Sunday, March 21, 2010

TaiZhong Dakeng Ward

The new ward is great! there are about 80 people who attend regularly. That is about 40 less than the Xihu ward. The members here in Taiwan really are so great! They fellowship like I've never seen anyone fellowship. I've learned that I wasn't a fellowshipper. That is changing and will continue to change. Even long time attenders can use fellowshipping--an arm around the back and a sincere "How are you doing?"

I'm so excited for general conference. We get conference a week late, so if you would be so kind as to give me some brief updates and highlights, that would be SO EXCITING! (I don't want all your notes though. :) )

Here in TaiZhong, I've noticed that there are a lot more sirnames. In xihu, a lot of the members were Chen or Yang, but here we have Zhuang and Qiu and Meng and all types of sirnames. Also, in TaiZhong, we are working with some people who are struggling with the commandments. It is way outside my comfort zone to help people overcome problems with the law of chasity and the word of wisdom, but I'm learning quickly. Boldness and holding to the firmness of the commandment are good ways to help people overcome these problems. I've noticed that placing faith in their ability and in the ability of the atonement help too. Inviting someone to do is a lot less effective than letting someone know that they can start obeying this moment, and that through prayer and the atonement they can overcome any challenge.

Two days ago, my companion and I really wanted to add a Week B investigator--that means getting them ready for baptism in 2 weeks. There are a few ways to do that, mostly prayer and calling/visiting former investigators. I think between my companion and my prayers and faith we were rewarded. I was riding my bike down the street and a man on a scooter called out to me and so I went to the side of the road to talk to him. I guess he has attended church many of times. For some reason he has just not been baptised. We set up the baptismal interview right then and he passed. His name is __ Zhang.

My new companion is great! He is worthy, obedient, and DILIGENT! I thought I was working so hard in my previous area... I guess not. I'm hoping I can set some good habits this move-call. He is so focused on our missionary purpose. Everything we do is pointed to helping people come unto Christ.

I'm teaching English again--the beginning class. It's scary because my Chinese is still beginner so a lot less can be communicated to a beginning class. If anyone has some fun games or songs, or ideas to teach beginning English, that would be great!

We are also teaching Mr.Zhang. He used to smoke a lot, and he's quit for 4 days--he has so much faith. There is another man Mr. Jie. His son died a while ago and he goes to this spot by a bridge everyday at 11 and 4 to remember his son. We often go to meet and talk to him at those times. I know he has the ability to obey the commandments, I'm just hoping that he will make the decision to DO IT.

I feel like I should still be new, but my companion expects a lot and it's really good for me to learn the ropes of self-motivation in the work, and it's teaching me to be a hard worker and to grow in important areas like the language and teaching and contacting.

I know this church is true. I'm so greatful for the opportunity to serve God for Two years. Two years seems so long and I often think of you all and miss you so much. My testimony is growing in the areas of work and faith--thanks to my companion. He is a worker and he is a pray-er and he has so much faith.

Please just tell everyone you see that I love them, and I'm so greatful for their love and support. Tell them that I'm loving the mission, the work is so good and it is divinely directed. My testimony is strengthening every day.

With Love, Elder Harris
--posted by his mother

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