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Monday, November 25, 2013

week #38 Mon., Nov. 25, 2013

Hey everyone,

This week has been pretty great. Here's some of the amazing miracles I have seen and learned. So first off we've been trying to get our district to have unity. That was a concern of our zone leaders, so Elder Pao and I have been working hard on obtaining that. With our ideas combined, we've seen a lot of success and our district is really looking better. We've also been working on finding, and trying to find ways to serve others more. 

So we got to go to Bileg's (a  recent convert) Painting studio and see his paintings. It was so cool! His paintings are so amazing, definitely a must see. Sometime I'll get a picture with it to you. 

So we had a special activity this week, a bunch of members, new converts, less actives, and us all went to Costco (right next to our chapel) and proselyted for like 2 hours. Elder Pao had the idea to pull a Camp of Israel and walk around it 7 times, giving pass along stuff to everyone with in our reach. (like the Israelites who walked around Jericho 7 times to conquer Jericho). It was super fun, we all had a blast. But a miracle happened. So as we traveled around the first time we saw a worker who was helping direct traffic in the parking lot, one of the members went to hand a pass along to him, but immediately he put up his hands shook them and did the "掰掰" motion (in other words he's Buddhist and he doesn't want to be talked to. Jokingly I said, "hey studies show that people take about 7 times to accept the gospel from missionaries, he might have rejected us this first round but by 7 times he'll be begging us to be baptized." In the end, we didn't get a full 7 rounds, we got about 4, but here's what happened. the second round he said "no thank you I'm 掰掰的" Then the 3rd he took a pass along, but immediately gave to his friend.  The 4th time, he said to us "Church is tomorrow afternoon eh?",  then we started to talk to him.  He told us he had work on Sundays so he couldn't come, but his daughter had gone to our church before for English, said he likes our church. He went from completely rejecting us to willing to chat with us in a matter of 30 minutes, I really do wonder if we were to continue for another 3 rounds, what would have happened. Maybe he would have ended up coming to church, who knows. It just adds to my testimony the line in Preach My Gospel that says "No effort is wasted, your diligence in sharing the gospel with everyone is God's way of preparing all of his children to receive the gospel someday."  I know that this is true, and that maybe we as missionaries (and members) will be rejected every now and then, but that doesn't mean we have failed. 

We also have a new Bishop and he is doing awesome, knows the members needs, been focusing on getting home teaching done, helping us missionaries...  He's awesome. Oh, the Gangshan members came to the chapel yesterday to said hi, It was so cool to see them.  It really did bring back a lot of great memories, and once again, helped me see how much I've grown.  It's crazy what can happen in a matter of 3 months. 

This week I've also been reading the Book of Mormon, and I really do know that it is the true word of God, it is a true record of ancient inhabitants of the America's, and most importantly its testimony of Jesus Christ is true. It's purpose is to help us know of God and the covenants that he has made in the past with his children, and He is letting us know in these days that he fulfills all his Promises. I love ya all! Sorry no voice recording this week. Until next week...

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, November 18, 2013

week #37 Mon., Nov. 18, 2013


Hope you're all doing well. This week was full of miracles. As stated in the recording, too many miracles, we'll see how many I can get in.
Monday: We met with Brother Cai one of the recent converts, it was so great to see him and his wife are still doing well. He showed us how on his face book he's been bearing his testimony by taking a picture of the Gospel Principles textbook's picture, and bearing his testimony of the principle the chapter is about. How great is he? He's amazing, definitely one of those members that will for sure receive Exaltation.

Tuesday: went on exchanges with the zone leaders. It was such a great experience. Elder Vandiford is so driven and such a great missionary. We really had such a great time. We learned a ton about teaching to people's needs, how to follow the spirit. Definitely made a great start for the week.

Wednesday:Got back to my area, we had English class, and A TON OF NEW STUDENTS CAME! and what's more is they are all super eager to meet with missionaries. It's going to be a great month I can tell. 

Thursday: So we met with Stan and we invited him to bring his brother, and he was kinda unsure about it, but he totally came with his brother. We had a great lesson, and his brother has decided to start meeting with missionaries. He's moving to Taipei, so we don't get to see the teaching work done, but I'm sure that we'll still here of his baptism sometime soon. 

Friday: So Friday the other Elders had a baptism and we were struggling to get an investigator to come, but we got Bileg to come an hour before so we could meet with him. We taught him more about priesthood, (used in Mongolian, thank you Mongolian preach my gospel) then we went to the baptism. And an English student showed up. Elder Pao sat next to him while I translated for Bileg( I'm getting pretty good at it). Great service and afterwards Brother Lin (English student) set a time to meet with us on Saturday. 

Saturday: Well we met with a ton of people, and one of them being that Brother Lin. We had two peike's (members present). And what a miraculous lesson. So amazing, definitely one that I'll probably remember forever. It was a lot like Richard's first lesson. He started off saying he didn't believe in God, and in the end he decided he wanted to become a better person. He said he was willing to do what it took. He came to church (all 6 hours) has a date set for December 14, he's praying, such a miracle. 

