Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Coffee,
I love hearing from you all week to week. Each Sunday night I say a prayer that I will enjoy what you all have to say and that you had a great week. I am never disappointed with the result. I always receive two prompt, wonderful emails that explain much about the lives of those I love so much. You all are so dedicated and wonderful. I appreciate the constant companionship from miles away.
I want to share a really remarkable spiritual experience this week. I was trying to find a young man who is quickly prepared for baptism to take him to church with a member. As we searched all over for him (not knowing where his parents' store was), we got confused and frustrated and lost and decided to give up. We were sad that this kid would not be able to go to church this week. The member then told me that he had a feeling from the spirit to turn down this road. We turned down that road and walked for a while. He then gave up and we were about to turn back when I had a feeling from the spirit that our investigator was down this other road. Actually, to be honest, I felt like I could almost hear his voice. We turned down this other road and found some kids playing, but our kid was not amongst them. We had both given up and were disappointed that we didn't listen to the spirit properly as we supposed. I told the member that we should just swing up this other road and it should take us to the main road. As we did so, we saw our investigator scrubbing this massive pot outside of a tiny, rundown shop. We found him. The spirit totally led us to him. There is no way on earth we would have found this tiny shack of a shop in the middle of these crossroads and alleys without the spirit. It was a total miracle. We helped the poor kid scrub the pot thoroughly and then took him to church. The young man was so tired that he fell asleep in sacrament. He will be baptized soon. He's amazing.
Skyping will still be forty minutes (sorry to disappoint). As for it being next week...are you sure? My mission president hasn't said anything about it. I imagine that if it really is the case, we will hear something soon, but I haven't heard a thing. Will it be on the 13th? If so, that's a move day. The 20th? If earlier, that's only next week and I haven't heard anything. If we suddenly hear something, I will likely call sometime around 10:30-11:00am Taiwanese standard time. I'm not positive what time that is for you. In order to skype I will need to know your USERNAME.
It sounds as though work and riding are as crazy as ever. I'm so happy that you all are working so hard and doing your best to reach your potential. One thing we hear sometimes in Taiwan from the elderly is that because they are old they cannot change and don't want to hear our message. Because of this, some Elders do not like talking with old people. In essence, it's a "you can't teach old dogs new tricks" kind of thing. I hope you all NEVER feel that way. It is a lie. Your potential lasts forever. It is forever. I want mom to write her books and stories so badly. It aches almost how much I want her to do it. I know it would bring happiness: fulfilling her potential that is. Do not fear. Do it. I will do it when I return. I feared at home. I don't want to not do what I'm meant to do anymore.
What should mom say about missionaries? I have so many things to say that it's difficult to narrow them down to a few topics. There is a ton that goes into it. 1. Stress the importance of reading the scriptures and praying daily. It is EVERYTHING. And going to church weekly/fulfilling callings. 2. Study and restudy FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH. It is a guide to purity and righteousness and preparation for mission life. If you follow that book to a T you will never need to fear preparation for a mission. You will never mess up in life. You will make mistakes, but they are NOTHING you can't overcome. 3. Magnify leadership responsibilities, other responsibilities, and be outgoing. Be a socialite. Courageous and bold. 4. Save your money and prepare to pay for your mission with your own money. Do not depend on parents to do so. More satisfaction will come if you can first understand the concept of sacrifice. Choose to do whatever it takes and sacrifice whatever you need to to serve. 5. Decide now to choose the right. Don't entangle yourself in sin with the expectation to repent. It is impossible to do. 6. Give everything to the Lord and it will be the happiest experience of your entire life. Plan to have no regrets. Share what dad has told Eric and I for many years that not serving was the biggest regret that he has ever had. I love telling prospective missionaries that. They need to understand that this is important. That it is everything. 7. Study the gospel. It's what you'll be teaching for two years. You better know it and believe it or no one else will believe what you say.
To be honest it's difficult to fully prepare for something like this. If they magnify fully the standards in FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH, they will be the greatest missionaries ever. I would say that you should somehow find a big stack of FSOY pamphlets to hand out when you share. Read it yourself. Then write about your thoughts again in the next email and I will provide more. I think that you will do a great job. What a wonderful topic to discuss on!
I still don't know how to pick a field to work in. I'm willing to do anything to find a great job even if it involves schooling for many years. I read a comment by Elder Nelson who was a heart surgeon. Someone once asked him how long it took him to complete his degree. He said it was around 12.5 years between his degree and his first bill for services. He then posed a question. How much older would you have been whether you did it or did not do it? The answer is that the difference is the same. He also was able to perform an operation on President Spencer W. Kimball. I'm willing to do whatever it takes because knowledge is the glory of God and obtaining education is the difference between desiring to help someone and actually helping someone. I plan on accomplishing much and reaching the stars, I just don't know which direction to aim at quite yet.
I love you all. I love the gospel. I glory in God because He is my Father and gave me everything. I love that I can serve Him even if I am only a particle of influence for the Kingdom of God. Thank you all for steering me correctly and leading me to this point. I am eternally grateful for your help.