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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

week #95 Mon. Dec. 28, 2014

    Well I'll start with a small story from last week. So Elder Tatton has an older brother, his brother went into the MTC March 6th 2013....In case you aren't aware that is the same week as I went in. So the story takes place on December 26th 10:23 (Taiwan standard time) As Elder Tatton was skyping his family, his mom picked up the ipad they were skyping with. They showed him the house and showed him the countdown for him...and his brother. Then she said "look at how much time your brother has left?....10 Weeks!!!" I fell over. In shock. Realizing my life as a missionary is coming to a close. I realized "10 weeks that's nothing, that's no time at all, that's the end....." Then I realized something.... "wait...I have 11 weeks, oh good still have plenty of time." So we came back from that and I told Elder Tatton I was going to make a plan. A plan of all plans. The plan that would allow me to put everything I got on the table. A plan of intense work. I was going to make a plan that will pull me in every direction, give me more pressure than I've felt before. I was going to push my limits. Reach farther, do more, and change more. I called it the 10 week plan! so this is what I'll be putting myself through for the next little while. It's now no longer the end just a new beginning. I divided it into a few separate categories, spiritual, physical, language, the work, and other. I wrote some B.H.A.G's (Big hairy audacious goals [basically just the overarching goal over this 10 week period]), then I made small goals in each week things I would do to remain focused, have energy and enthusiastic for the work.
     After I made the plan I felt a lot more ready. I'm gonna need a lot of extra help from the Saviors atonement. I will also need a lot of motivation. It starts next week and I want to invite everyone to help me out on this. Send me one inspirational quote before next week. I hope that I can have a lot of quotes by next week to help me get through the plan. I understand there are many of you who are busy but one quote that'll do. 
Dear family and friends,

Sorry that was the main things I wanted to go out. But this week was great, I loved skyping the family. You all are great. We've been meeting with a lot of new people they seem very promising. We have 2 people looking to get baptized in January. They are both coming to church, praying, looking good on commandments, It'll be great to see them progress. Elder Tatton and I have had a great Christmas. So many miracles. I love you all, keep up the great work.
with love,
Elder Bean

week #94 Mon. Dec. 21, 2014

Merry Christmas,
     No matter whether they believe in Jesus Christ or not. Almost everyone is excited to hear and say "Shengdanjie Kuaile" which means Merry Christmas! Which just makes the season that much more special as we get to do some of the greatest service during this season. This week was a little crazy, less time to proselyte, more things throwing our plans out of whack. But I'm happy. I come home everyday asking God for a confirmation that I did my best. I love the feeling when I do. When I know God is saying. "Elder Bean, I am pleased". Of course as usual we did the same this week as we usually do. We contacted our hearts out to everyone. Testifying. turning around suddenly on the street because we know that this message is more important than convenience. More important than work, food, sleep, and the things that these people are doing. The message we are sharing is That God has restored his gospel, he has revealed once again the plan of salvation, which tells us how to make it back to our Father in Heaven. 
     I spent a good amount of time studying the doctrine of the lessons we teach everyday. I am amazed at how deepening my understanding of those lessons doesn't make the things I know more complicated, further from the main message, but it makes it simpler, it makes sense, and I can testify of it so much easier. Everyday I study the beautiful truths within the Book of Mormon. I am amazed at how much of a miracle that it has come forth. Prophets prayed, fasted, begged that this would come to our day. They knew we would need it. I also will study Doctorine and Covenants, which has made me better understand that Joseph Smith had to be a prophet of God, we also need to have revelation in our daily life in order to make it back.
     We find, we teach, and we help people work towards baptism. To what purpose, to get good numbers to turn To increase our church The truth of the nature is because we love these people. The taiwanese people need these truths not just for exaltation (they do need it for that) but in their daily life. They need these truths that I have been blessed to grow up with. Without it they don't understand life in it's pure form.
     I know the church is true. I know that I am doing God's work. I love it. I love this season.
I testify that Christ is our savior, he is our way, he loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Bean

