Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mission Letter 7/27/2015

Dear family and friends,

What an excellent (nevertheless short, due to Temple Day being last week, thus having a shorter elapsed period of time between the last email and now) week it has been!

We had a baptism this week! Brother Guo was baptized on Saturday, and barely made it to his confirmation on Sunday.

As for the baptismal service; sometimes I get a rather cold feeling from the ward. No one showed up aside from the ward mission leader, elders quorum president, one member of the bishopric, and about 5 other people. It was also planned in a very rush-rush way; the Ward Mission Leader said he'd set up everything, and when we showed up, every speaker was called upon from the attendees; none of them knew they were going to be sharing until they were invited at the service. So I was very disappointed and will do more of the setting up myself next time.

As for the confirmation, Brother Guo gave us quite a fright. His problem is that he works at a family restaurant, and doesn't normally get off work until after 2 PM, but church starts at 1:30 PM, so he leaves early at 1:00 to come to church. He normally makes it by 1:30, but sometimes he's a little late. Yesterday, he was a little later; we were waiting the whole time outside for him to come while they were doing announcements, and I prayed that he would be able to show up on time, and that there would be more announcements than usual, because evidently the rule is, if they don't show up before the Sacrament is finished, then they have to wait until the next week before they can be confirmed. But as long as they're present for the Sacrament, they can still get confirmed that Sunday. And yesterday, there were tons of announcements, and then before the meeting started, they also had a small announcement and "speech" of sorts for a recent convert who recently passed away (she was an older lady) and had her funeral yesterday (which we also attended).

Then they had the opening hymn, a few more announcements, then the Sacrament hymn started, and we were starting to give up hope; at least, I was. Then Elder Varney spotted him outside, walking slowly up to the church from the MRT with another one of our investigators. So we booked outside to drag him into the chapel, told him to run, and Elder Varney said, "Guo Di Xiong! You've got to get zhengshi'ed!" Some excellent Chinglish there (it means, you have to get confirmed), which was ok because his English is actually pretty good. So he was there, and he got confirmed, but the timing was literally "by the skin of our teeth."

We have some very awesome investigators with baptismal dates for August; at least two should be baptized, with the possibility of quite a few more. We have a Sister Ju, and a Sister Huang, and they're both progressing very nicely, and have a desire to be baptized, and are on schedule for their date, which is awesome and we're really excited for them. 

Sister Ju is actually a flight attendant, and she keeps bringing Elder Varney back Hello Kitty stuff from wherever she flies to, etc. Because, believe it or not (and this is extremely scary), my companion is a big fan of Hello Kitty, and he has stuff all over the house; posters, little stuffed animals, glasses (like cups), towels, and a shirt he acquired a couple weeks ago. But anyway. Our investigator just loves making fun of him, and it's quite hilarious.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi2:26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

We are free forever, to act for ourselves, but the only thing we cannot escape is the punishment of the law at the great and last day. Prepare for it!

Life is good. I'm really enjoying my mission, and Taiwan, and time is truly flying fast. It's almost Christmas! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission