Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mission Letter 6/22/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been an incredible week! Last Monday, we started our week with our Preparation Day, during which we went to a small theme park called Leo Foo Village. It was a ton of fun, even though there weren't a ton of rides. But it was fun to relax for a day; we even had a member go with us, so that was great.

Sometimes weeks can be simply exhausting. We have a couple investigators and less actives that we regularly meet with, and some weekly mission meetings, so that always carries us right up through Thursday pretty quickly. But then Friday to Sunday, we have close to zero appointments, and end up with day after day of being on the street contacting. It's exhausting sometimes, but one day it will pay off.

I guess our only struggle currently in this area is helping investigators progress. We do tons of finding, and much of the time, these people end up not living in our area. Sometimes the people we find simply do not want to meet again, and sometimes they simply cut off all contact with us. It's so frustrating when the person you think is "the one" (that will get baptized) starts dodging your calls and texts, reads your facebook messages but does not reply, etc. We have had a couple of people do that to us, so we often find ourselves back at square one.

We met with an investigator named Hook this past week; he's been an investigator for over half a year, and he often meets with the missionaries, but he doesn't come to church. He came two or so times when the missionaries started meeting with him, but only attended the first hour. In the past couple transfers, he's been progressing on and off; sometimes he'll read the Book of Mormon, sometimes he doesn't. Most of the time he prays. But church is something he says, "If I have time, I'll come," but never really will. So this past week, we had a lesson where we kinda started at the top with laying expectations; why he wanted to meet with the missionaries, what he expected to get out of it, etc. He revealed much to us, and we learnt a lot; he said that meeting with missionaries made him feel good, but that he didn't feel like church gave him that feeling. He likes the "learning" aspect, but since he'd never gone to the second or third hours of church either, he didn't know what they were like. He had no desire to church because he felt like he didn't learn anything, and Sunday's also the only family time that they have during the week. But we committed him to come to church again; we explained what the Sacrament actually represented (which he didn't know), what we do after Sacrament Meeting, and he said he'd try to come this week! We're excited to see if he actually does.

We had exchanges with the Zone Leaders this week. I was with Elder Griffin, who is in my "generation," meaning we came out at the same time; we were in the MTC together, and on the same plane to Taiwan. He went from being Junior Companion in a regular companionship, straight to Zone Leader last transfer. He was so surprised. But he's an awesome guy. His companion goes home at the end of this transfer (which is Friday), so he will be training the new Zone Leader next transfer.

This week is transfers. President Day goes home next Tuesday, and we'll have a new Mission President, President Jergensen. Since my companion and I have already been together for two transfers, we will probably get split up this week. I might move, or he might move. But because I've only been in the area for two transfers, we're guessing he will move, and I will stay. We find out Wednesday night.

This past District Meeting, we had a small lesson on the difference between Ammon and Abinadi. We created the following chart, which was very informative to me. 

Baptisms: 0
Converts: 1
Length of Mission: 2 years
Results: Church among the Nephite people, Alma baptizes 204 and 450 leave the land of Nephi with him, Nephite history influenced and changed. Because of one man.

Baptisms: 7 Lamanite Cities and 7 Lamanite lands, and one Amalekite
Length of Mission: Longer
Results: A peaceable Lamanite people, thousands upon thousands brought to the knowledge of God.

Though Abinadi thought he might have been a failure, he literally changed the course of history. Another thing that was pointed out, was that Ammon was also a result of Abinadi's efforts; Abinadi converted Alma the Elder, and his son, Alma the younger, was with Ammon and King Mosiah's other sons, and they were all converted together. So, though Abinadi didn't know what happened, it literally affected both those nations. Even if he didn't feel successful, he did more than he ever thought he would.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission