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Monday, December 30, 2013

week #43 Mon., Dec. 30, 2013

Hey fam,
Well I survived another week, and it hasn't been that long since I last talked to you. (thank you skype). So let's see this past week we've seen a few miracles, I've learned a bit, and ready for next week, ok that's it for this week see ya all next week!

Just kidding, So this week some of the highlights were: For our English Class, we made cookies for our English class. I decided it's a million times harder when you don't know the conversions for cup, tablespoon, etc., but they still turned out great, best peanut butter cookies I've ever made. Everyone loved them, despite the fact they were sweet, Elder Shang thought no one would eat them because in his opinion, Taiwanese don't like sweets. But he was wrong, they loved 'em. Then so details on what I did for Christmas, so as we were preparing for Christmas we had to go buy wrapping paper (there was a gift exchange) and as we were there, I saw a snow globe, and Elder Shang was eyeing it, and said, "wow if we had one of these it'd be soooo cool, it'd be like it was snowing everyday!" so while he wasn't looking I bought it really fast, and shoved it into my bag. Then when we got home I started wrapping it with our leftover wrapping paper, which Elder Shang had no Idea what I was doing, he thought I was eating candy or something so he was annoyed, wouldn't start planning, did his own thing, then when he turned on the light, I placed the wrapped box with a snow globe in it on his desk. He turned it on to see a present on his desk, we did planning, and afterwards he opened it to see the very globe he wanted, it only cost 2 dollars but his reaction was priceless, made it a really good Christmas. Then we lasted until weekly planning, he crashed again....糟糕 But after talking it out, we actually had a really good 36 hours, we helped an investigator set a goal, we found a ton of great people, we helped a ton of people come closer to Christ, it was a really good miracle. 

So then the week continued, I got to church and one of the recent converts came up to me and said, "Elder Pao sent me this to give to you". (Elder Pao is Brandon's previous companion, 3 weeks ago, and he was in the area Brandon is in now, like 2-3 months ago).  It was a box of hot, a picture of the district up there, a small note, and a bunch of hints on the ward and how to help people, it was an awesome gift. Love Elder Pao, such an amazing Elder. Then we sadly found out that 2 of our progressing investigator's don't live in our area, so that was a little sad, but they live in the zone leaders area, so they'll be in good hands, I'm not too worried. Then we went to a family's house to eat dinner and as we were there, they asked, so Elder Bean where in Utah are you from, and I said "Highland".  They were all like "what! we know that place" turns out they have a friend the kitchen family (who was one of the first 4 missionaries in Taiwan) who lives in Highland and they went to visit him, they showed me pictures, and videos, he lives like right around the corner from the Robb family, so I saw the neighborhood, almost all of highland, it was so fun. Yep, this week I've started memorizing A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. good song, love the Savior more and more, you're all great. Until next week.
Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, December 23, 2013

week #42 Mon. Dec. 23, 2013

Hey Everyone,
This week once again not the "wow went by so fast" feeling I normally feel. But lots of good happened. We've been working hard, meeting lots of new people, going through trying to figure out what to do. Studying hard. 

First off, our English class is going crazy. They seriously love us out there. It's exploding, Super fun too because I can use a whole new variety of teaching methods, because I have advanced speakers and beginning. I love it, it's fun, it's a joy. 

Thursday we had our mission Christmas activity. It was miracle. I got to see all of my old friends, all of my old companions. Elder Tolman tackled me when he saw me ( worked at little Caesers). Elder Milheim is in my zone, (Chinese Class) and of course it was fun to see everyone else. It was a blast. Which was good because the morning wasn't going so well, I was struggling with my companion and on the way something whispered to me.."Just get to the Christmas activity, it'll be okay" And It was, it was actually great. I got to see Elder Gassman who's in my generation and has had the same problems I have recently had (companion), and he gave me some great advice. Then I also got a chance to contact with Elder Pao randomly outside the steakhouse (steak house not stake center). It was wonderful, I was having a blast. Then we also had a small devotional, and 10 missionaries gave their reflections and they were so inspiring, it seemed each one was God specifically talking to me, so I was so spiritually full afterwards. Then President Blickenstaff shared some thoughts on Christmas from Isaiah it was so good. Loved it!.Then we headed back, got back a little late, but the lack of sleep was hardly noticeable. 

