Monday, November 21, 2011

Remembering (posted by mom)

The Conversion of Brother Lin (written for the mission history)

There is a story that needs to be told: The story of Brother Lin Shao Xian. This story starts to take motion over twenty years ago when Brother Lin's wife made the courageous decision to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We showed up on the scene in late June/early July of 2010.

Brother Lin is a well educated, faithful, dedicated father. His career was as an elementary school teacher. The Lin Family has two children, both of which are members of this church. Brother Lin himself, for the longest time was unwilling to make the steps needed to humble himself and receive baptism. Even after attending church regularly for a long time, he still had chosen to avoid all invitations to take missionary lessons.

I would often try to catch him on his way out of sacrament meeting and engage him in conversation; his reaction was always the same, he would make a brake for the door, get on his scooter, and leave. My companion and I had very little hope that this man would ever change. We asked his wife one day what we could do to meet her husband and help him accept the gospel. She only had 3 words for us. "Yao4 dao3 gao4" (need to pray). She would frequently remind us to pray for her husband; it was a good reminder throughout our experience sharing the gospel with her husband--a reminder that our strength and abilities are weak, and we are in constant need to rely on God.

My companion at the time was Elder Siebert. He being the humble missionary that he is, brought up the idea that we pray daily for Brother Lin in our companionship and personal prayers. And from that time forward, we made it a special point to pray daily for Brother Lin.

That is when the miracles started!

One day we had a 'back-up plan' to tract. Up to that point neither of us had ever really tracted on our missions, and we tried to avoid it, feeling it was unproductive. However, on this particular day, we decided to tract, and the first door we tracted was the Lin Family. Sister Lin answered the door, and we had a chance to talk to her--she knew that this was a sign, and we believed her.

Around the same time, on July 7, 2010, President Bishop came to visit our ward. Afterward the church meeting, he attended a meal invitation with some friends as well as Brother and Sister Lin. President Bishop and his wife made friends with the Lin family and extended an invitation to Brother Lin to meet with the missionaries.

President Bishop made arrangements for Brother Lin to let us "practice" the missionary lessons on Brother Lin and his wife. We would practice teaching the lessons and ask for pointers, and they would offer suggestions. In this setting, Brother Lin started to learn that he needed to read and pray to receive an answer. He accepted invitations to try this message and ask God about its truthfulness. In this setting, we were able to discuss what it means to feel the spirit and receive answers. In this setting, hidden concerns--like the part of an iceberg hidden beneath the water--were revealed to our view, and we developed a closer relationship with Brother Lin.

My time teaching the gospel to Brother Lin was nearly 6 months and during that time I changed companions 3 times. Teaching the gospel to Brother Lin is an experience that I will never forget: We prayed countless times, we discussed and planned for him and for his lessons, we cried when we thought everything was lost, and offered praise and gratitude when, in the end, Brother Lin kept commitments and made choices that led to his baptism and enduring conversion. Throughout this experience, we learned a lot about taking council from leaders, receiving personal revelation, having patience, and relying on the Lord. We learned that when it is all said and done, we are 100% reliant on God, his power, and our prayers of faith.

Brother Lin's heart was softened and his testimony took form. He passed his Baptismal Interview, and was baptized shortly after his son returned home from his mission to Taibei.

He was baptized on Christmas day, December 25, 2010, and confirmed the following day.

Brother Lin, after nearly one year, is still active in the church. He is a faithful Melchizedek Priesthood holder, and he and his family are preparing to enter the temple to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity.

I am grateful for a wise Mission President who saw and seized an opportunity to bless this family. I'm grateful to God who marked the path and allowed us to be a part of Brother Lin's conversion.

I know this church is true, I know that God is our Loving Heavenly Father. I know Christ is my Savior and the Savior of the world. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ and His church have been restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. I know Thomas S. Monson his God's current prophet on the earth, and he leads us according to the will of God. I know this restored gospel has the power unto salvation to all those who embrace it's glorious principles and ordinances.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Elder Spencer Harris

(Companions who also taught Brother Lin: Elder Siebert, Elder Gillespie, and Elder O'Brien)