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Sunday, March 8, 2015

week #105 Monday, March 10, 2015 (last letter) Elder Bean flys into SLC on March 18, Homecoming on Sunday, March 22, 11:00 in Highland, Utah

Dear friends and family,

Well as two years comes to a close I've been pondering. Pondering a lot. I remember leaving home the very first night laying in my bed wondering, "What have I got myself into?" "What am I gonna do for the next two years. I remember that there were many days where I wondered if I was going to last the full two years. 
I spent a good amount of time in the MTC learning to work with a companion, to be patient, to seek the spirit. I remember wondering if Chinese would ever be learned or if I'd spend the entire two years faking my way. Eventually I made it to Taiwan, I quickly learned that my chinese was not even close to learned. I got sent to a faraway rural area called Gangshan. There I was trained by Elder Jensen, I started learning a lot about missionary work. I learned that miracles do happen. That people can change. That no matter how many flat tires, times your trainer's bike brakes. the work still goes on. I learned that there is a thing called the Gift of tongues. I also learned that moving on a mission sometimes is harder than moving in real life. 
Taizhong brought me to learn that the world is really small, I was able to be companions w/ Elder Gummow a classmate of mine that I'd never met, I was able to work w/ a mongolian, I was able to meet so many great people, I learned that we can be companions w/ anyone. I was with a great companion who I know is very different from me. Elder Pao. He taught me so much. Then I headed to Guiren.
Guiren taught me more than I ever thought I'd learn. I remember at the beginning of my mission people would say missionary work is hard and I'd tell them that was the biggest lie I'd ever heard, then in Guiren I learned missionary work is hard work. I have never spent so much time praying, fasting, studying w/ all my heart. I learned that even if we can ride fast or work hard, if our companion does not we need to slow down, we need to help them before we help others. I also learned that we are most happy when we are working hard. I was w/ Elder Lieske. Oh my goodness the fun we had. From running into a million crazy people, to contacting every single person in Guiren. We worked like crazy everyday. Always came back exhausted and ready to do more. Never "plateu". I learned what true comp unity could feel like. Then I trained, I learned a ton right there I learned a lot of skills, I learned that I myself lacked in a lot of areas and I needed to improve. But I loved it so much. Then I got the call I was going to be Elder Gummow's companion again, as a zone leader. 
There I learned that busy was not fully understood by me until that point. I've never been so busy. busy busy busy, and also I learned how much an influence one day w/ a missionary can have. We do have the ability to help a lot of people. The people around us can all become better, it is our purpose to invite all to come closer to Christ. Even our companion. I had so many companions there (great companions) Elder Gummow, Elder McCulloch, Elder Gassman, and Elder Shelton.
Then I got to be a white washing wizard. The funnest experience ever. I love pingdong it is a great area. I was blessed to train a great missionary Elder Tatton. This mission has taught me a lot. I think I'm starting to understand what the mission is, I can testify that it is God's work. I know that the scriptures have power. I know that The Savior's atonement really can allow us to change, give us comfort and make us who the Lord wants us to be. I know that the spirit needs to be the center of this work. I have loved every single second of it all. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is indeed the restored church of God. And that by following Jesus Christ we one day all will be able to receive salvation. We must remember if we have faith there is a way. 有信心有办法
Love you all!
Yours truly,

Elder Bean

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Week #104 Monday, March 2, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
Well the countdown is getting pretty small. Don't worry I'm still working but man it's kinda freaky. So new missionaries finally made it on the island and drumroll please...... I'm staying but Elder Tatton is moving. He went up to Taizhong so I'll see him one last time before I get on the plane. My new companion is Elder Chen. He's a native missionary. 18, from Taibei, seems pretty cool. He's spent the last 6 months in Guiren (oh how I miss that place) but things look like they'll be a good 2 weeks. 
This week we were so busy. Always contacting and visiting investigators. Trying to help as many people as we could. We have been trying our best to help our current progressing investigator's keep progressing, that seems to be where we are struggling. So we hope to help them read and pray more. 
For mom's purpose, yes, this week was better, no sickness, no injuries, and I slept great. It was a good week on the safety side. (yay). I got to see Elder Shang at stake conference yesterday because  he studies at a nearby college. That was really fun. 
sooooooooo I'm sorry I'm blanking again. Oh here was a cool story, so this week for District Training Meeting (the meeting I have to lead and train my district every week) was my choice. The morning of I had no idea what I wanted to share so I prayed, studied, then I felt like working on "asking inspired questions".  So I made my DTM plans, felt good about it, but then we got to DTM and I didn't feel like it was right.  We started, we talked a little bit about our investigators... and then I felt like the topic I prepared wasn't right, so I completely switched topics, made up a new DTM on the spot. I could tell the spirit was leading, so I followed it, and it was one of my better DTM's. It's so cool when we see the spirit in the work. 
Ya, that was this week. I'm doing great. I will have a better email next week. 
I love you all!
Elder Bean

Monday, February 23, 2015

week #103 Monday, Feb. 23, 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

     So it was a great week. It was Guonian (Chinese New Year). So in other words all of our investigators decided to go out of town. Which meant.....We got to do a lot of finding. It was a great experience. We put ourselves out there we contacted and.....Everyone we talked to lives outside of our area. So we sent a ton of referrals out but hadn't found anyone in our area who was willing to meet. Then Saturday came around and we went tracting and after saying a prayer.... Our 2nd door we tracted had a lady sitting inside and she saw us and said. "Come on in!" She invited her husband to come in and we shared about our church. They seemed more than willing to act on our message and learn more. They were so great. Then Sunday night came and we went and visited a man who self contacted us. He lives in poor conditions, and seems to have a rough life. But as we shared the principles of the gospel, he seemed excited, he seemed ready. And then we invited him to be baptized and.....HE ACCEPTED!!! He set a goal for the 28th of March. Which is super cool. He also said he'd be willing to come to Stake Conference this week. It was a great experience. 
     So I'm sure plenty of you are aware my time is coming to a close. I think my body is trying to fight it off, or Satan doesn't want me to end my mission.  So far in the last week, I've crashed my bike, I hit my head on my windowsill on accident when I was sleeping. I've woken up to a huge earthdquake, And I've lost a ton of sleep. So if I can ask for any prayer it's that I won't die before I have to go home. Saftey prayers are always welcomed. 
    But on a more spiritual note. Today I was studying in 1 Nephi in the 17th chapter. I read the verse that talked about Nephi going up to the mountain, him hearing the Lord ask him to build a ship and he gladly accepts. First thing I thought about when I read that passage was...."why did the Lord ask Nephi, why not Lehi?" I pondered for about 3 minutes reading and re-reading. Then I started to realize, wait how old is Nephi. I saw he was prolly somewhere between the age of 20 and 25. This is right around my age. I thought about how I get to be a part of such a great work, despite he has plenty of great teachers in the church. He has power house testimonies, and yet he sends me out to do this, he has sent me to help build his ship. He allows us at this point in our lives to take on a part of his work. He needs us to learn, to grow, and get closer to him. 
     I'm loving the work, I love being a missionary, I love you all.
Elder Bean

Saturday, February 21, 2015

week #102 Monday, Feb. 16, 2015

Well Another week older another week wiser.
Dear Family and Friends,
    I can't believe how time flew. It didn't help how I went on 2 exchanges this week. One w/ Elder Zeng (in our district) and one w/ Elder Jensen (our zone leader).  So needless to say, time went by faster than usual. This week we found a ton of great people. Despite it being the week before Guonian (Chinese new year), they were willing to meet. And it strengthened our faith in the Lord. On the way back from a dinner appointment we ran into person on his motorcycle, introduced ourselves and invited him over to the side of the road. He willingly accepted and we started to share our message and he got super excited. He said it was fate that we ran into him, we set up a time and met w/ him, and we discovered he is the most prepared person, his life is set up to here the message of the restoration of the gospel. I love the work.
     So new missionaries are breaking through the iron curtain of Taiwan. We have 12 that will be coming on the island on the 25th of February. We are starting to see success. Hopefully, we will continue to see missionaries come on the island. 
We are enjoying the work, Elder Tatton today is officially my longest companion and it seems we'll be companions until at least March 2nd if not until the end of my mission. Either one. We are happy together. I'm sorry I'm hitting a wall as I write this letter, but I do want to testify, I know this is the Lord's work. I know that as we read the BoM we will see success in our lives. The Lord is preparing us for a great work. I love you all!
Elder Bean

week #101 Monday, February 9, 2015

Hey everyone,
      So this week was yet another great week. Us missionaries put on a great ward activity about how to help the work progress. We did a skit, Elder Tatton and I proved our acting skills (and our chinese) by showing how hard missionary work is out in the real world, we get rejected a lot. But then how great missionary work is w/ the members. It went really well. Then we split up into 3 groups and rotated and trained the members how they can be better member missonaries (i.e. helping w/ lessons, giving referrals, and how to take care of investigators at church).
Outside of that Guonian is coming up (chinese new year) so a lot of people are busy, out of town, and not able to sad. But it's okay we are stilling seeing work done.
     Well things are going well. I can't believe how fast time is flying by. I love the work still, love my companion (still Elder Tatton) and I love being a missionary. 
Love you all
Elder Bean

