Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mission Letter 11/30/2015

Dear family and friends,

This week was super busy, and had a wide variety of activities that took up a lot of our time. 

On Monday, it was P-Day. We had choir practice. Our second to last practice before our first performance. The time is coming. So is the stress.

On Tuesday, Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve visited. The entire mission came to the Mission Headquarters, and we all sat in the chapel to listen to his training. We filled the entire chapel (but didn't spill into the cultural hall). No one sings as loudly or as powerfully as a group of 200 missionaries, shoulder to shoulder in a chapel. I was asked to play the organ for the day, which was also really fun for me. The choir performed, the training was super good.

One of the things that I learned most from the training was about how to help people keep commitments. That's one of the most important things in missionary work, is commitments. Regardless of whether we're working with less actives, investigators, or members, almost every lesson, you will hear the word, "Invite." This word's meaning completely changed for me here on the mission. In every interaction, we invite people to act. Unless people act, they won't change. One privilege we have as missionaries is to promise blessings for action. That's truly amazing; we can promise people that as they obey certain commitments or commandments, things in their life will change, and we can promise specific blessings. 

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Assistants. They did this strange thing where we both stayed the night at their area. Our areas almost border each other, so going back to our area to do missionary work during the day isn't too hard; nevertheless, we spent most of the time in their area. Which was ok; we got a pizza lunch buffet from that. Members in Taiwan are super nice; they were eating lunch, and any companionship they saw walking by outside was invited in (when you're around the temple, that's quite a few companionships). 

Thursday wasn't terribly special. 

Friday was Mission Leadership Council. There's some really cool stuff that they taught us about obedience, faith, and also just finding people to teach. They related missionary work to fishing. And when we go finding, we go fishing, but not gutting, scaling, cooking, and selling. Just finding. When we're teaching on the street, we're not trying to convert them, just trying to help them have a second chance to meet with us someday, and learn more. The mission thing here is that in the first lesson, we invite to baptism. So, on the street, the main topic of the conversation is baptism, and how it will change their life. The vision is that every person that we have a conversation with on the street is invited to baptism (and, at very best, sets a date). 

Saturday was a day full of finding. What we did was put into practice everything that we learnt about yesterday. We actually had a pretty successful finding day, but many of the people we met are also referrals to give away.

Sunday was awesome. We had an investigator family that we're currently working with come to church. It was also the Primary program, which was fun. It always is. The children were cute, the investigators enjoyed it, etc. We're so excited for this one family. The goal for them is to be baptized on Christmas, so now we're just trying to meet with them often enough to get all the lessons finished.

Everything is going well. It's incredible that it's almost Christmas time. Feels a little surreal. This coming week, our choir performances start. Music is an incredible way to meet new people and bring the Spirit. So excited!

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Sequoia Ploeg

Taiwan Taipei Mission