My dearest family!
It was so great to get some emails and a package and a letter from all of you this week! Oh it is just so special to hear from each of you! Like I have said before I appreciate my family SO much more now that I am out in Taiwan! These experiences truly change you as a person! Oh how I love these experiences that sanctify us!
This week was beyond special! Some wonderful things happened and just we saw miracle after miracle after miracle! On Saturday I got the sacred privilege of baptizing Lin Xing Jian. I sent some pictures so you could see! It was so special to be a part of his conversion process and baptize him. It is actually a really interesting story. He has been so willing and 100% faithful to do everything we ask of him. We have met his family multiple times, but Saturday morning we got a call from the branch councilor saying he had just got a call from Lin Dx and his father had told him that if he got baptized to not bother coming home. and his wife started being against it as well. in Chinese we call this opposition fandui and so we had a ton of fandui. in the end the church policy is not to split up families but to work on the problems then get baptized but he was determined to be baptized. He drove from Shueli to our house and we talked and Elder Petters shared the experience of King Lamoni and how his father also opposed him. He resolved he would go back home and talk with his family. Eventually he convinced his dad to have a different view of it but that he was going through with it. A ton of the ward members had thought the baptism was canceled so had gone places for the weekend, but we got a small humble gathering together ran to the church and filled up the font and Lin Xing Jian was baptized and then yesterday confirmed a member! I will always remember the faith of this man, in the face of opposition he stood boldly and his actions said, “I will prevail”. We can only imagine the good this man is going to do in the church. Satan tried one big last push to stop him. But we just love him with all of our heart! His testimony coupled with his faith is remarkable! He has fully confidence his family will accept the gospel and become an eternal family!
We are teaching a man that Liao Bei Bei referred to us (he is the funny old guy I sent you a picture of). He is the best, he walked into our English class and handed us a piece of paper with a name and number and in broken English said, “He needs to repent” then walked back out. It really took us back but he has turned into a GREAT investigator. Liao Bei Bei brought him to the baptism cause he thought we were going to baptize him too (there is a mission standard they must come to church 3 times before baptism though so although we would’ve been happy to we couldn’t). This man is a farmer that lives WAY up in the mountains! It was kinda scary driving strait up the mountain when we went to his house. He lives a super humble life. He is extremely poor yet he finds a way to smile and always be happy and willing. When we started teaching him this week Liao Bei Bei (we love him) had already taught him the word of wisdom with his own little twist which made it kind of funny. “You cant smoke, drink tea, or coffee, alcohol, or chew binlang. But when you mess up and do it anyway you have to repent a lot.” That’s the just of it. Anyway this man can’t read or speak guoyu (Chinese) he speaks mostly taiyu (Taiwanese) so we teach what we know in Taiwanese then Liao Bei Bei translates the rest! It has been great to see him progress and pray to know of the truths we teach him!
I am so grateful mom made me study the piano at least a little when I was younger. She always told me, when you are on your mission there will be some little ward who will need you to play. Quite honestly I never believed her. hahaha! Oh how wrong I was! I never dreamed that I would be in the middle of a jungle and just about every Sunday asked to play a hymn for someone. Oh boy it is hard and it takes A LOT of faith. Although I can play, I really can’t sight read. Because I played one of the songs I knew once they automatically assume Bao Zhanglao (me) knows how to play every hymn. So now they just tell me what one to play. I have been learning (with the help of the Lord through a plead for some quick help) to sight read music. I am surprised how I stumble through a song pretty fluently the first time I have ever played it. That never happened before my misson, it is an absolute miracle every time I sit down. I just think, ok here we go. Heavenly Father I am acting please help me, and he truly does! Miracles do happen today no matter how large or small!
I have come to find I am just made for Taiwan! I absolutely love it here, I get to bike everywhere, there is tons of fruit, I get to study mandarin! Oh life is wonderful! Though it is HARD and challenging the good always outweighs the difficulties of missionary work. This type of service is unrivaled. I feel a fulfillment in my life that I never have before! I love these people with all of my heart because I pour it out to them all day long! Continue to pray for our area! There are so many people who are prepared we just need to find them!
My dear family I love each of you with all of my heart! Stay strong, keep the faith for when we follow the commandments therein lies true happiness! I bear witness our savior lives! His hand is abundant in our lives! Look for it write it down, I fill up notecard after notecard of his tender mercies! And lastly remember smile and look up its better that way!
Well I am off to sun moon lake for preparation day with some other elders that are being transferred out of our district this move call! (crazy I have been out a whole transfer now) Till next week! 😀
-Elder Bailey/Bao Zhanglao