Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Busy Week of Exchanges (posted by mom)

It’s been a full week!

Monday, was spent being busy in the office. We prepared schedules and trainings, tried to find short-term missionaries, and sent out some emails.

Tuesday we were off to Jiayi. I had the chance to exchange with an elder from my MTC district and his local missionary companion. It was fun to take a day to preach the gospel with them! Elder X is from Idaho; he’s done some fun things in his life such as raise ostriches and work at a research farm. Elder Y is a smart guy who graduated from Taiwan’s best college with a degree in Electronics!

Wednesday I exchanged with the Zhanghua Zone Leaders. It was a good learning experience for me. I was able to learn a lot from the both of them. They are master planners. They remember every single invitation they extend to investigators. I was impressed by their humility and diligence.

Thursday we had Zone Leader Council. It was a fun experience. I had the chance to conduct the meeting. I was really nervous, but in the end everything went alright. All the Zone Leaders reported on their Zones, and then we ate lunch at President Bishop’s house. After lunch, we had a really good discussion on how we can increase baptisms in the mission. We chose four ways that we felt would be most effective and then divided up into 4 groups and discussed how these ideas could be implemented in a zone. It was a great time to fuel ideas and get the Zone Leaders excited for the month of July. After that, my companion and I presented training on helping other missionaries catch the vision of missionary work, and President Bishop talked about the mission training plan.

Later that evening, we met with some youth from the Taizhong Stake. They are organizing a missionary activity day and came to the office to discuss the details with us. I was really impressed by their thoughtfulness and preparation for this activity. It should be a good one.

Friday we exchanged with the Xihu elders. (That was my first area.) We were actually in the area just south of where I served, but it was fun to see the chapel and come across some of the members that I knew before.

Saturday was in Huwei. (Just north of Douliu—another area I served in.) The Huwei companionship was particularly diligent. They talked to everyone. They have high goals and big plans. It was a pleasure to exchange with them.

It was an exhausting week. But I loved it. I really want to learn those skills that will help me uplift, bless, and inspire other missionaries. I want to know how I can better help them find joy in the work. I want to know how I can help them be fruitful in all phases of the work.

My apartment is great! It is right above the mission office. The chapel we use is right next door. Our apartment is decently sized and clean. We share it with two other office elders, and that is fun. The church and office and mission home were all built on a small plot of ground many years ago. Since then, high-rise buildings have been built on all sides. Everyone knows where the church is.

My companion is a fun person. We get along well. We talk openly and frequently with each other (just like the missionary handbook says.) He is always good to invite me to pray with him. He is from Colorado Springs. He is a genius in mathematics, and he is also a BYU student.

I am continually impressed by the goodness of the missionaries in this mission. As far as I can tell, they are all trying. They study daily, sacrifice their time, give of themselves, work in harmony with their companions, and do all they can to help others come unto Christ. I am too. I love this work. I’m grateful to each of you too—for your prayers, for your testimonies, and for your love and support. I’m grateful that you too are trying to bring others unto Christ by word and by deed.

Have a good one. Love you 300. Elder Spencer Harris