Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mission Letter 4/6/2015

Dear family and friends,

It's been a wonderful, HOT week here in Yuli. But we saw so many blessings and miracles!

First of all, yesterday, we got a phone call from the Assistants. Well, rather, they wanted to talk to my companion, but I answered the phone. And my companion, who goes home in two transfers, is going to "die a new father." Or, in non-missionary terms, he's training for the next two transfers, starting on Friday. Which means that I'm transferring this week again. I feel like, so far on my mission, I've moved around a lot... which I have...

We have one of the most amazing investigators right now. Her name is Sister Liu, I think I mentioned her last week. This past week, we had another lesson with her. We brought a member to the lesson that she hadn't met before, and we asked him to introduce himself briefly. As soon as he was done, she looked at him and said, "Okay. So how has learning the gospel changed your life?" And thus the entire lesson became devoted to answering her questions, as it usually does. She really thinks about the stories and things in the Book of Mormon; we're always so impressed every time we meet with her. We've known her for two weeks, and she's already almost finished 2 Nephi. That's faster than most Mormons would ever read the Book of Mormon. She asks us questions about the wars, about the reasons for the wars between the two groups of people, she tells us things she's learnt from the stories, and how ever since she met us and the gospel, her life has been so much happier. She set a baptismal date for May 16, and she chose the date herself. So, we're really excited for her.

Summer arrived this week. It's been up in the 90's, and man has it been hot! And this week is also a holiday weekend in Taiwan, called "Saomu." During this holiday, all the Taiwanese go back to their hometowns and go clean the grave yards. Saomu literally translates "tomb-sweeping." So, as a result of that, almost everyone in the Branch here, and all of our investigators went out of town, but Yuli was busier than ever before because more people came back to Yuli than left it. So, we had tons of finding time, which consists of biking up and down streets, talking to everything in sight that moves, and sometimes even things that don't. On Friday, we spent six consecutive hours outside (yeah, it was pretty hot), finding people. But we found some truly awesome people, who wanted to change their lives, turn themselves around, and one even wanted to serve a mission after meeting us. Of course, these people all became referrals for other parts of Taiwan, but that's no problem. Here, we call it "Team Jesus."

Last Monday for P-Day we went to the oceanside. Taiwan truly is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

I also reached my 6-months in Taiwan mark last Friday. We ate steak (very rare here) to celebrate.

Something I wanted to talk about this week is the power of the Book of Mormon. Our investigator, Sister Liu, says that ever since she met us/the church/the gospel/the Book of Mormon, her life has been so much happier. She explained to us how the story of Nephi breaking his bow but not complaining, when even his father was, has helped her have a new outlook on challenges in her life. She told us, that before the phrase, "How are you today," was just a phrase that has a rote answer, but since learning the gospel, that phrase has a lot more meaning to her; she can sincerely answer, "I'm very good. How about you?"

The Book of Mormon is special to our church. As the Prophet Joseph Smith said, it is "the keystone of our religion." "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God's dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel" (Introduction to the Book of Mormon).

"The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come."

That's a lot that the Book of Mormon does for us. The Book of Mormon changes lives. It tells us "what [we] must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come." That's pretty important. Everyone should read this book, right?

As missionaries, President Day tells us when we finish reading the Book of Mormon, to keep reading it everyday, in addition to whatever else we read. The Book of Mormon is proof that God still speaks to man in this day and age, and will still speak to you. The Book is true! Go read it again. Study it. Ponder it. Share it with others.

I hope you all have a 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.