Preaching the Gospel in Taiwan

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunset or Sunrise?

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

I feel like over the course of the last few weeks, our email discussions have gradually shifted from discussions of missionary work and things of such nature to coming home and schooling.  I know this is natural, but where have the last two years gone?  I feel like I blinked once and I was in the MTC, I blinked again and I was being trained, I blinked again and I was training, I blinked again and I'm here now.  I have been a Zone Leader for five move calls (don't post that online).  How on earth has all of that happened?  How have you three not been by my side through every step?  How have my desires and passions changed so suddenly?  Our mortal existence is brief.  Incomprehensibly brief.  I'm just grateful that I have a wonderfully supportive family and the fact that I can say that I have NO REGRETS from my mission.  I love my mission.  I still feel new in many ways, but I'm old.  I'm happy I still have the rest of my life to find ways to serve my Master. I love Him.

Classes can't be selected until October?  That's good to know.  I still have a little time to figure things out.  It's honestly very difficult for me to fully decide what I am meant to do.  I have every intention of finishing my education.  Compromise is not an option.  I will continue to pray about it and hopefully come up with an answer in the not-too-distant future.  I would actually appreciate it if you could send me a list of majors from BYU in the next email.  That would honestly be very beneficial.  I want to make the right decision.  I want to discuss these things with my Mission President, but I haven't had an interview opportunity yet and likely won't for a good while.  I suppose I could just email him or call him, but he's so busy it's hard to justify discussing a non-mission related purpose with him.  The old release date is still probably what's going to happen.  He just sent out an email that said that he doesn't want to extend extensions unless a need is required.

I'm so happy for you, Dad.  I think it's wonderful that after so much dedication and diligence you accomplished your goal of placing in the TOP 10.  Such a feat is incredibly impressive.  You get what you seek.  I think it's a wonderful example.  I want to be equally as committed to the pursuits of my life.  I want to give all of these things my all.  I'm grateful that my parents are those who achieve what they set out to accomplish.  

That miracle story from LOTOJA impressed me greatly.  I love miracle stories.  The Lord is watching over all of His children so keenly and so intently in order to protect us from the daily dangers of the day to day world.  I love being a member of this gospel for it is the only way to obtain a fullness of the Lord's blessings all day every day.  The Lord is mindful of us all and magnifies our efforts beyond our own understanding.  I don't know whether that man with the oil was a mortal angel or a celestial angel, but he was sent of God at that very moment to take care of His precious son.  How wonderful is the God that we worship!

The Zone is getting progressively better.  There are very few missionaries that don't want to baptize and don't want to have success.  Almost all missionaries desire to improve and be better.  The problem often stems from not understanding how they can improve or where to begin.  Each set of leaders from Senior Companion to Mission President oversee a different phase of the work and desire to improve in their realm of influence.  As each level of influence works together and catch a vision of what they can accomplish, progress is made.  We have exchanged with all of the companions in the Zone in hopes of inspiring all to catch the same vision.  As the Bible says, when we have no vision, the people perish.

I cannot for the life of me comprehend that Nate is no longer a missionary in just ten short days, and that he will be home shortly after that.  The thought is mind boggling.  I CANNOT WAIT to hear your analysis of him upon return.  I can't wait to hear how he has changed and improved over the course of two brief years.  He was also an amazing person from the beginning.  He prepared long and hard for his mission.  He prepared longer and harder than I did, so I can only imagine how much better of a missionary he must've been than me.  After I came out on my mission, I realized how much I admire Nate and his constant perseverance in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He loves the Lord and has always worked as hard to align his with the Lord's.  I'm grateful that I have such an outstanding friend that I can trust for the rest of my life.  Good friends are hard to come by.  He is the best kind of friend.

Winter.  I don't know what that feels like anymore.  It doesn't sound very inviting honestly.  Winter in Taiwan is pretty nice.  It's cool, not cold, and it doesn't rain very much.  Taiwanese Winters are where it's at.  The last thing I want to think about it feet of snow and frigid winds.  Hopefully this blazing hot Summer will carry over into the Winter months as well.

I got to exchange with Elder Taylor last week.  Can you believe that?  He's in this Zone now.  For the first time in over a year and a half of missionary work, we finally had the opportunity to work together proselyting.  It was a load of fun.  Imagine being a missionary with a great friend for 24-hours: talking to everyone, teaching lessons, etc.  He's a great missionary full of sincerity and a burning desire to serve God.  He is incredible.  I'm so grateful for the wonderful friends that I've been blessed to know.  He told me about all of these friends of ours that are either married or engaged, and I was blown away.  He also told me of his brother graduating High School and many, many, other crazy events that have happened over the course of the last couple years.  Truly staggering.  I feel as though I won't recognize home when that point arrives, but I know that aside from the first few days, everything will seem as though it hasn't changed.  I can't comprehend it nor do I wish to.

This mission has changed my life.  I love it. I love the Lord.  Thank you for supporting me.  It means everything to me that you all love the gospel too.  You are my best friends.

- Elder Woolsey 

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