Hello my dear family! I hope you are all doing most excellent!
This week had some fun stuff happen! Lately this week, I have been thinking a lot about how we improve and each day become better than we are. I was put in a lot of new situations this week where I really learned from them. Us missionaries were asked to make the pies for our Thanksgiving party yesterday, but we quickly realized we would pretty much cook our whole Thanksgiving feast for about 30 people because no one knew how to cook mashed potatoes, turkeys, and pumpkin pies. I had always watched Mom make these things every holiday and kind of blew off her calling when she would ask to come help her cook it all. Anyways, I found myself in a situation where the responsibility fell on me to cook all the stuff above completely from scratch and I felt absolutely clueless. It reminded me of something Elder Bednar said, “We gain confidence from constantly being placed in situations where we are clueless.” Well this was me yesterday. Me and Elder Petters grabbed our little recipes both our moms had sent us and held on for dear life as we were handed these things they called pumpkins that looked more like a gourd and then a turkey with the head still attached. It was an adventure. We have come to learn to rely on the Lord in these moments and hope it works out. I just remember praying, “Heavenly Father, I have never cut a head off a turkey before, let alone cook one. Help us do this right and not get anyone sick.” In the end it all came through and everything was a huge success! Let alone we got some good pictures! I really know that as it says in Ether 12:27, “I make weak things become strong unto men” is true. Because it happens every day for me in the jungles of Taiwan.
We got to meet with the Rao family this past week and they are still doing great. They have now committed to a Christmas Eve baptism date! We actually currently have 5 investigators planning for that day! This week was power week and we really picked up the pace! We left the door an hour early every morning and just went to work! This week we met a ton of new investigators and picked up some old formers!
If you remember when we were teaching Liu Dx. He stopped teaching him for about 2 weeks but when we went back he told us he had seen a huge difference in his life from when he was following the commandments and then when he wasn’t. He told us right then and there, no matter what it takes, he wants to be baptized! It is things like this that exemplify the joy of missionary work. We crashed on our bed dead tired every night, but we got to see this dear man making these great changes in his life!
So something really special happened for Elder Petters this week. One of his investigators from his first area went to the temple to be sealed. If you are still in Taiwan when this happens, we get special permission to leave our mission and go to Taipei and attend the sealing. Elder Petters got to go to the Taipei temple and watch a family go through an ordinance that makes it possible to live together forever! It sounded pretty cool.
I got a kind of cool experience that day. While he went up to Taipei, I had one of the Assistants from Taizhong come down to Mingjian and he was my companion for the day. Except the catch was they had me be senior companion for the day. Wow, it is a little more tough when you are making the decisions of where we are going and what direction to take the day. I was truly blessed that everything went really smooth, as that day we had action packed to take a train to our further areas and stuff like that! I realized how blessed I have been in learning Mandarin Chinese. This language is hard but I could navigate us from one part of Taiwan to another with fairly no problem. Elder Palmer and I went to Shueli and really saw some great success with less actives and investigators. I really learned something from him. He said, “Elder Bailey, our job is to commit people to be better, to improve their lives and be eternally happy. Do not allow the words you use to show any reservation.” I had gotten in a bad habit of using the phrase shi shi kan (to try). I learned it is better phrased, yuan bu yuan yi (willing or not willing). The choice is simple, improve our lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ or live beneath our privileges. We each must make a stand.
My family I am so grateful for each of you! I hope you have a wonderful week and know I am praying for each of you everyday!