Also this week, I've been reading Preach my Gospel a ton. I've learned so much, I really have felt myself grow from who I was a week ago. I also have applied it's teachings into a lot of my missionary work, and it has brought a ton of miracles and added to my fire. One of the things it invites us to do is to continually pray about what the Book of Mormon says, what you read, ask God if it's true, ask him to help you better understand it. And I've done it. HOLY COW!!!!!!! the power it has brought into my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is the true record of an ancient people. I know that they are real events, real people, that Joesph Smith did translate it through the power of God. And this is God's true church. I encourage everyone to do this as well. pray about what you read, pray about what you will read, pray about what you know and God WILL add to the testimony which you already have. 

I love and miss you all, I'm doing great, Chinese is improving daily. Until next week.

Elder Bean

Monday, November 11, 2013

week #36 Monday, Nov. 11, 2013

Hey Everyone,

It seems like it hasn't been that long since I last emailed. It's almost like it wasn't a full week, it was only 5 days....oh wait, that's exactly what's happened. So since then, lets see what's happened. Well, we've been working w/ a kid for a long time. He worked w/ Elder Raley and Elder Gummow back when I first got on the island. So it's been a long time. He has gotten close to baptism quite a few times. But in the end nothing. Occasionally the thought would come up..."Why are we teaching this kid, he isn't progressing, he is a kid, not that mature, etc." but we have kept him in the investigator pool. We continue to meet w/ him. Well this week, I realized why. So we went to the house the other night and shared a lesson, and afterwards his mom listened in, (not a member) and afterwards she was thanking us so much. Saying how much she loves what we teach him. How sometimes it seems like we are little miracle workers, bringing joy into their family. At that point I realized we should try teaching his mom in addition to this kid. Well, this last week, we had another lesson w/ the family. The grandma participated (she's a less active) and it was crazy spirit filled. I actually have a feeling this is going to be a family effort. We are going to help the entire family come to church, and become active members. and in the end be sealed as an eternal family. I'm not gonna lie, I think that was one of the greatest feelings I've received, the joy of eternal families. I really do know that is the reason we are called to this work. Help families obtain that eternal blessing they would not normally be able to obtain. 

This week has been pretty great. Elder Pao really knows how to work w/ the ward. We've been giving notes to almost every member. They are starting to be really great. I'm seeing a huge change in the their attitude towards us as missionaries. It's amazing what a few cards, star attacks (we were going to heart attack a recent convert, but we couldn't find heart shaped sticky notes), visits w/ members, and constantly getting to know the members around us can really change the entire nature of the ward. I feel we are about to see miracles happen here in the land of  Zhongming

Oh and another thing is language has been doing great lately. I feel like my entire day has become language study. We switch off very often, speaking English or Chinese, telling stories, sharing spiritual experiences, helping one another in lessons (lessons w/ Bileg are all in English), we read each other's languages and ask for feed back. Honestly it's been amazing, such a blessing to have Elder Pao  here to help me. 

Well that's been everything for the past 5 days. today we are looking forward to a Costco trip w/ a member. Just know that I know these things are true. I know that the Lord is sending angels to prepare, people to receive the gospel, preparing members to share their testimony and preparing us missionaries for the people we need to contact during this short time. I know that I'm seeing miracles on a daily basis. I look forward to the experiences I have coming this week.

Love you all,

Elder Brandon Bean

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

week #35 Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Hey Everyone,

Sorry This is late. Today we went to the temple so our p-day got changed for this week only. Ya, so basically a crazy week. Let's see where to start. Well, last week, we had interviews. That was pretty great, I really do enjoy having President Blickenstaff. He's such a great leader. He really does a great job. Hey mom, dad, did you get the pic, I still needed a pic from him so I asked him if we could take one, he said he'd e-mail you. Then for English they put me at the.....Doorman! Wooh! So much fun. I was really shocked they put me there because they normally put the person with the best Chinese there, but even with 3 Taiwanese in our district. They decided to put me there. I'm not complaining it's super fun. 

Then this week we've been helping Elder Bao get used to the area, he is a fast learner. He pretty much knows the area as well as I do, so we don't really have to think of how to get places at all, we just go. He's really great, probably the greatest person I could have asked for. His English is really good, so whenever I don't understand what's going on, he'll help me immediately. He's just as interested at learning English as I am Chinese so we help each other a ton. He likes monopoly, deal, he's a little bit older. He's finished his military service and graduated college. ummmm ya that's him. 

Well, I just want to share a bit about today's experience at the temple. It was so amazing. I forgot how wonderful going to the temple really is. The spirit was so strong! I prayed for all of you. I honestly felt like Elijah's servant from the bible when he is told that angels are all around them, and then Elijah "opens his eyes" I really did feel the truth of "I am on your left side and on your right" The scriptures don't lie. I truly wish I could go to the temple more often....but alas I cannot, so those of you who are closer to a temple than I, GO! You'll love it. 

Ummm, that's really all I got for the week, hope everything is going well. Sounds like everyone enjoyed Halloween. Can't wait to here from you in 5 days.

Elder Brandon Bean