week #100 Mon., Feb 2, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

     This week was a little bit harder. One of our solid investigator's has fallen off the radar and it seemed to take a toll on our work. It's always hard when that happens, but it's all good. We are still working on finding, teaching, and baptizing. This week we have some cool successes as we work w/ some LA's. It is cool to see people start to feel their testimonies build again. I love it when I see things like that. 
    Also a new thing has started for me. Because my last movecall started today, I can now call my RC's anytime I want to. So last night I started calling a few of them and it was so good to hear from them. I could feel their testimonies. I especially had an opportunity to talk to one who has been struggling to go to church recently b/c she has school on Sunday's. It was good to hear her desire to go. We talked a bit about praying and reading. I will stand by what I have told a million people while being on a mission.  If you read and pray everyday, you will be able to retain your testimony, as soon as you stop doing the simple things, that's when you get weak, and struggle to stay firm and steadfast. I am also excited to help strenghten each one of my RC's that I can. I love being a missionary.
    So the week of virtue was great, this week is a week of knowledge. So as I study every day during personal study, I'll start by writing down 3 questions. Then as I read the scriptures I will try and find an answer to those 3 questions. Today as I studied I realized the gospel really is the answer to most questions. If we want to know what to do to strengthen our friends, the answer is the focus on the gospel. If we want to know what can help secure us after the mission the answer is the gospel. The gospel changes us, allows us to become better, makes it so when we fall down there is a sure way to get back up. The answer is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
     I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he has set the path. He has invited us to come unto him, that's the key, INVITED!!! He's not forcing anyone he wants everyone to choose for themselves the things that will make their life better. So let's spread it. It needs to reach everywhere. As cool as it is that we have 80,000+ missionaries preaching it, we still need help. The work needs 15,000,000+ missionaries constantly sharing, inviting and helping others come unto Christ. Let's not ever give up this great cause. 
I love you all
Elder Bean

Saturday, January 31, 2015

week #99 Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

Hey everyone. It's been a great week. I love the work (as usual). But really this week was superb. W was baptized!!!! I was worried a lot this week because this week he had class all week, so we couldn't see him until Saturday. But then we went and visited him, he had already got his dad's signature, was excited for baptism, and was really receptive to the 5th lesson. He had a great baptismal service. A family gave him some church clothes so he can wear them every week to church. Success!
Another cool experience this week was with an investigator, he came to the church, met with us, and he brought his girlfriend, they sat down with us. We discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ and then we asked them what they thought about baptism. They were pretty willing, we asked if they would set a date and they did. They set it for the end of February, so I'm pretty excited for them, It'll be cool if they both join the church together. 
So this week is the week of virtue. As I reflected upon the 6th chapter of Preach My Gospel. I saw that a key part of virtue is repenting quickly. I thought about a few things I could do this week to exercise my virtue. I decided I want to memorize a hymn in chinese and second in order to be better about repenting. Every time I eat I will think about things I need to repent of. I hope that by doing this I can be more virtuous and be able to be a greater tool of the spirit for the people in this area. 
I also had a great opportunity to do missionary work with Elder Gassman, he came down for interviews and went on exchanges with us. It was so great. He is such a great missionary. Glad I got to be his companion, even if it was only for 3 weeks. That's something I have been thinking about recently, is how blessed I am to have the companions I did. I have been blessed to be surrounded with greatness. From my MTC district, to my trainer, to all of my companions, they are all great missionaries. They have inspired me, have led me to be a better person. I will always keep them in my prayers. I set a goal a long time ago... I decided I was going to help each one of my companions make it to the celestial kingdom. Until now, I didn't really understand how much that has influenced my relationship with all of my companions. Having eternal vision helps you realize the small problems don't matter, it doesn't matter to you if your companion is a little messy, he contacts strangely.  If you know you know that your going to be around for a lifetime, you start looking more for the positive things about each companion. You start to see how they help you more than how they annoy you. I know I was put with each one of my companions for a reason. All 13 of them are great missionaries. 
I know this work is God's, I know he has put us with speicific people for specific purposes. I have learned from each one of them, I know the church is true. The more I learn of Heavenly Father the more I love him and desire to be better. 
Keep pressing forward and Keep being Awesome!
I love you all so much!
Elder Bean