Preaching the Gospel in Taiwan

Sunday, November 24, 2013


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

It has been another amazing week in the land of miracles (Taiwan).  I've seen so many times in which the Lord has led us and guided us.  As this week commenced we had interviews with President Blickenstaff.  He's an incredibly inspired man and is always unbelievably kind to me.  I discussed with him how I had a little indecisive regret about going home when I'm going home and he told me that he did the exact same thing on his mission.  He was only home for ten days just like I will be and got right back in the mix of things.  He hates the idea of any sort of alternative.  Such definitive resolution was inspiring and solidified my decision.  It sounds to me like my current mission president's mission was very similar to my own.  It's amazing how the Lord sets things up to be exactly what they need to be.  If I could be successful like our family or his family is, I would be a well pleased man.  I want to fill my life with the gospel and never turn from it.  I love it too much to do anything else.

MOM!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  I wish I could be there with you at this time to give you something, anything more substantial than a typed "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" but I suppose this is the best thing I have to offer at the moment.  I have a card in the works with some pictures, but it's not quite ready for shipping yet. I'm so grateful for a mother that loves me and her family so much.  You honestly are, like you said, young for your age.  You and dad are far from aged.  You two have always impressed me with acquiring such a timeless, young feel.  That aside, your adherence to the principles of the gospel means more than anything.  I recently read (again) the words of the sons of
Helaman who spoke so fondly of their mothers who they truly loved indeed.  They taught them in the gospel and when put to the test, they "did not doubt."  I'm grateful that I have been taught to do the right things by a righteous mother who knows the gospel is true.  I love your example, mom.  Don't worry about me, I'm safe from any sort of typhoons.  The Philippines are rather far from Taiwan so don't fret.  Also, before you know it we'll be eating pizza at Costco and going to movies like Ender's Game together.  You're "seemingly dead" son is about to be resurrected and when I return, you won't know what to do with me.  Don't get too excited for you're about to have another great burden on your hands.  Thank you so much for caring for me.  

This week has been filled with opposition.  We have a Week A right now (that means he will be baptized at the end of this week), but we just found out last night that he has family opposition that is impeding him from being baptized.  We have essentially only a few days to sort this out or he will not be baptized.  His grades having been where they need to be and therefore his parents won't allow him to attend church until this is attended to.  He's so prepared which is the hardest part.  Also, my companion (much like the first day of school), got some strange illness that quickly infected the entire apartment of four.  We all were sick this week.  Much to mom's dismay however, there wasn't a chance in the world that this would affect my regular
proselyting schedule, but that doesn't mean it wasn't any less of a burden.  We've been working diligently despite the inhibition.  

Jordan wrote me again this week which was nice.  He seems to be doing pretty well.  How are Denise and Ray doing?  How's Grandma Wilkes?  I worry about our extended family sometimes.  I don't know why, but I worry about them more recently than before.  Is everyone doing alright?

That's strange about the flight schedule.  I don't know what to say.  I guess he'll get in just before me then.  Odd indeed.  I'll have to look into that at some point.  My very favorite missionary Elder Erickson got his "return itinerary" in the mail today.   He only has four weeks left and only three preparation days left.  It hits me like a sucker punch to know that he's about to return.  He's such a great missionary.  Too weird.

Ender's Game sounds awesome.  I loved the book after deliberating over for a while.  I love the part where he lies on a raft in a lake on earth (or where ever he is) and says that his desire isn't to be better than Peter, but to have Peter love him.  
i hope that this scene is depicted well in the movie, because for me it is the absolute climax of the book.  The fact that he finds accomplishment in attaining love above all other success is the best.  After rereading this portion, I realized that I loved the book.  This sole part made the book genius to me.  The rest is just good.  I'm excited to see it though.  I've honestly contemplating completely eliminating all PG-13 movies from my social media whatsoever.  Unfortunately I've made no conclusive decision and therefore likely will watch them when I return.  Making no stance is the same as submitting to the original pattern of doing things.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is once again on the horizon.  In the eyes of this missionary, every holiday except for Christmas is insignificant.  I'm excited because you all are excited, but Thanksgiving isn't a very big deal to me.  I'm an intense Christmas junky.  I love it so very, very much.  I can't get enough of the music, the food, the spirit, the charity, the love, the giving, the receiving, the movies, the festivities, everything.  I love everything about that holiday season.  The next one, I'll only be two days from home.  "Where ever you find love, it feels like Christmas."  Last year, no words rang more clearly.  

Keep working hard and don't get distracted by my homecoming.  I'm not getting distracted, that's for certain.

- Elder Woolsey
P.S. A new favorite "hymn": "I LOVE THE LORD" by the BYU men's choir.  Please listen to it.  It's gorgeous.  It's to the tune of Be Still My Soul, but the lyrics are what's incredible.

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