Preaching the Gospel in Taiwan

Sunday, April 21, 2013


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

Another week has blazed past and the speed of the mission just keeps getting faster and faster.  It's strange being with a companion who has less weeks left than I do months.  It's strange to think that at some point that will be me.  All of this talk of BYU and related things makes me frightened to go home.  I've forgotten so much.  I just don't think about home anymore (nor do I necessarily want to). 

Thank you so much for writing again this week.  I loved all of the detail in the email.  Asking many questions and stating lots of facts really allows the email to be full and easy to respond to.  With regards to BYU:  I don't know for an absolute certainty that I will be coming home on that date.  I likely won't know until May or June when I can interview with President Bishop. 
My minor will likely be Mandarin Chinese I think.  That's relatively certain.  With regards to a major, I don't really know.  When do I need to know by?  I've been thinking a lot about business, medicine, and law.  I still want to write more than the rest, but I don't want to pursue a degree in that.  Medicine is honestly seeming more and more appealing.  This is another thing that I would like to discuss with President Bishop in our next interview, but once again, I'm sure that won't happen until May.  If I need answers more quickly, please notify me.  I can figure things out faster, but I would love to counsel with him before doing so.  I would also like some descriptions of each and your personal opinions for those four fields in your next email.  Don't feel like you have to put too much detail into it, but please include quite a bit.  It's hard to decide on everything from here.  I am still going to pursue the honors program, yes.  I also would like a full schedule (likely 18 credit hours if possible).  As close to that as humanly possible.  If possible, please also discuss with a counselor how much more general education credits I need.  Although likely few, it would still be nice to know.  I plan on jumping in head first when I return.  Don't fear that I will flop.  I'm more prepared than ever before in my life.

Would I live in Provo?  If I had 18 credit hours, it would be much more convenient, although I would love to see you all, all of the time.  I would likely want to live there and return every single weekend that semester.  We can still go to movies, cycle, and hang out together Friday through Sunday.  I have developed some great study habits that I'm afraid would be difficult to maintain at home.  If I had a silent library like at BYU, I think I would thrive.  That all being said, you're right, I don't know who I would live with.  I would love to live with Elder Haag and Elder Erickson, but although they are both confirmed to return to BYU, I don't know what they intend to do.  I suppose I can talk to Elder Haag about it tomorrow at Zone Conference and Elder Erickson at some latter date.  I still want to live there for the sake of my grades though. 

Are there any cobras?  Yes.  Do I go anywhere near where they are?  No.  Aside from being in the busiest part of the busiest city in the entire mission (essentially entirely lacking in all form of snake and other wildlife of any kind), I don't have any intentions of ever getting in harm's way.  The Lord has protected me on my mission.  This is the first time in my entire life that for over a year that I've never gotten sick and that I've NEVER fallen off of my bike.  Every missionary that I've ever talked to has fallen off of their bike.  I have yet to.  I honestly believe that I will not because of Eric's accident.  Call that strange, but I feel that because of the family's sacrifice at that time in our lives, I will NEVER have an accident in any way shape or form on my mission.  This long has been a blessing for certain.

I'm sorry that things are so busy for you, Mom.  I know that you can do it though.  Don't be afraid of what others think, just go and work your hardest every minute of every day at work and you won't have to fear.  Lean entirely unto the Lord and DO NOT LEAN UNTO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.  Take what we learned in conference and apply it.  Obedience to the commandments is the guaranteed formula for peace and happiness.  Don't fear, just obey.  Keep moving forward and you are being perfect.  Read and pray daily and go to church every week.  That is one of the ULTIMATE TRUTHS that I have learned on my mission.  Investigators that read and pray daily and go to church weekly NEVER have a problem.  They ALWAYS get baptized.  It's all about being obedient to the commandments and the Lord takes care of the rest.  If there is anything that I have learned on my mission, that is probably one of the highest and most notable.  It is truth.

We speak in Chinglish wherever we go.  It's just the common way of speaking for missionaries.  I will return home doing it too and I will often struggle to speak because of it.  I taught an investigator from Croatia last week and I struggled to speak completely in English.  I sounded really silly, but that's OK.

I don't know anything about North Korea except that they might be going to war with South Korea soon.  I'm very hazy on all of those details.  What's going on?  Is it serious?  We did have the opportunity to watch all sessions of conference and I learned so much from it all.  My companion and I talked for a long time last night about the things we learned because we were so excited.  We discussed how obedience and Jesus Christ are the key to life.  If we just obey, we will find peace (continual happiness), and joy for the rest of eternity.  Perfection is continually moving forward.  We just need to believe and do what we are supposed to and the rest takes care of itself.  These principles were weaved together beautifully into a perfect general conference that spoke to our souls. I know the gospel is true and that these eternal principles are ever present and influence us daily.  Jesus Christ is the secret to life.  We follow him and become more like him and everything will be FINE.  Don't worry!  Just obey!

I love you so much.  I love your dedication to the Lord.  I'm working hard out here and have no intentions of lightening up.  Don't fear for me.  All will go well.  You are the best parents and brother...and dogs that I could ever ask for.  The Lord blessed me with a wonderful family.

- Elder Woolsey

P.S. I saw Nic Conder in the choir at General Conference as well as a couple of others like Parker Martin's full body shot.  That was a lot of fun.  Where was Eric?

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