Preaching the Gospel in Taiwan

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baptism is still sweeter than being a District Leader

Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Coffee,

Well, it's the beginning of a new Move-Call here in the Taiwan Taizhong mission.  When the Move-Call comes many missionaries get very excited as to where they will move, who their new companion will be and so on and so forth.  I don't typically get very involved, and even less so knowing that I would likely be with Elder Magnuson for another Move-Call.  Most people stay in one area for 3-4 Move-Calls.  I having been here for three, assumed I would be here for another and considering the odd circumstances in which Elder Magnuson came in the first place, the assumption seemed more and more accurate.  Well, I was right.  I'm still here in Nanzi and thank heavens.  I love it here.  Nanzi is the promised land.  We have many investigators that are primed for baptism and we're doing our best to work them to that point.  Speaking of baptism, we baptized last night.  He's a great young man who loves the Lord.  His scriptures are already well marked as he daily studies them.  He's phenomenal.  I want him to go on a mission. Elder Magnuson is excited to be here as well.  We're going to keep working and working until we can't work any longer.  I hope I don't only have six weeks left, but the pattern says I do.  It's never set in stone though.

A young man in our ward just got back from his mission two days ago.  That's a bizarre feeling to say the least.  Things are so normal as soon as you return.  He was in regular clothes doing regular things.  He even had his own cell phone. I don't want to go home.  He said on the train ride home he didn't have his tag on because he had just been released.  He said he felt naked with out it.  I never want to take this tag off.  I want to feel more different than I think I will feel at that time.  It's a scary thought to me that I can't articulate very well.  I feel so not normal, and I love it.  I don't want to feel normal.  I need to change more so that I will never feel normal again.  I still feel young on my mission, but it must not feel that way for you?  Elder Jensen is even coming home soon.  Why is time moving so fast?  I can't help enough people fast enough.  I feel like I'm trying to catch smoke that keeps traveling faster and faster. 

I can't believe the weather in Utah right now.  I'm happy to be here.  The weather is actually warming up a bit already.  I never feel uncomfortable in short sleeves anymore.  There were only a handful of days and mornings were I did.  Right now is great and the weather just keeps on improving.  I don't really care for the cold.  Hopefully next Winter in Utah won't be like that.  I don't really want that to be my first impression of returned life.  It's already going to be intensely difficult.

That's a little crazy about Dad's work.  I hope things go smoothly and it's not causing too many headaches.  You all work so hard, and I admire your diligence in all aspects of life.

Church begins at 1:00p.m.?  That's pretty crazy.  It has been beginning at 9:00a.m. for a long time for me.  The church is much smaller here in Taiwan so there are very few places were there are multiple wards in the same building.  I had it once in my second area and what they did is had church backwards and began at 8:30a.m.  I don't think I would mind when church is no matter what anymore.  My outlook on the Sabbath Day is totally different.  The entire day is the Lord's so there is no start and stop time on it.  I plan to be in my church clothes all day and to be studying and working to help others.  I don't want to feel like my Sabbath ends when church and home teaching do.  I felt like that's how I used to be a bit.  I don't intend to do that anymore.  The Lord gets 24 uninterrupted hours of my time and attention.  That's the very least I can do.

The dogs sound like a hoot.  I need more pictures.  The house, I feel, will look dramatically different upon my return.  I'm excited for the prospect of all the changes, but of course I am a very nostalgic person.  I'm much more accustomed to change now though, considering things often change for a missionary and it is always at unexpected times.  My perspective has changed from holding on to the good of past to constantly improving to a seemingly unattainable future.  Things need to be improving or they are digressing.  That's how I view myself, the church, etc.  If we're not working toward something that stretches us, our minds, our reach, etc, what on earth are we doing?  We need to be growing and developing.  That's what God wants us to do, so let's get to work.

It's true.  I have much less than a year left.  My time grows very short.  I don't know how mom could say it hasn't flown by, because when I return it may feel like it never happened.  I pray that you all will see a change in me that is undeniable.  That pre-mission Elder Woolsey and post-mission Elder Woolsey are the same vessel, but not the same person.  I just want to be an instrument in the Lord's hand, constantly on His errand.  The time is far spent, there is little remaining.  Any thoughts?  How can I work harder and change more?  I've read Elder Bednar once say that we are like electrical conductor cables.  We must constantly try to be as pure as possible so that the electricity (or Spirit) can course through us uninhibited.  I feel like constant improvement is how we do this.

Thank you again for such a wonderful email.  I love you all so much.  You are the greatest family anyone can ever ask for.  I just apologize that it took me this long to open my eyes this wide to appreciate you this much.  I know that what I am doing is right.  I know that what you are doing is as well.  This is the Lord's work so let's take an active part in it, shall we?

- Elder Woolsey

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