Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mission Letter 3/20/2015

Hello, everybody!

It's been another wonderful, busy, busy, busy, week in Yuli! This week was filled with meetings, trainings, and finding (and lessons, of course). The temperature has also been more than magical; it's just been the perfect temperature, all week. But now it's starting to get warm again, so I'm getting scared again...

First of all, last Tuesday, we went to an all-day Zone Conference down in Taidong, from 9 AM to 5:30 PM, and then we had to catch a train home. So, that day was really busy. But President Day, when we first showed up, had some pretty good news for us...

Stake, Stake, Stake! President Day informed us that the District had reached 3 members over the minimum required number, and 2 active Melchizedek Priesthood holders over the minimum required number. A few days ago, he submitted (what would probably be called a) proposal application. He told us that a few minutes before the conference had started, he received an email from the Area 70, approving that proposal to be signed and submitted officially. At General Conference, the application will be given to the Church Boundary Committee, and then, if approved (eventually by the First Presidency), the Stake will be organized in June. So, everyone is so happy and pleased, and preparing to be attending the first Stake Conference on the East Coast in a couple months. If approved, the Taiwan Taipei Mission will be the only mission in the Asia Area not to have a District within the boundaries. 

Last week, for P-Day, we cleaned the house. Like, a ton. Deep cleaning too. And man, it was disgusting. Missionaries are pretty disgusting. I bet I found some stuff from like, 2 years ago. But now we have a wonderful, comfortable little house. It's very nice. And clean. I like clean. (Sorry, I'm not in the picture. But that's my stellar companion, Elder Gonzalez.)

This past week, I finally filled up my first journal. I started writing in that one the first day in the MTC. Wow. Things have changed a lot since I first went into the MTC until now. Life has changed a lot... the other creepy thing that I noticed, was how long I've already been on a mission. This week, on Saturday, I reach my 6 month in Taiwan mark, and next week, on Thursday, I reach my mission's 9 month mark. Time's flying!

President Day goes home in three months, and it feels like he's taking half the mission with him. At least, he's taking all the experienced missionaries with language and leadership experience, and the new Mission President (who we hope does not get delayed by not receiving his visa), will have a very young mission. It's going to be strange, going through the process of having a new Mission President. It will be very interesting to see what changes.

We also have a very golden investigator right now. Her name is Sister Liu, and she has come to church ever since we met her (two weeks ago, so for two weeks she's come to church). She also finished the 1st Book of Nephi in one week, and then started the second book; she started telling us stories from 1 Nephi, and the things she learned from it; the first week of church, she came to all three hours and then later told us what she learned from Gospel Principles; she already has met and memorized the name of every sister in Relief Society (we're a branch, so that's not too big), this week she brought a notebook to Sacrament Meeting and took notes, she asks the most amazing questions, and even though she doesn't have a baptismal date yet (every time we teach a lesson, her questions take up the whole time and by the end, we don't have time to talk about setting a date), we are almost positive she will be baptized next month. She said that she's been so much happier since she's started learning the gospel and coming to church, and she says that sometimes she's faced with situations and she'll think, "What would Jesus do?" That's something she learnt from Gospel Principles last week. She's amazing, we're really excited for her.

The church has recently submitted a new Easter video, entitled Because He Lives. It's about a 2 1/2 minute video about Christ's Resurrection, and what that means to us. It is a most amazing, powerful video, and as missionaries, we've been encouraged to share it with AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN. So, we use it on the street when talking to people; we just ask them to pull out the smartphone and watch it on Youtube. We share it when we visit members. We show it to less actives. We post about it and put it on Facebook (which I now have. You're welcome to go look at it, but the posts are in Chinese, and you can't friend or chat me). We use it all the time, and the First Presidency has invited all the missionaries to use it as much as possible, until this Christmas.

SO, to go along with that effort, I wanted to invite all of YOU people to go watch it too. It's very short, but really good. And when you're done watching it, put it on Facebook. Share it with all of your friends. And keep doing it. If you've always been confused on how to do missionary work, this is Missionary Work 101; put it on Facebook! Remember, even if none of your friends are nonmembers (very unlikely), missionary work is also to strong members of the church, not just investigators. So watch the video, share it (use the hashtag #becausehelives), think about how you can use the gift God has given all of us in your own life, and make a change. 

I hope you all have a most wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.