Friday I fasted for the gift of prophecy, to help me know what to do with my companion, help me better understand scriptures, know how to help my investigators, and I've seen a ton of fulfillment's on that. Fasting has really helped me know that Alma 17:2-3 is true. (I've been studying different talks and one mentioned fasting a lot.)

We had a ward Christmas party, it was great, had a few investigators there and they seemed to enjoy it pretty well. We also went and visited the Bishop and his family last night. We got a chance to share a scripture, I shared my favorite (1Nephi 2:15) and a spiritual insight, he loved it, he made sure I hadn't shared it with any other members because he wants to use it. 

Yep this is the just of the week. Doing well, memorized Lead Kindly Light this week, learning to say pretty good prayers, and learning to love every moment, because it really is precious, it is in these moments we become who we are, when we discover what kind of person/missionary we are supposed to become. I can only be grateful for these experiences.

Elder Bean

Friday, December 20, 2013

week #41 Monday, Dec. 16, 2013

Hey family,

Yet another week has passed. This week we've seen a surplus of miracles, seen a lot change and learned a lot of lessons that will help me in the future I'm sure. So this week we didn't have a lot of lessons, there's been a lot of finding opportunities though. We've tried a lot of different things from visiting Less active's and asking for referrals, going up and down the streets, trying to find former, teaching English class. And I've learned that sometimes working hard will still seem to have no results, but that doesn't mean we've failed. I'll get to that in a second. 

So I'm English Leader, and I'm the first English Speaking Foreigner that has been stationed in Guiren for over a year. So Our English class tripled in numbers this week. (pretty good growth rate). And they are all super fun, we had a blast of an English class. I love teaching English here. 

Then Saturday, we had a crazy day. Elder Shang had to go do 2 interviews throughout the day in the east district of Tainan. So our day's plans where all over the place. What we ended up doing was going on exchanges with the zone Leaders from 12-3:00ish and we taught lessons while Elder Shang did the first interview. We saw some great miracles, met a guy outside the dentist and did a short lesson with him and he's super willing to meet with us again. Then in the evening, we had to go back to Dongqu (east district) for another interview. I called our investigators and former investigators during that time. And I ran into somebody who knows the Bean Family. He was talking to the Zone Leaders about how when he went on a mission he was there during the 18 months time, and I was like.....Wait If he came to Taiwan during that time, he might know Uncle Jack. So I asked The Zone Leader to ask him if he knew a Jack Bean (because I was on the phone) so he went and asked (they're in the room next door). And he was like "Of course I do!" Then he came over, turns out they didn't know each other from missions, but he was at your guys high school. He's a year in between Jack and Donald, but he knew all the Beans, we talked a bit, it was super crazy, small world. Then I talked to Elder Edwards (BYU Football team kicker, super cool guy) He's the zone leader over here and he gave me some great advice. He told me about when he got in the area, nothing was happening, most people considered the area a black hole, nothing could really happen. But he came (not attributing faith to himself) but had lots of faith, worked hard, and now that area is a gold mine, has people lining up to be baptized every week for the next month or two. I was so motivated after that. He told me "Every area is golden, it just needs missionaries who have faith in Jesus Christ." Since that chat, I've been so motivated to go and find, work as hard as I can, and help people who are looking find the gospel. 

Then Sunday gave us a bucket full of miracles, we had 6 investigators at church, 2 were eternal investigators, 2 were ones we invited, and 2 were referrals, out of no where, and they were all golden. I was in shock, I was amazed, I couldn't understand why it happened but for some reason God blessed us with such amazing miracles. And because of it, I was able to see, it doesn't matter what we think our success is. If we work hard, have faith that God will allow us to see miracles, He will be there. I know it's true, He is with us every step of the way. 

This week I've definitely learned the Christ like attributes, I've spent quite a few hours on my knees, begging with my Savior.  It's amazing what can change in a week, where you think life is going great, you're an awesome  missionary, you've mastered an area, to the contrast, you have no idea how to do anything on your own, you need the Savior, you need prayer, you need to depend on him, and trust him, and believe that he is there, he hasn't set you to fail. I know my Savior lives, I know he loves me, he is protecting me, whatever I say that may cause worry, don't let it cause worry, I'm the Lord's servant, he's sent me here to succeed, to learn, and to become a better person. I know this is true, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love you all, until next week

Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, December 9, 2013

week #40 Monday, Dec. 9th, 2013

Well once again I have moved. I have been kicked out of Zhongming, they think I brought too many miracles to that land, so they sent me away. ;p. But for reals I'm out, we got the call Saturday night and I wasn't sure what to expect. But Elder Jensen says "Elder Bean your moving" and I immediately yelled "NOOOOOOOO!" So here's the low down for the week.

So we've worked this week, we've tried to work on getting new investigator's and this week we definitely did it. First on Tuesday, we were trying to visit one of our investigators with the young single adult branch president, only to find that he wasn't there. So President Zhang suggested the idea that we go and visit one of the young single adults who lived nearby and has a father who is not a member, but recently was in a crash. We went and visited them and it was such an amazing lesson. When we gave him the invitation to be baptized, he said "obviously I want to be baptized." It was so good. Then Ken one day was eating lunch with us, and he brought his friend and his friend was super willing to meet with us, so we met with him, had a great lesson, super willing to meet with us and to continue learning. So that prayer was definitely answered. 

This week we had a really amazing zone training meeting. We discussed the vision for Taichung, right now Taichung has 2 stakes, they want to build a 3rd, and the Zone Leaders showed us how close we are, it is totally feasible, and we can totally do it. I made several goals for us to do our part and help  the ward be ready for a third stake in Taichung, so exciting. 

Ya so then Sunday I had to give my first real talk in Chinese (7 minutes).  I may have been a slacker and haven't really prepared that much. The day of I decided my topic and then I kinda of if'ed my way around an idea of what I might say. But for the most part, no script, just went and tried to follow the spirit and in the end it wasn't too hard. I really felt the spirit lead me to say certain things. and the ward complemented us a ton on our talks, so I guess it was over all good. 

Ya, so I'm in Guiren, a county in Tainan. Super close to Gangshan actually. I haven't been here long (literally got of the train, dropped off my stuff, and came here. So I don't know much about the area, other than what Elder Pao told me (this was his last area).  He loves it, says the ward is amazing, wants to help. The bishop loves missionaries, so basically the golden land. Then my companion is  Elder Shang. He's super cool. He's been here for a move call, he's a native missionary (man my Chinese is gonna be off the charts).    ....yep that's it for now I guess. I will talk to you all next week!

Elder Brandon Bean

week #39 Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

Hey Everyone,

So this week was pretty great (as usual). Elder Pao and I are trying to get a bunch of things done before the move call ends next week. So main things that happened was this week we've been trying to find some more investigators. Trying to find a service opportunity. And we've been fighting the cold. 

So this week we had a mission tour. Elder Funk (the Seventy who spoke during priesthood session about Spiritual power) came and visited our mission and it was crazy spiritually powerful. I explained it more in Dad's recording but long story short is, He helped us understand teaching with spiritual power. He challenged us to pray for a testimony of the Missionary Lessons, and to be worthy of the spirit. We learned a ton of stuff and I just felt ready to go preach the gospel. It was super cool and crazy. 

This week was also freezing. Like I'm sure most of you will be rolling your eyes, but I was wearing long sleeves, my suit coat, Elder Pao was wearing a scarf, but in the end it was probably 50's or lower 60's, I don't believe it got below 50 all week. But we did manage to have a small thanksgiving, just chicken and the sisters made pumpkin pie for us all. So it was a nice small thanksgiving. 

Saturday, there was a huge baptism and a huge wedding, not even from our zone, but it was at our chapel. So we had to help host it, it was interesting to see the huge difference. We also had our bishop's son's baptism that we helped set up. There was such a drastic difference where the spirit was so peaceful at the Bishop's sons, such a nice feeling, there wasn't a large display, fancy clothes, not a ton of food, there wasn't even that many people, but the spirit was very subtle, and I actually liked the spirit there a lot more. It's funny how that works. 

Well, the only other thing that happened this week is, we found a service opportunity, we're gonna try and work at a special needs day care. There's one right down the street from us. So that's our plan, we are super excited, we'll see what happens. 

Ummmmmm, that's most of the highlights of the week, I'm sure next week will be full of adventures. But I will say, I know the Book of Mormon is true, it is the word of God, I know that Jesus Christ came and visited the Americas and shared his Ministry with these people called the Nephites. I know he still lives. 奉耶穌基督阿們
Love you all. Until next week.

Elder Brandon Bean