Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mission Letter 11/3/2014

Hello, everybody!

It has been a most excellent week. A very short week, and an extremely interesting one. Less happened to write about, because it was an extremely short week.

Last Wednesday, my last "Preparation Day" was also our mission Temple Day. So I got to go to the Taiwan Taipei Temple and do both Initiatories and Endowments. Initiatories were done both in English and Chinese, so I got to experience both. The Chinese was extremely fast and I could barely pick out words, but that's okay. Then the Endowment Session was all in English, so no headsets or anything; just one of the rooms did English. It was pretty cool; but the room is WAY smaller than any temple I've been in before.

That night, we then taught an English Class. Here in Taiwan, all the missionaries teach a free English class at the chapels, and everyone is welcome; they have Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced classes. In the area I'm in right now, the English program isn't doing too great. But we're working on that; every week, we spend two hours standing on the street handing out fliers. And now that it's in a nicer place, maybe more people will come.

The new chapel! The ward met in it for the first time this Sunday. It was magical! Because 1) how can a church 2) that is brand new = not be magical? The place was PACKED too. I didn't realize the ward was so big; somewhat later told me that a lot of people came from surrounding areas/wards because it was a new church, but no matter! It was still an awesome sight, every row taken, and just about full. Next week we'll see if it's full again, but if not, pretty soon us missionaries will fill it up. Especially now that we have a real baptismal font. No more baptisms in kiddy pools that might flood the church. It's so exciting.

Not much else happened in the past 4 days. We ride our bikes a lot, talking to people who are out walking. It's always sad when at the end of a contact, you realize that they're a tourist from a different part of Taiwan, and you can't ever meet with them again. Then you try and give the referral to the missionaries in their area, and start contacting again. It's less sad because you're still doing missionary work, but it just means you'll have to walk a little longer to find another investigator.

Last night we went to a New Member/Investigator fireside at the Mission Headquarters. They have this fireside every month, and it consists of talks, a short video clip, a musical number, and a missionary choir song. At last nights meeting, the DanShui "Mini Zone" (it's really a district, but it's one of the biggest districts around here, 10 missionaries, so some call it the DanShui Zone) sang for the musical number, 8 singers doing 4 part harmonies, and then me on the organ. It was a ton of fun, and it all sounded really good, too, because there's a lot of musical talent both in my District and in the Mission as a whole. So that was awesome.

And then they showed a video. It might be one you're familiar with, it came out a few months ago. It's called "Because of Him." Not only does it have excellent music, but it also goes on to kind of describe a little of what we can do because of Christ. It describes Christ; his humble beginnings, his short ministry, and then what we can have because of Him. Because of Him, we all will live again. We can all start again. And again. And again.

It is a missionaries purpose/job to "cry repentance until all people." It's a little scary, teaching people, and being like, "This is the repentance process, you must do this because you're not perfect." I've learnt a lot about the repentance process, because, as part of the third lesson, we teach it a lot.

But the part about repentance that is my favorite is best explained by this scripture: Mosiah 26:30, which says:
30 Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.

That's the promise we have from God. Repentance isn't a bad thing; we all need to do it everyday, because we're all not perfect. It's impossible to be perfect. Repentance isn't a sign that we're bad people or anything, it's something that should be standard, because everyone is imperfect. So don't feel bad repenting, because everyone needs to on a daily basis. Remember the Atonement isn't just for bad things we have done, it's purpose is also to help us become better.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission