Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dec. 28, 2009

(After I told Scott we would not be visiting him in Taiwan, he wrote this. I love his willingness to be obedient.)

Yeah, I called President Grimley and he told me that it's church policy. I knew it was against Church Policy to see your parents while on your mission, but I thought that since Elder Watson said it shouldn't be a problem, that I could do it. But hey, it's cool. I wish I could've seen you all, but it's better to follow the rules.

I'm SOOO excited for you all to visit Taiwan. You all probably aren't understanding what people are saying at all, but at least you have David there to translate for you. One thing I love about Taiwan is that it has all these little missionary "dongxi" (things). Like, the "No success can compensate for failure in the home" stickers, and we have magnets now. I forgot to send you all a picture of my bike, but its completely jet black and its got a giant "no success can compensate..." sticker on it. I think its pretty Missionary legit. Plus if anyone were to steal it, it'd be pretty obvious that its a missionary bike... But yeah, the people here are really into missionary work. My ward up here in Danshui aren't so much, but they're really cool. Some are trying hard to start up on it though.

So for Christmas, we didn't actually do too much. My companion was too into the Christmas spirit and couldn't really focus after talking to his family for 2 hours, so he took a nap and we did some missionary activities outside. I think we had a lesson or two too, but I forgot. Thanks so much for the presents though. I really enjoyed them all! Can you tell the people back in the branch thanks for me?

(I can get inexpensive ties here in HK, so sent 13 to Scott for Christmas - a couple for him, but mostly so he could give them to other missionaries as gifts. But only the guy missionaries got them - not the girls...)

Oh yeah, as for my District, we have 4 Elders and 2 Sisters. So the sisters weren't too bummed, and actually one of them took a tie and made it into a headband, so she was pretty happy. We actually have another guy who we basically count as a missionary. He joined the Church when he was about 17, and Taiwan only has 3 years of High School, so after he was baptized, he graduated. He REALLY has the missionary spirit in him. He actually is probably a more energized than most missionaries. So in his free time, he spends it with us, either contacting on the street, teaching lessons, finding less-actives, etc. It's really awesome. I couldn't imagine myself giving up all my time to do all that. Plus, he looks exactly like a missionary without the tag. He's just cool.

Haha, and after starting this transfer, I'm trying to figure out what President is doing. Either he wants me to be with a more slack missionary and bring him up and work harder, or he feels like he should put the slack missionaries together... Haha, my companion is really cool and is a great teacher, but just doesn't seemed to energized to go work hard and use all the time we have. So, its a little bit of a trial but its good. I'm definitely learning from it.

So I was writing weekly goals this morning during personal study and decided one really good goal I could probably do every day is to do something to increase my faith in Christ. I was reading Bible Dictionary on faith today, and I noticed a few interesting things. First of all, it talked about faith being a principle of action and power. Faith just isn't thoughts or beliefs in your head, but it's actually a power to do things such as part the Red Sea. Also, it talked about how [true faith will lead to some kind of physical and mental action]. If we ever wonder if we have faith in Jesus Christ, just look at your life and the things you're doing in your daily life. If you're going to church, if you're feeling the Spirit, if you're striving to do good, etc, I believe that faith is being manifest through these ways. Last cool little thing was: Faith is a gift. That kinda confused me a bit, but I guess we have to remember that all things come from God, and we just can't develop my own faith.

Anyways, things are great in DanShui! :D I'm enjoying my time here. I love being back in the city and having all the people. I do miss the relax roads in Yuli though. Here, I have to always be on guard so I don't get hit by a car. It's safe here though. I really like it.

Love,
Elder Carlson

P.S. Ask David to take you out for Ugly Tofu (he'll understand what I mean if he changes the tones a bit...)
P.S.S Oh... and make sure you try Winter Melon Tea and some of the breakfast foods.
P.S.S.S... and if you're really brave, rent some bikes and ride around the Taibei streets! ;) just kidding... its not that bad.

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