week #93 Mon. Dec. 14, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

    Well this week was filled w/ miracles. I love the work I really do. This week we met people. Woah that's a change. I was starting to forget that we were white washing because we had a lesson practically every day. YES! Tuesday we went on exchanges w/ the zone leaders. It was fun. We met w/ a cool new investigator. We visited some less actives. 
Then Wednesday. We got to meet w/ one of the recent converts that's been missing in action recently. Thursday we had a great miracle day. So that morning we woke up. I wasn't feeling like running like we had planned to. But I figured it was important that we at least tried to go to the track. So we ran, we were in our exercise clothes. Normally nothing that crazy happens when we exercise, but when we finished exercising a man came up to us. Started talking to us about who we were, whey we were in Taiwan, we explained, then he asked us to come over to his house. So we did and it was so cool. We met with a family who were all interested in what we had to share. God is sending people to us. He is both leading us and leading them. It was a crazy awesome really neat miracle. 
     Friday....pretty normal planned, went on exchanges w/ the other pingdong elders. Saturday the sisters had a baptism and we were able to get one of our investigators over to it. He loved it. He had a great time, and because of it he decided to set a date to be baptized. It was awesome. So now we are actually touching every phase of the work. 
     Lately in personal study I've been studying the doctrine of the lessons a lot. I can testify I know this church is true. The plan of salvation is true, it is the way. It was revealed by a prophet. I know that God loves each one of his children and He has sent us to help gather them back. I love the work. I hope all is well. Until next week,
love you all
Elder Bean

week #92 Monday, Dec. 7, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
     This week was a pretty great week. We had a lot of small miracles. We worked really hard and we are starting to see a change in the work. We are still contacting, but about Friday I was sitting there thinking....Wait we are missing a huge margin. I then realized that we needed to start focusing on Part Member Families. So we've been brainstorming a ton. We got a list from the bishop of Part Member families so now we have to go and try and set up times to go and visit them. 
Lately I've been studying the Doctrine and Covenants, and I feel like it is so easy to tell it is the word of God. Every time I open it up I usually feel edified and uplifted. I think it is amazing to know that we have living prophets in our dispensations. We can hear the Lord's voice once again, like in olden days. I love it, I think it's great.
     We are really trying to put some effort into working with the ward. I feel like we are starting to know the people, we are starting to understand Pingdong, and now I definitely feel that The Lord can and will help us find great people to bring into the church here in Pingdong.
     There was a really cool kid (11 years old) that we got to work with this week. The sisters met w/ a boy about 5 months ago, but he went to Taibei for a few months. They finally ran into him again and let us start meeting w/ him. He came to church on Sunday and loved it. It was a great experience for him. He had people friendship him, he felt very attached to the church. He told me that he reads and prays still. It is amazing how little kids are so able to follow Jesus Christ and it isn't to hard for them to do. We shared lesson two, the plan of salvation w/ him yesterday and he loved it. It made sense to him and he was able to explain why he needs Jesus Christ in this plan. He's a great one. He will definitely be a great member someday. 
     Thursday we had our Christmas Activity with all the missionaries in our mission, I have pictures but my computer won't read my camera, so maybe another day....
    Well I am still loving the work a lot, I am continually studying the Book of Mormon, Preach my Gospel, and I'm touched everyday by the spirit those two books can bring into my day. I know that God leads this work, I know that the church is true, and I know that Christ lives. 
w/ love
Elder Bean

Friday, December 5, 2014

week #91 Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,
Well This week was a lot of contacting, a lot of contacting, and oh ya more contacting. But man I have a great companion. He's so motivated. Has a ton of energy, and he doesn't seem to be depressed. It's been great. So first Monday we went to our secondary area. Called Jiuru, to go meet with a member. Once we got there he said, "okay so I'm the only active male here in the ward, so we are gonna try and change that" So we went and visited 3 less actives in the area and met some great people that we can start working with. It was so cool. I've never had a member be so proactive about the work. I'm excited Pingdong is a good place.
Then Tuesday we had Mission Tour. It was great. I learned a ton, I was super excited to work. We went out and worked, hard. We contacted everywhere we went, invited everyone we could to learn more. and nothing. nothing. nothing. What were we doing wrong, no one was setting up. Then the answer hit me. Who were we relying on. We were relying on ourselves. I decided then we needed to say a prayer. We asked God to bless us and help us to find more success. The next thing we did is we contacted a park and ran into a bunch of people who not only were interested, THEY WERE WILLING TO SET UP!!! It was a miracle. We found ten people that day who were willing to learn more. 
This work is God's work. I know it is. I can not deny it. I love the Lord my God. I love the scriptures. I love the work.
Elder Bean
p.s.- finished reading the old testament this week. Now I'm reading Doctrine and Covenants, then I will have read the entire standard works while being on a mission. Yes!

week #90 Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

Hey Everyone,
So it's official I am a white washing wizard. I'll get to that in a second though. So last week we were super busy trying to strengthen our area. We seemed to be super busy, between balancing my current area, preparing to go white wash and helping other missionaries in our zone. Then Wednesday we went to a train, the trainers meeting, it was good, it helped me have some time to think and process what I hoped to do with my new missionary. Thursday came around, we planned a ton, I planned for the next week what I was going to do, where my focus would be. 
Then Friday came. I went up (very early ~4:30 in the morning) We traveled up. Everyone had questions for how they should train. I was the only one sitting by so I shared my experiences. Then we made it to Taizhong, it was chaos. Because it was move call day, everyone else was there. We got pulled into the chapel where president told us that the group that came on was doing awesome. However they had some expeiriences while waiting for visas. Quite a few had companions in other missions that were struggling with obedience, dilligence, and morality. He said that he hopes we can be good examples and help these missionaries have better experiences. Then the meeting started. I got my new missionary drum roll please.......................ELDER TATTON! He is a fireball. He read my name I got up went and hugged him. As we were going back to our seats I told him Elder congrats you're white washing. His eyes got big and he was excited. He is so fun to serve with. He has a ton of faith. super obedient, his chinese isn't half bad either. Then we took a 4 hour train ride back to Pingdong. We hopped on a taxi and traveled to our apartment. We put our stuff in the apartment, then we tried tracting a bit before we went to the Ward Cordination Meeting. Saturday we contacted a bit that morning but no success. Then I realized...wait! we should say a prayer. So we prayed for some help contacting. We then turned down a random road and ran into a man who was pulling into his house. We talked to him a bit and he said he'd love to bring his kids and wife over to our church some time. BAM MIRACLE. Then contacting became super easy for us. Obviosly it was the Lord's hand.
I'm not gonna lie, whitewashing is different than I thought it would be. It's a lot more work. But here's the seceret of the matter, it's not the work that makes things happen. It's the work that reminds you you're doing it wrong and you need to turn the Savior. This is his work. and I love it. 
I'm enjoying Pingdong, I feel like it'll be my last area. I am excited for it. Pingdong is a golden area. 
I love you all!
Elder Bean

week #89 Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

Dear Fam and Friends.
So some big news. I'm moving....On Friday. We don't know where, we don't know who will be my new companion. But we know that 21 new missionaries are coming on island this week (late because of the visa problems).  So President Blickenstaff sent out a fax Saturday Night w/ a list of the names of the missionaries that will most likely be moving, told us that yesterday was their last Sunday in that ward. And I was on that list....:( It's super weird that I'm leaving and moving somewhere else. But it's all good. I'm more curious about where I'm going, We'll find out tomorrow night. Well ya.
So last week we spent P-day playing football, then went to TGI Fridays....ya we are definitely more in the city part of Taiwan. Then Tuesday we went on exchanges with some elders. Had a great time, We went on splits. That was the first time I had to do that on exchanges. But it was a good lesson. Then we had a good talk about Elder Shang, the missionary I was with also served with Elder Shang. It was good to hear some stories about my old companion. Let's see. Friday we went on exchanges again with Gangshan Elders. I went to Gangshan, with Elder Lieske. So I was basically in heaven that weekend. But here's the cool part of that story.
That night we met with one of the RC's (W) (he investigated when I was there). As we were discussing the topic of (R) came up. For those who don't know (R) is one of my very first RC's overcame smoking, coffee, all because of his faith in God. He was super solid, had a lot going for him. Then in July soon after I moved here, the Gangshan Elders called me up telling me that he had just gone apostate. Someone from work had handed him Anti-mormon literature. I was invited by them to try and get ahold of him. I tried calling but never answered. Well,  we were meeting w/ (W) and he asked about (R), I explained some stuff. Then I asked Him to pray for (R). As we got back that night, I felt prompted to try calling him again. So I called...HE ANSWERED. (R) and I talked a bit and then asked if he could meet with me on Saturday. I set up with him and we met with him. I didn't talk much about the antimormon stuff. I just loved him, talked to him as a friend then in the end I asked him how he was doing, and he said he was going to go meet with the missionaries in Gangshan again. I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!! I was sad for him for a while, but now I know he was a reason I had to come here to Gaoxiong. I love the work.
I'M TRAINING!!!!! I just got a call from president. I'm going to be white washing Pingdong. That's the southern tip of the mission. I can't believe it. so that tells you where I'm going on Friday. Well that's all for this week,  I love you all. Until next time!
Elder Bean

