Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mission Letter 11/16/2015

Dear family and friends,

We had our first choir rehearsal for the Missionary Christmas Choir. Our first performance is in three weeks, which will have given us in total four times where we met together to practice. But that's okay; I believe in simplicity, as long as it sounds good. So, all the songs we are performing are pretty simple, as long as we can learn those, we'll be good.

The Christmas choir is going to be such an awesome missionary opportunity. We already have about 8 or so events, whether those be wards inviting us to perform in their chapels, or outside events (we're scheduled to attend a Lion's Club event called, "Discovering Families," where there should be over 2000 people attending. We'll perform 4 15-minute segments over a 3 hour period, and in between, we'll go contacting all the families in attendance. It's going to be great!

We taught English Class this week. It's been a long time. Last transfer, they took out one group of missionaries from this area or this English unit, so we're finally needed again. But it was a nice respite (racking your brain every week for a new way to teach English can cause quite the headache, because you feel bad if you do thing they have done before). When we start teaching next week, it will also probably be the Kids class, which basically means minimal preparation and maximum singing in class. Any ideas on how to teach small children English?

We have a member of the Quorum of the Twelve coming in two weeks. Elder Stevenson, whose son is serving in the Taiwan Taizhong Mission, will also do a mission tour and training here in Taipei, since he's going to be here. So, we're looking forward to seeing him! The entire mission will be coming together (at once) for this activity. That's is literally something I have NEVER seen before, the entire mission in one place. Closest I've ever seen was half the mission in one place.

There is this foreigner who has been in Taiwan practicing his Chinese. He's been here for a month, and has lots of time, so he has offered to go with us to many of our lessons. Which is pretty cool. He also attends church with us afterwards in Chinese, just to kind of practice listening. His Chinese is really good, but his speaking is a little halting. But it's been lots of fun chatting with him and meeting with him, too. It will be fun using Chinese after the mission. 

This week we met with this investigator (a Christian of three years or so) who is telling us how the Plan of Salvation really ought to be. When my companion and I teach the plan of salvation, we have these little cards with pictures (like Premortal life, the Spirit World, etc.) that we've been using. When we placed them down on the table, we asked him to try putting them in order. After his attempt, we made a few minor corrections and began to explain each. At which point he put them back in his original order (which included placing the "Judgment" card over the "Life on Earth" spot, explaining that the reason things happened to us was because we were being judged. Some people also get a second chance, according to him, being born again and repeating the process until they do what they were supposed to do). When he finished, we were out of time (he talks a  lot) and we said we'd discuss this lesson more next time. To which he responded, "You don't need to waste your time teaching me this, I already understand it all." We'll keep working with him, if he's willing to learn some more. He's a really nice guy, and a member referral. He's really willing to come to church and everything (he likes the feeling of our church better). We'll see how he does.

We have this family who came to church. They are super cool! I think I talked about them last week. They have an 11 year old daughter. We met with them before church and shared the message of the Restoration, and a little bit about church history. We gave them a copy of the Book of Mormon, and they seem to perfectly understand its purpose, and are willing to read it. They're doing so well! Their daughter should be participating in the Primary program next week during Sacrament Meeting! We currently have their baptismal date goal scheduled for Christmas. That would be the best present of all.

Scripture of the Day: Jeremiah 29
 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
 14 And I will be found of you, saith the Lord...

I read a Liahona article a few weeks ago which talked of he Lord "being found of us." It says, the Lord is not trying to hide. Kind of like parents playing hide and seek with children, they hide in places where they'll be found. The Lord wants us to find him, so we must diligently seek him out.

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission