Preaching the Gospel in Taiwan

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rain and Broken Records

Mom, Dad, and Eric

     Well, where to begin?  There's so much to address and yet so little at the same time.  I'll start on my end again this week.  It has been raining buckets and today it is flat hot.  This week has been all about rain.  It's difficult to get some one's information when it is raining like you would not believe.  Our contact cards get soaked and so do our church tracts.  It's a little bit of a nightmare to be honest, but the blessings that follow are huge.  My companion says Summer is coming and we haven't even brushed the surface yet.  Supposedly it rains longer and harder and the it's incredibly hot when the sun is out.  I personally think today is really hot, but you know...what do I know? 

     This week, my companion and I got into a biking accident together.  Sound familiar?  Anyway, I was riding along and I saw a family that I really wanted to talk to so I hit my breaks and began turning around (I was leading). turns out that my companion was looking at the same family and had the same idea in mind.  Unfortunately, he was looking for a bit longer than he should have and I saw him flying toward me as I began to turn.  He ran into me and flew off of his bike (rolling two to three times before stopping).  That aside, his bike is super busted up.  He's totally fine (thanks to tender mercies of the Lord), but his bike took quite the beating.  The back part of the frame snapped off from the tire portion.  I didn't fall for some miraculous reason.

    Also, last week during English, my contacts finally started acting up.  I left my contact in even though it was hurting like crazy because I had no place to put it (big mistake).  My eye got really red and a headache ensued.  The next morning my eye was huge.  It hurt really bad and I couldn't open it to save my life.  Everything was a little fuzzy when I looked out of it.  I don't tell you this to get you worried, but I tell you this because it turned out to be a miracle.  My eye looked freaky and I had plans to go to the doctor.  At this time I was extremely humbled.  I went upstairs after the others made comments and took pictures and just began to pray.  I basically told the Lord that I was going to work harder and be smarter for the rest of the mission if He would just help me (it hurt and looked that bad).  Within the next two hours the swelling reduced completely and I could open my eye almost entirely.  I could see just fine as well.  By the next day it was fine.  I don't know why the Lord decided to bless me at that time, but I know that that's exactly what it was.  This may not seem like a miracle, but the Lord healed me.  I've been wearing glasses ever since because I'm a little afraid to try them again, but I really received a miracle.

    Another cool story:  Last week, while on exchanges, we met an American.  She saw my District Leader and me eating dinner on the side of the road and practically tripped over herself seeing us there.  She asked all about us and we shared the message of the Restoration with her.  She agreed to meet with us again.  We got her and English Book of Mormon and Bible and in the pouring rain we met with her again on Thursday.  Her first question was: "Was he really a polygamist?...ya know, your founder?" It was a rough start but it got so much better so quickly.  At the end, I bore testimony about how if she just tries she will know that what we said is true.  She paused for a really long time and said..."I'm kind of afraid that this is true.  Because if this is true, this changes everything."  The spirit was so strong.  It made me want to be an English-speaking missionary.  Then she told us that she was getting surgery done this make a long story short, we made plans to visit her (without her knowing) after her surgery.  We went to the only hospital we knew of (it's HUGE and obvious, therefore the only one we know of) and checked the database for her.  It turns out that she was there.  We went upstairs to see her and a nurse comes out and asks us to translate for her (because the nurse didn't speak English).  We said we could (we had a sneaking suspicion that it was her).  We entered the room and she was shocked.  She told us that she doesn't have any friends in Taiwan because no one speaks English (she doesn't speak a lick of Chinese) and said that when she signed the form asking if she wanted visitors she checked yes for some reason she didn't know.  She thought that our being there was a miracle and asked us to pray with her.  We brought her chocolate and pineapple and left.  It really was a miracle.

     The mission is full of these sorts of miracles.  To top it all off, Elder Haag and I (that day we went to the hospital) had ten lessons in one day and 35 lessons total this week (which is huge.  We broke Elder Haag's personal record).  He and I are seeing a lot of success, but not any baptisms yet....BUT....our golden investigator passed her baptismal interview!!  She just needs permission from her husband which shouldn't be...too hard...he's close to a baptismal goal himself.  If you could experience these things for yourself it would become impossible for you to deny the faith.
     That Snow White movies doesn't sound like it was very good although Thor is the man (he plays Captain Kurk's Dad in the new Star Trek ya know!)  Brave I bet will be good.  I would like to hear about that.  Batman and Spiderman sound like a lot of fun too.  I see ads all the time for Spiderman (I did for Avengers as well).  I've seen pieces of trailers on accident and it takes incredible willpower (only that of a missionary) to pull away right away.  It's so tempting, but I'm not about to waste my time or lose focus for a second.

     Happy Father's Day, Dad.  You're the greatest Father that a son could have.  I just wrote a card, but I want you to know that you mean everything to me and I will follow your incredible example forever.  Thank you for lifting me up so that I could get to this point.  I just hope you know that you mean everything to your son.

     With regards to the NBA.  13th pick is OK.  It's not great, but they could get a decent pick out of it.  They need to start trading and rebuilding is what they need to do.  Perhaps vie for a higher pick.  Go OKC!

     Care package...hmm...send food!  None of the boxes were opened at all.  I would suggest hiding money in package somehow.  Like slipping it in cracks or something, I don't know.  They just open the box and search it then resend it.  The box itself looks like a nightmare once I get it.  I still need deodorant, hair stuff, that poem (Someone's wish came true or whatever it's called), a nice letter from someone, a new tie or two would be great.  I don't care if the time comes from the bargain bin at Wal-Mart as long as it looks alright.  I just need some more variety.  I have hardly any ties and that's the only variety in my outfit that I get.  Maybe a pair of garments or a white shirt (if they're not expensive, if there's room, and if it's not too big of a deal because I don't NEED one).  Pictures would still be wonderful because the Taiwanese love them.  I'm not entirely sure what else.  I actually found deodorant this last week at this weirdo store for the first time, but it was TINY, like a travel sized one and it cost me over four dollars (which is a TON in Taiwanese terms).  It would have been a ton if it were a full stick.  I'm not sure.  Whatever you send will be lovely of course and I don't want to inconvenience you that much because I know it's super expensive.

     Of course I haven't mastered the language yet.  I want to see the person who mastered Chinese in five months.  I'll send a picture of my flashcards today.  I'm still working on it.  I can read whole passages from the Book of Mormon in characters.  That's still improving.  I can get along pretty well, but it's still a process.  Heavenly Father helps a ton.  If you want, in December, I can speak in Chinese for you.  You'll have to remind me however.

     This church is incredibly true.  I love my family and I love this gospel.  Thank you all for being an inspiration for me.  It drives me to work harder than ever.  I love you all. You should invite the missionaries over sometime. 

- Elder Woolsey

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