Return the favor

Sunday, February 16, 2014

week #50 &51 Mon. Feb. 17, 2014 & Feb. 23, 2014

Hey family and Friends,

     So yet another week has gone by and boy was it fun. So last week we finished tuning the guitar and played that and goofed off for p-day. Then on Tuesday we did exchanges w/ the Tainan 2nd Elders, we sent the juniors down there and Elder Bak and I came back to Guiren, we did good. Had fun, but most importantly I feel like we both grew a lot. It's definitely different leading exchanges now. I remember when it used to be my companion worrying about them and I'd just go w/ the flow, but now it's completely my responsibility to check these companionships are doing well, make sure they are ok and see if there is anything I can do to help them. We had a great lesson w/ a new investigator that started out kind of lacking a huge burst of spirit. We just taught a bit about God, and then as we were ending he asked "Where do people go after they die, my friend died and I've always felt a little sad about it" Elder Bak and I immediately shared some scriptures and we felt the gospel's truths apply to him. I'm so excited to help him. 
     Wednesday, we came back, had English Class (people came again yay!). We went on another exchange w/ the zone leaders this Friday. I went w/ Elder Sumsion, so that was way fun. We've been wanting to go on exchanges since we were in Gangshan together. It was super awesome. We had some great lessons, but the coolest part was our investigator passed his baptismal interview. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH!!!!!!! So this week we'll be baptizing. I'm so excited as is the ward. We are definitely gonna be working hard to make sure it happens. Our area is honestly blossoming. I love Guiren, it's filled w/ miracles. We have people set to be baptized every month through April, and I think It might even increase more so as we keep working. Elder Lieske and I are trying our hardest to make this area set, we don't know what will happen in two weeks when the move calls over, but b/c we work so well together we are a bit worried it might end. But we also have received inside word that President like us together, so it could go either way. 
     Well I guess that's all, I'm approaching the year mark in the next too weeks, I feel old. However, I have learned so much in this past year. From how to speak Chinese, read, write, I've learned how to work w/ companions (that was probably the hard one). I have learned more about the truthfulness of the gospel. I've learned the value of being patient, giving people time. I have learned that honestly the mission isn't just to help the church grow (it still does) but it is to help all of us shape into what we can become, The Lord's servants are to help bring in the kingdom of God.

Love ya all, until next week,

Elder Bean

Feb. 23rd

Well Here's the next week,

So this week was what our mission calls Power week. Basically b/c of Guonian(Chinese New Years) there was a small decrease in the numbers of the mission. In response to that our mission has a week where everyone cuts there studies in half (except language that gets completely killed off). We don't schdule any meals, we eat on the go. Some missionaries are upset about it and decided to complain but then there's other missionaries (us) who get excited for it, we put our heart into it and end up at the end of the week almost dead w/ no energy. IT WAS AWESOME! 
So first monday we had power cleaning day, that was just boring and not that fun, but we did it, then went out and met w/ a former family, they were nice, we aren't sure how interested in the gospel they are but they were really nice. We'll see how they progress over time.
Then Tuesday the real week began. Every day we were given a goal to complete and if we did it we could call president Blickenstaff and say "Mission accomplished" Well the first goal was hand out 13 book of mormon's on the street and get there information and try and set up a time w/ them. This was hard b/c Taiwanese won't take stuff from you. No matter how much you insist. But finally in the last moments we placed our 13th book of mormon. One cool thing is that we got a really golden investigator from that. He met w/ us the next day, and he said he'd been looking for the gospel but didn't know where to turn. Then we showed up, he set a date to be baptized and everything on the first date. Wednesday was pretty good, we were supposed to "add" 20 people in the day. We didn't hit it b/c it was really cold so no Taiwanese were outside we still manged to get 8 (which is still really high for us. Then thursday we met w/ a lot of people, but didn't hit our goal of giving 5 people on the street a week E goal on the spot. We gave out 1 but the it was a lot harder than I thought. Friday we went to our farthest secondary in Longqi, it's basically mountains as far as the eye can see, and very little people live there. It was so fun, we found a really nice family, but they didn't want to meet anytime soon, maybe someday down the road. We got our mission acomplished that day by confirming 15 people for church. Then Saturday we had a baptism w/ Shi dixiong. How great is that. It was pretty good, except for the fact it takes 3 hours to fill the font. Guess when we found that out.....about 30 minutes before the baptism........ya it was pretty crazy. We used every bucket and sink in the church and tried adding as much water as we could. still barely got enough water. I felt so bad it was pretty chaotic, but the member who baptized him did a great job the next day reminding us all of saints back in the beginning of the church who would get baptized in places w/ ice in the water and it could have been a lot worse. Yesterday we had a huge conference a mission conference. The General Bishop of the Church met w/ our entire mission, and it was so good. It was fun to see all my past companions, talk w/ a bunch of missionaries, and past friends. We got home pretty late b/c we had to ride a train from taichung to tainan, then an hour bike ride from the station to our apartment. ya

Well This was awesome but I am tired so today I'm just gonna rest. I got 4 of the 7 goals this week, It was definitely fun getting to call President and tell him mission accomplished then here him sing the mission impossible song for us. Not only that but I've seen us push ourselves beyond where we have been before I feel this week has helped me improve my contacting a lot and I love you all next weeks my year mark so that'll be weird until next time.

Love ya 
Elder Brandon Bean

Monday, February 10, 2014

week #49 Monday, Feb. 10, 2013

Hey Fam and friends,
This week has been an adventure. So Guonian (Chinese New Years) has ended and the work boomed. We increased the possible investigator's by a ton because we had a lot of people who said to wait until after guonian to call them. So that's been fun. Other than calling our APR for an hour a day we've also been meeting with a ton of people. So it's been fun. 
Tuesday we had a great Zone Training Meeting about faith, and progression. They had a bunch of cool things to introduce. We were invited to talk about baptism more on the street, because the Asia 70 presidency has noticed the increase number of investigator's when that is brought up in an area, so we are excited to try that out. Our English class was even more empty then last week, had no one come, so we went to visit a less active. Thursday we had interviews. That was fun meeting with President Blickenstaff, we discussed a lot about baptism and my investigator's. It was super weird to realize how much has changed since I got on the island. I was talking to Elder Sumsion (who was in Gangshan the same time, but now my zone leader) and it honestly feels super weird how old we are, we've been missionaries for about a year (him longer). Oh ya, so in our english class we had a student who came every week and suddenly stopped coming and I had a thought to go visit her, (we have records on every student) and I kinda ignored it. Then on Thursday night I was saying a prayer and I felt a huge prompting to make plans to go visit her (in my bedside prayer).  I almost just wrote it down, but then I felt a very strong urge to go grab her record. Elder Lieske asked me what I was doing, I told him "God pretty much yelled at me telling me we are going to an English Student's house tomorrow, so I'm grabbing her record so I don't forget."  We went and visited her and she is willing to meet and hear about the gospel. It was so cool. 
Well Everything is well. Elder Lieske and I fixed the guitar. We played it today, it sounds great (well for us playing it, we really aren't that good). We have a week set up to meet with a lot of new investigator's we are super excited. We're seeing God's hand in the work, I'm loving it and I'm excited for the next miracle God gives us. Until next week.

Elder Bean

Monday, February 3, 2014

week # 48 Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

Yo family and Friends,

This week was the first week of Guonian and despite mission wide low expectations, we seemed to rock it and didn't let it get in the way of doing the Lord's work. It was great. We went out and found a ton. There were a ton of people on the street and I felt like they were all super willing to talk to us and give us a chance. Then this Thursday the guonian hit us. It was a completely different world. First of all, we suddenly never had to buy food. Not only were members constantly feeding us and it was impossible to leave the house unless you ate like 4 times the average amount. But as we would leave a house, the members would offer at least 10 fruit, some form of snack food, and some of the leftovers of what we had that night. It was so crazy, We don't even feel hungry anymore. I feel like I've eaten enough that I won't have to even buy food for the next couple days. 

Other than being full, I've been using these days to my advantage. Lucky for us, this gave us an excuse to visit almost every ward leader and to lay down our plan for the next year, point out how we can hit their ward goal of 10 baptisms easily. I've assigned an investigator I know for certainty will receive baptism this year to each auxiliary organization and I will be asking them to take care of that investigator. Helped them understand how they can help those investigators and I have a feeling this will help the ward a ton to have the missionary excitement or "catch the wave" as Elder Nelson says. I also feel it will help them realize how capable they are to doing missionary work. Ya pretty much.

Then this week we've been working like crazy to hit standards. We didn't want to end this week in a lower position then where we were. But one huge problem about guonian is the fact that a lot of people leave town, or are out of town, not to convenient to go visit them. So instead of having the usual people that we meet with every week, we had to find new people. And almost everyone we find on the street is visiting, and they actually live outside our area. So basically the hard numbers are new investigator's and total lessons. We hit all of our goals except the new Investigator's, we missed it by one, but I was super happy because we saw lots of miracles in the process. One day we were trying to meet with an less active, but we couldn't find the house so we said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to bless us with a lesson so we could help someone come closer to God. W/in about 2 minutes we got a call from a private number and it was a Lin Dixiong who I did not know, he said we met him on the street and he wanted to meet with us right then at the chapel. So we go the chapel and as we were there, the ward mission leader just happened to be pulling up to the chapel, we asked him to help us and fellowship this mysterious Lindixiong, he was willing so we waited. Because he was a private number he was impossible to call back, and in the end he never showed, but Elder Lieske and I saw a guy on the street and we started talking to him, asked him if he had time to meet with us and see our chapel, he said sure. So we met with him and he was so golden. It was such a crazy miracle, honestly that never happens, but I know it was an answer to our prayer. 

Ya we've been working hard, seeing miracles on a regular basis, finding, and looking to baptize in the coming weeks, be ready. Guiren is on fire (in a good way) I'm loving the work, our companionship is doing great. I can't wait to see what happens. Until next week, love you all

Elder Brandon Bean