can explain what baptism is, and she keeps telling him no. Well finally this last week we got in and the mom was there! We taught a first lesson and it all went really well! She is now considering letting J. be baptized. She needs prayers so that she can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and let at least her son be baptized! My goodness that kid is so funny. He is always so happy! Don't you just love it when people are just always happy? He is one of those people that you can't wait to see again because being around them just makes you happy! Is that not an amazing Christ-like attribute!?

So can I tell you my favorite thing that happened this week? We have a phrase in the mission "you (yo) ban fa" and when you do something great you are "you ban fa!" So we have this little mini pamphlets and such that we can hand out because sometimes our contacts only last for about 5 sec but we want to 'leave something behind' so we hand out these little papers. Well...we pulled up to a stop light that had a little bit longer than usual, it was about 60 sec or so. Well a bus pulled up next to me...I wasn't gonna let this opportunity slip through my fingers! I got off my bike real fast and knocked on the window of the bus. Oh man you should have seen the drivers face! I was lucky that he opened the door, I think he might have just done it out of habit haha. But I got in and started handing out tracts (the little pamphlet things), starting with the bus driver and moving down to the end of the bus, just talking. Oh man people gave me such funny looks but most everyone took the tracts anyways. There were some highschool kids giggling and some old people with not too happy faces, but once I finished and walked off the bus with 2 seconds to spare I felt so "you ban fa!" I was so happy and so excited to go and do more work! I don't know if anything will come from my bus contacting, but I do know that it gives me such great joy to be able to say to myself that I am not going to let someone pass me by. Who knows, the Lord could have someone 100% ready on that bus! We need sometimes, to 'lean into the discomfort' and do things that push us so that we can accomplish the Lord's work! YOU BAN FA!


So one of the last things I wanted to talk about today was how much I love exchanges! We can always learn so much from everyone around us! My Zone Leader, Elder M. came down to stay with me and we took control of xiao gang together! Oh man it was a blast! Plus I got to watch a master contacter in action! He is so good with making friends quick! Especially because he has really good Taiyu (Taiwanese). People down here LOVE it when you can speak Taiyu with them. I have started to pick up things here and there so I use them pretty often because it really gives you stronger first connection. Anyways, one thing I learned was about being just 100% bold. Elder M. kept talking about being bold and how much it helps and so I decided to give it a try. I biked up to this drug stand and there was a guy there buying drugs and smoking. Instead of telling him "Hi I am a missionary" I said "what are you doing?! Smoking is so bad for you! You know you shouldn't smoke...why would you do that to yourself?" And you know what, it worked! We started talking and I found about about his family and how he wants to quit cause he has a son and all of these things! Now...I think that this situation could also have gone bad haha, you don't want to be the Elder that walked up to someone, rip a cigerette out of their mouth and started to ma them out ( them out in a forceful yelling way) cause they are ruining their body. (Yes some elder did that here). But to be bold in a nice and inviting way can have amazing amazing results! So be bold! :)

I cant find the words to explain how much this gospel means and what it can do and WILL do for anyone, no matter who we are. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

I know that this message that we share is true. It will bless you, it will bless your friends and family. Don't let it slip by!

I love you all!

Ge Zhang Lao