week #88 Monday, Nov. 10, 2014

Dear Family and friends,
It's a new move call and guess what? No one is leaving or coming!!!! because of the shortage of missionaries coming on the island, president is going to wait two weeks when we get the new missionaries before moving anyone. It's super crazy. But I'm happy, I get to spend more time with Elder Shelton, Elder Faddis, and Elder Sheanshang. 
So we had a great ZTM. We practiced teaching the second lesson (Plan of Salvation) then we had a great english training meeting with all the english leaders. We hope to increase our baptism's from english. Then we met with our District leaders. I made sure to encourage them all, and help them feel the love from President. I don't know if that was what did it, but our zone did awesome this week. We went and worked. bam. boomshakalacka.
We didn't get to go on the exchanges we were planning on because the companionship was sick and the other elders we were going to go with cancelled last minute. So Elder Shelton and I got to work together more. Which was a great blessing. I love working with him. He's such a great teacher. Wednesday we had a great english party. Lot's of people came. It seemed like everyone enjoyed it. The theme was pirates. ya... ON Thursday night we gotta call from the assistants to ask everyone to call all there female recent converts and ask if they can be short term missionaries. So I got to call half my Recent Converts and check if they could do that. It was good to hear that they are doing well. I did feel sad to hear that some weren't reading, praying, coming to church. I feel like it's hard to see those you've worked with decide not to continue doing the things they should be doing. 
It's been a good week looking forward to next. 

Sincerely Elder Bean

week #87 Monday, Nov. 3, 2014

Hey everyone,
It's been a good week. So onday we got the flu shots that were required of us. Then we we went and visited the Bishop and his family. Had a great dinner. Then on Tuesday we went on exchanges, I was with Elder Cuartas, he's a great missionary. He's from Columbia, he works super hard and he sees a ton of miracles. 
We had a good english class Wednesday. Then we went up to Taizhong for MLC. It was great really fun to see all the other zone leaders and to learn from President. I also was able to renew my Temple Reccomend. Which means I've been endowed for over two years. That's weird. I definitely miss going to the temple. I think that'll be something I look forward to for sure. Anywho. Friday we went on exchanges w/ Xiaogang I got to go w/ Elder Tolman again. It was super fun. We had a ward activity, went to a funeral, but the craziest thing was I forgot my bag that had my razor, and all my other stuff. So I discovered I can grow a beard if I don't shave 1 day. Don't worry I shaved by the end of the day. But it was definitely weird. 
So something cool that happned is we were visiting one of our family investigators. And as we were there the peike went off on some tangent but the spirit was still there and then we felt prompted to invite the daughters to set a date to be baptized, and they did. They have a date as a family, and they are working together. It's super exciting. Just need to help them come to church and they should hit there date. 
I know this is God's work. I love my companion, I'm learning a ton, but I don't know how to explain it all. I know that God has provided a plan. That plan is his plan of salvation. I love you all. 

See ya next week

Elder Bean