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Monday, June 30, 2014

week #69 Monday, June 30, 2014

Hey Everyone,

     Another week, it was stressful for sure, but had it's ups and downs. Started on Monday, we went over to help a family build shelves for service. It was fun. Then Tuesday we had Zone Conference. We had some exciting changes that I think will really help the wards out. We now are only supposed to visit less actives & recent converts if we bring a member from the ward. Basically do Home Teaching, which I think will increase the recent convert retention rate, which will help the growth in Taiwan. Second is we are now supposed to visit 3 active members a week. Which I think  will also help the member missionary work. Overall I just love Zone Conferences, they are a huge spiritual boost. 
     Then later that night, we visited Viviana with Bishop and a sister in the ward. We shared a bit about service in the church (through callings) and then afterwards she asked if she could have a blessing. It was yet another proof about how powerful priesthood blessings are. While we gave her a blessing the spirit was so strong. 
     Wednesday, we had an English Party, we did a talent show. There were recorders, piano playing, singing, guitar, improv, handstands, and root beer floats. Great fun. 
      Unfortunately,  we did not have a baptism this week. Our investigator was having some reservations about some of the commandments. So we met with him, we thought we'd helped him, we met with him the next day, then called him the following day, he was looking okay. We set a new date to help him be baptized and then he sent us a text saying he didn't want to try anymore. Felt like our church wasn't for him. 

     We've been working hard to try and strengthen the area. It's a possibility I'm leaving next week. If that's the case I'd like Guiren to be as strong as it can be before I leave. So pray that we'll have the energy to work as hard as possible and have success. 
     I know that we are lead by a living Prophet. As I've studied General Conference talks this week, I really have felt the power and significance of their words and teachings. I know that they speak to us as representatives of God. They will lead us back to him if we are willing to follow them.

Love ya all,

Elder Bean

week #68 Monday, June 23, 2014

Hey everyone,
This week was a good week. Last Monday some members made us a great dinner for Elder Faddis' Birthday. Then Tuesday I woke up not feeling amazing. I called Sister Blickenstaff because I wasn't sure if it was a fever or not. She was busy said she'd call back later. As we left the door we were on the road and as she called, we pulled over to the side of the road and as I was talking to her about my possible fever, Shi Dixiong came out (Guiren's Recent convert back in February) of 7/11. I motion for Elder Faddis to go and talk to him while I finished the phone call with Sister Blickenstaff and once I finished we go over and talk to him. And he said he'd be willing to meet. He's been unwilling to come to church or keep contact with us for over 4 months now, but something has softened his heart. I think we might finally be able to help him out. 
     Then Tuesday we meet with L. 弟兄(dixiong) and he was super willing to make the changes needed for baptism, he set up a time to do an interview and he passed!!!! His baptism is this saturday morning at 9 'o clock. I'm so happy for him. 
     We've been going and meeting with our investigators and helping them progress and get closer to the great waters of baptism. Luckily for us, all of them are willing and desire it. They just need to keep commitments AND COME TO CHURCH. Church is so important for an investigator to progress. Once they do come, they are a million times more receptive to spritual truths. Friday we went on exchanges with Dongqu elders. It was a fun exchange. I was w/ Elder Liu(本地人native) He's super fun to be with. It was weird being with a 本地人elder again because I got to work on my Chinese a lot more. I had fun. We had a great lesson with  Xia弟兄。 He's on his way towards baptism. He's scared of commitment but I'm sure he'll get there. Then Yesterday we met with  shi姐妹(jiemei=sister) She is so receptive and loving church. We met with her once 2 weeks ago. She committed to come to church. Has come twice since and is loving every minute of it. She has a baptismal goal now for July 27. So exciting. 
The work in Guiren is amazing. I'm loving going out everyday and finding, teaching and baptizing. Until next week, love you all.

Elder Bean

Saturday, June 21, 2014

week #67 Monday, June 15, 2014

Well another week older,

This week had a lot of highs and lows. Our investigator's are all starting to have some big concerns. I ask you all to pray for them. Elder Faddis and I have been trying really hard to help each and everyone of them. 
Of our three baptismal goal people, all of a sudden they have faced some different kind of concerns.  So If you can please pray for those people. I want to help them so much. But they need to do things for themselves. All we can do is support them in their righteous choices and keep testifying, trying to remind them why they want to work towards baptism. 
I'm starting to have to face the fact the day of change is coming. In 3 weeks there is a very good chance I'll be kicked out of Guiren. This is the exciting time of a mission. When you have plans and a deadline, that's when you push yourself. That's when a lot of the magic happens. I'm hoping we can do better on finding in these up coming weeks. We've been stood up too much. (it's been the beginning of typhoon season, so people don't like to meet around now)  A lot of our recent converts are doing well. 
I really do love the work. I love every second of it!

Elder Bean

week #66 Monday, June 9, 2014

Hey everyone,

It has been a great week, hasn't it?  So first we had ZTM (zone training meeting) on Tuesday. It was pretty good. We just talked about finding, and inviting people to be baptized. But had a really good practice. I really do enjoy ZTM's they help me have a lot more motivation to go and do. Also to go find, to go and teach, to go and help people be baptized. It just gets you pumped.

Wednesday, we had a good English class, we've officially separated, we have an advanced and a beginner's class. The students seem to really like it. Afterwards a guy who we've met before but didn't seem interested showed up. Bishop Yang and I met with him while Elder Faddis went and met with one of our progressing investigators. This brother has hit a rock bottom, but he still won't take what we have, he wants a quick solve answer and bishop told him that we don't have a quick solve procedure to solve all his problems. Bishop said when he comes again, just to share simple short messages that he can start taking one by one. While I was in that lesson, Elder Faddis successfully shared the 3rd lesson and word of wisdom with our investigator. Apparently it was a great lesson. I was super excited it went well. 

There was a really cool miracle the other day. So we were about to eat dinner and I asked Elder Faddis what he wanted, he lists some options, one of them being bread. I told him, I'd be down to go get bread if we went to the farther one out of our way. As we stepped in, the cashier lady was super  nervous that we didn't speak Chinese, but as we spoke to her in Chinese she was super curious. We told her about church and she said she'd be willing to come to church sometime. It's crazy how sometimes God works through our appetites. 

We met with the Bishop on Saturday, we talked a lot about the importance of reading the scriptures, he talked about all the RC's (recent converts) that have stayed or fallen away and the ones that stay are the ones that read their scriptures. So that day every LA (less active) we went and visited, we talked about reading scriptures daily. It really is an important thing. It's hard for people to develop that habit, but if they do, they will have a firm testimony. 

That was our week, glad to talk to you all.

Love ya,

Elder Bean

week #65 Monday, June 2, 2014

Hey everyone,

Another week has gone by. We started off the move call excited for the upcoming adventures and it's definitely looking good. Our new district is full of old friends. We have 4 from my generation (arrived in Taiwan on the same day), Elder Sumsion, Elder Gassman, and Sister Ahquin were all in Fengyuan together a year ago. Just a fun little reunion district. But on the way to DTM (district training meeting) Elder Faddis' bike's back tire popped, we are about 30 minute ride out of our area, so we have no idea where to go. Fortunately, the zone leaders were super willing to help out. We switched his bike for Elder Gassman's for the week. We raced back to find our investigator couldn't meet for another hour. But our lesson went great. That night we were able to help a family do FHE. Lately I've been trying to help all of our Less Active families, Part Member families do FHE. It's been fun, they seem to love it and all be willing to keep doing it, so we are excited. 
Wednesday we went up to Jiayi for a trainer followup meeting. We got to see all of his generation and the trainers again. We ate lunch with President Blickenstaff (see the mission blog). It was fun. Then we came back, had English Class, yep. 
Thursday was fun because we had a million people set up randomly. They called us up during studies and was like "hey can you meet today" and we were glad because we didn't have that much set up. 
Friday we went on exchanges with the zone leaders, I went to Dongqu while Elder Faddis led the area. I got to be with Elder Gassman who is in my generation he came on island with me. It was fun we saw a lot of miracles. Then I came back Saturday. super sore from the morning workout. Yesterday at church we had one of our investigators come to church for the first bit, he seemed to be doing ok. We are gonna have to work hard to help him be ready for baptism in the next month.
So we went to church yesterday and I realized that I forgot my suitcoat's nametag, so I took my white shirt name tag and put on the outer coat. Then later that day after dinner,  we were out in our secondary area and I look down to realize I wasn't wearing my name tag. Luckily we had a member who lived nearby she made me a makeshift name tag, sometime I'll send you pic. Also people sometimes call me "Dou dou xiansheng zhang lao" or Elder Mr. Bean.
This week I've been thinking a lot about how important it is to preach the gospel through the spirit, "Wherefore I the Lord ask you this question, unto what are ye ordained? To preach My gospel by the spirit; even the comforter , which was sent forth to teach the truth." (D&C 50:13-14) It's such an important part of our work. This last week while I'd be teaching, I'd stop and try and listen to the spirit and when I did that I'd have an inspired question come to me, or I'd notice something about the investigator that would help me know how to teach to their needs. It is amazing what we can do with the spirit and even more so, what we can't do without the spirit. 
I love you all, wish you all well. until next week,

with love,

Elder Brandon Bean